April 22nd, 2007 09:13 PM
Question for you LE guys
Ok Im really trying to become a LEO. Ive applied to a handful of departments. I always pass my written but obviously do something wrong when I take my oral. I have another oral interview at the end of this week, any pointers to help me make a really good impression this time?? I HATE failure so i dont know how many more times I can keep tryin and failing. Any advise would be great
April 23rd, 2007 01:09 AM
Well, it may not be you. The oral board is the only subjective part of a civil service hiring process. Most agency's already have an idea of who they want. The oral boards are a way of weeding out people until they get to who they want. This is not so true with large P.D's, but very true with smaller ones. The hiring process for them starts well before the test.
Tips for an L.E. interview
2. be very complete with your answers, leave nothing to assumption.
3. a common "trick" is to leave your seat far away from the table... pull the seat up to the table and sit down. It shows them you have some brass
4. when introduced to the panel, remember their names. It will be important.
5. eye contact, make it. Dont look down, dont stare at the ceiling etc
6. Be honest, dont give canned answers. I.E. They always ask "Why do you want to be an LEO" The canned answer is "I want to help "etc etc I want to puke everytime I hear that BS answer.
7.Have your qualifications handy to show the panel.
8. wear a conservative suit. It seems simple, but you would be suprised at what people show up in
9. If you dont know how to handshake, learn how. No one wants to hire the goof that gives a limp, dead fish hand shake.
10. Look squared away, be squared away.
April 23rd, 2007 01:31 AM
I think you gave the best answers anyone could come up with for the questions asked. In regards to #6 I gave a totally honest answer, "I want and need the retirement package."
LOL, it must've worked. I have 19 years and 10 months to go.
April 23rd, 2007 01:54 AM
I think #5, eye contact and #9, your handshake, are two of the most important points, although all of Sixto's recommendations are important. It's all about the impression you make on them.
I'm not sure about other departments, but when I went through the oral review in Denver, we had a uniformed officer, a plainclothes officer (I think he was a Captain), a number of citizens (one black woman, one hispanic man and one white woman). I always thought that the questions they each asked me were carefully choreographed based on their color and gender. The black woman asked me a racial oriented question about gangs, the white woman setup a scenario involving me doing a traffic stop on my mother, who I find to be drunk and the hispanic setup a scenario about trying to interview someone that doesn't speak English. The uniformed officer asked questions and setup scenarios regarding why I wanted to join the department, what my interests and such were and the plainclothes guy must have been the designated "bad guy" that always butted in while I was answering questions and making me explain a point or comment I made in detail. At the time, I thought he had marked me as a "washout", but when the review was over he showed me out and said he thought I handled myself pretty well. I was covered in almost as much sweat as I was when I took my polygraph.
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
April 23rd, 2007 03:39 AM
I'm not an LE guy, but I'd like to point out an essay Paul Graham (who probably produces some of the best writing on the net today) just wrote a piece about this last week. His point is that, unlike a teacher grading a test, or a judge handing down a ruling, the job interview process isn't really about you. The interviewers don't necessarily have to care about making an accurate judgment about any individual, they want to get a group of people who meet their requirements. It doesn't really matter to them if a qualified individual slips through the cracks, as long as they still get a good crop of recruits and keep out the real lemons. "If you regard someone judging you as a customer instead of a judge, the expectation of fairness goes away."
So don't take rejection personally. The margin of error in someone's judgment is a lot bigger than the true differences between most candidates. Don't be passive and rely on the interviewer to ferret out your hidden qualities. Make an effort to sell yourself and show that you are the person they want.
April 23rd, 2007 06:01 AM
I'm not a LEO either, but passed the FBI interview - and experienced other "interviews" in the Marines as well (called "boards").
All the suggestions so far are golden.
The key I think is to relax. The best way to relax is of course to be prepared in the sense that you anticipate as best you can what might be asked, and think how you would answer that. This way, when a similar question comes up, you have already thought of how you'll answer that so you don't have to squirm around in your seat trying to come up with one on the spot.
Another way to "relax" - and this is not easy to apply, but it has worked for me, is to not care too much. I know that sounds stupid, but by not "caring too much" you will be more relaxed. For the FBI interview for example, if I didn't pass the interview then I was simply going to just stay active duty. So, even though I had been trying to get into the FBI for 10 years, I decided to look at the FBI as just another duty possibility I was shooting for, and not the huge career change and long term goal that it was. By minimizing the importance, while doing everything else I could to succeed (ref all the points already give in the other posts), it calmed me down for the actual interview.
In the end, for me, I injured myself and couldn't go to the academy - and it was my last chance due to my age. So the wind blows.
Out here and good luck.
April 23rd, 2007 09:36 AM
Curious....what are you saying?
Don't come across as overly gung-ho. Don't reference an affection for firearms either.
USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947
April 23rd, 2007 10:28 AM
EVERY man needs to know the proper handshake! Good firm grip, double pumper - how hard is it? I've even had some guys say to me "Damn! That's quite a grip you have there!" But always be a little more gentle with the ladies, and ALWAYS let the woman put her hand out first, because some ladies are uncomfortable with shaking hands. A lot of times, when a lady offers her hand, if she looks like she could be kinda fun (yeah, you know the kind I'm talking about) I'll take it and kinda pull her towards me a little bit.
NEVER underestimate the power of a good handshake.
April 23rd, 2007 08:37 PM
And sit up straight. Don't slouch.
Well That's all I have, everyone else took all the good pointers. LOL.
I've had a few men shake my hand that wanted me to go wash my hands. Real limp and girly.
I've also had a few women shake my hand as I tried not to scream out in pain. LOL.
ps. not a LEO.
April 24th, 2007 12:51 PM
As SIXTO mentioned, make and keep "eye contact" with the person who is asking you the question. Try not to act arrogant, but be firm. They will not expect you to know everything about Law Enforcement but if you give an answer they will expect you to "back it up" with a reasonable justification. I've sat on many "Oral Boards" over the years and it is natural to be a little nervous, concentrate on your breathing to control it if necessary.
If you don't know an answer then say so, if its unclear then ask for clarification of the question. Above all, don't "try to "BS" them, cop's are usually pretty good at recognizing "BS". I'd much rather have someone tell me they are wrong or don't know the answer than try and "BS" me.
A Wise Man Changes His Mind, but a Fool Never Does
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