Selection day

Selection days take place on fixed days as stated in the role information page. Selection days will include an interview and could include:

  • a role play
  • situational questions
  • strategic leadership questions
  • a presentation

Availability for selection day and declarations

You will be asked for your availability for the interview dates when you apply. You must attend a selection day on the dates shown in the vacancy information for the role.

Disclosures before selection day

You must disclose in your application form if you are a related to or known by a Judicial Appointments Commission Commissioner or panel member.


Interview panels usually have three members including a Chair, judicial member and an independent member. Senior appointment panels, including the High Court exercise, might have up to five members. Your invitation to selection day will provide more information about the panel for your interview.

If you are applying for a legal exercise, remember that two of the panel members will be lay members (non legally trained), so make sure you don’t use too much legal jargon and explain why a particular case or piece of work was complex – don’t assume that the panel will inherently understand.

You will be asked questions about how you meet the competency framework or skills and abilities for the role. You might be asked about the examples in your application and could be asked to give additional examples. Make sure you are familiar with what you put in your self-assessment and prepared to build on those examples, or give further examples.

The selection panel will do their best to put you at ease. Observers may be present during some interviews. They are there only to observe the panel and process, not the candidate.

Situational questions

If the interview includes situational questioning, you will be told in advance. Situational questioning involves asking you what you would do in a specific situation, based on challenging, real-life scenarios.

Role play

The role play is usually based on a fictitious hearing which may require similar skills to work in a court or tribunal environment. Candidates take on the judicial role and respond to a scenario with professional actors playing the other roles in the scenario.

It assesses how you deal with the situations you may face and decisions you will have to make if you are appointed. You will be expected to demonstrate how well you meet the competency framework or skills and abilities and whether you can maintain your performance under challenge and pressure.

Role plays would usually be face-to-face with actors, but may also be remote with actors or recorded with actors. You will usually be sent relevant material to read before the role play.  Make sure you read this information carefully before the selection day to prepare. Role plays are used most commonly for exercises involving first time entrants to the judiciary.

Strategic leadership questions

Strategic Leadership Questions might be used for certain senior roles, usually those which require leadership and management skills. You will be told in advance and briefed on the topic you will need to cover. You will be asked to lead a discussion with the judicial member of the panel on the chosen subject at the start of the interview. You cannot use visual aids such as PowerPoint.

Panel reports

At the end of the selection day panel members consider each candidate and their performance, and agree which candidates best meet the selection criteria. The panel Chair then completes a report which accounts for the unanimous overall assessment of the selection panel, which forms part of the information presented to the Commission.


We are not able to reimburse any expenses incurred attending the selection day. Exceptions to this may be made to help those who require a disability-related reasonable adjustment.


We record part of the selection process including interviews, telephone assessments, role plays, situational questioning and presentations. This ensures there is a verbatim record that we can use for quality assurance and reference.

We store recordings on a secure digital platform until after the exercise finishes. Recordings are stored for 12 months then destroyed. Access is available to panel members, Commissioners and staff only. We do not share the recordings with candidates.


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