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Answering Common Oral Hiring Board Questions

Answering Common Oral Hiring Board Questions

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

5) Tell me about a weakness you have. What you need to do here is truthfully relate a weakness that in law enforcement circles is perceived actually as a virtue. For example, “I am a workaholic” or “I am sometimes too mission focused. I won’t give up until the job is done.” These might be problems if you were “interviewing” on a first date, but in the police world it is a nice fit.

We look for people whose weaknesses as perceived by the general population work in the challenging setting of policing in a democratic society. Someone that won’t stop until the mission is accomplished is thought of as being obsessive in the general population, but is heralded as a survivor and winner in the police field.

6) Legal elements. If you have graduated already from a basic law enforcement academy, you may be hit with this item, as well as number seven below. You may be asked to list the elements of commonly encountered criminal law statutes. Be familiar with the elements or components that comprise burglary, robbery, and other crimes that officers contend with.

7) Legal concepts. Be able to explain legal concepts. Be sure that you understand them and are not just regurgitating a definition from a textbook or statute book. For example, can you define the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause, as well as misdemeanor and felony.

8) Policing concepts. Be familiar with the policing concepts that drive your target agency. A read of their website (which hopefully is up to date) and materials in the lobby should clue you as to their approach. Are they community policing oriented? If so, they may ask you what community policing means to you. Understand their website’s interpretation, but personalize it in terms of what it means to you. Figure out if the agency is proactive or reactive in their approach to calls for police service.

An area that comes up in some oral boards concerns the use of deadly force. Be familiar with not only your area’s statutory requirements for the use of deadly force, but also think through the ethical and moral implications for yourself. By reflecting on this tragic but oftentimes present aspect of your chosen profession, you’ll be a more mature candidate for the post.

Expert Oral Board Guide
Get expert advice on how to prepare for and ace your oral board exam.

There are many more questions or statements that oral panels put out for applicants to respond to, including ethical situations. This column addressed some of the more common ones that you might encounter.

I have seen firsthand how practicing your responses to these oral panel situations have lead to dramatic improvement. While I don’t advocate a memorized approach, being familiar in general with how to respond will free you to have a compelling delivery that will captivate the panel members. It is at that point, that they will have a feel for your character and the sort of law enforcer that you can be for their agency. A good oral panel interview will help you to get that opportunity.

Other Resources From The Oral Board Mega-Guide:


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    guarddog45

    about 4 years ago

    218 Comments

    Another great article...thanks so much, they are helping me immensely! I just wanted to let others know that the "tell me/us about you" is a typical clincher in an interview process. You have just reinforced my previous thoughts on the Q as being a disqualifier type Q. Most folks as you said, start a life story and that is NOT what the interviewer(s) are looking for. They want to know why you are choosing this particular profession, why you have made a career change. Every article you write helps me to answer these sneaky Q's even better, so keep them coming! GuardDog45

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    revCCBeasley

    over 4 years ago

    2944 Comments

    Yes great approach.

  • Bang2_max50

    Bloodhawk

    over 4 years ago

    142 Comments

    Question! would it be ok if I had some notes written down for when I go in or would it be better not to? and is it ok to take notes while in the interview as well

  • Minayshia_parker_031_max50

    MONIQUIA

    almost 5 years ago

    52 Comments

    THANKS FOR THIS---IT HELPS ALOT WHEN THE TIME COMES FOR ME TO PREPARE FOR THE ORAL BOARD

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bweber91

    almost 5 years ago

    4 Comments

    thanks for all ur help everyone!!! I have my oral borad mon with the Maryland State Police

  • Barnette_max50

    nukefuzz2k8

    almost 5 years ago

    92 Comments

    nyrancher, i'm presently going thru the process myself and yes it is possible. We had a 83 year old man make an attempt to pass the physical ability/agility test so yes it is possible just depends on how bad you want it....stay in shape because you will have to run and it is a pass/fail test.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    officerjohn52

    almost 5 years ago

    12 Comments

    I use simplified first hand knowledge of security/law enfocement processes in my own person. I am able to determine in the daily operations,of how the securing sites are in maintenance.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nyrancher

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    I am 60 years old ,but in good shape. I want a carree change from sales to law inforcement and i am looking at Department of corrections. My fear is my age will hold me from this position or any position in law enforcement. Do you think I am seeking the impossible?

  • 4e5e562b4db0_max50

    marine05

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    how do u look up ur record to see what is on it?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    19134

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    I am currently waiting to see if I get an oral intereview for the Bensalem Police Department so I will use this as a practicing tool until then. Great Information!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jlguttie

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Blue Blood. My name is Jennifer. I am a recent college grad with a BS in both Forensics and Criminal Justice. I have been asked to attended an interview for an officer position with the Montgomery County (MD) PD. This will be my very first oral board for a police department as well as my first time taking any of the exams. I would very much appreciate any addittional advice yu may have.Please email me at skibabe1987@yahoo.com. thank you

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ericdg91

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Hi Blue Blood 1974. I badly need your help in preparation for my Panel Interview soon. You may send your advise and other tips at ericdg91@yahoo.com.
    Thanks a lot.
    Eric

  • 13769_1252544804067_1542949809_647138_1315089_n_max50

    ssciaretta

    about 5 years ago

    258 Comments

    Blue Blood I am always willing to listen to sound advice. I will be sending you an e-mail. I have done very well on my physical and written exams and have made it to and now through the oral panel reviews. I have my last interview coming up with the chief and I could use some advice.

  • Imagen1_max50

    patrullero_777

    about 5 years ago

    6 Comments

    AND YEA THIS INFORMATION ON TOP IS GREAT AS WELL VERRY HELPFULL

  • Imagen1_max50

    patrullero_777

    about 5 years ago

    6 Comments

    HEY BLUE BLOOD I WOULD LOVE SOME OF THAT STRATEGY THAT YOU GOT MY MAIL IS SMARTKNO_7@HOTMAIL.COM I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SOME ADVICES TOO THANKS MAN AND GOD BLESS

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