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  • Qualifications

    Question for any Recruiters/Background Investigators's on this forum:

    At what point of the hiring process do my qualifications come into play? Can I have incredible qualifications and yet be cut at the panel interview stage? My PHS was turned in months before my panel, so they must have reviewed it, no? Also, does it help to already have prior government-level clearance (non-military)? Or do these things not even matter?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If you are applying for a city, county or state job, your personal qualifications don't mean as much as you think they do.

    Testing in California tends to be very structured. You must possess minimum qualifications in order to gain admission to the testing process (age, education, drivers license, citizenship, etc.) Possession of these qualifications only ensures admission to the process. Exceeding the qualifications at this point is meaningless.

    Candidates are usually administered written and oral exams. These are designed to measure each applicant's ability to do the job and each candidate is scored according to how they respond to the same. work related questions. Applicant's are usually hired based on how well they score on these exams. (Highest score gets hired first, etc.) If you are truly qualified, your expertise and training may give you an advantage in correctly answering these questions.

    The Personal History Statement is part of the background investigation, which has nothing to do with your qualifications. Contrary to common belief, your life is not evaluated and scored with points added and subtracted for good and bad in the background. Instead, it has three functions. It verifies your identity, it confirms that you actually possess the minimum qualifications for the position you are seeking and it determines whether there is anything in your personal history that meets the criteria for disqualification. So, it doesn't matter if served as a Ranger in the military, have a Nobel Peace Prize, speak seventeen languages and train guide dogs for the blind in your spare time. None of that makes up for you holding up that liquor store when you were 16, or selling drugs for a year because you couldn't find a real job.

    In short, civil service hiring is usually based on merit, which in turn is deternmined by job related testing. Look carefully at the exam announcement for the position. Usually it will tell you what testing will cnosist of and how it will be weighted. (Writen exam weighted 60%, Oral exam weighted 40%, etc.) This will tell you where to concentrate your efforts.

    To prepare for the oral, take a look at http://www.post.ca.gov/selection/S&E...uide-final.asp It is designed to assist agencies in the conduct of their orals, however, you may find some of the information useful.
    Last edited by L-1; 07-08-2009, 12:43 AM.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      First, im not sure what you mean by "incredible" qualifications. If you are trying to obtain a Federal position get ready because I'm pretty sure that ever Agent hired would be just as "incredible" as you.

      An agency can DQ you at any time for any reason, except for certain legal protections (Race, Gender, etc.) and they most likely will give you no reason for it.

      Keep in mind that given the current state of the economy you will have a vast amount of competition no matter what L.E. job you are shooting for.

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      • #4
        Clarification

        Thanks L-1 for the positive information. Let me clarify my qualifications: US Coast Guard, Red Cross Lifeguard, EMT, Public Relations experience, CEO of successful corporation while under my command, etc... The only parallel LE skill I lack is firearms training. I scored 10th highest on my written (out of 250), 3rd fastest on my PAT (out of 125), and I have zero strikes (including parking violations) on my record, retain safe drivers insurance, etc... As stated, my PHS was turned in months before my oral, so that leads me to believe they have at least taken a look at it, no? Being from the professional world looking in, outside of law enforcement the oral interview is used to help quantify what the applicant has stated within their resumé, as well as the candidates presentation skills. It seems backwards to first qualify an applicant through an oral interview, as there are FAR too many BS artists out there, and as you have shown, the correct responses are posted on the web for anyone to memorize.

        Just trying to understand how things work in the LE world.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well in a previous thread you mentioned you had a CG Captains license, so were you in the CG or just have the boaters license, which almost anyone can get.

          Your othere quals are good to have, but when it comes to LE, they really don't mean too much when starting off. Now when you go to apply for a Lt's job and or Chief.

          The hiring process is different for each agency. Some do the interview first and some wait till the last stage in the process. While you think their are some BS artists out there, I will agree with you slightly as their are BS artists in the background portion as well. Yes people lie.
          "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

          Comment


          • #6
            fact -vs- fiction

            Originally posted by irishlad2nv View Post
            I will agree with you slightly as there are BS artists in the background portion as well. Yes people lie.
            Unfortunately true, but the information you supplied in your PHS can be verified, or discredited, with facts so long as the BI is thorough. By reading the information within the web link supplied by L-1 (and many other sources), anyone could successfully pass an oral interview simply by reciting the highest scoring answers:

            Q: "Are you easily angered by others?"
            A: "Absolutely not sir, I approach difficult situations with a process that is beneficial to both parties, first I... blah, blah, BS... "

            Same goes for the polygraph.

            I'm an extremely honest person, really looking forward to helping my community from a LE role, which is why I'm questioning the weight of my qualifications -VS- how well I did in an oral interview when I could possibly be up against BS artists that will say anything just to get the job and a gov't paycheck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gearilla View Post
              Thanks L-1 for the positive information. Let me clarify my qualifications: US Coast Guard, Red Cross Lifeguard, EMT, Public Relations experience, CEO of successful corporation while under my command, etc... The only parallel LE skill I lack is firearms training. I scored 10th highest on my written (out of 250), 3rd fastest on my PAT (out of 125), and I have zero strikes (including parking violations) on my record, retain safe drivers insurance, etc... As stated, my PHS was turned in months before my oral, so that leads me to believe they have at least taken a look at it, no? Being from the professional world looking in, outside of law enforcement the oral interview is used to help quantify what the applicant has stated within their resumé, as well as the candidates presentation skills. It seems backwards to first qualify an applicant through an oral interview, as there are FAR too many BS artists out there, and as you have shown, the correct responses are posted on the web for anyone to memorize.

              Just trying to understand how things work in the LE world.
              The life and work experiences you listed don't really count because there is now way to quantify their value. For example, how do you assess the value of language skills against EMT training, or CEO experience, or time in the Coast Guard? Even if you could assign a value, while these skills may make you a better rounded person in a general sense, their specific value to the actual law enforcement function is peripheral at best.

              To avoid ambiguity and establish clear cut measuring standards, law enforcement agencies design their own screening process that tests each applicants against the same, exact standard. How you score on job related written and oral exams are the determining factor more than anything else, with the highest score getting picked first, next highest score getting picked next, etc.

              Now, there will be times when your background may be of help to you. Most civil service agencies in California work under something known as the Rule of Three. This allows them to fill a job vacancy with anyone in the top three scores on the hiring list, Once someone is hired, the list is readjusted and the next person hired must come from whoever now makes up the top three scores. The list is adjusted again and the system repeats itself for each hire. This is where your qualifications come into play. If you are one of the top three candidates and your qualifications stand out, you stand a better chance of being picked than the other two. Later in your career your qualifications may make you a better candidate for special assignments or programs, but the reality there is that you are probably going to need at least two or three years experience working in the field before you are considered for areas such as these.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gearilla View Post
                Unfortunately true, but the information you supplied in your PHS can be verified, or discredited, with facts so long as the BI is thorough. By reading the information within the web link supplied by L-1 (and many other sources), anyone could successfully pass an oral interview simply by reciting the highest scoring answers:

                Q: "Are you easily angered by others?"
                A: "Absolutely not sir, I approach difficult situations with a process that is beneficial to both parties, first I... blah, blah, BS... "

                Same goes for the polygraph.

                I'm an extremely honest person, really looking forward to helping my community from a LE role, which is why I'm questioning the weight of my qualifications -VS- how well I did in an oral interview when I could possibly be up against BS artists that will say anything just to get the job and a gov't paycheck.
                And then theres those who avoid questions such as military background.

                Glad you are an honest person. But of course you could be one of those "BS artists" you keep referring too. And one who avoids questions like the plague.

                Anyway, again your quals means crap right now. Sorry to be blunt.
                "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gearman..

                  I echo what the others have said.. EMT doesnt mean much-- takes about 15 semester hours to obtain.. unless your dept. is dual cert.. they wont care. LEOS have AED and FD's for a reason, right??

                  Your CEO experience isnt really relevant.. that may help down the road if and when you are selected for promotion.. That is assuming your company, if it was yours, had more than YOU as an employee.. And this is assuming that you will make it through probation.

                  Honestly, you dont need to be a rocket scientist to be a patrol officer. You seem pretty arrogant and if thats how you come off in interviews you will not get hired.

                  Oh, and since you care about "Quals"... I will graduate with my Juris Doctor degree in December, have several years on patrol, etc.. But that does not make me any better than anyone on this board that risks their life every day for complete strangers.. I suggest you adopt the same attitude.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks again for the positive information L-1. Still seems backwards to me coming from the corporate world, but thanks to your explanation, I now understand how the process works.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gearilla View Post
                      Thanks again for the positive information L-1. Still seems backwards to me coming from the corporate world, but thanks to your explanation, I now understand how the process works.
                      Another perspective, I know a police officer who had come over from the corporate world, wasn't a CEO, but had a strong middle management track record and entry-level LE-exceeding salary to correspond with it, etc. Even though he was prior military (actually applied to the position after a deployment as an Lt. in NG MP unit) and actually came from a LE "family" (grandfather and uncles were cops) his panel really pressed him on whether he was committed to the profession. That is, was it "worth it" to the department to hire him when he could easily jump ship with his "impressive credentials" into some more lucrative job as soon as the job got hard otherwise crossed him.

                      He got the job, but I think he was actually pulled in for a 2nd interview just to go over some of his interviewer's concerns over whether he'd "stick".

                      Keep in mind also, for the interview, you may look awesome on paper, explicit resume porn to HR professionals or whatever, but how you carry yourself in an interpersonal interaction is a key component of the job, given that the job makes you a de facto departmental and community representative, etc. You may've been a regular fixture on the 6 o'clock news, Wall Street Journal, or the adtime between Bowling for Dollars, but the lattitude you get for peforming PR as a CEO or in the corporate world is a bit different than the tact you'll need as an LE officer.
                      Last edited by PeeOwed; 07-08-2009, 04:15 PM. Reason: little typos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had guys in my class that came from all walks of life and thought they were going to be super cops, some were fired on FTO, others quit shortly before FTO. All were qualified and some had impressive backgrounds but lacked common sense or the ability to check the ego.

                        Good to have qualifications but also good to know that at a certain point they might not mean anything.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the problem here is that for the most part, what you view as assets, we view as meaningless or as liabilities. Let's take a look.

                          US Coast Guard - Minimal Value. With some agencies, military service will get a couple of Veterans points added to your final test score. That is all it counts for.

                          Red Cross Lifeguard - No Value. The likelihood that a police officer will be called upon to perform a water rescue is pretty minimal. That's what the city hires lifeguards for.

                          EMT - No Value. In most agencies, the frequency with which officers are called upon to utilize EMT skills is so minimal that it is no longer cost effective to provide them with the initial EMT training or periodic update training required to maintain their certification. My agency phased out EMT training years ago and relies on the fire department.

                          Public Relations experience - Liability. As a rookie officer, the last thing you will be doing is representing the department to the media or other governmental agencies, especially when you have no idea what the department posture or philosophy is in most enforcement areas. This can be a political minefield and is what we have Public Information Officers for. Management may fear that with your background, if the press shows up, you might try to deal with them anyway and innocently say something that is contrary to the department's official song and dance.

                          CEO of successful corporation while under my command - Big time liability. For the first three years you will be a bottom of the food chain officer who is expected to learn and adapt to the department's philosophy and policies and learn to sing the department song in harmony with everyone else. The last thing you are expected to do is to lead or manage others. With your CEO background there will be a great fear that you are used to running your own show, will want to continue to do so and will have difficulty conforming to the role of a subordinate. Don't be surprised if the betting pool back at the station has your name listed highest in the odds list as being the biggest malcontent cadet from your academy class.

                          I have zero strikes (including parking violations) on my record, retain safe drivers insurance, etc - All that does is eliminate a DQ criteria in your background. It does not earn you brownie points.

                          As stated, my PHS was turned in months before my oral, so that leads me to believe they have at least taken a look at it, no? No. The PHS is used for your background and is rarely involved in the oral. The background is not scored, it is merely pass/fail. If there is something in your background that meets the criteria for DQ, then you are gone, no matter how neat a guy you are otherwise. When it looks like you are getting reachable on the list, you should be contacted and asked if you are still interested in the job. If so, the BI should pick up your PHS, review it and call you in for an initial interview to go over it. Once the background is over, he may call you in for a discrepancy interview to clear up any loose ends (there are usually about a dozen things that develop that need to be reconciled such as information conflicts, negative reference information, data on people with the same name and DOB as yours that need to be separated from yourself, etc.)

                          Assuming you pass, you will go on to the psych and the medical. Assuming you pass those, you will be hired according to your position on the list as the next vacancies occur.
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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