I was asked on my previous work experience and asked to provide examples of situations I had been involved in that showed my ability to work with others, show assertiveness and good judgment, ability to write a good report and being able to be articulate in communication. There was a one to one interview that was followed by a written task in which I was given a scenario and asked to write a report and make recommendations to an adviser who was to implement the findings of my report. Yes, there was an overall format that had to be followed and finally the group activity had to be undertaken to enable the assessors to ascertain the suitability of candidates to work with others. The whole assessment exercise took half a day and the people who carried out the written exercise were not the same as the those who carried out the interviews or the group activity. The recruitment team sought to be fair and very transparent in their recruitment exercise!
Most difficult question
The most difficult one were the examples I needed to give in order to determine the level of my competency to carry out the job. These were a bit more difficult because probation work is more hands on and demands direct supervision of ex-offenders which makes it a bit tricky if one has not been in the police force or prison service.
Be prepared to for the assessment and strive to remain composed at all the times. There is need for one to work very quickly in dealing with the scenario presented as time is limited and flies faster than one can imagine. Whilst the pressure is immense it is important that one has a good night's sleep and is relaxed by the time they get to the interview. Always try to remain relevant to questions asked and don't try to over-elaborate one's answers. If the interviewer wants a further information to an answer given they will ask a further probing question of to help you along.
Experiences at the assessment centre
We were split into four groups of six each and asked to study a scenario in which each candidate had to participate in giving their views as to how they can best handle the situation and why they chose to handle it the way they did. It was nerve wrecking trying to study the scenario in very limited time and asked to come to a decision under the hawkish gaze of the recruitment team in an atmosphere in which one knows that they are contesting with those who are sitting on the table with them for a limited number of positions to be filled.
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