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Signs of a good panel/oral interview?

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  • Signs of a good panel/oral interview?

    Hello,

    I've have attended panel interviews for 2 agencies I would like to work for, and I probably have many more to come. I was wondering what are some signs someone has done well in a panel interview. I know this is very subjective but I just wanted to hear people's opinions on the manner. I know there are no 100% truths but anything would help.

    I just had an interview yesterday, and I answered everything and explained myself a bit. Was a little nervous but getting better with each interview. Thank you for your input!

    Californialaw

  • #2
    take your time answering the questions. The more they write, the better you could've done. Don't make any ethical blunders(your partner or family member must be written up or arrested). You will do just fine. Keep it simple.

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    • #3
      I think that interviewing is a skill that can and must be practiced. I have been on both sides of the table (however, not with a LE agency) and having the experience of interviewing someone really helped make me a better interviewee. Biggest thing is to relax, but don't be unprofessional.

      As to your question about how to tell if it went well. You should have a good feeling about how it is going while you are there. Read their body language. Are they looking you in the eyes when talking to you? Are they smiling sometimes? Are they writing a lot? I personally dont write much when I am interviewing, but that is not normal. I would rather talk to the person and see if they are a good fit, but in a LE panel they are using what they write to rank you against other people so the notes really matter.
      I usually second guess my answers after each interview, but my fears have never been warranted. Like Esco said, you will do fine, just be yourself.

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      • #4
        This is 100% subjective, but for me signs of a good panel interview were:
        -When the panelists never have to cut you off, because your answers are succinct and limited to 1-2 minutes (the STAR method helps with this)
        -When they don't have to ask follow-up questions because you included all of the pertinent information in your initial response, ie, they don't have to waste time probing to see if a given answer qualifies for a higher score (no need, because you maxed out on the first try)
        -When they write a lot
        -When they exchange knowing glances when you feel like you knocked an answer out of the ballpark
        -When they don't check their watches

        The signs of a great panel interview were:
        -When they give you a department pen and tell you, "Keep this so you can frame it when you retire"
        -When they ask you how you prepared for the interview
        Last edited by piperj3cub; 06-06-2013, 08:41 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by californialaw View Post
          I was wondering what are some signs someone has done well in a panel interview.
          When you are called/notified that you are moving on to the next step


          Sounds like a smart arse answer doesn't it.


          It really isn't. If you feel confident and somewhat comfortable after the interview------it probably went well. BUT that doesn't mean chit!

          You might have been the 234th interviewee that went well that cycle and they are only looking for 232 to move on...............

          You might have been wearing a grey suit and someone on the panel only votes for dark blue suits today.......

          You might have pizzed off the chief without knowing it................

          You might have blown the interview and not realized it & thought you did great......

          The point is that SOME interview panels are very subjective--------and are hard to read. BUT normally if you think things went well , they probably did. BUT that doesn't mean you are what the agency is looking for today.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            I agree. I think if we knew then we would all pass.

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            • #7
              HR/Management major here, been on both sides of the interviewing before. There's really no scientific way to know if the interview went well, like folks have said its all very subjective. I will say this though, every interview that I walked out of thinking I did great, I passed. Every time I walked out thinking that it went poorly, I got a thanks but no thanks. Point is, trust your gut. If they become every personable with you and start relaxing, you're good to go. If they're stoic, it's not a good or bad sign, they likely just have a poker face.

              Side note, interviewing is a very poor way of determining future performance in is career so dont be discouraged if you do poorly on a few. It's a skill that can be mastered, so keep praticicing and you'll be fine.
              USMS
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Esco View Post
                take your time answering the questions. The more they write, the better you could've done. Don't make any ethical blunders(your partner or family member must be written up or arrested). You will do just fine. Keep it simple.
                You couldn't be more wrong with the bolded statement above. The key is to know the dept. or personnel that are interviewing you. Everything may not be so black and white with them.

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                • #9
                  Thank you everyone for the great responses. Now for the waiting part I despise so much...

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                  • #10
                    "When you are called/notified that you are moving on to the next step."

                    Yep.

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                    • #11
                      After the interview a panel member came to me and whispered, "we were all impressed. You're the only one we've given a perfect score". I felt pretty good after that.

                      Not a gifted orator, i studied interview questions for months and was able to answer them with out a bunch of "umms".
                      http://www.youtube.com/user/military2police

                      Helping you transition from the military to law enforcement

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