Monday, July 14, 2008

Tying volunteer work.

All competency questions can be answered with situations, scenarios and tasks drawn from work, school and volunteer experiences. For the next two developmental competency questions we will deal specifically with volunteering. Quite simply because one of these developmental competencies is specifically labeled: community-service orientation, proven commitment to helping or serving others. I've said it before but I really need to say it again, consistent volunteer experience is a necessity. You can't just have a few volunteer hours here and there helping out at the kids school these last few months because you knew you would be asked during your Police Constable application interviews, no. You must show this dedication over the last few years! I don't suspect you will ever be asked about this competency specifically but I really can't touch on this subject enough, you need to be the whole package when it comes to applying, this is an extremely competitive hiring pool. If you thought volunteering was just a glossy "good to have" on your resume, you're wrong, it's a competency and you should treat it seriously.

Now, to get some fresh ideas I want to jump back to last weeks post, it was short because unfortunately last week was very busy but I wasn't finished talking about initiative. I think some of the BEST competency answers are ones that touch on multiple competency processes in one answer. My best examples seem to bridge initiative with other competencies, like concern for safety, also notice how I use specific leadership skills here with a follow-up/sharing information. Your answer could be something like this "At a volunteer event, I came across something that didn't look right, I took the time to quickly check to make sure that this was in fact safe and secure when I found that it wasn't. Although maintenance is outside of my duties I felt that I needed to do more than fill out a work order, this could turn out to be a bigger problem, I immediately contacted my supervisor and began cautioning people away from the area in a calm manner, not to attract attention but to keep the situation in my control. When my supervisor arrived I related exactly what the problem was quickly and concisely and described what I had been doing so far to keep the situation in control. My supervisor congratulated me on the good work and shut down the area, waiting for a maintenance technician to arrive."

CAUTION! I did not use specific names, dates, descriptions of equipment or the situation because that above answer is a fluff one. You need to name specific people, who was the supervisor, when did they arrive, what day did this occur. Treat these answers with a skillful and sharp break down of the facts but also how you felt and what you were thinking.

No comments: