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  • Oral Board

    I just took an oral board this weekend and I did horrible on it, I get very nervous and cant seem to remember anything I have prepared. It has been recommend to me that I take public speaking courses which is not a problem for me but was wondering if anyone else had this problem and how did they remedy it?

  • #2
    The biggest thing that is going to help you with public speaking is to practice public speaking. Something that I have seen recommended to applicants struggling with interviews is to record yourself answering the questions with a camera, and play it back. This is exactly what you sound, look, and act like during the oral board. By doing this you will be able to notice behaviors you may doing that may not be favorable and correct them.. It also is just going to take practice to develop better interviewing skills. I wouldn't recommend memorizing your answers but by studying up on potential questions and having an idea of where you are going to go with it will help greatly. There is a lot of information on this forum and a wealth of resources that you can start using, including books. You can't really over-prepare yourself, the more the better.

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    • #3
      I agree with the above. Don't memorize your answers, instead, know your own story and adapt your narrative to the questions asked.

      If you try to have a cookie cutter answer for every question you will inevitably stumble through a few of them. On the other hand, if you know yourself and how your life experience applies to some standard scenarios than you should do very well.

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      • #4
        Just pretend the oral board members are distant relatives you've never met who are asking questions about your cereer plans. It puts your mind in a whole different frame of reference, causes you to relax, not be afraid and sound more genuine.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Originally posted by azcah View Post
          The biggest thing that is going to help you with public speaking is to practice public speaking. Something that I have seen recommended to applicants struggling with interviews is to record yourself answering the questions with a camera, and play it back. This is exactly what you sound, look, and act like during the oral board. By doing this you will be able to notice behaviors you may doing that may not be favorable and correct them.. It also is just going to take practice to develop better interviewing skills. I wouldn't recommend memorizing your answers but by studying up on potential questions and having an idea of where you are going to go with it will help greatly. There is a lot of information on this forum and a wealth of resources that you can start using, including books. You can't really over-prepare yourself, the more the better.
          I disagree, public speaking really has nothing to do with oral boards. You could be an awesome public speaker and have plenty of enthusiam, but have no idea what your talking about. On the otherhand, you could go in there a bit rough and relaxed but blow the panel away about your knowledge of them. Ive done plenty of oral boards and of the ones ive passed, its always been because ive known what the job entails and have a general background of the agency and structure.

          Thats why being a local cop first or at least attending the police academy is the best background before going FED imo. Youll be prepared for basic scenario questions, have a general knowledge of the career, know thr basic safety steps and procedures of law enforcement, and can explain simple LEO stuff that the average person wont know I.E. traffic stop safety procedures (for local oral board just as an example). If you research the agency and know your background and history thoroughly, you should be fine. That alleviates a lot of the stress youll feel already. Itll be like just another day at work (sorta...).

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          • #6
            Everyone is nervous and everyone forgets things and everyone wishes they would have answered differently as they're driving away in their car.

            You're just like everyone else. Accept that it's stressful and deal with it. Be confident in your knowledge, be extra aware of your body language, dress correctly and answer with YOUR answers. In the end, that's all you can do and I'll tell you a secret... shh....it's all they want you to do : )

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            • #7
              I talk too much trying to sell myself... I've been told. I've not passed one oral board due to saying the word, "probably". As in I would probably turn the Sgt in for lying about a car accident... I WOULD have turned in the Sgt for lying... always.. Rookie mistake I won't make again. I didn't mean to imply I wouldn't have, but I think about many different possibilities, and the board wants a difinitive yes or no, black or white... I was given a chance to qualify my statement but missed it...becuase I was kicking my own *** in my head for saying probably. Wasn't an agency I really wanted bad, so it was a good learning lesson. Be shortn sweet, and to the point, and be passionate about the job and agency.

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              • #8
                I think my biggest problem has always been the scenario questions. I think that I've prepared for them and that I can break down the question to what it's really asking, but when they ask the question I usually struggle a bit.... :/

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                • #9
                  The questions I struggle with are the dumb ones like why should we hire you, I was asked what integrity meant and completely froze. I think its just a lack of confidence in an interview setting that gets me cause those are simple questions I can answer now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jonw8192 View Post
                    The questions I struggle with are the dumb ones like why should we hire you, I was asked what integrity meant and completely froze. I think its just a lack of confidence in an interview setting that gets me cause those are simple questions I can answer now.
                    I think that those questions would be easy for you to overcome. All you have to do is write down the question and take a moment to write down what your answer is. Then practice answering what you want to say. I think if you do something like this where you write down how you want to answer the "dumb" questions you could definitely improve. I actually had a "oh ****" moment when I was asked what my biggest strength and weaknesses are haha

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reaper08 View Post
                      I think that those questions would be easy for you to overcome. All you have to do is write down the question and take a moment to write down what your answer is. Then practice answering what you want to say. I think if you do something like this where you write down how you want to answer the "dumb" questions you could definitely improve. I actually had a "oh ****" moment when I was asked what my biggest strength and weaknesses are haha
                      I totally agree Reaper. I struggle with the question what's your greatest weakness every time. Every interview I've had that question surfaces its ugly face and I have the same bs answer. My greatest weakness is that I try too hard. Yeah, I know it's a "cop-out", but what am I to say? The truth? Should I say yes I'm forgetful sometime. I just don't see anyway to logically answer that question without "shooting yourself in foot", figuratively speaking.

                      Any suggestions....
                      The only easy day was yesterday. - BUDS Instructor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TopGun87 View Post
                        I totally agree Reaper. I struggle with the question what's your greatest weakness every time. Every interview I've had that question surfaces its ugly face and I have the same bs answer. My greatest weakness is that I try too hard. Yeah, I know it's a "cop-out", but what am I to say? The truth? Should I say yes I'm forgetful sometime. I just don't see anyway to logically answer that question without "shooting yourself in foot", figuratively speaking.

                        Any suggestions....
                        I think they are less concerned with you being forgetful and more concerned with the process you go through to fix it or how you turn it into a strength. I mean, you know you are forgetful. So what do you do in order to remember the things that you forget? I am also forgetful but I try to develop a way for me to not forget things so that it doesn't happen to me.

                        For example: I used to work as a street cop and when I had to go into holding cells at my station I had to take my gun off and stick it in a lock box before I went in (S.O.P for most LE agencies). After I left the holding cell one time I forgot to put my gun back in it's holster on my Sam Brown belt. Guess who didn't have their weapon when he was on a high-risk traffic stop? Yeah.....After that I made a conscious effort to physically touch every weapon on my belt before I left the station or got out of my car. To this day, I still use that process.

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