Telephone assessment guidance
The second stage of shortlisting for the s9(4) Deputy High Court Judge exercise will be a telephone assessment lasting approximately 30 minutes. This year the focus of the telephone assessment will be a discussion of issues raised in a set text, which will be sent to you in advance. Discussion of the information provided in your self-assessment will be reserved for the interview stage. If you are successful at the first-stage paper sift, you will receive an invitation with the date and time of the call from the panel. Please note that there is no flexibility in the timings of the calls as we have multiple panels and many candidates, each with their allocated slot.
You will receive a further email approximately 48 hours before the allocated time which will contain a link to a document that you will need to read in advance of the assessment. You are not expected to research or be knowledgeable in relation to the relevant law beyond what is apparent in the document. The panel anticipates that it should take you no more than a few hours to read the document and prepare. You will then be asked questions on this document which you should have to hand during the telephone assessment. The telephone assessment will test some or all of the following competencies:
- Working and communicating with others
- Assimilating and clarifying information
- Exercising judgement
- Possessing and building knowledge
You should be ready to receive the call at least 10 minutes before your allocated time, in a room that is quiet, with the document to hand. Last year, candidates told us they liked the opportunity to do this assessment in privacy and from a location of their own choosing. While using a landline is preferable, if you choose to use a mobile phone, please ensure it has a strong signal. The panel will call you on the telephone number you have supplied to the team. Please ring the team immediately on 020 3334 6078 if there is any problem with this number on your assessment day.
The panel chair will do a sound check at the start of the assessment but please do tell them if you have any difficulty hearing them over the telephone. The panel chair will introduce him/herself, and the judicial panel member will explain the process that will be followed.
Do not discuss this exercise or correspond on any aspect of it with anyone else before or after your telephone assessment, as other candidates will be set the same exercise.
Top tips for the telephone assessment:
- Make sure you have a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
- Be available ten minutes before your allocated time and ready to receive the call
- Make sure your telephone connection is strong. A landline is preferable, and if using the landline make sure your mobile is turned off
- Be clear, concise and audible
- Prepare, make sure you have thoroughly read the documents and everything you need is to hand
- You will not be able to ‘read the panel’ – don’t worry: both you and the panel lack the normal visual cues; but the panel will compensate with verbal cues. Concentrate on giving the best answers that you can
- Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the area of law. The panel will be assessing your skills, not your existing knowledge
- Take your time in answering and structure your responses
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand anything that the panel asks
- Listen carefully to the questions, take on board all elements and take a note of anything that seems to have particular importance
- Use your notes to answer questions, but try to avoid reading answers directly from your notes
- You can expect periods of silence as the panel will be taking notes, so there is no need to feel that you have to fill them unnecessarily
- It’s best not to eat, although you may find it helpful to have a glass of water to hand
- If you cannot hear the panel, tell them immediately
Practice telephone assessment
Lord Neuberger's Speech and associated questions are provided only as a medium through which candidates may wish to practice a telephone assessment with colleagues; the subject and scope of this year’s telephone assessment will be entirely different. More detail on this year’s telephone assessment will be contained in emails to candidates who are successful at sift.