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3 failed psych evaluations...by the same psychologist?

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  • 3 failed psych evaluations...by the same psychologist?

    Well, it was a long drive back from Albuquerque - I was doing very well in the process, but on the way back, got the bad news. I was dropped from the process because of a failed psych evaluation. The background investigator stated he was just as surprised as I was.

    It upset me greatly for sure, but it also raised an interesting question.

    The story is like this:

    I applied for a few departments in Colorado. For two of them, I made it very far into the process - backgrounds, and was slated for polygraphs and psych evals. I passed my polygraphs, my references were called and had good conversations with the investigators, and I took the huge psych tests - the 700 question packet, basically.

    Both times, I had the 15 minute interview, where they asked me the same questions that were on the integrity interviews - drugs, alcohol, etc. What are your biggest anxieties right now? Well, it's a tough economy and I'm a college graduate. Strengths, weaknesses? I'm loyal to my peers and leaders, and always commit to the mission, but sometimes, I get nervous in unfamiliar situations. Firearms? Yes, a couple, I enjoy competitive pistol, and trap. The basic rapid fire interview.

    Both departments, I got dropped without being told why. At first, I chalked it up to a tough economy.

    Then, in Albuquerque, I had my psych eval - of ALL the psychologists in the State of New Mexico, they outsourced the evals to the SAME office that had done my first two evals, and the SAME guy ended up being my interviewer. This time he actually recognized me by name and face.

    Failed eval.


    3 (that's three) failed psych evaluations - it looks pretty bad, I know. I don't think I'm a homicidal maniac or anything like that, and for the life of me, I can't figure out what the heck he saw that was wrong with me. I felt that every time, I answered confidently and truthfully.

    Except - 3 negative evaluations by the same psychologist, each time? Fail once, shame on me, fail again, shame on me again, but fail a third time, and all the evaluations were done by the same person? I'm not saying I see a pattern, but it's starting to look that way. I'm just trying to figure out if it's me, or his opinion not changing. How could it? I never get any feedback on what the heck is wrong with me, so I keep doing what I do, because I don't know what else could be the problem.


    Anyone have any insight? I'm just a little peeved that I was making such good progress out of state, and then, the same psychologist that no-goed me twice, comes all the way to ABQ, and no goes me again.

  • #2
    There is a group of Psych Docs that operate out of Lakewood, CO and they are viewed as THE experts for pre-hire Psych evals. Most Departments in the Denver-Metro area of Colorado go to this group. I assume this is who you are referring to.

    I have several friends who have tried multiple times to get hired by Departments in your same situation. They have outstanding referrences, resumes etc and everything is fine, until they hit the Psych. One friend of mine I was sure was going to get the job was failed three times by the same Doc. He has honorable military service, Fire Dept. training, and is currently a Deputy Sheriff. Failed.

    Part of this is due (I think) to what each Department tells the Doc to look for.... more aggressive, able to be a self starter, etc. Some Departments want folks who are more laid back etc. It might be that the Docs just don't like how you answer the questions that they ask. What I would suggest is this. Find out if there is a way to challenge the results, and if not, keep applying elsewhere. You might have to search much further away than you had planned, but if it gets you the job....

    Best of luck to you!
    I disaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

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    • #3
      Indeed - that's the agency I am talking about. They were very professional - I just happened to get the same doc each time, even in Albuquerque - hundreds of miles away!

      In any case, I'm looking farther out, and will see if I can somehow get my results and see what it is about me. Maybe it just chalked down to bad luck, I don't know. I just wish you could get feedback - I don't know what a department is looking for, but if I do, I can improve myself to fit their standard. I used to much more submissive in high school - but in the ROTC program, they wanted confident leaders, and I trained myself to become one. Sometimes, behavior can be learned!

      I'm just hoping they don't send this guy all the way to Lubbock or Seattle, where I'm headed to next...I can't imagine they would, but if they do, then I'm pretty sure the world is messing with me.

      ancientaliens.jpg

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      • #4
        No, it's not that the world is messing with you, but that group is touted as being the "best" when it comes to Law enforcement Psych testing. There are a ton of Dept. who go to them as their pre-hire psych Docs. I'm not sure why. The best advice I can give you is to keep trying. I know that most folks don't get hired at 21-22, so maybe just give it some time. If you want to be a Cop, don't let failures get you down. Just keep trying!
        I disaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

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        • #5
          Not to be rude, but maybe you are failing for a reason. There are quite a few folks who have no business in LE who think they are good candidates. If it was me, I would find out who does police psych exams in my area and get myself scheduled for whatever exam they give to local officer candidates. If you can afford it, go to two different docs. Go from there based on those results.

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          • #6
            Saying you get nervous in different situations is pretty much sticking your foot in your mouth. Look for my pm soon. Hang in there!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Shaidon View Post
              There is a group of Psych Docs that operate out of Lakewood, CO and they are viewed as THE experts for pre-hire Psych evals. Most Departments in the Denver-Metro area of Colorado go to this group. I assume this is who you are referring to.

              I have several friends who have tried multiple times to get hired by Departments in your same situation. They have outstanding referrences, resumes etc and everything is fine, until they hit the Psych. One friend of mine I was sure was going to get the job was failed three times by the same Doc. He has honorable military service, Fire Dept. training, and is currently a Deputy Sheriff. Failed.

              Part of this is due (I think) to what each Department tells the Doc to look for.... more aggressive, able to be a self starter, etc. Some Departments want folks who are more laid back etc. It might be that the Docs just don't like how you answer the questions that they ask. What I would suggest is this. Find out if there is a way to challenge the results, and if not, keep applying elsewhere. You might have to search much further away than you had planned, but if it gets you the job....

              Best of luck to you!

              I think this reply^^^is getting pretty close to an answer to your question. Another "hint" might be your admitted nervousness in unfamiliar settings or situations. I personally don't see any killers in what you've posted, but I'm not the shrink either. Often times, agencies will set the parameters for the candidate(s) which they feel will be a fit for their departments. You may be falling afoul of this. That would by no means indicate that you're not suited, but just not what the agency is currently looking for. I realize it's very easy for me to say, but I'd encourage you to keep trying. Relatively few of us made into this profession on our first attempt.

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