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Are 3 interviews the hiring norm?

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  • Are 3 interviews the hiring norm?

    Hi all,

    I have a friend who recently was a candidate for a PD with roughly 250 officers and 200k people in the city. Oddly enough, she had 3 oral interviews, which seemed a bit strange to me. She had an oral interview, followed by a background interview, then an administrative interview. She passed every phase including the written, agility, background, oral and psyche and was told the she didn't score high enough on the "administrative" interview. I am miffed. Anyone have experience with this issue? She is a very professional, smooth operator with many years of exceptional active duty Army service and great in a pressure interview setting. I tried to offer her my two cents, but I did not experience this myself. Is this a good ole' boys club? Did they hire laterals/reserves? Any and all info would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    The real question is, was the interview and job here in mass?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by emerlad View Post
      The real question is, was the interview and job here in mass?
      The department was in CA. From what she told me, she got the impression that they were looking for a local, due to one of the commanders "smirking" when she told them where else she applied to work. The CA economy is in the dumps, so I'm sure there was some major competition during the process as well. Her credentials include a bachelors degree and a 10 year Army vet. Weird part is she was on of the last 15-20 people standing for the 10 or so slots available. I just thought it was odd that she would get that far in the process and be turned away by ANOTHER interview.

      Is this the a case of a "super duper top secret triple interview" process? Let's hope not.

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      • #4
        I have had two interviews before but never three. Doesn't mean some departments don't use three. Maybe she was a borderline candidate based on the first two interviews and they wanted to interview her again. I really don't know.

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        • #5
          I applied to a department that had four interviews (initial interview with BI, panel interview, command staff interview, and chief's interview, not counting the interview with the psych). Also, some might look at the polygraph as an interview (technically it is). Just depends, as each department has their own hiring practices.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Doesn't really sound like your friend got any sort of raw deal. Btw, all face to face interviews are "oral interviews." I'm assuming you mean 1 interview with a panel of officers, a background interview, and the "administrative interview" which you're suspecting as some sort of wild card. All sounds reasonable to me. The panel interview measures the applicants "raw police ability" (judgement, maturity, personality, poise, etc.). The background interview is used to prep for the background investigation (which is basically making sure there's nothing in the applicant's past that would somehow compromise the integrity of the hiring agency). This "administrative interview" sounds like command level (or people working on behalf of command level) staff gauging whether the applicant fits into the specific departments geo-political reality (i.e. local knowledge, both "street level" and political, etc.).

            It doesn't sound like the norm for a lot of LE agencies, but outside of sworn LE, I've had on some occasions over 4 (7 on one occasion) interviews for one position, sometimes with the same people. Heck, my spouse just contacted about what would be the 6th interview for a non profit position she had assumed (due to lack of followup) she was out of consideration for 2 months ago.

            But yes, what you bemuse as "super duper triple interview" sounds like a final means to split hairs for competitive slots where there were a substantial number of highly qualified people. I'm sorry your friend didn't get the job, but it doesn't sound like anything untoward has occurred here.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PeeOwed View Post
              Doesn't really sound like your friend got any sort of raw deal. Btw, all face to face interviews are "oral interviews." I'm assuming you mean 1 interview with a panel of officers, a background interview, and the "administrative interview" which you're suspecting as some sort of wild card. All sounds reasonable to me. The panel interview measures the applicants "raw police ability" (judgement, maturity, personality, poise, etc.). The background interview is used to prep for the background investigation (which is basically making sure there's nothing in the applicant's past that would somehow compromise the integrity of the hiring agency). This "administrative interview" sounds like command level (or people working on behalf of command level) staff gauging whether the applicant fits into the specific departments geo-political reality (i.e. local knowledge, both "street level" and political, etc.).

              It doesn't sound like the norm for a lot of LE agencies, but outside of sworn LE, I've had on some occasions over 4 (7 on one occasion) interviews for one position, sometimes with the same people. Heck, my spouse just contacted about what would be the 6th interview for a non profit position she had assumed (due to lack of followup) she was out of consideration for 2 months ago.

              But yes, what you bemuse as "super duper triple interview" sounds like a final means to split hairs for competitive slots where there were a substantial number of highly qualified people. I'm sorry your friend didn't get the job, but it doesn't sound like anything untoward has occurred here.
              Terrific response. I came to the same conclusion as you did. From what she said, all arrows pointed towards the facts that they were looking for a specific type of person for the position. I reassured her that sometimes things like this happen in a competitive job market. It just sucks that she went that far into the process over 4-5 months and lost out on getting the job at the very end. I guess she can chalk it up to a learning experience.

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