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Magistrate _ First Interview(16 Posts)
Hi All . I was hoping someone can help me. Got my first interview for Magistrates in Yorkshire in few weeks time.
Im totally new to this site and was wandering how I can prepare for this interview. What kind of questions am I likely to be asked. Any useful websites? Members own experiance etc.
Very nervous any help would be most appreciated.
My MIL is a magistrate in Yorkshire. Not sure how she prepared for interview. She was vicar's wife and so I suppose was viewed as having some standing in the community.
Just wanted to say Good Luck!
I had an interview which didn't go well. Suggest you look at likely sentences for basic offences and come down on the hard side. You discuss scenarios.
Also I mentioned that I was pleased that they paid basic childcare. BIG MISTAKE. They rest of the interview was highjacked by grannies interviewing magistrates saying "Didn't do that for me" These ladies were about 70. I am also a solicitor (not working at the time) and they didn't like that.
Think of a good question to ask them.
Make sure that you have been to court a lot.
Know a bit about crime stats in your area.
I also had a couple of interviews which didn't go well, so from a selfish perspective, am relieved to hear of mumof2boys' experience as i thought i was the only rejectee in the world! also a solicitor!
I was asked to prioritise offences in terms of severity eg how do you consider burglary stacks up against assault. This was what I was told I was unsuccessful at but I'm afraid I don't know what they wanted to hear.
Sounds Tough,many thanks to everyone that replied. Im new to this site where can i find COD.
Another solicitor reject here! I think my interview went downhill when they asked why I educated my children privately (one asked if I planned to send them to a "normal" school in the future) and they also asked in so many words how many poor and ethnic people I know. Again a very elderly (white and middle class) panel who could not have answrered any of the questions any diferently to me I'll bet. They have quotas to fill - not interested in whether you would actually be good at the job IMHO
My DH is a magistrate. I will ask him what sort of things happened at his interview.
An interesting post. My wife is thinking of voluntering to become a JP - don't know what the difference between a JP and a magistrate is. Are the the same?
mumof/willali - I am utterly shocked by the questioning and attitude shown to you about children and education. You were volunteering to become a judge not be judged.
It does not surpise me though - older women can often be the worst enemies of younger women. They seem to forget that their life was different. I have no doubt that lots of older very comfortably off middle class women have had a very nice life living in a big house, near a nice state primary/grammar school on the salary of the husband if he was a lawyer, doctor could afford volunteer as a magistrate without child care being paid for.
I have met a few like that going round looking at houses to buy recently. They sound like the worst kind of people to be magistrates.
Actually my MIL is very wannabe middle class with a plastic posh accent....I can just imagine her asking silly quesions about how many ethnic and working people you know. She is the best deterrent for me to behave myself - would hate to come up against someone like her in magistrate court!
I have been invited for a second magistrate interview. Can you suggest where I may obtain examples of cases and interview questions? This would help me a great deal in my interview preparation. Many thanks
Am struggling to understand why anyone would want to be a magistrate. As a retired social workerin childrens services I have had many dealings with magistrates over the years and have not met many that have shown very much compassion. We used to have quarterly meetings with them and it was so clear that social workers and magistrates (in the main) do not share the same value base. I found many of the mags to be judgemental and completely lacking in any understanding of the reasons behind juvenile crime. Most were middle class and somewhat punitive in their approach. A minority were not really bright enough to understand the issues on which they were meant to be sitting in judgement and I found this worrying. As far as care proceedings were concerned they were mostly out of their depth and soon sent things off to a higher court which in my view was usually a good thing as I was almost always impressed with the ability of judges to grasp the facts very quickly and conduct matters in a fair and reasonable way.
I wonder what is the motivation behind wanting to sit in judgement of others. Something I don't really understand. But it takes all sorts. As for interview tips I suspect that you must not appear to be "too soft" on crime and to try to appear that you want to understand what is behind the criminal act, or to feel any sympathy for single mothers for instance, or for that matter any of the deprived and disadvantaged sections of society. I think being a Tory might help!!
I don't think it is easy to prepare for either interview. The first one is about you - they assess from your answers, whether you have the 6 attributes (listed on the application materials) and ask about how you found the court visits (for instance, I was asked whether I agreed with the outcome of all the cases - I did not, and still got through to the second one) - just be yourself!
The second interview is preceded with a list of cases to rank in order of your perceived seriousness, and a case study for you to give a sentencing opinion on. They will ask you to arrive 45 minutes early, to study these. There is probably no 'right' answer to either test. They are more interested in how you came to the conclusions and will quiz you at length about your choices, including some 'what if?' questions. They will ask if you believe in custodial sentences (in a round about way). Also, be prepared to have your decisions challenged AND be prepared to change your mind (just like you may do in deciding in court).
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