5 Tips to excel in An Garda Síochána interviews

  • Laura-McGrath
  • October 23, 2023

5 Tips to excel in An Garda Síochána interviews

Are you going for a promotion with An Garda Síochána or indeed applying to join the force for the first time? To succeed in the interview, you’ll need more than just passion; you’ll need a strategic approach. In this article, I’ll explore 5 tips that will empower you to excel in the interview process and present yourself as a standout candidate.


Conducting thorough research before your interview is critical. Reach out to someone already in the job to gain insights into the key challenges, stakeholders, and success metrics. This not only demonstrates your genuine interest but also allows you to effectively get across your understanding of the role. By doing so, you assure the hiring manager that you’re well-prepared to hit the ground running and make a significant impact from day one.

What examples should I choose for each competency?

Carefully choosing the right example for each competency plays a key role in this interview process. Opt for situations where you’ve exceeded the expectations of your current role, showcasing your readiness for the position. This approach allows the hiring manager to see you seamlessly transitioning into the new role, making a compelling case for your suitability and potential for success.

Opening question:

Interviews with An Garda Síochána follow a structured format with minimal informal conversation beyond competency-based questions. As a potential ice breaker, however you may be asked the question “Tell me about yourself” or “Talk me through your CV.”

When answering this, remember to be concise, limiting your answer to approximately three minutes. Emphasize your enthusiasm for the organization and, most importantly, concentrate on the aspects of your CV that highlight why you are the ideal candidate for the role.  For more information have a look at my article on opening questions.

Structure your answers

Timing is everything in structured competency interviews. You’ll need to get a lot of information across in a short period of time. If you go off in “story telling” mode, you’ve lost it. Keep to the STAR technique and remember that about 75% of your answer should be on the “action you took” part – this is where most of the marks are. For more information on this look at my article on the STAR technique.

Is there anything you’d like to ask or anything you’d like to add?

This is typically the final question in the interview. If you’re going for an open competition it will be hard to ask specific questions, as you may not know where you’ll be stationed. Having a closing statement, however is a good idea.

If you’ve forgotten to mention something over the course of the interview, this can be a good opportunity to address it. When giving your closing statement, I’d suggest giving three concrete reasons why you’re the ideal candidate, articulating precisely what sets you apart from other applicants and underlining your edge for the position. This final statement can leave a lasting impression on the interview panel and reinforce your suitability for the role.


As you prepare for your interview, a strategic approach is key. These five tips will give you the skills and confidence needed to excel in this rigorous selection process and embark on a rewarding career in An Garda Síochána.

About the author

Laura McGrath is a qualified executive coach, EMCC Certified with over 20 years’ experience in executive search and recruitment.  She’s the owner of Interview Techniques, a leading provider of interview and career coaching services and has been a guest lecturer with Trinity College Dublin and TU Dublin. She’s been on public sector interview panels and has worked with HSE, Gardai, Civil Service and Local Authorities.  For a consultation, please call 087 669 1192 or go to https://interviewtechniques.ie/contact/