Premium Content for Members Only

Become a Cop >> Browse Articles >> Paul Patti's Career Advice for Aspiring LEOs

+78

16 Traits Recruiters are Looking For

56 Comments

Excerpted from the bestselling book – Confessions of a “Hardass” – An insider’s advice on passing your law enforcement pre-employment interview.

When a law enforcement or corrections agency interviews you, what is really happening is that they are deciding how well you fit in with the people, the mission and the daily work environment of the organization. Each agency has aspirations of greatness – the leaders, managers and the career minded officers / deputies and staff all want what is best for the agency – and that translates to the best people possible to work beside them. They judge these areas by exploring your background – usually starting in high school, through your education and of course your employement and personal history.

Some of these traits will also be judged by volunteer and neighborhood activities, and even hobbies. After exploring your background, they will ask stressful scenario questions, aimed at giving them information on how to rate you, without you even being aware of it. Everyone I’ve ever interviewed for a law enforcement position told the interview panel what we needed to know about all 16 of these areas, whether they were aware of it or not. Of course, no one is expected to be perfect. But the closer you can get to “10” in each of these areas through answering the questions that will be asked, the better your chances of being hired.

Here are the traits and principles involved in oral interviews and assessments. Give yourself a 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) for each one. Think honestly about your life, your work history, volunteer history, hobbies, your education and everything else about you, and then ask yourself inwardly some very tough questions about each of these areas. As an example, have you ever been detained, ticketed or arrested by the police? If yes, one or more of these areas will give the board critical information – so BE PREPARED! Since no one is looking over your shoulder, rate yourself honestly in order to see how how well or poorly you do, so you will be able to focus on the areas needing the most improvement.

1) Trustworthiness – can the applicant be relied upon to do what they say they will do? Will they fabricate stories to cover their errors or inadequacies? Will they be where they are told to be and do what they are told to do, even in difficult circumstances?


2) Honesty – A statement from a police officer in this country is enough to put people in jail for a long time. In a one-on-one confrontation, an officer’s word is still accepted as truth unless clearly refuted by other sufficient, credible evidence. This is a great deal of power – does this applicant show the ability to state the truth – even if it negatively affects them or other officers? Will the applicant even stand up to authority to state the truth when it is difficult to do, and going along with a lie is a better course of action? Will the applicant join a conspiracy because it is much more difficult, in their view, to lose the friendship, trust and respect of other officers?

3) Leadership – Being a leader is not often something you can choose to be or not be. In law enforcement, each officer becomes a leader in the performance of helping people to solve problems and work through difficult situations. Does the applicant seem willing to take on extra responsibility? Do they limit the positions they wish to work in because of the level of responsibility? Do they refuse advanced assignments because of perceptions of difficulty or fear of failure?

Continue >>

+78
  • Img_5617_max50

    shikahgho

    6 months ago

    40 Comments

    Very interesting article. My score was 120, understanding these traits are very useful for me and my future as CPD. Thank you

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SquareVictor

    over 2 years ago

    8 Comments

    Very useful and interesting, thanks.

  • 36952_1489110741826_1055693643_31311143_6363875_n_max50

    McDanielunn

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    144. This makes me feel better about my chances to be an officer.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    GUNNY2

    about 3 years ago

    26 Comments

    EXCELLENT CHARACTER TRAITS TO POSSESS AND STRIVE FOR.UNFORTUNATELY MOST OF THESE TRAITS CAN'T "REALLY" BE SHOWN UNTIL AN OFFICER GETS INTO THE FIELD........BUT,I GUESS THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE A LONG ACADEMY AND OR PROBATIONARY PERIOD.HAVING A KICK-BUTT FTO DON'T HURT EITHER!!! OOH-RAH.....GUNNY2.........JUST A THOUGHT (-:

  • 251872743_00891b8267_max50

    Mikfly

    over 3 years ago

    96 Comments

    Very good advice and a confidence builder!

  • Strauss_2008-1_max50

    SStrauss

    over 3 years ago

    1252 Comments

    Good words for success in law enforcement, the military and in just about all walks of life. For the interview I try to think of some personal events or stories in my own life to illustrate my answers to these type of questions. Thanks Lt. Patti.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    elijahtblack

    over 3 years ago

    44 Comments

    I will keep that in mind but the class might starts up in April and I will make the best.

  • Dsc00119_max50

    aggiesoldier

    over 3 years ago

    22 Comments

    I dont take my exam until June in Irving but I am taking the time now to see what i need to study and work on. thanks for the information!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    guarddog45

    over 3 years ago

    218 Comments

    Good advice for any job located within the LE field. My current field of Security involves these same areas of concern. Demonstrating with examples of how the applicant consistantly uses Trust in his/her life I'd think would be a requisite for all applicants. I'd also be interested in knowing what that particular applicant thought was their definition of Corruption. It seems that quite a few people are "ok" with crossing into the gray areas, but at what point would that applicant consider too much?
    Thank you for another great article that can be applied to many areas of trust with the general public. GuardDog

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    anoldshoe

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Excellent article. Helped me better see what is looked at in an interview.

  • Edelys__2__max50

    Shakirita

    almost 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    I believe this are well recomendations for any field...

  • 165_max50

    Navy2012

    almost 4 years ago

    50 Comments

    I will definitely share this with my classmates. This is something that they would find very useful. :)

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    oaunig

    about 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    very useful info when going for an oral interview. thanks!!!

  • 45089_396847393722850_1055776862_n_max50

    SuzanneNGa

    about 4 years ago

    16562 Comments

    Great article with a lot of useful info.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    Good info

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.

Recent Activity

2_max30
garrytomsum commented on: "garrytomsum smith", about 1 hour ago.
Blue_candle_holiday_memory_max30
IamQnMutha gave a thumbs up to The Post "Respecting Others", about 1 hour ago.
Blue_candle_holiday_memory_max30
IamQnMutha gave a thumbs up to The Post "my husband just got violated.", about 1 hour ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
travisspeck commented on: "travis speck", about 2 hours ago.