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    Hello all,

    I have been invited to what my city's department calls "Super Saturday", which combines the agility test, written test, and oral interview into an approximately 4 hour event. Any thoughts on how to prepare for the NPOST and oral interview?

  • #2
    Take a change of clothes and something to drink. Get plenty of rest and get there a little early. Also take a black ink pen and a pencil or two.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes make sure you look presentable for the oral. As for the written, most are basic math and basic reading comprehension. Just take your time and don’t panic. Also try not to skip questions. You might forget to go back and answer them, and a guess is better than a blank.

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      • #4
        It's June- make sure you are completely hydrated.

        I am not very smart, but I am an EXCELLENT test taker.

        I'm gonna contradict OfficerBarBrady above- skip any question that is gonna slow you down. Written tests have time limits, and your goal should be to get as many right answers as you can. Getting the answer right on an easy question, counts just as much as getting the right answer on a hard question, PLUS you are more likely to get the easy questions right anyway. If you allow yourself to get bogged down on any difficult questions, you could run out of time before reaching a bunch of easy questions after it. Once you're done, go back for the hard ones.

        Written tests are competetive- your performance on the test will be compared to every other applicant. But you're not battling them- you're battling the piece of paper in front of you. It can't hurt you- it's an inanimate, unarmed piece of paper. So attack it fearlessly.

        Read every word of every question, so that you understand the question. Don't overanalyze the questions. Answer every question you have time for, even if you have to guess. On multiple choice questions, eliminate any obviously wrong answers- guessing from two possible answers, gives you WAY better odds than guessing from four possible answers. When guessing, your initial instinct is most often correct.

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        • #5
          The last entrance test I took had a lot of math and filing questions along with attention to detail questions. All of that was about half of the test and the rest was Texas law. Filing and attention to detail questions are easy, but you just have to be awake while answering them.. I won't comment on the math since it was easy.

          On the oral board, if they ask you how you will do something, preface the answer with, "Without having first received training in the academy or by a field training officer, I would do..." look up some basic questions on the net or have your family question you all while being taped. Play that tape back so you can see your weak points. Don't say 'um.' I'm blessed for not saying 'um' because of a teacher teaching us about that back in elementary school.

          The biggie of all biggies is don't be a dork. With those video tapes of you answering questions, really take a good look at yourself to see if you are actually police material.

          Watch various police academy videos on youtube where they follow an academy class for the entire academy. Some are several videos long and some are a single video. You can see pretty much what you are in for, and you can see what type of people who are picked to populate the classes. Are you similar to these cadets or are you a dork?

          An academy is life-changing, so if you have any hangups you believe can't be ironed out, think of something else. Failing out of an academy will weigh on you for the rest of your life.

          I really like to see departments putting on pre-academy workshops. Some are mini academies, and they weed a few out before they waste a spot in the academy for someone who really wants to be a cop.

          Don't be a dork!

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          • #6
            Yeah, filming yourself in practice interviews at home before you have to do the real thing, is helpful. Watch your posture, watch your hands, stuff like that.

            Most people are not aware of the "um". I was surprised when I saw it. Fortunately, I was able to lose it pretty quickly.

            We interview offenders, and it's similar in that it's someone who is under stress, being interviewed. It's kind of funny to see all the things they do- rocking in their chair, tapping fingers or toes, touching their crotch and/or face, adjusting clothing, and so on.

            Be aware of cultural norms when it comes to eye contact- in many places, eye contact is a good thing, but in some cultures, eye contact is a threat indicator. It's never okay to stare someone down, so make sure you don't look like a robot in your practice videos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
              Yeah, filming yourself in practice interviews at home before you have to do the real thing, is helpful. Watch your posture, watch your hands, stuff like that.

              Most people are not aware of the "um". I was surprised when I saw it. Fortunately, I was able to lose it pretty quickly.

              We interview offenders, and it's similar in that it's someone who is under stress, being interviewed. It's kind of funny to see all the things they do- rocking in their chair, tapping fingers or toes, touching their crotch and/or face, adjusting clothing, and so on.

              Be aware of cultural norms when it comes to eye contact- in many places, eye contact is a good thing, but in some cultures, eye contact is a threat indicator. It's never okay to stare someone down, so make sure you don't look like a robot in your practice videos.
              And don't be a dork! I really mean that. Just look at regular calm, cool and collected people, and emulate them. If you use humor, do it sparingly, with taste, and not involving any of the no-no's of our current cultural state.

              One of the major major major things they want to find out about you is if you can be a problem solver and critically think, especially in a timely manner, work under all types of stress. That's why a lot of good academies are very militaristic where they put their recruits under a lot of stress to prepare them for what's to come.

              Another thing they want to see is if you can be a good representative of the department. If they believe you are foolish, not a good communicator, immature, etc, etc, they will pass you by. Most of this behavior can be overcome, but best thing is to...not be a dork!

              Comment


              • #8
                angeredmgmt Aidokea Thanks for the advice. I guess my next question is...how far along am I in the process? I know there are several more hoops for me to jump through, but I've heard people say that once you get to the interview stage, you're basically in. I personally find that hard to believe. Please enlighten me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Josh Perez View Post
                  angeredmgmt Aidokea Thanks for the advice. I guess my next question is...how far along am I in the process? I know there are several more hoops for me to jump through, but I've heard people say that once you get to the interview stage, you're basically in. I personally find that hard to believe. Please enlighten me.
                  Depends on what your definition of "in" is.

                  The vetting process normally starts with the least expensive step(s), like the written and the physical agility. The oral board interview would normally be in the middle somewhere, as well as the drug screening. And the background, psych, and poly would normally be towards the end.

                  Even then, you would still have to pass your academy before you hit the road. Academies are all different, but we started with 22, and graduated 6.

                  And then you have FTO. Not everyone passes FTO.

                  After FTO, you would officially be a "rookie".

                  But you'd probably still be a probationary "at will" employee with no union protections for some time, so you could be fired for any reason or no reason, without recourse.

                  It normally takes several years from your application date, to become a tenured police officer with union protections. At that point, there are still criminals that want to kill you, Karens that want to get you fired and sent to prison for doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and politically motivated brass that would be willing to burn you in the blink of an eye to prevent liability from climbing the chain of command, but at least you've got a fighting chance at that point...

                  Comment


                  • Josh Perez
                    Josh Perez commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My definition of "in" is "headed to the academy which starts on this date." Thanks for the insight.

                • #10
                  A recent experience of mine was first filling out a lengthy online application. I was then contacted to take the written and physical test. After passing both tests, I was given a personal history statement packet which I had to complete and turn in within a week. That can take a while, especially trying to find all of the requested documents. After that was turned in, I got contacted to take the oral board. After the oral board, I had a background investigator doing his investigation, which took about two weeks. During the background, the investigator did his home visit with me. I was then called in to human resources to fill out some paperwork and where I received a conditional job offer. I then headed over to their jail where I was imaged and fingerprinted. After that, I went to a local medical clinic for the pre-employment physical. I didn’t pass that due to color deficiency, but if I had, I would have gone to the psych evaluation which I had an appointment for. If I’d passed that, I would then have received the full job offer where I would have been truly “in.” Thats when the ball gets to rolling where you get fitted for uniforms, get equipment issued, get new officer orientation, weapons qualifications, get sworn in, and then you get assigned an FTO.

                  The department I retired from was very similar to that back in ‘88 when I started the process so I wouldn’t doubt your experience will be similar since it appears to be a relatively universal process.

                  The department I’m barely in now was far less formal. I emailed the two department heads with my desire to come out of retirement and to come work for them. I eventually got a response to come in for an interview with 2nd in charge. I filled out paperwork after that meeting, and I received a personal history statement packet. After filling that out and returning it, I had a background investigator do his investigation and a home visit. I then took the pre-employment physical and then the psych evaluation. (They didn’t even check my color vision at the medical screening)After that, I met with the department head who offered me the job. I then met with the lieutenant who sent me off to fit for uniforms, and that’s where I’m at now. I will get gear issued soon, qualify with weapons, and then get an FTO.

                  I know it sounds funny to have to have an FTO even after having retired from my department with 26.5 years of service. I’ve been retired now for 5.5 years, and I need to re-learn things, and I need to be trained how they do things in that department. It won’t be a full-blown structured FTO, but more like a partner teaching me the ropes. Hopefully, that process will take about a month before I’m set free.

                  As you can see, I didn’t do an oral board, a written test or a physical test. At this particular department, I knew I was “in” when I was called into the meeting with the department head who offered me the job. After the handshake, the ball started rolling. I’m pretty sure that for a new officer fresh from the academy, they would have gone through testing an an oral board, but since I had just gone thrall of that, I’m blessed for not having to jump th those additional hoops.

                  Last edited by angeredmgmt; 06-06-2021, 12:55 PM.

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