Assessment centre format

What will the strengths-based interview involve?

The strengths-based interview focuses on your strengths and what you enjoy doing, rather than what you have previously done as you would find with a competency interview. It means you’re less able to prepare rehearsed answers and that makes for a more animated and energised interview process.

The interview will consist of motivational alignment and strengths-based questions. Motivational questions will aim to see whether you are intrinsically motivated by the expected job role and Police Now. Ahead of your interview think about the work you would do as a Trainee Detective Constable on the Police Now programme, your commitment to our mission and values, and the impact the programme can have for society. We are passionate to find individuals that align with our mission, so we want to see that you have thought about why one of our programmes are right for you.

The strength-based questions will seek to understand your capability to do something, including how you would approach a certain situation. Some example questions;

✓ What energises you?

 Describe a successful day. What made it successful?

 How do you stay motivated?

Within strengths-based interviews we are looking to gain a genuine insight into the personalities of candidates and to see whether you are a good fit for a role as a Trainee Detective Constable on the Police Now’s national graduate programmes.

Police Now work in partnership with Prospects and for further information about strengths-based interviews, check out their insightful page.

What will the role play involve?

The role play exercise will be split into two parts: a role play and self-reflection. Within the role play you will be presented with a real-life scenario that you may encounter as a Trainee Detective Constable.

Before the exercise begins an assessor will give you a full briefing so you know exactly what to expect and they will remain present throughout the whole role play to observe and review your assessment. The assessor will inform you once the role play is due to start and at this point an actor will enter the room. Please note you will not have an opportunity to restart the role play.

During the role play the assessor will want to see how you would approach each scenario, how you use the information you’ve been provided beforehand and how you would relate to the different people involved.

At the end of the exercise there will be an opportunity to debrief with the assessor so you can reflect on how the role-play went. It’s OK to get things wrong during the exercise, as long as you can identify them and explain to the assessor how you would do things differently next time.

What will the Virtual Case Centre involve?

We’ve created an interactive based task, which is essentially a combination of scenarios where you’ll look to build and report on a case.

The assessor will give you a full briefing before you begin. You’ll then be provided with information linked to the case to digest and you’ll be presented with different media – this will include watching video content and listening to voice recordings. Once you have finished interacting with the various media, you’ll be asked what course of action you would take in certain situations – there will also be a self-reflection exercise towards he end.

This assessment will be a good indicator of how you would act as a Trainee Detective Constable, as it also assesses how you would react under pressure.

What will the written task involve?

During the National Detective Programme written exercise, you will be given multiple sources of information, which you are required to use to form a written response using your laptop. The task is designed to assess your ability to absorb and process information and then formulate a written response as a result.

On the day, you’ll be given a login to our assessment platform. During the digital session, the facilitator will talk you through what is required – you’ll then begin the written task. Click here to view an example format of how the written task will look.

As a Trainee Detective Constable, you are required to source and manage multiple sources of information simultaneously. This requires a highly attentive attention to detail in communication. This skill is critical to several elements of the role including gathering statements, writing crime reports and preparing handover information. You need to be able to present the outputs of your analysis in a clear, thorough and often persuasive way to a wide range of collaborators and stakeholders.

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Navigate through each of the sections to get you familiar with the digital assessment centre process.

Hints & tips

Please read our assessment centre hints and tips page to help you prepare for your assessment.

Further information & assistance

If you’d like to know more about the assessment centre, please follow the link below.


For more information about Police Now, our national graduate programmes or the application process, read our FAQs.

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

National Detective Programme

Case studies: