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  #1  
Old 05-24-2013, 8:15 AM
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Default Oral Interview Advice

Hey guys,

I recently passed the written and physical tests for a big department here in the Bay Area. I'm scheduled for an interview in 3 weeks and need some advice on what to expect. Some friends went through the process not too long ago, but wouldn't tell me about questions... only saying, "You'll do fine" as if that helps calm me. Hah.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2013, 8:53 AM
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Study the city, in a general sense
Major airports? Seaports? Economical situation of the city.
History of the dept
How many beats/districts
Mayors name
Chiefs name
Know what "community policing" is, and what it means to you
What have YOU done to prepare yourself for this job?
Why XYZ dept?

and lastly, try to speak slow, clearly, and breath! Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2013, 9:50 AM
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1) Do not sit until they offer you or tell you to sit
2) Do not play with your hands or shake your knees during interview
3) Positive eye contact
4) Do not say, "I THINK OR I BELIEVE I will do........ Be CONFIDENT with your answers!!!!
5) Firm handshake after interview is over and thank everyone for their time

Most importantly.... DO NOT SHOW UP LATE and DRESS TO IMPRESS!!!!
No jeans!!!!!! Also, DO NOT ACT COCKY!!!! Just remember this.. you are asking them to hire you and train you to become a sworn officer in California..
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2013, 10:24 AM
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1)Do not sit until they offer you or tell you to sit.

**This one I agree. I had my panel interview last tuesday and I almost forgot about this tip. Good thing I remembered and just nonchalantly pulled my chair and stood right next to it and stood there until they both sat down and of course I waited for them to tell me to have a seat.

It also helps to know the agency's mission statement or their department philosophy. I was able to formulate an answer and incorporate my work
situation with the mission
statement. Most likely, they will challenge your answers to see if you will change them. They will be checking your thought process. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller Time View Post
Study the city, in a general sense
Major airports? Seaports? Economical situation of the city.
History of the dept
How many beats/districts
Mayors name
Chiefs name
Know what "community policing" is, and what it means to you
What have YOU done to prepare yourself for this job?
Why XYZ dept?

and lastly, try to speak slow, clearly, and breath! Good luck!
The above is excellent advise. Study the hiring bulletin put out by the agency. Most likely it will list personal traits they are looking for, like honesty. See how many you possess and be prepared to discuss them.
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Old 05-24-2013, 2:07 PM
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WOW. Great feedback!
I wasn't expecting most of this...

I'm obviously not prepared, but I'll start to get my answers straight tonight.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2013, 3:29 PM
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As I was told a while back when I started interviewing with the agency I'm testing for just be yourself and be calm about it, study and use the thing between your ears for the rest.
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Old 05-24-2013, 6:04 PM
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/\ Just noticed your thread under mine. Good advice in there.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2013, 7:23 PM
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I've gone through 3 panels and have been lucky enough to pass them all.

Remember be confident but not cocky. Use common sense and stick by your answer. A lot of times they want to see if you'll change your mind or second guess yourself.

Make sure you have an intelligent question or two when they ask you if there is anything you'd like to know.

Mostly, they want to see not so much if you CAN do the job but how you would fit in the culture of that department.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:24 PM
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Be prepared to answer questions about yourself. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your leadership abilities, your ability to work as a team etc. Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:17 AM
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Any other advice? The interview is coming up this weekend and I'm still uneasy about what to expect.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:45 AM
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If they ask your opinion on something and then act as if they disapprove and they start challenging you - stick to your guns and justify your answer.

9/10 they could care less about what you said, just that you stand by what you said with solid reasoning.
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Old 06-04-2013, 1:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychGuy274 View Post
If they ask your opinion on something and then act as if they disapprove and they start challenging you - stick to your guns and justify your answer.

9/10 they could care less about what you said, just that you stand by what you said with solid reasoning.
Many times they will do their best to make you change your answer, even if it is the correct answer. Know WHY you are answering the way you are, and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-04-2013, 2:20 PM
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There will usually be some hypothetical situations posed which are intended to make you think and react. They will modify the hypothetical after your first response to see if you are clever enough to react to a different set of facts, and to see if you are mature enough to change your position. Think before you speak, every time. Don't leap to the first and most obvious conclusion, rather wait until you have all the available facts.

There will usually be a question which measures your respect for the sanctity of human life. This is not the time to pose as Billy BadAss. Talk about the need to balance the need to enforce the law with the consequences. A lot of time this will be set in a scenario like a high-speed chase or a hostage situation.

One of the most important things to remember is the people on the other side of the table will be at least to some degree adept at detecting bologna (sp?). Don't try to fool them, don't try to outwit them, don't play word games. In short, BE YOURSELF!!!

Don't use words you don't fully understand, and always use the shortest, simplest words that express your meaning. Don't try to use the word "literally".

Don't make pop references. Don't use clichés or jackass words like "amazing", "awesome", "hot", or "phenomenal". Do not reference social media, politics, or any opinions you may have on current social issues. Your personal opinions are better left at the door.

Relax, look everyone in the eye, but don't try to bulldoze a bulldozer. Just be yourself.
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Old 06-05-2013, 4:31 AM
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Every department will ask different questions. I strongly suggest that you do read up on community policing and know the background of the department you are trying to interview for. Also common questions asked are why do you think you are suitable to become a police officer and what accomplishment are most proud of? A tip for the second question is to not say your kids if you have any. They want to hear about something that you worked hard for like getting a degree or something of the sort
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  #16  
Old 06-08-2013, 1:47 PM
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Well, can't say the interview went perfectly, but it wasn't bad. Spent days studying hypotheticals, the city and it's mayor, thinking about career goals, and also my thoughts about myself and others. I expected to sit in a cold room with these gentlemen for over an hour, but I answered all their questions in about 8 minutes, with a 15 minute limit. Could have said more, but I didn't want to drag on my answers with BS words and other "fillers" to make the answer sound good.

Simple and straight answers.... we'll see if that gets me further.

I'm still bothered that the interview was so short because I don't feel that I gave off a good enough impression. Honestly, It's a BIG department, but I still expected more.

Thoughts?
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:19 PM
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All very good advice. I am also testing too.

Did they ask you follow up questions?

Good for you for completing your first oral.
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2013, 7:45 AM
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All very good advice. I am also testing too.

Did they ask you follow up questions?

Good for you for completing your first oral.
Can't speak for OP, but my in my first oral, there were no follow up questions. It was very structured - specific questions and specific answer. Took all of 20-25 minutes.

My second oral was more relaxed and freeform. They asked a couple questions and then asked questions based on my answers.
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Old 06-11-2013, 1:08 PM
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Honestly its no big deal that the interview was short. I had a classmate in the academy that told me his interview lasted about 10 minutes. Its not the length of the answers that they are interested in but instead its the content. If you answered the questions you will be fine. I honestly wouldnt worry about it much.
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Old 06-12-2013, 5:42 PM
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Well, my suspicions were correct. I wasn't "recommended" to continue towards the background process because my oral interview results were not up to their requirements, or maybe expectations based on other applicant's results. I'm still on the eligible list for another 12 months, but I've already started applying for another department. I expected this from the minute I left the room because 8 minutes can't be enough to explain myself or give a good impression... especially with 6 questions that were hardly related to what I was told/recommended to study. I'm a little sad, but still pushing on. I should have expected these results since over 7k people applied for 100 jobs in that department. Honestly, the failure doesn't upset me as much as the loss of 6 months and about $200 in gas, requests for paperwork, and other material costs. I answered the questions how I felt was correct at the time, but obviously it wasn't satisfactory.
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Last edited by Ziggy91; 06-12-2013 at 5:44 PM..
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  #21  
Old 06-13-2013, 3:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy91 View Post
Well, my suspicions were correct. I wasn't "recommended" to continue towards the background process because my oral interview results were not up to their requirements, or maybe expectations based on other applicant's results. I'm still on the eligible list for another 12 months, but I've already started applying for another department. I expected this from the minute I left the room because 8 minutes can't be enough to explain myself or give a good impression... especially with 6 questions that were hardly related to what I was told/recommended to study. I'm a little sad, but still pushing on. I should have expected these results since over 7k people applied for 100 jobs in that department. Honestly, the failure doesn't upset me as much as the loss of 6 months and about $200 in gas, requests for paperwork, and other material costs. I answered the questions how I felt was correct at the time, but obviously it wasn't satisfactory.
I'm sorry to hear that.

Don't give up though. Every department is different and wants different things from their applicants.
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  #22  
Old 06-28-2013, 9:59 PM
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If possible do a ride a long with the agency. A lot of agencies look at this as real interest in the department some even grade you better knowning that. Also the officer your riding with has been through the interview process so he knows things. When I was first applying around I ended up riding with a officer who sat on a oral board at a agency I had applied. So he knew my story and graded me great.
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Old 07-01-2013, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy91 View Post
Well, my suspicions were correct. I wasn't "recommended" to continue towards the background process because my oral interview results were not up to their requirements, or maybe expectations based on other applicant's results. I'm still on the eligible list for another 12 months, but I've already started applying for another department. I expected this from the minute I left the room because 8 minutes can't be enough to explain myself or give a good impression... especially with 6 questions that were hardly related to what I was told/recommended to study. I'm a little sad, but still pushing on. I should have expected these results since over 7k people applied for 100 jobs in that department. Honestly, the failure doesn't upset me as much as the loss of 6 months and about $200 in gas, requests for paperwork, and other material costs. I answered the questions how I felt was correct at the time, but obviously it wasn't satisfactory.

Don't consider it a waste of time and money. You now have some experience and you can apply that to the next interview. Also, once you have gotten all the required paperwork, save it in a file. Most depts require the same stuff. Now you have it at your fingertips.

Gret avice given here, but I would add this; slow down!! Without even being there, I can probably state that you went too fast. I know I did on some of my interviews.

Part of what they want to see is your thought process. Listn to the question, make sure you heard it correctly and pause if needed to gather your thoughts.

They don't want to hear canned answer after canned answer. That gives them no insight into your tought process and it does not allow them see that you can think on your feet.

Last edited by greg36f; 07-01-2013 at 7:17 PM..
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  #24  
Old 07-09-2013, 6:03 PM
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Agree with Greg.......Every interview is "Experience" for the next interview. Keep on Keepin on!
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Old 07-10-2013, 1:43 PM
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Which department was it?
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  #26  
Old 07-10-2013, 1:45 PM
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Don't get anal at the oral interview.
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  #27  
Old 07-21-2013, 11:02 AM
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The brevity of that interview might suggest it was over before it started.

Guess number one would be: There were some outstanding resumes among the 7,000 other applicants that gave them a heavy or insurmountable edge over you before you even walked in the door. They may have been waiting for some pre-identified applicants that had already piqued their interest.

Guess number two would be: There was something on your resume that had them thinking negatively about you before the interview even started.

Eight minutes is barely enough time to get started. I have a hard time believing a trained investigator would make their mind up about a guy that fast.
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