Sworn Competencies 

The blended interview stage is comprised of local focus, competency-based questions and Indigenous knowledge questions.

Local focus questions are designed to:

  • Assess your knowledge base and your candidate suitability.
  • Know and understand yourself well as an individual
  • Be able to demonstrate a general understanding and knowledge about policing.
  • Have a basic understanding of the police service to which you are applying.
  • An awareness about the city and community you are applying to work within.


Competencies are knowledge, skills and abilities which are assessed during the entire selection process and must be demonstrated to be considered for a position within the Ottawa Police Service. They are designed to explore the actual behaviours demonstrated by the candidate in various situations.

During our interviews, candidates are expected to describe their thoughts, feelings, and actions associated to past situations or experiences which best respond to the question. The response must be relevant to work, school, community or volunteer experiences, and must be verifiable.

There are many internet sites that talk about how to prepare for a behavioural/competency-based interview. Candidates are encouraged to do their own research to prepare. Some acronyms that may help to prepare a full answer for a competency-based interview are:

STAR – Situation/Task/Action/Result
EBO – Event/Behaviour/Outcome
PARL – Problem/Action/Result/Learning

Sworn New Recruit (Essential Competencies)

  • Analytical Thinking: The ability to analyze situations and events in a logical way, and to organize the parts of a problem in a systematic way.
  • Self Confidence: A belief in your own abilities and judgements, and a recognition of personal limitations and developmental needs.
  • Communication: The ability to demonstrate effective listening, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Flexibility/Valuing Diversity: The ability to adapt your approach in a variety of situations, and to work effectively with a wide cross-section of the community representing diverse backgrounds, cultures and socio-economic circumstances.
  • Self-Control: The ability to keep your own emotions under control and to restrain negative actions when provoked or when working under stressful conditions.
  • Relationship Building: The ability to develop and maintain a network of contacts, both inside and outside the police service.
  • Achievement Orientation: The desire for continuous improvement in service or accomplishments.
  • Medical/Physical Skills and Abilities: Job-related medical/physical skills and abilities, including vision, hearing, motor skills, cardiovascular endurance and upper-body strength.

Experienced Officer (Developmental Competencies)

  • Information Seeking: The ability to seek out information from various sources before making decisions.
  • Concern for Safety: The ability to exercise caution in hazardous situations in order to ensure safety to self and others.
  • Assertiveness: The ability to use authority confidently and to set and enforce rules appropriately.
  • Initiative: Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and self-directed in identifying and addressing important issues.
  • Cooperation: The ability to collaborate with others by seeking their input, encouraging their participation and sharing information.
  • Negotiation/Facilitation: The ability to influence or persuade others by anticipating and addressing their interests and perspectives.
  • Work Organization: The ability to develop and maintain systems for organizing information and activities.
  • Community-service Orientation: Proven commitment to helping or serving others.
  • Commitment to Learning: Demonstrated pattern of activities which contribute to personal and professional growth.
  • Organizational Awareness: Understanding the dynamics of organizations, including the formal and informal cultures and decision making processes. 
  • Developing Others: Commitment to helping others improve their skills.