In my last post, Pupillage Interview: self-reflection, I discussed my final-stage interview (including a written exercise) for pupillage and a career within the Crown Prosecution Service. There are 30 positions available this year.
It’s been a tense wait, but a few hours ago, I received this e-mail:
After opening it, my first reaction was relief at not spotting the words “unfortunately” and “regret.” My second reaction was frustration, since the wait is not yet over… and the weekend has just begun!
Once again, I’m in a reflective mood; attempting to fathom what this latest e-mail could mean. I’ve sought opinions from some of my more critically-minded friends.
I should mention that one other applicant in this process is personally known to me, and their e-mail today was a rejection. So, I consider myself fortunate to still be in the running, even if the wait is killing me!
As one friend put it, this e-mail is “a message to be celebrated” as it proves I passed the interview. Indeed, it’s a message telling me that I’m good enough to be taken on as a pupil barrister and Crown Prosecutor. So, if I’m not hired this time, it won’t be a rejection as such. I’ll have every reason to try again next year.
Assuming no offer is made to me, I’ll be placed on the “reserve” list — meaning there’s a slim chance of being taken on if (e.g.) the person in front, who did get an offer, cannot start pupillage in November due to not completing the Bar Course on time, or some other personal reason.
I called the number printed in the candidate guide and spoke to a helpful member of the Resourcing Team. I asked if any offers have been made today and was informed ‘yes’ — although the precise number cannot be revealed. This could mean one of two things:
(1) Some applicants (not including myself) were brilliant, so the CPS has snapped them up. Meanwhile, other applicants (myself included) were good, but not so good that we can’t wait another week or two while the CPS splits hairs over us, deciding who the last few positions should go to. The e-mail states that positions will be offered “in order of merit.”
(2) A few offers have been made so far, simply because some CPS branches are ready to move forward, while other branches are not. My preferred location is Birmingham; so, perhaps the Birmingham branch is not yet ready to make its offers. To be fair, the e-mail states: “We are currently in the process of finalising the number and location of placements available, with a view to making further offers shortly.” The e-mail also states that offers will be made “in order of merit” — while taking our preferred locations into account. In theory, therefore, a candidate could be brilliant, but not receive an offer until their preferred location is ready.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS —
It’s clear to me now that besides merit, preferred location has a significant bearing.
My first choice of location is Birmingham; my second choice is Brighton and my third choice is Chelmsford. Hopefully, my score is high enough to attract an offer from one of these locations in the coming week.
In any event, this latest e-mail from the CPS confirms my suitability for the role. The recruitment process involved four stages, and clearly, I made the grade in all of them.
With a bit of luck, my next post on this blog will be titled: “Pupillage Interview: Success!”