The magistrate second interviewis an opportunity for the Local Advisory Group to gain a deeper understanding of your views and opinions when assessing and grading ficticious incidents and crimes. The second interview is the final section of the magistrate application process and the following career video and article will both go a long way to helping you become a magistrate.




If you have performed well enough at first interview (i.e. to at least the extent that the panel does not recommend against a second interview) you will be offered a second one, usually five to 15 working days later so the timescale may be tight.

The magistrate second interview will involve:

- discussing two previously unseen case study exercises that will be handed to you on arrival for the interview – around 30 minutes only will be allowed for you to think about how you will answer both - a ranking exercise and an individual case study (both as described further below) before going into the interview

- an interview lasting about 40-50 minutes.

The interview panel will again usually comprise three members (with at least one being a non-magistrate). Membership may differ from the first panel, although there is sometimes one member from the first interview which will serve to ensure some carry over.

The above may sound a bit daunting but, again, remember that the panel is trying to see the ‘real you’ so, if you know what to expect, you should be able to give a good account of yourself.

The First Case Exercise: Ranking the Seriousness of Offences

- The first exercise will give you around ten micro-scenarios and you will be asked to rank them in order of seriousness as you see matters. There is no need to ‘panic’ as there is no ‘right or wrong’ answer, although:

- you will be asked to explain what you took into account in each scenario and why you ranked them in the way you did.

- you may be asked to comment on an opposing view of the ranking order.

- you need to show that you are prepared to listen to, and consider fairly, any contrary views the panel may put to you (don’t feel devalued or overly defensive in your ranking as they may be taking a contrary view solely for the sake of the exercise. Whatever, be positive, but make clear that you understand differences of opinion, are open-minded and fully considering any counter-views, that you are not being ‘precious’ about your own view.

- you will need to reflect that there may be legal or guideline aggravating or mitigating factors (see e.g. the 2008 Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines at that you must or must not take into account (you will later be trained in the use of these if you are appointed and need not learn them now).

- you should specifically consider the harm done or likely to be done by an offence and the level of the offender’s culpability.

The scenarios might include, for example:

- assault on a police constable
- possession of drugs
- possession of indecent pictures of children
- domestic violence (by either partner)
- theft
- burglary.

More substantial examples appear in the ‘Sample Ranking Exercise’ provided within this section of your guide. In their way all will probably be serious and the basis of the exercise is to see what factors you think make up that seriousness and whether you can weigh say the effect of the theft of a purse from a pensioner by going into his or her house through an open door against the impact of domestic violence on a young child who might witness it going on between his or her parents.

If you understand the nature and process of this exercise in advance you should have no difficulty in arriving at a measured response in readiness for discussion in the short time available. It is the way in which you arrive at your answer that will be important, not whether you have placed everything in some ‘correct’ order.

Expect to answer questions such as:

Q. Why do did you place [a particular choice] at the top of your list?

Q. What if the burglary was at night and the intruder had a weapon?

Q. Why did you place [a particular choice] after [another choice]?

MAGISTRATE SECOND INTERVIEW | Suite 2 | 50 Churchill Square | Kings Hill | Kent | ME19 4YU