Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sour Grapes

Had an interview the other day for an in-house transfer to a particular role I'm interested in.

The old adage of failure to prepare is preparing to fail loomed large so of course had lots of stuff prepared. I figured it would be logical to be asked questions about my paper application so did a considerable amount to be sure I was ready to expand give a whole load more detail about any particular part they cared for. I researched pages worth of stats and quotes relevant to the role, and had answers prepared for the expected questions about what qualities I felt I had for the role, where would I be in 1,2 or 5 years if successful.

Silly me.

What I should have done is memorise the competency phrases and buzzwords from the Competency Framework. The competency framework is familiar I guess to most police around and probably some corporate types. The competency framework is a list of qualities somebody in an office has decided a particular officer must have to be competent in his role.

My interviewers simply had a tick sheet of these phrases, and if I said one, I got a mark. I quickly twigged this but unfortunately these phrases are often somewhat..... well, random and so I didn't get many.

Anything come up I had prepared for? Did it heck.

Now I can understand there is a need to be objective in your interview assessments. But I don't think solely basing the success of the interview on the number of phrases hit necessarily means the best candidate gets through. It just means the ones who remembered the most score highest. I didn't even get the most simple question of all - "Why do you want to join this unit"??

Still, lesson learnt. Next time I'll simply print off the list they're marking from, and read it and read it until I can quote it back to myself. And then turn up at the interview safe in the knowledge I won't actually need to demonstrate any interest or aptitude in the role I'm going for.