My client applied for the role of Probation Officer in State (TAS) Government and won a job interview. Six specifically-written selection criteria required addressing. A full example of one of the criteria follows.
Well-developed interviewing, negotiation and conflict resolution skills including the ability to motivate, challenge behaviours and deal professionally with high risk offenders, critical situations and work related stress.
On one occasion during my employment within the Department of XYZ, I attended an incident involving a young male (with mental health conditions) who was behaving violently at his parent’s home. This was a highly contentious situation where a mental health order was issued beforehand for this individual to be transported to hospital for assessment. I was the lead communicator and accompanied by three colleagues; I conferred with them on my strategy in dealing with this situation prior to attending the scene. My initial approach with this individual involved displaying honesty, openness and transparency from the outset in order to establish trust and rapport and to help calm him. I emphasised there was only one workable option going forward whereupon I then commenced conducting a brief interview.
The goal of interviewing was to help him clearly understand no harm would come to him; and that by abiding by this option, it would benefit both him and his parents. The interview process involved asking specific questions which focused on drawing out responses regarding his perception and feelings of what he thought would happen. Questions were targeted to determine his emotional state – why he felt the way he did, how he felt toward situations in the past involving intervention, and why he felt overly emotional and agitated at the present time. Throughout the process of interviewing, I actively listened and demonstrated my understanding via appropriate vocal cues and non-verbal gestures.
The progression of the interview correlated with a significant drop in his aggressive demeanour. Subsequently, he accompanied us in a voluntary capacity to the hospital; he was amicable, calm and did not display any aggression when we left his parent’s home and during transportation. Furthermore, I was thanked by one of my colleagues – she applauded my approach and display of honesty with him and stated this was instrumental in resolving the situation.
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