On this page, we will provide you with some useful tips in preparation for the police officer’s online competency-based interview. The police service has several competencies that are essentially the foundations for the role of a competent police officer. Although there are six police officer competencies in total, you will only be assessed against two of them during the police officer pre-recorded online interview:

  • Innovative, and open-minded (assessed during the online interview).
  • Emotionally aware.
  • Taking ownership (assessed during the online interview).
  • Collaborative.
  • Deliver, support, and inspire.
  • Analyse critically.

Let’s now take a look at five important tips that will enable you to pass the online police officer pre-recorded competency-based interview.


The online police officer competency-based interview is not a live/in-person interview. Instead, the interview is pre-recorded, and the candidate must record their answers to five questions whilst using their smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer. The candidate is required to download and install software that allows the pre-recorded interview to take place. Therefore, you must have a working camcorder (in-built or webcam) speakers, a microphone, or a headset.

The software system then records your answers and a police recruitment assessor will ‘assess’ soon after. This approach enables the police to save considerable time and resources from a recruitment perspective.

Because the interview is pre-recorded, you do not get the opportunity to re-record your answers until you are happy with them. Furthermore, you do not get told the interview questions before the interview takes place. However, in our experience, the best way to spend your preparation time is to prepare answers that encompass each of the two assessable competencies (innovative, and open-minded, and taking ownership) before your online interview starts.


Consider carefully the location in which you will undertake the police officer online interview. Take the pre-recorded interview in a quiet room, with good lighting, and a background that portrays you to be an organized, and professional individual. It is also important that your computer has sufficient power to last the duration of the interview, you have a strong internet connection, and there is no background noise or disturbances.


Do not underestimate the importance of good interview technique throughout your online police officer pre-recorded interview. You must have good posture, you sit upright in the chair, and you utilise positive body language whilst recording your answers. We also recommend you use a confident and fluent style of communication when answering each of the questions.


The competency-based interview questions are ‘behavioural’ in nature. This means you must provide a previous example of a situation you have been in where you have demonstrated the assessable police officer competency. When structuring your answers, we recommend using the STAR technique. Here is a brief explanation of the STAR technique for interview answers:

SITUATION: Start your answer by outlining the situation you were faced with.

TASK: Detail the task that needed your attention.

ACTION: Give specific details about the action you took, and the actions others took to complete the task.

RESULT: Finish off your answer with the results of your actions (aim to have positive results from your actions.)


Another helpful tip to help you pass the online police officer competency-based pre-recorded interview is to slow down the pace of your answers. If you talk too fast, as the majority of candidates do, it will make it difficult for the assessor to hear what you are saying, and you may miss out important evidence or information that matches the competency being assessed.

NOTE: there is usually a time limit in which you must submit your answer to each question. You will normally have 1 minute to prepare your answer, and 5 minutes to record it.

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