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  • Hiring Process Tips

    The Hiring Process

    There are typically six steps to every hiring process for each department.

    1). Application
    2). Interview and/or Oral Board (sometimes BPAD)
    3). CVSA or Polygraph
    4). Psychological Evaluation
    5). Background Investigation
    6). Medical evaluation
    *Not necessarily in that order

    Somewhere in the mix you might receive a conditional offer, but don't get too excited. You have to pass the rest of the evaluations first!


    Application

    The first step, which I consider to be one of the hardest, is the application. Some departments (not all) require you to also submit the PHQ (Pre-employment History Questionnaire or Preliminary Background Questionnaire) along with the application. This can sum up to about 30 or so pages. In addition to the application you are also going to be required to get some FDLE documents notarized. Through trial and error I suggest you do the following:

    a). Make a copy of your first PHQ you fill out so that when you continue to fill out more in the future you can have everything documented. This will ease the pain of having to go back and find out everything twice, you can just reference your old application. It is also important to make a copy of your PHQ because these questions will come up again, and you may need to remember how you answered them. If there are any inconsistencies between what you wrote down, and what you say verbally during your polygraph, a red flag will come up.

    b). When you go to get your documents notarized (BofA does it for free for members), get SEVERAL documents notarized. This way you can have some back ups when you need them in the future.

    c). Do not lie, bad idea. If you decide to lie you better keep track of your lies. You may not have to speak about your lies until three or four months down the road.

    Interview and/or Oral Board

    Some agencies do both an interview and an oral board. Agencies do this so that they can weed out some of the applicants through an interview. If you pass the interview, then you can proceed to the Oral Board. I consider this to be the easiest portion of the entire process. Here are some tips:

    • Wear a suit and tie (for males)
    • No need to bring any documents, they won’t ask for them
    • Bring a DL, all city halls require a DL for identification purposes. You can’t get in without it.
    • Research the department you are going to the interview for

    The oral panel will consist of 3-5 members. I’ve sat on Oral boards with the Chief of Police present, so be conscientious of that. You will be sitting at a table in a conference room. Each member will be sitting across from you. The panel members will each stand up and introduce themselves to you when you walk in. It is important to address each member appropriately (Good evening Chief, How are you LT, etc), and offer a firm handshake. They will give you a brief summary of what the board will consist of. Each member will be holding a packet. The packet will have questions on it that they will go through with you, and each member will read a question and mark comments based off of your answer. This is used as a grading sheet, and you will be ranked against the other applicants based off of how you do. It is important (and very hard) to allow each member to finish speaking before you answer. I suggest you take a breath before you answer anything. Do not rush into an answer. Most of these agencies are looking to see if you have ethics, morals, and good character. They will ask you questions like, “If you found cash on the ground what would you do with it?” Or, “If you caught your partner smoking weed, how would you handle it?” During this portion make sure you are honest, and confident! You should research as much as you can about the city. Every board that I have done the panel has asked me what I knew about their city. They want to see if you know who the Mayor is, who the COP is, who the city manager is, and what the population is. At the end of the board the members will ask you if you have any questions for them. You should ask questions, even if they seem as if they aren’t important. It shows the panel that you are interested in the position.

    After the oral board, some agencies may require you to fill out a ‘sample written report’ to see how effective you are at writing reports. They are looking for grammar, punctuation, and your ability to put together a complete sentence. This is timed, you have 15 minutes!

    At every board I have done, I found out how I did the same day. If you have to wait more than two days, you should call.

    B-PAD Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device

    This tool is used by the agencies to eliminate all you ROBO COPS! This is an interactive assessment, where you are video taped by the agency. They will sit you down in a seat, have a video camera record you, and watch how you react to the television. The television will run through standard customer service scenarios, and your job is to respond. Key factors to remember:

    • Stay Calm
    • Be empathetic
    • Be compassionate
    • Be firm, but professional
    • Do not forget to address each individual as Sir/Mam

    When you go to your BPAD you should think along the lines of customer service, not police officer response. They aren’t looking to see if you know how to respond as a cop, they are looking to see if you can be a human being and if you have good interpersonal relations.

    CVSA (Command Voice Stress Analysis) or Polygraph

    This is where your PHQ comes into effect. Sometimes it can be three or more months from the time you turned in your packet, to the time you go into the department to take the ‘lie detector’ test. So, would you want to review the PHQ you submitted before you go to take this test? Yes, so make copies! Both the CVSA, and the polygraph are done by the background investigators. The CVSA consists of you speaking into a microphone, and a computer analyzes the stress in your voice to see if you are lying. They will ask one real question, and one control question, and go back and forth between the two. The other type of ‘lie detector’ is the polygraph. This is where you sit on a seat that is similar to the electric chair. You will have a blood pressure monitor on your arm, a heart beat monitor on your fingers, and a chest strap (to monitor breathing I think). They use the combination of the three elements to see if you are lying. I have no idea how this works. God forbid you breathe, while your heart is beating, and your blood pressure is high. For each test you will be given two-three tries. After the last try, you can find out right away if you are a liar or not.

    Psychological Evaluation

    This is the worst part of the entire process. The agency sends you to a Psychological evaluator to ask for his professional opinion on the following characteristics:

    Assertiveness
    Professionalism
    Ethics
    Morals
    Interpersonal Skills
    Common Sense and Judgment
    Emotional Stability
    Relationships with Authority

    You will be given a series of packets such as MMPI-1 and MMPI-2. You will answer anywhere between 1000-2000 questions, and probably spend 3-4 hours in the office. Once you have completed your packet you will have a one on one interview with the evaluator, where he will do his best to make you feel uncomfortable. Some evaluators are just plain rude, while others play mind games. This is all an effort to see if they can get you upset while you are in a controlled environment. After all, if the doctor can get you upset in a controlled environment what can happen while you’re out on the streets? Once you are complete with your packets and interview, the doctor evaluates the results as a whole to see if you are capable of being in a law enforcement capacity. So, “how does a doctor decide if you are capable of being an LE based off of a written packet and 20 minute interview?” No idea. It is all a game. You can pass your first evaluation, fail your second, and pass your third. The evaluations are given on a ‘recommended, not recommended’ scale.

    Background Investigation

    This doesn’t require any effort on your part; this is where the background investigator will talk to all of your references, and neighbors. So it is essential that when you list your references, all of the information is correct. If not, it will delay your process, and possibly bump you down on the list.

    Medical Evaluation

    This is just a health check up where the doctor will run labs and check you out. Nothing to stress over.


    Good luck.

  • #2
    Really?


    Originally posted by sprinkles View Post
    the hiring process

    there are typically six steps to every hiring process for each department.

    1). Application
    2). Interview and/or oral board (sometimes bpad)
    3). Cvsa or polygraph
    4). Psychological evaluation
    5). Background investigation
    6). Medical evaluation
    *not necessarily in that order

    somewhere in the mix you might receive a conditional offer, but don't get too excited. You have to pass the rest of the evaluations first!

    no reason not to be excited - if you are a good candidate you won't have any issues passing the rest of the steps


    application

    the first step, which i consider to be one of the hardest, is the application. Some departments (not all) require you to also submit the phq (pre-employment history questionnaire or preliminary background questionnaire) along with the application. This can sum up to about 30 or so pages. In addition to the application you are also going to be required to get some fdle documents notarized. Through trial and error i suggest you do the following:

    A). Make a copy of your first phq you fill out so that when you continue to fill out more in the future you can have everything documented. This will ease the pain of having to go back and find out everything twice, you can just reference your old application. It is also important to make a copy of your phq because these questions will come up again, and you may need to remember how you answered them. If there are any inconsistencies between what you wrote down, and what you say verbally during your polygraph, a red flag will come up.

    B). When you go to get your documents notarized (bofa does it for free for members), get several documents notarized. This way you can have some back ups when you need them in the future.

    C). Do not lie, bad idea. If you decide to lie you better keep track of your lies. You may not have to speak about your lies until three or four months down the road.

    don't lie. Period. Don't tell people to keep track of their lies - it makes you look like a liar to give that kind of advice.

    interview and/or oral board

    some agencies do both an interview and an oral board. Agencies do this so that they can weed out some of the applicants through an interview. If you pass the interview, then you can proceed to the oral board. I consider this to be the easiest portion of the entire process. Here are some tips:

    • wear a suit and tie (for males)
    • no need to bring any documents, they won’t ask for them bad advice - it does not hurt to bring certificates of appreciation or anything else that might help to build your image (you haven't been to an oral board at every department, have you?)
    • bring a dl, all city halls require a dl for identification purposes. You can’t get in without it.
    • research the department you are going to the interview for

    the oral panel will consist of 3-5 members. I’ve sat on oral boards with the chief of police present, so be conscientious of that. You will be sitting at a table in a conference room. Each member will be sitting across from you. The panel members will each stand up and introduce themselves to you when you walk in. It is important to address each member appropriately (good evening chief, how are you lt, etc), and offer a firm handshake. They will give you a brief summary of what the board will consist of. Each member will be holding a packet. The packet will have questions on it that they will go through with you, and each member will read a question and mark comments based off of your answer. This is used as a grading sheet, and you will be ranked against the other applicants based off of how you do. It is important (and very hard) to allow each member to finish speaking before you answer. I suggest you take a breath before you answer anything. Do not rush into an answer. Most of these agencies are looking to see if you have ethics, morals, and good character. They will ask you questions like, “if you found cash on the ground what would you do with it?” or, “if you caught your partner smoking weed, how would you handle it?” during this portion make sure you are honest, and confident! You should research as much as you can about the city. Every board that i have done the panel has asked me what i knew about their city. They want to see if you know who the mayor is, who the cop is, who the city manager is, and what the population is. At the end of the board the members will ask you if you have any questions for them. You should ask questions, even if they seem as if they aren’t important. It shows the panel that you are interested in the position.

    After the oral board, some agencies may require you to fill out a ‘sample written report’ to see how effective you are at writing reports. They are looking for grammar, punctuation, and your ability to put together a complete sentence. This is timed, you have 15 minutes!

    At every board i have done, i found out how i did the same day. If you have to wait more than two days, you should call.

    b-pad behavioral personnel assessment device

    this tool is used by the agencies to eliminate all you robo cops! This is an interactive assessment, where you are video taped by the agency. They will sit you down in a seat, have a video camera record you, and watch how you react to the television. The television will run through standard customer service scenarios, and your job is to respond. Key factors to remember:

    • stay calm
    • be empathetic
    • be compassionate
    • be firm, but professional
    • do not forget to address each individual as sir/mam

    when you go to your bpad you should think along the lines of customer service, not police officer response. They aren’t looking to see if you know how to respond as a cop, they are looking to see if you can be a human being and if you have good interpersonal relations.

    cvsa (command voice stress analysis) or polygraph

    this is where your phq comes into effect. Sometimes it can be three or more months from the time you turned in your packet, to the time you go into the department to take the ‘lie detector’ test. So, would you want to review the phq you submitted before you go to take this test? Yes, so make copies! Both the cvsa, and the polygraph are done by the background investigators. The cvsa consists of you speaking into a microphone, and a computer analyzes the stress in your voice to see if you are lying. They will ask one real question, and one control question, and go back and forth between the two. The other type of ‘lie detector’ is the polygraph. This is where you sit on a seat that is similar to the electric chair. You will have a blood pressure monitor on your arm, a heart beat monitor on your fingers, and a chest strap (to monitor breathing i think). They use the combination of the three elements to see if you are lying. I have no idea how this works. God forbid you breathe, while your heart is beating, and your blood pressure is high. For each test you will be given two-three tries. After the last try, you can find out right away if you are a liar or not.

    psychological evaluation

    this is the worst part of the entire process. The agency sends you to a psychological evaluator to ask for his professional opinion on the following characteristics:

    Assertiveness
    professionalism
    ethics
    morals
    interpersonal skills
    common sense and judgment
    emotional stability
    relationships with authority

    you will be given a series of packets such as mmpi-1 and mmpi-2. You will answer anywhere between 1000-2000 questions, and probably spend 3-4 hours in the office. Once you have completed your packet you will have a one on one interview with the evaluator, where he will do his best to make you feel uncomfortable. Some evaluators are just plain rude, while others play mind games. This is all an effort to see if they can get you upset while you are in a controlled environment. After all, if the doctor can get you upset in a controlled environment what can happen while you’re out on the streets? Once you are complete with your packets and interview, the doctor evaluates the results as a whole to see if you are capable of being in a law enforcement capacity. So, “how does a doctor decide if you are capable of being an le based off of a written packet and 20 minute interview?” no idea. It is all a game. You can pass your first evaluation, fail your second, and pass your third. The evaluations are given on a ‘recommended, not recommended’ scale.

    just relax and be yourself. This is not "the worst part of the process" - just remember to act like a professional by keeping your cool and not over-thinking too much about the questions or the interview. Most importantly, after your psych appointment, don't logon to a forum and mention your evaluator by name and talk about how mean he was, and how you "have another appointment with him and he will probably fail you." - news flash: He reads these forums too, and he also gets google alerts on his name, and guess what he thinks about your maturity level when he sees your posts?

    background investigation

    this doesn’t require any effort on your part; this is where the background investigator will talk to all of your references, and neighbors. So it is essential that when you list your references, all of the information is correct. If not, it will delay your process, and possibly bump you down on the list.

    medical evaluation

    this is just a health check up where the doctor will run labs and check you out. Nothing to stress over.


    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      First off sprinkles your post had some good points thanks... but i do have to agree with deputy on the lying. never do it, telling truth during the hiring process is the best thing to do. Even if they don't like what they hear, its better than getting caught in a lie and having it follow you and tarnish your record with a department.

      Comment


      • #4
        "no reason not to be excited - if you are a good candidate you won't have any issues passing the rest of the steps." there are 100's of good candidates getting turned away right now from various departments due to the economy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kangar123 View Post
          "no reason not to be excited - if you are a good candidate you won't have any issues passing the rest of the steps." there are 100's of good candidates getting turned away right now from various departments due to the economy.
          You are correct on that - the economy is certainly a factor which is keeping a lot of potentially great cops off of the streets, I'm only stating that getting a conditional offer is something to be excited about.

          Comment


          • #6
            Understood, welcome to the forums btw deputy

            Comment

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