How To Answer Police Oral Board Interview Questions-Oral Board Preparation
A career in the police department is a daydream of many, and joining a police department is as simple as deciding which position you want to it for. Once you make the decision, you can apply for the announced job positions in that department.
Your selection in any of the police department depends upon your performance in the selection process. At the same time, most candidates think that written test and background check are the essential components of the test. Still, in reality, your selection in the police department mostly depends upon the oral board interview questions.
Police agencies give significant importance to the police officer oral board questions and thus decide the merit-based on the performance of the candidate in police oral board interview questions.
So, if you are an aspiring candidate for the job of Police officer, you must be aware of these questions and the techniques necessary to handle them. This article will not only give you Sample Police Oral Board Questions And How To Answer Them.
What Is A Police Oral Board Interview?
I’m sure you must be aware of what oral board is, but, it’s always good to begin with, basics so that the concepts of everyone can be made clear.
As discussed, police oral board interviews are of much importance in the selection of candidates, the board will usually comprise of three to five members based on the size of the agency. The members of the board are officers from the law enforcement agencies who are serving on the ranks of lieutenant or Sargent. At times, individuals from the Human resource department might also be part of the Oral board.
You need to remember one thing before you go for the interview, the members of the oral board are neither your friends nor enemies, and they are just there to assess your abilities, so you must demonstrate the best of yourself before them. To ensure that you land at a good position in the police department, you need not only to pass the exam but also score good marks so that you can score top places in the merit list.
The total questions vary depending upon the nature of the interview, but an interview usually prolongs to 40 minutes. The total numbers for the interview are 100 out of which you must score 70 to pass.
A candidate who scores 80 or above marks have fair chances of getting a position in his desired law enforcement agency while if you score 90 or above in police oral board. Your position is almost secured. For securing such a good score, you need to have an idea about the types of questions asked in the interview so that you can answer them better.
Preparing For The Police Oral Board
You can begin your preparation by getting familiar with the agency in which you are willing to gain employment. Your learning can be specific to one particular agency or multiple agencies, and this knowledge will help you pass through the police oral interview questions and answers of those agencies.
For example, you can begin by collecting all the information about the agency such as the number of employees it has, the scope of operations for that agency, and the number of criminals it had an arrest in the past year. Secondly, you can note down all the news about your dream agency which goes through your eyes. Both these steps are going to be much beneficial for you once you appear in the police officer’s oral interview of that particular agency.
Police oral boards usually consist of officers from that law enforcement agency and through the information that you have gained during your preparations, you can communicate to the officers that you have significant interest and you are serious about the agency.
Another useful strategy for the police job interview in a police agency could be to go through the annual reports of different law enforcement agencies. The annual reports are published every year to demonstrate the progress made by the agencies, useful information such as the number of arrests, raids, prosecutions, and budget spending are discussed in those annual reports. If you go through them, you will have sufficient information to perform well in the police panel interview.
The next important thing that is going to be much beneficial for you is to get a ride-along with a police officer. Let’s see how this can increase your chances of scoring good in police officer oral board.
Do A Ride Along
Many police departments allow the civilians for a ride-along during which a civilian spends a whole day with a police officer who is on duty. Police officers usually do not like it to take civilians along. Still, if you are a candidate who is aspiring to become an officer, they will be happy to take you along. So, make sure to communicate that you are an aspiring candidate for that particular police department.
And once you get permission, you get a ride-along, make sure to observe all the tasks that a police officer performs. Most often you will notice him listening to calls on his wireless set and doing paperwork while he is working in the field, do not take anything for granted, and notice every single movement. This observation will help you in understanding the responsibilities and duties of a police officer so that you can use that information in your benefit for the police officer job interview questions that will be asked to you.
Police officer oral interview questions are mostly oriented towards your understanding of your job responsibilities so, if you have acquired knowledge about them from a firsthand source, there should be no doubt in your mind that they are going to benefit you a lot.
At the end of a ride-along, thank the police officer for taking you along. During your ride, you will have to build a personal level relationship with him. You can even take benefit from this relationship by seeking help from that friend of yours who is serving in the Police department.
Police candidate interview questions might also include questions such as “what did you do to prepare yourself for this position”? And if you have done a ride-along, you can answer this question by saying that along with academic preparations, I have done a ride-along with a police officer from this law enforcement agency. Believe you me, this answer will melt the heart of a person asking police to recruit interview questions from you, and there are high chances that he/she will give you a good score.
Other Essential Tips for preparation for the Police oral Board
For your ease we have divided this section into two parts, in the first section, we will be discussing the tips that you need before the interview while the second section comprises of the tips that you must follow during the interview.
Tip to follow before the interview.
- Schedule a ride along a month before the oral board interview because the scheduling can take up to three weeks, so it is always a better idea to be on the safer side.
- Try to make friends with the respective police department. Visit the office of the agency and try communicating with people who are serving at different levels. This will help you become familiar with the insights of that agency.
- Get a haircut and get shaved so you can demonstrate that you have a serious attitude towards life.
- Dress well so that the interview panel can get impressed. You can choose to wear whatever color you like, but it must appear decent. If you have any tattoos on your body, wear a dress that helps you to hide them.
- Avoid using strong perfumes. The panelists might get offended by the strong fragrance of your perfume.
- Do significant research about the department. It is always good to familiarize yourself with the names of top rank police officers serving in that department.
- If possible, check the names of people that will be included in the panel that will be asking you the police board interview questions and if there are more than one panelists, bring copies of your resume for each member of the panel.
- This article will give you a significant number of sample police oral board questions, try to get their answers, and practice them with someone before appearing for the law enforcement interview.
- Schedule the day of the interview and try to reach the interview destination 30 minutes ahead of the given time. Once you have arrived at the destination, check on what items are you carrying with yourself, try avoiding unnecessary distractions such as Mobile phones.
Tips to follow during the interview
- Don’t get stressed; be relaxed while entering the room. Take deep breaths to release stress if there is any.
- Be Enthusiastic, keep a decent smile on your face, give a firm handshake, and make eye contact with all the panelists.
- Address the interviewers with their ranks, followed by their names. This is where the research about the interview panelists is going to help you out.
- Do not lie in front of the interviewers because they are trained professionals and will detect if you try to deceive them. Avoid looking down when you are answering the questions; this can be considered as deceiving by the panelists.
- Once the panelists are done asking the questions, you can ask them some questions related to the department, for example, how many candidates will the department hire for this position?
- One of the Panelists is done asking the typical police interview questions. They will ask you if there is something that you would like to add. This is an excellent opportunity to sell yourself in front of them. Prepare the right answer to this question so that you can have a good final impression.
- Police board interview questions usually take time, therefore, before leaving the interview room, make sure that the panelists for their time.
Without any further due, let’s Jump to the types of police officer oral board questions.
Types Of Questions Asked In Police officer Oral board.
Generally speaking, you can expect four types of police officer interview questions.
- Personality based Questions
- Previous Job-Related questions
- Moral questions
- Scenario Based Questions
Personality based Questions –the interview usually begins with personality questions in which you will be asked to give an introduction of yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and demonstrate your values. You can also expect to be asked about the reason for joining the Police. Here is what most of the personality questions will look like and how you should answer them.
- Tell us about yourself: The answer to this question should include necessary information about your educational background, a summary of your career and strengths. Avoid going into the details because the police oral board questions need to be answered briefly.
- Why did you decide to become a police officer: You must answer this question with an aspiration or a life event that drew your attention to the tempting job of a police officer. You can answer anything in this section that demonstrates that you have thought enough about your decision.
- Why did you decide to choose this Police department: You must answer this police interview questions with research-backed knowledge. You can say that I have searched about the department and it has the most efficient officers in the US. Therefore, I decided to choose this department. Avoid giving generic answers such as the perks offered in this department are good.
- What is your Greatest Weakness: You should answer this question by answering it in a way that demonstrates that you are aware of your shortcomings, and you have the strategy to overcome them. For example, you can answer this question by saying that I care too much. Avoid answering in a way that shows you lack social or interpersonal skills.
Previous Job-Related Questions –In this type of police oral interview questions, you will be asked about the previous job that you have done. In case it is your first job, you can expect inquiries related to your academics. Here is what the questions look like.
- Why did you leave your last job: this is one of the most asked interview questions to ask a police officer, and you can reply it by merely saying that you were not satisfied with the job conditions. Avoid saying that the perks were not reasonable or my boss was rude because this demonstrates that you are lesser obedience tendency in your personality.
- What was your most outstanding achievement in the last job: this is another law enforcement interview questions asked to the candidates who have applied for a position in the police department. Whenever a panelist asks you this question, he aims at testing your skills, and you can reply to it by saying that I had achieved the targets assigned to me within the due time effectively and got recognition.
- What you liked or disliked about your employer: Well, a suggestion for this commonly asked police interview questions is to reply with a very positive answer. For example, you can say that he was very passionate about the tasks he assigned, but he was kind of aggressive.
Moral questions –Moral questions are asked to determine your moral standards, and based on your standards, you are evaluated. For example, you can be asked that will you arrest your brother if you find him committing a crime. Here is how most of the moral questions for the police interview questions and answers will look like.
- Would you arrest a police officer who commits a crime: You can answer this question by merely saying that yeah if I have enough evidence I will arrest him/her. Avoid giving uncertain answers such as I would look into the matter and decide.
- Would you accept an order from a senior if you think it is against the rules: this is one of the most asked oral board questions. You can reply by saying that I will work with my senior to look for an option that follows the rule. Avoid saying straight away that I will not accept the order or I will accept because in any case, the panelists are going to think that either he is not respecting the seniority or he is going against the rules.
Questions Based On Scenario –In scenario based questions, you will be given a scenario, and you will have to give your answer according to it. For example, you might be asked what you would do if you find a drug handler rushing towards you with heavy ammunition.
Apart from these questions, you will be asked to introduce yourself, give an idea about your past experiences, and the education you have got.
The Single aim of these interview questions for police officers is to determine how good of a cop can you become. You will be evaluated upon the level of your honesty, dedication, and will power to serve the department.
Looking at your Best
It is a famous belief that people judge you on your appearance before you even speak. In the Police oral board interview, you must put great emphasis on your dressing. You might be planning to wear casual jeans and a shirt, but before you do that, STOP. The panel in the interview expects you to dress formally. The males must wear a formal business suit, and the ladies must also dress up formally.
Although the panel cannot reject you based on your dress if you dress casually, they will find other reasons to drop you out; therefore, it is essential to look your best when appearing before the interview panel.
Besides, dressing formally boosts your confidence, and you will be able to communicate this to the interview panel if you are dressed up appropriately. When you walk in for the interview, you must look into the interviewers’ eyes, have a healthy smile on your face, give a firm handshake to everyone, and get settled.
Before going for the police oral board interview questions, you must have filled some application form, this form will be present in front of the interview panel, and they will be asking the questions to assess whether or not the information you provided in the form is correct.
These verifying questions will be aimed at assessing your information and must provide the information correctly. For example, you can expect questions such as your residence. First of all, you are advised to provide all the information correctly in the application form, and secondly, you must review the form before going for the interview.
Once the initial verifying questions are over, the panel will begin asking probing questions. These questions are designed to probe and get to know about you. You must answer these questions confidently and refrain from getting confused.
The interview panel is highly expert, and you should not try to dodge them. Else they will realize, and your scores might get affected. Try to remain honest and provide accurate information that they want to take from you.
Some of the questions, along with their answers, are discussed below. Make sure to go through all of them and read the answers to enhance your chances of scoring well.
Why are you pursuing law enforcement as a career:
This is one of the interview panel’s essential questions. What they want to hear from you is the reason for choosing this career path. You can tell them that it was your dream to become an officer and join the police department since your childhood. The bottom line principle to answer this question is to show your higher moral grounds.
If you tell the interviewers that your prime objective of joining the law enforcement agency is to arrest the people or become powerful, they will probably reject. Instead, it would be best to tell them you are good at the investigation or enjoy probing incidents.
Secondly, the interviewers might also ask you about the reason for choosing this specific law enforcement agency. For such a question, you should say that this particular law enforcement agency had a good reputation, or if someone has recommended you about the agency, you can mention their names and tell the interviewers that you had heard good about from that person. Avoid answering the questions in a way that demonstrates your desperation to get the job.
Have you applied to any law enforcement agencies:
The truth of the matter is that no one puts all the eggs in one basket, and this is quite evident that most of the candidates have applied to more than one law enforcement agency. The interview panel is quite informative on this issue; therefore, you must refrain from lying. If you have applied to any other law enforcement agency, there is nothing terrible about it. You can mention the names of law enforcement agencies to which you have applied.
The interview panel might even ask you about the application status in those law enforcement agencies. Tell them where you stand. Some people think, telling the interview panel that you have applied to other law enforcement agencies decreases your chances of employment in that agency. However, the truth of the matter is not that there is nothing terrible about it, nor will it affect your chances of getting employment. It will only demonstrate that you are dedicated to a law enforcement agency job, which will give an excellent impression to the interview panel.
What traits do you need to improve:
The police oral board interview panel will also ask you questions about the areas you need to improve. Think of your weaker sides that need improvement? You do not need to tell them every weaker aspect of yourself. Just mention one or two areas that you think are weaker. Once you have mentioned your weaker sides, you also need to tell them about how you have adopted to improve them.
Telling the interview panel about your weaker sides will not make your personality weak. Instead, it will present you as a person who is self-accountable and is willing to improve on weak sides. If you say that you are Mr perfect and do not have any weaker sides, the interview panel will assess that you are not truthful, impacting your overall impression.
Have you ever been arrested:
Through your driving license number, the interview panel will check your criminal record using the national crime information centre and ask you questions about it. If you have never been in contact with the police, that is good for you. However, if you have ever been in some contact with the police department, you will likely face questions from the interview panel.
The panel might ask you for details about the cases. If you were arrested but later proved innocent or not guilty, the panel would ask you in-depth questions to get to know whether you were genuinely involved or not.
Do you drink alcohol:
This question is asked to confirm if the person giving the interview is a drinker or not. Moderate drinking is acceptable for all the law enforcement agencies; however, if you drink excessively, there are high chances that you will not get employed in the law enforcement agency.
If you do not drink at all, you can tell the interviewers that you do not. However, if you drink, you can tell them that you drink occasionally. The point of asking about alcohol is that the people who drink excessively are likely to have poor work performance and absenteeism from the job, which the law enforcement agency wants to avoid at all costs.
Do you use any illegal drugs:
The use of illegal drugs is a permanent disqualifier for a position in law enforcement agencies. A law-breaking candidate cannot be hired for a position where he/she is required to enforce the law.
The criteria for usage varies from agency to agency. For example, an agency might give you employment for smoking a joint once a week, while others might disqualify you straight away if they get to know that you were a smoker of illegal substances. The best advice from our side is that you must look for the agency you are applying to and see their tolerated quantity.
Are you in financial debt:
One might think that what does the debt has to do with employment in a law enforcement agency, but the truth is that a person who cannot manage his/her finance cannot be employed for a law enforcement position?
Being in debt does not mean that you will get disqualified. If you are paying the debt regularly, this will not affect your score, but if you have unsecured debt, this shows that you were terrible in taking a decision and managing your finances.
Do you have any medical condition: the panel will ask you about your health conditions and take any medication. They are interested to know your opinion on physical health. They will make sure if you are physically fit for the job.
These are the scenario-based questions that the panel asks to check how candidates will perform in a particular situation. You cannot only say yes or no to these questions. You are supposed to take any action or a stance and explain your choice to the panel.
These questions are designed to check your calibre and thinking process. In each situation, there are things that you should do, and then there are things that you should avoid. There will be times when you want to choose both options. In that case, you have to choose the most appropriate option.
Once the question is being asked, take a moment to analyse the whole scenario. Do not say whatever comes to your mind at first. Briefly think about your answers but do not take too long to answer. It might give out the wrong impression.
The panel might ask you why you did not choose some other option. This does not mean that your choice was wrong. They are checking if you can handle tricky situations in which people think they know better than the officer. Do not let this confuse you. Stick to your choice and try to answer calmly.
The main idea behind these questions is to check your judgment, integrity, supervision, use of force, and how you deal with your co-workers. The questions can be in any order, and there is no specific limit. Sometimes several questions are asked on one topic. You must go through the sample questions and try to think analytically. We have listed down these questions with their appropriate answers to help you have a better idea about the subject.
The judgment scenario:
- An officer from the police department and you are taking three prisoners along with yourself to the jail, and in the route, you observe an accident that involves three vehicles. It appears that damage to vehicles is significant. What would you do?
The question asks if you should stop and help the injured people involved in the accident or continue to do your job and transport the prisoner. If you choose to help the victim, the panel will question you about leaving your partner alone with the prisoner. They can also say that this might be a setup by the prisoner or his people. On the other hand, if you say that you will not stop and continue to do your job, the panel will question your humanity for leaving people alone to die.
Be very careful when answering the question. Explain your choice as clearly as possible. Tell the panel that you recognize the situation you are in. you would like to help the victims, but you also have a severe duty to maintain. Tell them that this might be a trap to separate you from your partner.
Because the prisoner is dangerous, you would not stop at the location but call for emergency service. There are other ways in which you can help others. It is not necessary to be present physically.
- You are off duty, and you visit the superstore to buy groceries. No one in the store knows that you are an officer. While you are paying, the cashier engages in a conversation and tells you that she received a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill today. What would you do?
You can ask the cashier for a suspected bill. There is nothing wrong with that. Unless you are a Secret Servant agent, you are not allowed to take possession of the bill. There is no point in getting involved in this matter. If you find something suspicious about the bill, tell the cashier to report it immediately to the Secret Service. As a police officer, you should also inform the authorities.
The main point of this question is whether you notify the department or not. Even though you are an officer, it is not your duty to investigate this matter.
- You are raiding the residency of a drug dealer, and you found some illegal drugs and cash in the house. While your team members are busy securing the evidence, you observe that one of your team members has put some cash into his pocket. How would you react?
The first and only thing is to confront your co-worker. Tell him that you have observed this and ask him what he did with the money. You can suggest that he might have placed them in another evidence bag.
The alarming answer would be to tell your supervisor directly. The panel might ask you, what if the co-worker repeatedly denies taking the money. Then tell them that if he is not going to accept this, you will notify your supervisor.
- You are investigating a case concerning illegal copying and selling of videotaped movies. While interviewing a suspect, you get an offer of a bribe. How would you react?
Tell the panel clearly that you recognize that this is bribing. Even if the owner is not bribing, it is not appropriate to accept such offers, and you will reject them immediately. However, you will note this in case it is used against the store owner later on.
- Everyone in the office has taken part in special assignments, you are waiting for the opportunity, and when it comes, your supervisor assigns it to someone else who has already been on a similar task. You are frustrated about this pattern. What would you do?
Tell the panel you would go to your supervisor and ask him why he has not given you any special assignments. There are possibilities, he might overlook you, or maybe you need to do something. If this problem continues and you have not received any valid answer, you would go to the next supervisory level.
- You have worked in an office for five years, your supervisor gets changed, and the new supervisor is not happy with your performance. You talk to her to resolve but the matter, but it seems like nothing will change. At the end of the year, she evaluates your performance and gives you low ratings, you talk to her about the rating, but she seems inattentive. What would you do?
The situation is almost similar to the previous question. You will first try to make things work with your supervisor. If there are no chances of betterment, then you will take the matter to the next level. The difference between this and previous questions is that in this situation, the supervisor is a woman. Some people have difficulty taking orders from a woman.
The logic behind this question is to check how you would react in this situation. It would be best if you did not make any reference to her gender.
Use of Force Scenarios:
- You are driving on the road with many retail stores, you observe that the person is snatching a women’s purse and both of them are trying hard to get control of the purse, all of a sudden the man starts hitting the woman, how would you react?
Tell the panel you know this situation, and you know that you have to save the woman. You will first call the assistance or backup. You will then get out of the car and identify yourself as a police officer. You will then order the man to let go of the woman. If the man does not listen, then you will physically stop him and put him under arrest.
The panel might ask you would you take out your weapon in this situation. You cannot shoot the attacker in this scenario. You have not seen any weapon with the attacker. You might not know what weapon the agency gives to its officers. Instead, you can suggest that you may use a baton or pepper spray to stop the attacker.
- You are raiding a house to arrest a wanted criminal, you open the door, and the criminal comes out on the porch. The criminal has a gun in hand and starts shooting you, and being a police officer, how would you react?
The first thing you will do is to look for a hiding space. At this moment, the verbal command is not going to work. Therefore you will take out your gun and shoot to stop the subject. Once the situation is a bit controlled, you will immediately call for assistance.
Dealing With Co-Workers Scenarios:
- During the past several months, there have been special assignments on which someone has to work late at night, all of your fellows have done their job and worked during the late hours except for that one person who always finds an excuse, this behaviour is causing unrest among the workers, would you do?
It would be best if you confronted your co-worker not individually but as a group. Tell him how much workload has increased by his refusal to work at late hours. You will try to solve things as nicely as possible. If the panel asks what you would do if he still does not listen, then you have to report this matter to your supervisor.
- Two people in your office always refuse to work with each other because they dislike each other. This behaviour is degrading the morale of everyone in the office and causes trouble in scheduling the assignment. What would you do?
The main thing is to resolve the matters with mutual agreement instead of taking it to the supervisor. As a friendly co-worker, you would try to find out the actual problem and try to resolve it. Set the meeting for both co-workers so that they can clear out their differences. Suggest them that they do not have to be buddies for this but instant work as professionally as possible. The panel wants to see how interested you are in your job if you are going to help your co-workers or not.
So we have discussed almost top 20 asked police oral board questions along with the best suitable answers to them. The best advice for you is to remain calm and honest during the police department interview questions.
Police oral interviews are something to be afraid of; you need to face the panellists with confidence, dress well, and bring a smile on your face. Listen to the questions thoroughly and try to stick to the point. One of the most common mistakes in the police job interview is that the candidates give excessive information to the board without understanding that they need a summary rather than a whole essay.
Generally speaking, law enforcement panel interview questions are almost the same in all the police departments with slight variations depending upon the panellists.
Be confident, dress well and stick to the point so that you can score well in an oral police interview questions and answers.