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Sample Interview Questions?

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  • Sample Interview Questions?

    Hello all! I have been through the interview process with several departments and fall just short each time. Interviewing seems to be my weak point. I am looking for some sample interview questions that I can look at and prepare myself for an upcoming interview. I would greatly appreciate any help that anyone can give.


  • #2
    Everytime I see this question, few answer it.

    I have to admit, if it wasn't for my captain and sergeants coaching me and throwing questions at me to practice for interviews, I never would have been where I've been. I've been blessed, so I'm passing it on to others.
    Here is a few:

    Describe for us the last altercation/conflict you were in.... and how did you resolve it?

    Define integrity.

    Describe an incident where you had to take control of a situation. What was it and what did you do?

    When was the last time your integrity was in question? What were the circumstances and what was the outcome?

    What are your strengths?

    What are your weaknesses?

    Have you ever had a conflict with a coworker? What was it? How was it resolved?

    Some agencies actually let you look at the questions first then give you twenty mintues to take notes for responses. So I see nothing wrong with sharing questions with other candidates. Everyones answer should be unique. The goal of the interview is to stand out. Not giving the same answers as the rest of the candidates. NOT to be construed as giving a completely idiotic answer. I've heard some doozies. Give an intelligent answer, and if you need a few seconds before answering a question.... Tell the panel, "give me a moment to think about that".... then take a few seconds, collect the answer in your head... and deliver it with a steady flow. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY. Talking to fast can be irritating and can show a panel the wrong side of a person. You and I both know that there is anxiety before going into an interview, but the best way to calm yourself is to pray, trust the Lord to bring the perfect answer to your lips and say "Lord, I pray for favor amoung the panel. Thank You AMEN". A wise man looks to the Lord for guidance. I remember the first cop job I ever had, the Lord kept bugging me to apply for the agency.... but I thought it was too far away... I knew it would be cool to work there, but I would never apply.

    Then one day, after applying to what seemed like a hundred departments.. I applied to the ONE agency that I thought was too far and got hired and was on the streets in two months.

    Even when you think ITS NOT POSSIBLE, I'LL NEVER GET A JOB THERE, Know that nothing is impossible for God...
    Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!


    • #3
      Name a time when you had to choose between one priority and another, why you chose one over the other, and the impact it had on you?

      Why do you want to be a police officer in (city)?

      What do you like about our city?

      Name a time when you went above and beyond in a job you had to do?

      What is the least favorite aspect of your job that you are currently employed in?

      Everyone has something in their background. What is in your background that you would like to make us aware of?

      Some will just be mentioned to throw you off and see how you react.

      Talk about a current event happening in the world today?

      Name the last book you read, and talk about why you liked it?

      Name a time of stress in your life, what was the cause of it, how did you handle it while at work/home, and how did you learn from it?

      Name some issues you think are facing law enforcement today?

      As you know, we have a lot of qualified candidates. What do you have to offer over other candidates?

      Ways to improve on the interview is to write down the questions after you have the interview and prepare a solid, detailed, and unique answer that will give an idea of what you are like. Be yourself. When you think of an answer for why you want to become an officer, speak about things that happened in your life that made your decision. Dress nicely, shine your shoes, and do the little things. Some of the best advice I ever received was from a class in skills. Bring a bottle of water in with you and don't be afraid to take a sip from it as a stall tactic while you think of an appropriate answer if you get stumped. Practice your answers and pretend to be at in interview while driving to work, or sitting at home, or while cleaning your house. Think of good answers, and express yourself sincerely.

      Above all else, be yourself. That's easier with some departments over others because of interview styles. I personally do much better when the atmosphere is better and it seems like people are happy where they work. Don't be afraid to laugh or crack a joke once if it seems right to do. Just don't do it more than once. Show you have a humurous side (if you do). Use real life experience examples, and work examples for appropriate questions.

      After a while, you will become a professional interviewer. Sounds silly but it really does happen after so many and through experience. You start to nail all your answers, remain calm, stay comfortable, and remain on a thought pattern that cannot be broken even by the stares. That is when you'll advance.

      Also, remember that sometimes you just may not be what they are looking for. They may already have a CSO lined up and have to go through the process via civil service commission anyway. They may be looking for a lateral transfer or more than one officer with experience. Some things you just cannot do anything about. I know some departments that switch it up too. One year they may want experience, the next they may want someone they can train themselves how they want, without any bad habits to break. The key to the above is sometimes it just isn't in your control - and that is sometimes very hard to remember when you think you nailed an interview. That's when you can get depressed. But remember, one of the above situations may be in play, and you do not know it.
      Last edited by Gadget; 07-24-2006, 08:12 PM.


      • #4

        Thanks! That is a big help. I have some questions similar to ones that you listed, but I will take all the assistance that I can get. Is there a website that gives info on specific departments? The city that I am applying at really doesn't have a lot on it's website to go off of. I also looked in the city hall area but there wasn't that much there either. Have you ever called a department and spoke to someone about the department?

        I remember the instructors telling us to bring water also, but the interviews that I have has so far all have had water in the rooms.

        Thanks again!!


        • #5
          If you've been through several interviews already why do you need people to give you a heads up on the questions that might be asked?


          • #6
            Originally posted by MN_Justice View Post
            If you've been through several interviews already why do you need people to give you a heads up on the questions that might be asked?
            A lot of different places ask different questions. I think it's not so much of getting the best answer from a speed thinker, but getting the truest answer from a good candidate.

            I was never a good interview, but my best interviews were ones where I had some time to think about/previously asked questions. Just because you can't give some quick answer to a question means you're going to make a good cop. In fact one Chief told me that the people who normally interview very well will normally lack in the actual job.

            So sometimes it's nice to have some answers prepared before you go into an interview.

            Don't get me wrong, if you can't think under pressure than this is probably the wrong job, but as far as I'm concerned job interviews (for some people) can just be very difficult. I have a friend that works in one of the nation's largest cities and is now looking to move on. He said he gets more stressed out for interviews than he does going to shots fired calls.
            Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned


            • #7
              much like being in field training it is not fun to be judged by people, especially for a job you desperatally want when you start off in this career field. That said the 'why do you want to be a police officer?" "tell us about a time when you did something you were not suppossed to do and how did y ou fix it or make ammends?" " tell us one of your personal weaknesses" and the in variable scenario questions were they place you in a no win sitatuation...
              Happy to be here proud to serve

              "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

              Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.


              • #8
                I'll preface this by saying I am not hired yet, I am going through the process, but I passed my interview. The best advice I got from a cop before my interview was - ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS! Don't make anything up or be a moron - but if you have to say, "when I was 10 I was a cubscout and we passed out meals once" to answer a question about volunteering, then say that.

                The other piece of advice was - look for the bobblehead. You'll have a couple of people staring at you stone faced - but one will be nodding their head when you have a good answer. Now, the challenge will be not laughing when you notice the bobblehead on your next interview.......


                • #9
                  I agree with everything above. Not LE yet either but did pretty well during my last interview.
                  If you search the interwebs for interview ?s... you'll find tons! Try to find the ones that start with “tell me about a time when…” Look for ones that question your integrity, decision making ability, performance under stress. Then answer the questions and be able to support your answer logically while being to the point. You may not have the best answer to a situational question, but if you support your answer well, that's what counts. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! It will help lower your stress come interview day.

                  Nice Sig! Bobbleheads ! I definitely had one of those in my interview board. The others were stone faced, giving me nothing in the way of nonverbal feedback. Remember to make eye contact and sit up straight. Remember to breathe too! It’s okay to take a few seconds and organize your thoughts before you rattle off an answer. It may seem like eternity, but better to take a couple deep breaths, think and answer well instead of stumbling over your words.
                  Keep at it... You'll get there! GOOD LUCK!


                  • #10
                    It is my humble opinion having been a cop for several years with several departments, that the interview is about how you handle stress, how confident you are, your mental agility, and the ablity to remain calm under pressure, and dealing with different personaliteies as they are presented to you. My highest scoring interviews where when I walked in "knowing" I was the best canidate they had ever seen. My lowest was when I was dealing with personal stuff outside the interview or just before the interview and was just not up to the task. You could tell your interview oanle that the moon is made of cheese and if you do it the right way you would get higher points then telling them it was a rock and dust...basically its not what you say but how you say it.

                    An example, one the agencies I have worked for was in the process of hiring police officers they wanted to hire 4. They had 4 CSOs that where able to apply for the job. The CSOs where almost spoon fed the interview questions. But the point of the interview was to see how they were going to come at the panel. I was in the station a day before the panel were to start and was talking with one of the CSOs that I had high hopes for. I asked him what he was going to wear to the interview, he told me that he was probably just going to wear his uniform. I suggested to him that he might want to re-think that idea. He instead wore a suit. I talked with the other CSOs and told them the same things. 1 of the other CSOs listened to me and wore a suit the other either a unifrom or dressed down. we hired two of the CSOs and 2 from outside the agency. The two that got hired wore suits, the objective of the interview was to see several things, and 1 of them was to see if they were going to take the process seriously or if they thought they were shoe ins due to their positions. Their attitude was what got them the job, we knew their work, how they did under stress all of it, and they "knew" the "right" answers to teh questions, but it came down to how they said it and how the presented themselves.
                    Happy to be here proud to serve

                    "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

                    Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.


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