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  • Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office

    Hello Everyone, I have an oral board in two days and thought I would see if anyone here has gone through their interview. I hear it is very different from other selection interviews.

    Anyone know anything about it?


  • #2
    Hope This Helps

    It is somewhat true that every agency has a slightly different take on the Oral Board interview, but I have been to about 10 so far and I can tell you from experience that they do have certain similarities.

    *They will usually either ask you a few questions about your qualifications, or, they will simply ask you to tell them why you want to join their agency.

    *They will ask you what you have done to prepare for a career in law enforcement, or what life experiences you have had that have helped prepare you.

    *They will ask you a few "scenario" questions. Such as: You are on Night Shift, and driving your patrol car near a 4-way Stop, when you observe a car drive right through the intersection. You make a proper traffic stop and when you safely make your way to the driver's side window realize that the person driving is obviously intoxicated. As you ask for ID, insurance and registration, the person states that they are a city councilmember and a close friend of the Chief. What do you do?

    *You will usually be given a chance to make a final statement. NEVER forget to include a THANK YOU to whomever is on the panel for their time.

    Now, I would think that Santa Cruz Sheriff, since it is a decent-sized agency will follow most of this formula. Remember to sit upright and keep your hands in you lap. I know this sounds like your mom nagging, but it does make a difference from their perspective.
    Take your time in answering any questions. Don't feel that you have to BLURT out an answer.
    Most importantly, BE HONEST, if they ask you something and you do NOT have a frame of reference to draw from in responding, well tell them so. Lets say they ask you something like: In your own words, what does Community Policing mean to you? If you have an idea, go for it! If not, be honest and they will move on. It is really a test of how well you perform under pressure, no matter what anyone says, it really is. They aren't looking for a Barrack Obama-like symposium on crime-fighting in America, but they don't want you to come across like Forrest Gump either.

    *Some people say to know some of the important statistics regarding the agency, the area served, and/or the community at large. What types of crimes are most prevalent? Which gangs are causing the most issues? What areas are known as "high crime" areas? But others say don't worry about that. I say, if you live within 10 minutes of the agency, you should know this stuff already. If you live more than 20 miles away, claim "regional ignorance", but state that you will learn more.

    *Go on as many Ride Alongs as you possibly can fit in between now and whenever your interview happens. You will learn valuable information that no web site, newspaper, or annual report will put out. The officers or deputies with whom you ride will impart so much information that you will begin to feel like you know everyone by the time you sit in front of the panel. Also, you will have a better idea as to whether you really want to work there.

    Well, I don't know if all this helps, or if I just can't shut up. Take care and best of luck!!


    • #3
      thanks! I had my interview last week and it was very short. About 10-15 minutes. They asked about 10 questions but never asked why I wanted to be a cop. they asked my greatest straights and weaknesses and a few other questions. It wasn't hard or intimidating at all. Thanks for the advice.


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