So you say you’re community minded, can you back it up?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Hi, Russell here, Prime Motion Training.

Well, if you’re applying to join the police force, there’s a question that no doubt you are expecting. It’s a question that every applicant’s likely to get, whether it be early in the application journey or at some stage later in the process during an interview.

That question, of course, is “why do you want to join the police force?”. Why do you want to be a police officer?

Now, a very predictable answer from applicants is “I like to help people” and “I’m very community-minded”. If you say that, that you like to help people and you’re community-minded, that’s going to make them happy because they’re the sort of attributes that they’re looking for in applicants, but, the question is, are you saying that because it sounds good and you know that they’re looking for those kinds of attributes, or can you back up what you’re saying?

Do you actually mean that you really do like helping people and like giving back to your community? Are you really community-minded? If you are, you’ll have no problem answering the predictable follow-up question.

So, if an applicant says, “I like helping people, I’m very community-minded,” the predictable follow-up question is likely to be, “Well, that’s great. We are looking for applicants who are helpful, who like helping people, who are community-minded. Can you tell us about the last time that you helped your community, and, can you share an example with us?”

Now, that’s often followed with a really awkward silence or a bit of, “Well I’m, I’m um, arh, um,” as you try to manufacture some type of example of where you’ve helped your community. Now, of course, if you’re genuine about it and you do actually help your community, then you’re probably doing so through the avenue of volunteering. Volunteering is really important, but it’s also tangible, tangible proof or evidence from an applicant that you’re genuine about your desire to help your community.

Volunteering, giving up your time for the benefit of someone else, is a really good indicator of the type of person that you are, more so than just the police applicant that you are. It shows the person beneath the applicant.

So, if you are volunteering in your community, whether it be something like the SES or the CFA, or maybe some type of youth programme, or maybe you volunteer your time at an elderly person’s home or a disability school, or maybe you are involved in some sort of meal providing service like a soup kitchen or that kind of thing. If you are, then you’ll have plenty of experiences that you can draw on to give as an example of how you give back to your community, of how you like to help people and how you are community minded.

That will come across really, really well because plenty of applicants will say they like helping people, that they’re community-minded because it is an attribute that police forces and police services are looking for in their applicants. But, not too many applicants can actually back it up, and if you’re volunteering, you’ll be able to back it up.

So, if you haven’t already started volunteering, maybe it’s something you should seriously consider because they are looking for people who like helping people who are community-minded, who like giving back, and volunteering is a great way to show them that you actually walk the talk.

I look forward to chatting with you again soon, take care.

Kind regards,

Russell Kempster
Russell Kempster
Founder and Head Trainer, Prime Motion Training

About the Author

Russell Kempster

Russell Kempster

Russ spent 12 years as a police officer with Victoria Police. The last four years of that time was spent at the Victoria Police Academy as an instructor, where he taught everything from fitness to firearms. He has trained police applicants, as well as recruits undergoing their initial training, experienced serving police officers and was even called on by Victoria Police to help train other would-be police academy instructors.

You may also like

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest