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Any tips on staying calm for the Oral Board?

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  • Any tips on staying calm for the Oral Board?

    Hey everyone,

    First off, I'm new to the forum and want to thank everyone for the information I've been able to gather so far. It's been a big help!

    Does anyone have some advice on how to stay calm and focused for the Oral Board interview? I've heard some real horror stories from people who pretty much bombed most of the questions, and I would actually like them to call me back for the next phase of the application process.

    I've had interviews before (non LEO positions) and one was actually a panel interview for a promotion which included 3 supervisors. I did well in each one but my real passion is in police work, so naturally I'll be really nervous!

    Also, what types of questions are asked? I'm expecting some personal questions, employment history, situational stuff, etc. Can anyone provide some examples?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I've had a few panel interviews and I feel that those are the hardest, questions coming from all areas. I interviewed and was hired by a local Sheriff's Department and have worked as a BI for a Gov't contracted company. Here are a few questions that I came across:
    1. Why do you want to work for...(simple question, but it takes some thought)
    2. What is you greatest weakness. (Everyone can talk about how great they are, but what areas do you have to improve in)
    3. What has been your most difficult situation and how did you handle it?
    4. How would you handle working w/ a staff member that you didn't get along with.
    5. Why should we hire you, what makes you different?

    ...There are thousands of questions that can be asked, LE and non LE related. I have no experience as a cop. I've been told by friends that are cops that they are asked many situational questions. Just some info, hope it helps.

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    • #3
      You will be nervous. Just accept it. The board will expect some degree of nervousness.

      Know about the agency before your oral. Go a a ride-a-long or two prior two oral. It looks good and you can probe for info from the officer/dep.

      Have at least one question to ask at the end because they will ask you if you have any.
      Last edited by kcr; 04-20-2007, 10:55 AM.

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      • #4
        Having completed my Oral Board a little over a month ago, everything is still fresh in my mind. I kept myself calm by doing everything I could to find out about the department I applied for. Once the interview started, I never shut up. When the question was asked, I took off, starting from what I would do first and progressing through the next steps until I felt I had stated everything I would do.. I never gave a one or two sentence answer and allow them the opportunity to say 'Your supervisor is not available'. 'The Watch Commander is unavailable' when caling to ask for help or assistance. I did not try to figure out the answer they wanted to hear, instead answering the questions the way I felt was legally, morally and ethically correct. I avoided even mentioning using my weapon, since none of the questions even came close to use of deadly force.
        Be prepared to defend your answer, and if they re-state a portion of the question, make sure you address that before they move on to the next question.

        Here is one of the questions I was asked.

        You and your Sergeant respond to a call. Once on scene the individual runs and you initiate a foot chase. You catch the individual, place him in hand cuffs, and walk him back to your vehicle. Your Sergeant takes charge of the individual, and as he is placing him in the back of the car the individual spits in his face. You see your Sergeant hit the individual in the head causing a laceration that begins to bleed. What do you do?

        I will not bore everyone else with the other questions unless other LEO's here ask me too. PM me and I will let you know what my responce was, and also some of the other questions.

        This information may not work for everyone, but it did help me get high Oral Board, with a score of 100%
        I don't need probable cause to search your vehicle... AR 190-5.

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        • #5
          Here is my best advice. DON"T read the forums looking for questions. If your answers sound rehearsed, they will know it. Just relax, and realize that THEY TOO were in your shoes at one point. They **** just like you, they put their pants on one leg at a time too. Just relax and tell the truth. If you KNOW you're good for the job, it will show. Just don't read into what people say on here, it will hurt you.

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          • #6
            You and your Sergeant respond to a call. Once on scene the individual runs and you initiate a foot chase. You catch the individual, place him in hand cuffs, and walk him back to your vehicle. Your Sergeant takes charge of the individual, and as he is placing him in the back of the car the individual spits in his face. You see your Sergeant hit the individual in the head causing a laceration that begins to bleed. What do you do?
            Thats a good one... I'm struggling with an answer to this....

            Comment


            • #7
              Oral Interview...heh, you are probably having thoughts about the interview and how scary it will be. Trust me I had this view to until I took it and was like on how prepared I was.

              You sit down 1 on 1 with a Deputy, atleast for mine I did, mine was really kickback. Just make sure to say "sir or maam" when appropriate, even during answers. Look them in the eye when speaking and keep your hands on your laps, being nervous is alright, they expect it, just be confident in your answers.

              One thing you want to do is leave a good impression. When I went on Saturday, there were 25 total including me who showed up. About half of them were dressed like me, conservatively. The other half looked like they showed up from the ghetto and were told to leave. Everyone who was there for the oral interview looked sharp, make sure to get a hair cut. What I wore was a suit with a black tie and tie clasp (thing that holds tie in the middle of shirt) Make sure to have deodorant and A LITTLE bit of cologne to smell decent. Breath mints also before oral interview.

              Deputy: Alright I'm going to start with some questions.

              Me: Ok sir.

              Deputy: What are the duties of a Deputy Sheriff?

              Me: (Basically covered a speech about Custody/Courts/Patrol, make sure you say that Officer Safety is the #1 duty of being a Sheriff.)

              Deputy: Why do you want to be a Deputy?

              Me: (Explained how it's been a passion of mine for a long time and how my father was a Deputy with LASD. Also explained how I'd been getting ready for a year and a half to get here)

              Deputy: What will be the most challenging aspect to overcome to become a Deputy Sheriff?

              Me: (Talked about two things: Poor test taking ability and Shin Splints during the Academy.)

              Deputy: Alright, now I'm going to ask you a series of questions, answer yes or no to them.

              Me: Alright sir.

              Deputy basically went down a list of common questions such as: Are you willing to work anywhere we put you, do you have problems working with people of different race, are you willing to kill in the line of duty. Stuff like that.

              Afterwards, he told me I passed. I told him about what I envisioned the oral interview to be like, he just laughed a little. He said that they don't expect the applicants to know all about LE, just to have a basic understanding when going to apply.

              Anything else, feel free to ask.

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              • #8
                Get up in the morning and run, walk, bike... whatever your favorite cardio workout is for a bit. Eat a decent breakfast! Go in and be yourself, its the best thing you can do!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JKralC104 View Post
                  Get up in the morning and run, walk, bike... whatever your favorite cardio workout is for a bit. Eat a decent breakfast! Go in and be yourself, its the best thing you can do!
                  On top of this, just go in there KNOWING why you want the career and how far you are willing to go to make it a reality.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AM3AW View Post
                    Thats a good one... I'm struggling with an answer to this....

                    How so? Suspect is handcuffed, excessive force was used, contact a supervisor and get said suspect medical attention.

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                    • #11
                      **removed, not a cop, sorry**
                      Last edited by Sully49; 05-02-2007, 10:12 AM. Reason: LEOs are only supposed to answer here
                      "When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

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                      • #12
                        Regarding the hitting of a handcuffed suspect. Believe it or not, call rescue for medical attention first. Then take control of the prisoner, in other words, so the supervisor is not in physical contact with them. You will also need to get with another supervisor about what you observed.

                        Back to the original question, as the post mentioned above, they do expect you to be nervous. It is normal. The thing is, don't be fumbling, blundering, wreck. Don't twiddle your fingers, tap your foot like your running a marathon. Listen to the questions and take a second to think out your response.

                        I have always recommended applicants practice in front of a mirror or in front of friends. It is ok to see guidance in taking oral boards. Yes, some answers may seem rehearsed, but you prepared and planned. Other candidates do it too. Thing is, you don't want to sound like a robot reciting what you've learned. You want to sound like a individual who is sincere about their job choice and planned for that career.

                        Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know of a guy who smoked some pot in his car right before the interview to calm down.

                          Granted, he not only didn't get the job, he got arrested. But he was calm.

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