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The Police Oral Board Secret Weapon

Sergeant George Godoy

It is a good idea to practice your oral board answers, but what tools can you use to do that – and what tools give you an edge?

A video camera is a great tool. You need to see how you look to other people. What better way is there to get a good look at yourself? How about standing in front of a mirror? Both of these tools help you check out how you appear to others, but both miss the most important aspect of your oral board answers – what you say and how you sound when you say it.

Only one tool can give you what you need when you practice: a hand-held tape recorder.

Think about it. The Oral Board, you talking, and the officers on the board listening. That spotless police badge you want to wear hinges on you picking up a tape recorder and hearing what is going to come out of your mouth in that unbelievably important situation.

I was contacted by a coaching candidate recently. He had made it to some oral boards and one Chief’s Oral, but had not been successful. Now, an invitation to the LAPD oral board had been offered, so he wanted to set up a private coaching session.

After a few moments of talking with him, I was aware of something critical that was probably missing in his previous preparations. I asked him if he used a tape recorder to practice. He hemmed and hawed and finally, like 99% of the candidates I interview, said, “Well, no. But, I am thinking about it.”

I told him to use a tape recorder to hear how he sounded. After trying this, he got the message – his answers were garbage.

Applicants want a badge so bad they will do nearly anything ethically and morally to get it, except to use the most effective preparation tool around.

For some reason, they do not get how valuable using a tape recorder is for practicing your answers. You can get your timing, inflection, and volume down pat, see where to cut material and how many uhs and duhs fill the pauses – and last, but not least, to see if you sound like Donald Duck.

To be successful at the police oral boards, you need to get married to your hand-held tape recorder. You need to hear what the oral board members are going to hear. That little tape recorder will narrow the distance between you and the badge you want so badly.

The first thing a candidate says when he hears his voice on a tape recorder is always, That’s not me! Well, yessir, it is you. And if you want it to sound different, glue that hand held tape recorder to your palm and practice, practice, practice.

Guys prepare for the Police Oral Boards by thinking about their answers and then writing them down. For some reason, they think that because they wrote them down, their answers will magically come rolling out of their mouths in the oral board. But, trust me, they will not! Your brain and mouth just don’t work that way.

If you want to prepare by writing something down, try this:

Write down your oral board questions on some 3×5 cards. You can use the Top 20 Asked Police Oral Board Questions found at

Practice your answers with the tape recorder.

Play back your recorded answers. If you hear something you don’t like, write it down on the back of the 3×5 card with that question.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    To Officerpoliceofficer:

    I want to just thank you for telling me about police oral board interview secrets. because of my upcoming oral interview, I went ahead and downloaded the guide. The results were great! I impressed the hell out of the panel. Again thanks for sharing the download link. if anyone is looking for a police interview guide, simply do what I did and download one at

  • Stopsign_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very sound advice, take your time and practice. I'd also recommend downloading a police oral interview preparation guide at

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Wow, I'd have to say that rehearsing with a tape recorder sounds a bit intimidating. I had planned on rehearsing my answers with a couple of my friends(LEOS)to see how they reacted & what they recommended I change. I figured since they were already LE they would be able to point out what I was doing wrong, whereas if I listen to the tape recorder I don't think I'd be the best critic on my performance(s). I learn more from others imput. I already do the flashcards & highly recommend them! They are a fantastic learning tool.

  • Jack_bauer_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    I rather hear answers straight from the heart, not just something you would think I want to hear. If you practice, I guess that's okay, but it just don't sound genuine. The last few interviews I had came straight from the heart and I moved forward in the process.

  • 10954533_10152768417768138_2117542071882865207_n_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    When I had my first interview board I failed. However, I decided to take this advice and I practice and practice for a while. Then, the results? Were great! Must of the questions that were addressed to me I knew how to answer because I practiced it before. The video tecnique helped to look on the eyes of each person that were in the board with me,which total were 8. RECORDING VIDEOS, HEARING YOURSELF BEFORE GO TO THE INTERVIEW ARE VERY IMPORTANT! Also collect some questions online. There are many available for interviews. I had about 90 questions and every single day I used to read and try to come up with my own answers, this is the secret!

  • Animal_max50


    about 5 years ago


    it seem you are very professional police sergeant, thanks and well done sir!!

  • Wings_max50


    about 5 years ago


    yes, good advice. There is a person out there marketing this for (dare I say it...) firefighters. Captain somebody or other. More concrete and technical advice on how to get hired, and it woks for law enforcement as well. Good luck and happy hunting!

  • Picture_028_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Nice Article, Afterall Practice Makes Perfect! ;)

  • 14600_10200352713679693_171098802_n_max50


    over 5 years ago


    passed agailty passed oral exam ...passed syke ...passed passed passed and oral interview was few points shy ...i guess that just was gods way of saying sarah........your meant to dispatch ...guess at least.. improtecting them:D

  • 14600_10200352713679693_171098802_n_max50


    over 5 years ago


    extreamly helpful..considering ...nothing further.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago

    Very insightful. Thank you

  • Bmg_logo_100x100_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Thank you for the helpful Information..

  • 17614242_l_max50


    over 5 years ago


    agorezar: I think there is a small dept in your area that is testing.

  • Ania3_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Thanks for all helpful tips.

  • Rip_our_fellow_warriors_max50


    over 5 years ago


    I believe a recorder is a great tool. I will be utilizing one a.s.a.p. Any help to get my dream job is greatly accepted.

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