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 BDI Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes the Behavioral Descriptive Interview different from other types of interviews?

Situational Interview questions present the candidate with a hypothetical situation and ask them how they would handle it. Whereas Behavioral Descriptive Interview questions ask the candidate to recall a past experience and describe in detail how they handled it. The response should come in the form of a brief, but complete story that includes names, dates, places, situations, and behaviors. All examples provided must highlight the competency the candidate is being asked about.

2. How do I prepare for the Interview?

Begin to recall and document the experiences that demonstrate the competencies characteristics. We suggest preparing 2 to 3 different examples per competency. We prefer a variety of examples from both the candidate’s professional and personal life. Ensure you have all verifiable information up to date and memorized; this would include the dates, location and names of other people and businesses that are involved.

3. How strict is the time frame given to answer the questions?

Applicants will have approximately 7-9 minutes to explain their answers. Some grace may be granted if the answers go over the time limit by one minute or two, however anything less than 7 minutes will mostly likely not be a sufficient time frame to provide all necessary detailed information to be successful. Interviewers will be taking copious amount of notes therefore the candidate must speak at a slower pace. We recommend articulating your answers out loud and timing yourself at a slower pace. When candidates become too nervous, speech will naturally speed up. Remind yourself to slow down when answering the questions.

4. How far back can my examples go? I have a great example from 10 years ago, can I still use it?

The preferred time frame for examples used should be within the last three years, however the provincial mandate states candidates can go as far back as five years. You will not be docked any marks if your examples are five years old as opposed to three years old. However, we will not allow any examples over 5 years under any circumstances. We ask you provide the date of your examples, at minimum we require at least the month and the year of the event or experience.

5. Can I offer my verifiable information and present it in paper form?

No, all verifiable information must be communicated in the examples that the applicant will provide. Ensure all due diligence has been done to track down verifiable information. No notes, sketches or other forms of documentation are allowed in the interview.

6. If I am unsuccessful with the BDI, will I be deferred for a certain period of time?

Not necessarily. If you are unsuccessful for any reason the interviewers will advise you on the next appropriate step. There are several different reasons for an unsuccessful BDI, however the interviewers will offer you guidance on how to proceed. You may need to attend another BDI workshop or you may need additional life experience. There is no standard deferral period given.

7. I was told I have to take the first BDI date that is offered to me. What if I don’t feel that I am ready?

The candidate is responsible to ensure that they are properly prepared for the BDI. If you do not feel ready, you do not have to take the first interview date offered to you by our office. If you feel you need more time to prepare, or possibly attend another BDI workshop, the candidate is welcome to do so. BDI workshops are highly suggested prior to booking a BDI. You can sign up for the BDI Workshops on our website.

8. When will I know if I passed?

Interviewers will advise you at the conclusion of the interview if you are successful or not successful.

9. Will I get to find out my score?

Interviewers will not discuss scores with the candidate. A pass or fail will be shared with feedback offered to the candidate regardless of the outcome. What is important is that the candidate pass.

10. Will I get the same questions if I do the BDI again?

No, new BDI questions will be asked.

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The Edmonton Police Service is an equal opportunity employer.