Special Agent Selection Process: Core Competencies

Special Agent Selection Process: Core Competencies


Core competencies are key skills that have
been identified as needed to be a successful special
agent. For the special agent position, they include
leadership, collaboration, organizing and planning, problem-solving/judgment, flexibility/adaptability,
initiative and communication. The
competencies serve as indicators that demonstrate that you have the skills to do the job. You
should demonstrate all of the core competencies throughout the special agent selection
process. For example, in the core competency of communication,
your application should convey that you can express thoughts and ideas
clearly and effectively both orally and in writing. Or in the example of initiative, you should
demonstrate how you proactively and creatively respond to problems and tasks. Another example is organizing and planning. In this area you should be demonstrating how
you can establish priorities, timetables and goals. In addition, you should reflect on how you
can effectively plan follow-up activities necessary
to accomplish goals. The competencies represent
a broad skill set required of a successful FBI special agent. Special agents of the FBI are called upon
to demonstrate the core competencies on a daily
basis. Special agents lead criminal and national
security investigations, collaborate with federal,
state and local law enforcement agencies, conduct interviews and document their findings
with strong oral and written communication skills. Special agents plan and organize federal search
and arrest. They proactively identify problems and create
solutions. Special agents serve as first
responders in often dynamic and changing environments and are often called upon to use
sound judgment in life-and-death situations. As an applicant for the special agent position,
you must demonstrate examples on your application
that you meet these requirements. Situational samples that you provide in your
application will be evaluated and determined whether you progress in the hiring process. It is important that you spend time writing
these examples in detail and thoroughly. A good situation example will be a paragraph
of approximately six to eight sentences. It would be a good idea to have the definitions
available so that you can compare your example with
the behaviors requested in the definition to the
competency. In the first one or two sentences, clearly
establish a situation that you are in a very specific event or circumstance that you plan
to address, followed by four to six sentences of
action items that you can specifically take credit for to resolve the situation. And then finally
conclude with a positive result showing how you addressed the situation that you are writing
about. It is very important that you address your
situation clearly, concisely and in detail so that
our evaluators understand the situation that you are presenting and can give you proper
credit. A well written situational example will be
detailed and clearly addressed the competency. For
example, for a police officer who is going to address the competency of organizing and
planning, the police officer might state “as a police officer I was tasked to execute a
search warrant on subject’s residence.” That is the situation clearly stated in one
sentence, followed by action items: “I obtained a search warrant
and reviewed the search warrant for legal authority. I then prepared an Operations Plan, selecting
search team members and delegating assignments. I then ensured that all the proper supplies
and equipment were collected to execute the search. At the search scene, I would manage the scene
and monitor the employees to ensure that all items collected were in
compliance with a search warrant and properly packaged and handled. I would delegate and assign a representative
to transport the evidence to a secure police facility and finally I
would provide an inventory of all of the information collected to the prosecutor and the judge. In conclusion, I would state “the search warrant
was executed successfully and without any complications
and that no one was injured during the execution of the search and the property was
obtained in furtherance prosecution of the subject.” To sum things up, remember to address all
seven core competencies during the special agent
selection process. Make sure you are not being too vague with
your responses to the core competency questions. Remember in your detailed descriptions to
provide the situation, action, and result. Your responses are evaluated and determined
how you will be ranked.

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