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Chief Interview- What to expect?

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  • Chief Interview- What to expect?

    After not passing the oral board at agency #1 a few months ago I got the call today that I passed the oral board and made it to a "Chief Interview" late next week at agency #2 (not order of preference, just order of application). I've been told that if I pass it I'll get a conditional offer dependant on poly, drug, and psych tests (which I should ace)...

    I haven't been this far in a formal hiring process in my short career. While I've found tons of useful info on passing oral boards, I haven't found much on this matter What should I expect? Any tips or suggestions?

    Thanks folks!
    Opinions expressed in my posts are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the views of any employer, past, present, or future.

  • #2
    If you have made it this far, pat yourself on the back. You have probably beat out a lot of other people. for the most part, the same rules apply to the chief's interview. Dress to impress and be honest. Guams has a wonderful thread over in the hiring and recruitment area that deals with the entire hiring process including a very informative section on what to expect in a chief's interview. Here it is:
    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94150

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      I don't know about Texas, but in California most agencies have something called the Rule of Three. It is a civil service practice that allows the department to take anyone from the top three scores on the list (1, 2 or 3) to fill a position. The chief's interview is traditionally used to determine who they will select using the rule of three.

      After they pick someone, the next position must be filled from whoever now comprises the top three scores. Lets say the pick #3 to fill the first position, That means the next position can only be filled by #1, 2 or 4 on the list. If they pick #1, the next position after that must be filled by #2, 4 or 5. A simple rule of thumb is, if there are 5 vacancies, they can select anyone as far up the list as #8. If there are 10 vacancies, they can select anyone as far up the list as #13.

      If someone gets bypassed under the rule of three, their name remains at the top of the list and they must be considered for every new vacancy that comers up until the list is exhausted or expires. But, I digress.

      Normally the testing process scores you on the number of correct answers you give to test questions. This is completely different. First, the chief will want to try and get a feel for what kind of person you, what kind of cop you will make and how well your personality will mesh with the overall personality of the department. He will probably ask you to tell him about yourself, your family, your hobbies, your goals in life, why you want to be a cop, why you chose his department, where you want to be in your career in five years, 10, 15, 20, etc. He may ask what aspect of police work interests you most, what you feel your strengths and weaknesses are, when the last time was that you got into a fight (can you handle yourself?). He may ask you philosophical questions such as what you think the biggest obstacle is in maintaining trust between the community and the police and what you would do to fix it. He may also ask you ethical questions. Again, he is just trying to get a feel for what kind of a person you are like, what you will bring to the table and to compare you against the other candidates.

      Now, this is the only time where getting in there and selling yourself to the best of your ability actually counts. Think about your strong points and why you should be hired. Practice in front of a mirror making a presentation and selling yourself to the Chief (but don't come on like a used car salesman). Sometime during the interview the chief may ask why he should pick you. If not, at the end of the interview you should have an opportunity to say something. Be sincere, matter of fact and present a calm and confident picture of someone who can be a good addition to the department and you should do OK.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        Thanks JCT & L-1...

        I've read Guams thread before (it's great!), just looking for additional intel. I've still got 4-5 days to pace the floor...

        Never heard of "Rule of 3", but this agency isn't civil service so that might be why. Or, it could just be another novel idea from those wacky Californians...

        One additional thought did pop up. I was thinking that if you make it to a Chief's Interview you're pretty much in, assuming it the last step in the process before medical, poly, drug, and psych (it is in this case). Rereading Guam's thread I notice he once fell out after a CI so now I'm not quite as jubilant as I was...

        Bah! I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
        Opinions expressed in my posts are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the views of any employer, past, present, or future.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sprocket View Post
          Rereading Guam's thread I notice he once fell out after a CI so now I'm not quite as jubilant as I was...
          Sometimes that happens. I was one of three people who went to the Chief's Interview, out of 30 original applicants. The Chief had to narrow it down to one person for the one opening they had. 2 of us had to go. The guy who beat me... he had 5 years of prior law enforcement experience.

          Be observant, and remember... it's more like an informal conversation with him.
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