Do you have what it takes?

As a key role in the day-to-day management of our prison, no job is too big or too small for our Operational Support staff.

We want to recruit people who are:

  • Responsible and trustworthy
  • Collaborative and like to work as part of a team
  • Confident, warm and welcoming
  • Problem solvers, who remain calm under pressure
  • Detail-orientated, and follow rules and processes closely

You’ll also:

  • Be 18 years +
  • Have the right to work in the U.K.
  • Ideally hold a valid driving licence (but this is not essential)
  • Have basic maths, spelling and grammar skills
  • Speak fluent English
  • Be able to read the time in 24-hour format
  • Have clear and legible handwriting
  • Have basic I.T. skills, and experience using Word and email

Please note, for roles in the High Security prisons, you must have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, then start your application today.

How to Apply

Stage 1

Tell us about yourself
Fill in your personal details on our application form; name, age and contact details.

Take a short, online test
When you apply, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to take our online test.

This is a behaviour-based assessment which checks that you have the right natural strengths and preferences to become an Operational Support Grade. This will take around 40 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.

You don’t need experience completing on-line tests, we’re just looking for your natural ability to succeed in the role.

Before you take the real test, we recommend taking a practice assessment through our Firefly Freedom mobile app. This will help to prepare you for the real test.

You will receive information and a code on how to download the practice test and the actual test once you apply.

Stage 2

If you pass the test, it’s time to meet and we’ll invite you for an interview.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s social distancing requirements that are in force, we are taking the necessary measures to ensure both candidate and staff safety and, as a result, some prisons are now conducting interviews online. All details will be sent to you before your interview.

If you are due to attend an interview in person but have any concerns, please let us know and we can discuss alternative options.

The interview is the ideal opportunity to tell us more about yourself, your work history or personal experiences, so we can get to know you better, and assess how you will be suited to prison work.

In the interview, you will be asked a combination of behaviour-based and strength-based questions.

  • Behaviour-based questions will explore your past experiences and achievements.
  • Strength-based questions will focus on what motivates and energises you.

For both types of questions, we want you to give examples and go into as much detail as possible. You don’t need to have worked in a prison before to do well – you can use examples from your personal and professional experiences.

In the interview, we will also assess your ability to speak and understand English, which is a Government requirement in public-facing roles, such as the Operational Support Grade, where you will be engaging with prisoners and visitors daily.

How to prepare

To prepare for the behaviour-based questions, think about what you have done in the past, that could demonstrate the qualities and behaviours we are looking for in our Operational Support Grade.

These are:

You communicate clearly, concisely, and with confidence. You listen to others and adapt your communication style to suit the situation and audience.

You develop good working relationships with others and are a positive and supportive team member.

You show excellent attention to detail and follow processes and rules. You have a strong work ethic and are willing to learn and improve.

You are highly resilient and quickly adapt to change. You are self-motivated and confident and show determination and drive to solve problems and achieve results.

Try to think of a few examples you could talk about on the day.

No specific preparation is required for the strength-based questions, but you might find it helpful to think about why you would like to become an Operational Support staff, as well as personal strengths you can bring to the role. We’re interested in what motivates and energises you.

If you are finding it difficult to identify your own strengths, consider talking to family members or friends, for their opinions and ideas.

To read our Reasonable Adjustments information, click here.