Print

Become a Cop >> Browse Articles >> Exam & Career Preparation

+182

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:


+182
  • Photo_user_banned_big

    stevo106

    about 6 years ago

    162 Comments

    great article!

  • All_fun___games_max50

    Volk855

    about 6 years ago

    118 Comments

    Very good info. Thank you!

  • 013109_17351_max50

    kmrob81

    about 6 years ago

    372 Comments

    Thanks for your input. It was very helpful. This will be my next step in the process I'm in.

  • Hpnx0377_max50

    1GUNSLINGER

    about 6 years ago

    268 Comments

    Thank you for the post. I have been interviewing, waiting for a return to Law Enforcement. I have another interview tomorrow. I will study this eve.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 6 years ago

    I serve as an interviewer on our Oral Board from time to time and I am amazed how often police applicants fail to mention "integrity, honesty and ethics" as one of the most important characteristics of being a police officer. Good read, Richard and thanks.

  • 3225_541527388055_44403931_31987246_224403_n_max50

    j0ksta2000

    about 6 years ago

    932 Comments

    yea it's been my experance being on boards and being in front of them that they are only ment to get you riled up and see how you handle stress. there's other tricks that i've found some pd's use and some don't. over all it's defenetly an experance.

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    jbenz8604

    about 6 years ago

    56 Comments

    Thanks for all the advice in this & your other articals. They have been very informative & helpful.

  • Img_1288_max50

    rghstkcwby

    about 6 years ago

    1136 Comments

    good advice....jOksta2000...as he said in the begining he can hit every question...and well with those questions you ae gonna have to think for yourself on what you would do...in an oral board one thing is for sure...ther are no "standard" answers to an of the questions.....

  • Peter_max50

    Knuckles

    about 6 years ago

    70 Comments

    Thank you so much for the information. very helpful..

  • Badge2_max50

    nash79

    about 6 years ago

    524 Comments

    Thank you for the great information - A++

  • Skins_fan_max50

    LP_MD

    about 6 years ago

    1358 Comments

    Excellent, Thank You!

  • 3225_541527388055_44403931_31987246_224403_n_max50

    j0ksta2000

    about 6 years ago

    932 Comments

    they forgot the question: " it's 3am. your patroling the city, you pull over a car for swirving, no lights, and appears the drivers intoxicated. when you go up to the window, you see it's the chiefs wife and she's smelling of alcohol, blood shot eye's, slurring her speech. She takes a SFST and fails. what do you do"

    and the question " your working a Burg. of Business. you see your partner take a candy bar. what do you do"

  • Heather_2_max50

    hmfitzpatrick

    about 6 years ago

    30 Comments

    Good advice cntymnty!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 6 years ago

    When they ask "Why do you want to be an officer?' DO NOT say it is because you like to drive fast and don't want anymore speeding tickets!

  • Heather_2_max50

    hmfitzpatrick

    about 6 years ago

    30 Comments

    Very helpful! Thanks!

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.