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  • Psych interview from hell

    What do you make of this psych interview experience?

    I did the usual battery of long, multiple choice tests. Then, I was asked to complete a series of very personal and intrusive questions about my background: My sex life, number of partners, how often, when was the last time I had sex, how many friends I spend time with, what do we do and on and on.

    After this came the interview with the psychologist who, from the beginning was in my face. He told me that I was too “perfect”, that I had answered too many questions with the “right” answers. His whole manner was very accusatory.

    He picked up with my past relationships. It seemed to bother him that I haven’t had very many sex partners. And I also told him that I wasn’t currently involved with anyone. He didn’t seem to like that – “Well what do you do for your sexual urges???” was his next question.

    It also bugged him that I don’t have a history of getting angry with co-workers or neighbors. I’ve not been involved in fistfights or other physical altercations since childhood --- that got picked on, too.

    Another issue was that I couldn’t describe any traumatic experiences in my childhood other than the unexpected deaths of a few relatives and friends. I got reamed for that, too: “THAT’S the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to you?” And I could go on.

    Throughout this ordeal I remained calm, polite and unruffled. I replied that I was simply telling the truth, presenting myself exactly as I was.

    All I want to ask is: Is this typical? Are pre-employment psych assessments normally so confrontational? And what the heck are they looking for: Hotheads who blow up easily, people who sleep around all the time and have indiscriminate relationships, or those who have witnessed lots of robberies and drive-by shootings? I’m a suburban brat, not an inner city gang member. Can’t a nice, even-tempered person be a cop?

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks.
    Last edited by TheBoxer; 07-23-2008, 04:38 PM. Reason: Correct typo

  • #2
    The exam does seem a little confrontational. I won't say that it's typical, as different departments use different techniques. Have you been advised as to whether you passed or failed? From the outside looking in, it sounds like the Psychologist employed a technique used by Drill Instructors in basic training. Bottom line: nothing personal. That's probably going to be a little hard for you to believe, based on what you've related to us. I certainly can't speak for the agency you applied to, but it's very possible you "passed".

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    • #3
      Seems like he was trying to prod you and make you lose your cool. Post back on if you passed or not.

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      • #4
        either that or start admitting to other things and become inconsitant. I wouldnt be surprised at all if you passed.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          I had a friend whose interview was similar to yours. Right in the middle of the hostilities, he started to laugh. The doctor demanded to know what was so funny. My friend smiled, looked the doctor in the eye and said, "No matter how hard you try, you're not going to get me to lose my temper." The doctor laughed as well, immediately changed his demeanor and began conducting a normal and polite interview.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replies.

            As it turns out, I got turned down for the job for other reasons...supposedly. Unless it could be that this shrink put a knife in my back and the department "found" some other reason to not hire me because they simply don't want to tell me that I blew the psych part of the screening.

            Whatcha think?

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            • #7
              And one more thing...

              In the page-long waiver and release we had to sign (which was also read aloud to us just to make sure we understood it all) there was a statement advising us, in effect, that NONE of the information obtained in this evaluation would EVER be released to us, even if we requested it in writing, and the scores and other results were to be held strictly confidential between this psych evaluation outfit and their client (the agency that would be hiring us). IOW, sign your life away. And we weren't even given a copy of this document for our own reference, which I think is kind of weird.

              Just a thought: Does the FOIA or similar state law override such an agreement? How about any kind of appeal or litigation?

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              • #8
                Usually you are given a copy of the waiver, however a psychological DQ lawyer will get the results of your examination for an appeal.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Not to keep beating this subject to death, but just one more thing that I've been wondering about:

                  How much of this really, really personal information obtained by the psychologist actually gets shared with the hiring agency? For example, will a future employer end up knowing how often you have sex, what kinds of activity, how old you were the first time you "did it" etc.? It seems kind of creepy wondering what the chief and brass now know about me.

                  I'm paranoid perhaps, but this is the first time anybody asked me so many direct questions on these subjects. The psych exams I've done before concerned themselves with stuff like whether I'd been involved in domestic violence, sex with minors, sexual harassment and so on. Easy stuff compared with this last one.

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                  • #10
                    I was once told by a wise old fart in the hiring unit, "If you try to figure out anything about the psych test you will fail. That's the way it is designed".

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 417Lt View Post
                      I was once told by a wise old fart in the hiring unit, "If you try to figure out anything about the psych test you will fail. That's the way it is designed".
                      Are you referring to the oral or the written? B/c the MMPI does have measures built in that can tell if someone is trying to sway the scoring

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheBoxer View Post
                        It also bugged him that I don’t have a history of getting angry with co-workers or neighbors. I’ve not been involved in fistfights or other physical altercations since childhood --- that got picked on, too.

                        Another issue was that I couldn’t describe any traumatic experiences in my childhood other than the unexpected deaths of a few relatives and friends. I got reamed for that, too: “THAT’S the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to you?” And I could go on.
                        Those same two questions were asked by the Psychologist on behalf of USCP. Unlike your experience, she was very friendly, really open minded about how I explained myself and if I wasn't sure about something, she had no problem clarifying. There was no hostility at all, it felt as if I were talking to one of my friends. I felt really comfortable speaking with her and explaining my answers.

                        Like yourself, I am not really an angry person, it takes a lot to really push my buttons. I also have not gotten into any fist fights since I was a child because I have studied martial arts for years and it has taught me not to resort to violence unless it's out of self defense. I have never let situations escalate to that point.

                        I also have the same traumatic experience with death of family members but I have come to terms with that. The psychologist was very sympathetic about my loss.

                        You just got a bad apple, don't let him ruin your opinion of the Psychological evaluation.

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                        • #13
                          Wow. The worst thing about the shink we use is that he has a glass eye... you don't know which one to look at.

                          Sorry to hear about the DQ, but hopefully you will find a different department that will work for ya... Good luck!
                          Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it... or, learn from it!

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