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Didn't Get By The Chief ~ Follow Up?

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  • Didn't Get By The Chief ~ Follow Up?

    First time applying to the agency I want to work for. Got to the Chiefs interview but not further (Written, Physical, Oral Board, Chief -- then would have been background etc). The Chief interviewed 3 times the number they could hire, I didn't make that cut.

    Would it be out of line to try and contact the chief to discuss how I could improve my chances/performance? It really is the department I want to be at. The chief was the sole chooser of who progressed so I obviously made some errors, a couple of which I know were stupid half thoughts that I didn't finish during our chat.

    I don't want to seem like a cry baby but would like to know how to better myself should I be in the same spot again..how would a request like this be received???

  • #2
    not the chief personally, if you know someone in the department you might contact them and see...otherwise I would just let it ride and try to improve where you know you screwed up.
    It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
    Paul "Bear" Bryant

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nav400 View Post
      First time applying to the agency I want to work for. Got to the Chiefs interview but not further (Written, Physical, Oral Board, Chief -- then would have been background etc). The Chief interviewed 3 times the number they could hire, I didn't make that cut.

      Would it be out of line to try and contact the chief to discuss how I could improve my chances/performance? It really is the department I want to be at. The chief was the sole chooser of who progressed so I obviously made some errors, a couple of which I know were stupid half thoughts that I didn't finish during our chat.

      I don't want to seem like a cry baby but would like to know how to better myself should I be in the same spot again..how would a request like this be received???
      I understand your disappointment, but don't beat yourself up over this. This particular Chief simply decided you weren't a "fit" for his Dept. It's entirely concievable you could go down the road to another agency, and be exactly what that Department is looking for. What you can do, and what I hope you'll do, is to use this interview as a learning experience. Again, don't over analyze your performance, don't be hyper-crytical of it. Keep applying, and apply to more than one agency. You might end up being better off than had this Chief selected you. Happens all the time. Good luck. BTW, my sense is that you not ask why/where you failed in the interview.

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      • #4
        Like others have said, think about the questions you were asked, and if you could have answered them better; however, don't over analyze your mistakes.

        For example, maybe you answered the questions correctly and truthfully, but you used a tone of voice/ body language that would have led him to believe you were "just telling him what he wanted to hear."

        From my experience as a police applicant, you need to show the hiring board that you have a genuine interest in working for their agency, that you have done some research on what that agency has to offer, and finally why you believe that you are qualified for the job.

        Stated another way, look at their website and see what types of special services they have such as a detective bureau or swat team and why you would be a good fit for their dept.

        One of the things I did that (I think) worked for me was that I wrote down a list of potential questions that I though I would be asked, and drafted up (honest) answers to them. I did this to help keep me from stuttering, sounding unsure of myself, or saying some thing completely off the wall.

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Oh, one other thing, don't bother contacting the department that turned you down. Just move on to the next one. Just my humble opinion.

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          • #6
            No, Don't Ask

            Civil Service rules in most west coast agencies have something called the Rule of Three. It allows them to fill a vacancy from anyone in the top three scores on the hiring list. Traditionally the Chief or his designee calls in those three folks, conducts an interview and decides which person they feel most comfortable working with. The two who do not get picked go back on the list and will be part of the top three scores who must be considered for the next vacancy. That's all there is to it.

            Rarely will anyone tell you why one person was selected over the others under the Rule of Three because civil service rules allow the decision to be totally discretionary. If they publicly give a reason, they may wind up disclosing information about the other candidate, which violates employee confidentiality rules. In addition, by giving a reason, their decision ceases to be discretionary and now appears to be made for cause, potentially opening the matter to appeal.

            FWIW, the decision could have been made for any reason. It could have been personality, voice inflection, because the other candidate was a relative, went to the same church as the Chief, spoke a second language, had a unique skill the Chief valued or just wore a nicer suit than you did. There is no dishonor is this and as far as other agencies are concerned, you can honestly answer that you passed the exam and are high on the list.

            Just out of curiosity, how many vacancies were there?
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Hopefully, you have written down what the questions, he asked, were. You write out your responses, too. Analyze them and see how you could have responded, better. Questions don't vary that much from place to place.

              Remember, you already said they interviewed three times more than they were able to hire. Don't be surprised if any of the top finishers don't make it through and you get a call, back. Stranger things have happened.
              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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              • #8
                Sincerely thanks for everyones (unanimous) response. I am no dummy and will absolutely listen to the advice I asked for. Everyone hit it on the head, I have completely over analyzed the interview, over and over and over ~ like a bad dream. I think it may be worse making it into the top 2% of those tested and then not making it all the way. Just typing it in still stings a little.

                Thanks again, you guys and the info on this site really help those of us trying to break in.

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                • #9
                  One last thing to think about

                  Earlier you mentioned that the Chief interviewed three times the people he could actually hire. That means going in the door there was a 3 to 1 chance someone other than you was going to get the job.

                  Do the math. It wasn't you. It was the odds.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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