NOMS Interview Questions & Answers

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Difficulty rating 4 / 10

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  • Graduate scheme

    4.7143/5 | Interview date: March 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Public Sector

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I knew prior to the date that this was a role play assessment consisting of 4 scenarios relating to the prison environment. There were 3 other candidates. We were taken to a room and told there would be 5 scenarios. We were given 15 minutes to make notes on all of these. We were then given 2 minutes to look specifically at the first scenario. We were then taken to a corridor and asked to stand outside our designated room and knock when we were ready to enter. Inside each room was one other individual - a role play actor - and a discrete camera used by a marker who was watching our performances live and marking according to the 6 competencies : non verbal communication, suspending judgement, respect for diversity, assertion, exploring and clarifying and showing understanding. We were allowed a maximum 10 minutes in the room. After this time, we were told to leave and go back to the note-making room where we were given 2 minutes to revise for the next scenario.

    Most difficult question

    The most difficult scenario involved a girl playing a prisoner who would not stop swearing and insulting me. It was difficult because no matter what I tried, she wouldn't stop cursing. I knew I must be doing something wrong but I didn't know what. This made it very difficult to address the problems she was having because, due to the prison rules outlined in the pack we were given, we had to address any inappropriate language.

    Interview tips

    Be yourself. I had watched a "how to pass your prison officer role play assessment" video and I wish I hadn't. I think for this particular assessment, as long as you know the 6 criteria they are marking you on and how to demonstrate those behaviours, you'll do fine. Afterwards, I knew the mistakes I had made and wished I had done less preparation as the video was not focused on the prison environment. I therefore believe that I showed too much compassion for this organisation and not enough assertion.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We had to enter 5 rooms for 10 minutes each. Each room had a different role play actor acting out a different situation. I was playing a prison officer throughout. The first involved me meeting with my mentor on my first day. The second involved an upset member of staff. The third involved a prisoner which was suspected of carrying a sharp object. The fourth was a prisoner who hadn't received her methodone. The fifth involved gang culture and a mobile phone.

    Interview steps


    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video


    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric


    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5

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