Application forms for Wiltshire Police are based on a competency framework which involves behavioural questions.  

You will know when you are reading a behavioural question when you are asked for specific examples of past performance.

The basic idea behind behavioural (competency-based) questions is that an applicant's recent; relevant past performance is the best predictor of future performance, in a similar environment.

You can rest assured that a behaviour-based question is directly linked to an important task or essential function of the position.

When answering behaviour-based question, whenever possible, provide SPECIFIC and DETAILED examples of when and how you have demonstrated each competency.

Example 1: Excellent organisational skills and ability to balance competing demands and meet deadlines.

The question helps the employer see how you manage your time and how you tackle stress or a heavy workload.  Be sure to give concise, highly specific examples.

To help you structure the example, ask yourself questions like:   

  • What was the situation?
  • What was your specific role, what did YOU do?
  • How did YOU decide which task to do first - when and why?
  • What was the outcome? Did anyone say anything positive about your approach?
  • How did the outcome affect your team or organisation or company?
  • How has that experience affected the way you conduct yourself today – where there any learning points to take away? 

The examples you give must clearly show your approach; ‘how’ you tackled a competency and your particular involvement e.g. simply stating that you are competent in this area does not demonstrate fully what you did, how and why and therefore does not provide sufficient evidence.

In general ask yourself what you will need to do / think to show that you (as in Example 1.) are organised – break down the example into sections.  You can use the S.T.A.R acronym as a reminder:

Situation 

Task

Action

Result

Please note

For Special Constables, PCSO and Police Officer roles, spelling and grammar is also marked at application form stage.

You can fail on this area alone.... DON’T FORGET TO CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR, ESPECIALLY FOR THESE ROLES!