What Is Police Pre Employment Psychological Test & How To Pass It Guide

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What Is The Police Pre Employment Psychological Test & How To Pass Police Psych Test Full Guide   

Pre Employment Police Psychological Tests or Psych Eval is the most crucial and difficult test a candidate has to go through. Police Psych Test long and intimidating process that usually ignites anxiety amongst applicants before and between the evaluation. According to surveys, 90% of law enforcement agencies use pre-employment psychological tests in the USA. Besides this, 65% of the total agencies conduct a polygraph test and 80% use drug screening. Police psych evaluation is a make or breaks for your chances to get employed as an officer.     

What Is The Law Enforcement Psychological Test?    

To better understand the police psych test, you first need to know what a law enforcement psychological test is. It is an essential step in the police recruitment procedure, and it is conducted at the end of the hiring process. Generally, it is based on an oral interview carried out by a professional psychologist.   

Several psychological evaluation questions are being asked about your personal and professional life, which you have already mentioned in the application form before. The law enforcement psychological test’s time duration varies from 15 minutes and can go up to one hour. The test results give professionals an insight into your personality and traits, which determine whether you are suitable to carry a badge and a gun.   

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Written Psychological Exam For Law Enforcement

All departments give a multiple-choice question test. Some agencies make their own, and some use the one which is commonly used in psychological settings. The most common written NYPD psychological exam is the Minnesota Multiphasic Psychological Inventory (MMPI) is now updated to MMPI-2 and the MMPI-2RF. The text consists of 500 statements. Depending on whether the statement never applies to you, you answer the question, sometimes applies to you, often applies to you, or always applies to you.  

These tests are designed to check inconsistency. They have many repeated questions which you cannot answer right unless you are not hiding anything. The best way to succeed is, to be honest and truthful. The NYPD, Chicago, and LAPD also follow the written psychological exam pattern.

What Is The Purpose Of The Police Psychological Exam?   

The essential purpose of the police officer psychological evaluation is to check the capabilities of the applicants. It is a high-pressure profession that needs high endurance to encounter unexpected violence, horrible crimes, abusive language, and externally long working hours. Law enforcement agencies want police officers who can take quick and calculated risks to handle the situation by putting themselves or the public in danger.  

Pre-employment psychological screening also gives an overview of the mental capacity of the candidates. Applicants who show signs of mental health conditions are filtered out instantly. This does not mean that all mentally fit applicants are suitable for the position. An example is, an emotionally stable person who processes information slowly or does not have a strong personality will not be ideal for the job. The law enforcement career drains out officers, mentally, physically, and emotionally. The psychological evaluation determines if a candidate can handle the workload and possess the agency’s traits.     

Essential Things To Know About The Law Enforcement Psych Evaluation

The psychological evaluation tests for law enforcement can be an overwhelming exam. Therefore, it is essential to know what you will be expecting on your psych evaluation day. It will make you less anxious and relieve some stress.

It is crucial to understand that this test is not your interrogation, nor is it a therapy session, but perceive it as a conversation about your life and your preferences in general.    

You should be expecting several candidates in the waiting area as they will be having their screening at the same time as you.  

Initially, you have to fill out a survey form that asks questions about your personal life, previous profession, education, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. After that, a multiple-choice assessment is given, which asks you to express your feelings on a particular thought.

The last and final step of the police officer personality test is a face to face interview with the psychologist who mostly asks the same question. Still, their presence makes the interview more intimidating.   

You will also notice that some of the questions will be repeated. This is to check your honesty, integrity, and consistency. Therefore, observe the pattern and answer carefully and accordingly.   

Your agency will provide you with a sample question booklet before the final test. It’s better to prepare before the evaluation. You will become familiar with the formatting, and answering tricky questions will become easier.

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What Personality Traits Do Pre Employment Psychological Screening Checks? 

Law enforcement officers are expected to be highly ethical and have moral standards; therefore, criminal justice agencies look at certain personality traits in the pre-employment psychological exam that a potential officer should have.  

According to Dr. Gary Fischler, who works as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota and a forensic psychologist. He evaluates the potential law enforcement officers in pre-employment psychological screening. According to him, these traits are mostly looked upon in the evaluation process and how it affects the hiring process?  

Impulse control; is the candidate patient enough? Does he show any signs of irritability when asked similar questions multiple times?  

General intelligence; how much is the applicant’s IQ? Is he able to respond quickly with unique ideas?  

Judgment; what is the judgment pattern of the candidate? Is he quick to analyze the situation in a broad spectrum?  

Dependability; can the agency depend on the applicant on severe high-risk crimes? Will he continue with the task if a backup is not available on the spot yet? Is he self- confident? 

Courage; how brave is the contestant to take risks without harming no one?  

Honesty and integrity; two are essential traits a cop should have. How truthful was the candidate during the whole screening? Did he make up lies to cover something?  

Personal bias or lack of bias; will the applicant be an honest cop or any personal preference will interfere in his job?  

Ability to tolerate stress; how much does an applicant have to work in a stressful environment without losing control?  

Appropriate attitudes towards sexuality; how the applicant views the opposite gender and general views on sexuality decide if he will be able to rescue without bias coming in between.  

Prior drug use; does the applicant answer honestly about the drug use or any treatments he is on? 

Ability to perform boring or tedious tasks; somedays jobs will become boring. How patient is the interviewee to be dealing with the process without complaining? 

What motivated the candidate to choose law enforcement; honest answers will usually attach some emotional attachment towards the profession. 

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Police Psychological Interview Questions

Different types of questions are asked in a police psych test. They will be based upon your family and friends, career and education, history of a personal relationship, if any, and general opinion and preferences.

Below listed are the most common police psychological exam questions that you might get in your screening.   

  • Why did you choose a law enforcement career?  


  • Tell us about yourself.  


  • What is your biggest weakness and strength?  


  • Tell us about your academic qualifications.  


  • Why should we hire you as an officer?  


  • Do you have any police records?  


  • Tell us an occasion in which you did not lose your temper despite the circumstances?  


  • Do you have any criminal record?  


  • What challenges do you think you will face as an officer?  


  • What do you think of your previous chief?  


  • Why do you want to leave your current job?  


  • What salary are you looking for?  


  • What is your greatest failure, and what have you learned from it? 


  • What motivates you?  


  • How would your friends describe you? 

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How To Pass The Police Psychological Evaluation?

The psychological evaluation for police is considered to be one of the toughest exams. The test will tell you if you are going to be hired as an officer or not. It is essential to prepare yourself to pass a police psychological test interview. I will share some of the useful tips you can incorporate before and during the interview to maximize your dream job chances. 

First and foremost, the thing is to practice before the interview. It is always better to know what you are going to expect in the test. Practice psychological exam sample questions which the agency provides during the application process. You will get familiar with the format, and it will also help you with time management.  

Arrive on time for the interview. Candidates need to be on time. The action itself speaks out loud. Late arrival will automatically give the message that you are not punctual and determined. 

Be honest! There is no need to hide anything, no matter how small it is. The psychologists will eventually find out, and it will reduce your chances of hiring. Don’t overdo yourself. It will backfire. Be consistent with who you are and answer all questions. 

Read the questions carefully and ask if you didn’t understand something. It is said that there are no right or wrong questions in a law enforcement psychological evaluation, but that’s not entirely true. Notice the pattern of questions they are made to test your profile, and if you don’t understand something, ask the evaluator freely. 

Please dress appropriately for the interview as it will give out an impression. The first thing someone notices about you is your appearance. It speaks for you before you. 

Be relaxed; trust me, it will make your interview go smoothly if you have practiced before; there is no need to panic or hide anything. Panicking will not allow you to focus on the questions, and you might give out the wrong answer. Don’t think about passing or failing. Think about how you can increase your chance of passing a police psychological test.

What Happens If You Failed A Police Psych Eval?

The police department’s psychological exam does not define your mental health wellbeing. Instead, it only evaluates if the candidate is suitable for law enforcement. Failing the police psychological interview does not make you a wrong person; it just means that you might not be ideal for this type of position. 

If you have failed a police psychological interview, you may want to re-evaluate your choices. You need to ask if you think this is the career path for you. Nevertheless, if you are sure about your preferences and determined to join and not give up, then you should give it another try. Consider and evaluate your traits before applying. Improve yourself as individuals can judge themselves better. 

After contemplating all the possibilities, give it another shot. If you are suitable enough, you will get your dream job, but if not, then you should not waste more time. Explore your options, and you will find something which will completely suit your traits.

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