Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Had enough competency questions yet??

Well, we only covered half of them!! Keep in mind you could have two seperate interviews based on competencies pending on which service you apply to. If not, expect to be asked questions from both the Essential Competencies (which we talked about earlier) in addition to the Developmental Competencies, whcih we will talk about this week.

I like to think of Developmental Competencies as the practical competencies, ones you can use with your B-PAD and ones you can use to prepare for the ECI panel interview. Developmental Competency Interviews (DCI) are often regarded as competencies that can be acquired through training, after a person has been hired as a police officer however, some police services have immediate need for specific skills and abilities that are "developmental" and therefore could be included as questions in the hiring process. The first developmental competency is information seeking; the ability to seek out information from various sources before making a decision. This competency is so obvious in how it applies to policing: would you make an arrest if you only had half of the story, what about witnesses? Information seeking as it applies to yourself could be as simple as:

I was having problems getting my digital camera to work. Unfortunately between me and my friend we couldn't get any of the photos to download onto my computer. I looked for the manual but couldn't find it, I tried googling my camera and found a .pdf version of the manual on the manufacturers website but it didn't have the right troubleshooting tips for getting my photos off the camera and onto my computer. I then went back to the store I bought my camera, they were helpful and explained that it would be easier to remove the memory card from the camera in order to upload the photos however, I would need an adapter that would hook up to my computer. They didn't sell them. I then drove to another local electronics store where I found the adapter and asked about using it. I was proud of myself when I came home and was easily able to get all my great photos off the camera and onto my computer to share with my friends and family. I always try to find a fix to my problems myself via technical phone support, the internet, reading manuals or asking friends but I'm also comfortable in starting back at square one, where I bought the product to ask the store what I should do.

I know the above example is kind of goofy but it really displays the concept of seeking out a solution in a variety of places, I had to because the first source, my friend didn't work, I then tried the manual but had to go on the internet, a new resource, however, again such luck, it wasn't until my third attempt at resolving the issue that I found an information source that would help. Also, pay close attention to my follow-up at the end of that competency.

Concern for safety is the last competency we will look at this week. Concern for safety is the ability to exercise caution in hazardous situations to ensure safety to your self and others. Although policing is seen as a dangerous job, you must be aware and in control. In doing this you will prevent unnecessary injury or harm to come of yourself. A great way to articulate your concern for safety is to demonstrate a time when you saw something unsafe or perhaps were put into an unsafe situation, maybe asked by your boss to use a rickety ladder, operate machinery that wasn't properly maintained. What did you do and say? Did you stand up and tell your boss or co-workers that it wasn't safe? What did you do about it? How did they react?

Again, another simple competency that is easily seen as relating to policing, the trick is making these competencies compatible with your experiences.

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