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Oral Board Scenario Question Morality

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Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

Why is asking oral board scenario questions immoral?


I'm a new member but feeling pretty ready to jump right into the swing of things with this topic. I've been cruising the forums looking at the posts regarding oral board questions. I've seen alot of those who've posted their questions take some serious flak. Some officers have accused them of being immoral and even stated that just by asking a question they might not be "cut out" for police work. Really!!??


My opinion is that I am going to do everything I can to WIN my interview. Just like coming with a pressed suit, shined shoes and resumes handy, I'm going to be prepared. What confuses me is that the oral boards are such an open book with everything but the scenario questions. Everywhere I look I get advice about the oral boards. For example, if I strolled in there and was not prepared with my "Tell me a little about yourself response" what kind of impression would I make? Why is it ok to tell an applicant that he should definitely learn the boundaries and the city manager's name before he walks through the door? Would he/she really know to do that?


Now for scenario questions... Why would it be cheating? Isn't it the responsibility of the interviewer to come up with new/challenging scenarios? There is no guarantee, and in fact very little chance, that the oral board is even going to ask the specific questions that have been posted on these forums. I believe the most important thing is for applicants to see the kind of thought process the board is looking for. Police Officers have a different thought process than regular Joes but thats because we've learned it.


For example, in one of these posts (after considerable flak from some officers) TheSarge posted an awesome answer to a scenario question. He brought up things I would've never thought to do (Oral Board Scenario Question- If you're interested). All the different angles with which he responded definetly helped me to be more comfortable with what the board is looking for. I feel ZERO remorse for having read that post.


Am I crazy?


 

Luv_saka_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Depends on the Agency.  With mine, and I believe some other Federal Agencies, you sign a confidentiality agreement.  If you are caught discussing the questions outside of the interview you will no longer be eligible for hire and can technically face legal issues.  I've had to write the memo disqualifying an applicant for any future employment with our agency.  The person wrote out all their questions and answers and sent them in a complaint letter to a general fax number at the hiring center.


There are thousands of applicants and questions are not just made up on the fly by the interviewing agents.   If that were the case, the applicants would end up suing us left and right for unfair questions and claim descrimination.... We have to use prevetted standardized questions which were shown to demonstrate the qualities we look for.


When applicants or Agents go out and discuss those questions or give other people the answers it gives them an unfair advantage and may result in someone, who otherwise may not have been hired, passing the interview.  That's why I personally frown on people posting the questions and/or answers they had.  General advice and information is great, but specifics on the exact questions and acceptable answers not so much.


However, I can only speak from my point of view due to the way that we interview.  The State and Locals may be completely different so they'd have to fill you in from their perspective...

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

You have to take a look at who is responding to an oral board question. Region, personnel and culture will dictate what people will say.


And yes, people ARE asked these questions: "So, tell me a little about yourself.", and "Why do you want to work for this agency?', and "What makes you a better candidate than someone else applying for this department?", and so on. I know. I've asked people across the table these questions.


I would say that it isn't an exact answer that rings the bell. It is demeanor, style, command presence, eye contact and other components that total out in a complete answer. So, making public a possible answer for an oral board question isn't a breach of a confidentiality.


For example: A PT exam. Everyone knows what the expectations are. It is indeed an exam, but everyone knows the answer.


Or, for academy scenario testing. This is a competency exam. Recruit/Cadets practice these scenarios. Everyone knows what the expectations are. It isn't a matter of parroting back a given answer. It is a matter of competently getting to an answer.


See what I mean...?


Other thoughts ?


The Guy !
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Luv_saka_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

"You have to take a look at who is responding to an oral board question. Region, personnel and culture " 


Very True... that's why I tried to make sure people understand that I can only speak from the point of view of my Agency.  I run the Oral Hiring Board program currently and I would and have disqualified people for discussing questions. 


However, each Agency is different.  A "Structured Interview" program with specific questions is very different from a regular interview where questions may vary and or be made up by the panel at the time.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Disqualified panelists...


Well, sure. I get that part of your post. It is sorta like walking away from an Oral and passing another panelist in the hallway and telling them what a specific question is or briefly discussing it before exiting the building.


Maybe we are talking about 'distance'. The farther you are removed from an Oral, the more discussable panel or board questions become. I know that many panelists will get in their cars and immediately write down what a Panel asked them. This in turn makes it way through an agency or an academy.


But truly, you  might 'know' an answer but it is an amalgamation of all your responses that produces a 'final grade' or placement on a list.


And oh, yes. Everyone speaks from their own point of view. This is assumed anywhere on the site. When I see an IMHO comment, it think, "Well of course. It is your opinion. Everyone knows that."


Since you're in the know about these things, why don't you surf around and make comments on Oral Board related questions? Sounds like you could offer some good insight.


Two liner story: A fellow officer was doing an oral for a sergeant's promotion. He passed out in the middle of it all. Just seized up, I guess. He much later on finally promoted, left our agency and was hired as a Lieutenant.


The Guy !
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Wredcedar_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Oral board questions are not designed to test your knowledge, but as a means of evaluating your thought processes and 'personality', for lack of a better term.  Oral boards want to find out about you, not about how much you know.

Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Thanks to all who've responded so far.


First, to TheSarge, I hope I never claimed to be "in the know" because that would be far from the truth. I'm just an opinionated and curios poster with a question. I'm confidant in my abilites and the fact that I will be an excellent officer.


I think there is a difference in specifity here. I DO NOT really want to know the exact question or answer. What I do want, is some insight into the process. In my opinion, that is why there is such a big buisness for sites and books specifically designed for police oral board exams. I wish I had time to order one right now in fact but I have an interview coming up tomorrow.


It's true that no one else can make the inherent moral answer to these scenario questions for me. For example, would I cover for a fellow officer who just beat a handcuffed prisoner? No.... I just wish they were all that easy. I will not post any oral board questions which I have been asked but have not seen online.


The only other thing I'd like to remind the responders is that right now we are in a competitive job market. Police academies are still pumping us out, both graduates and recerts. There is also a large pool of laid-off officers in my state. I'm not whining, I just plan to WIN. Understanding the process so well that it pumps up my answer from a 3 to a 4 is worth it in my book.


Again thanks to all who've responded.


P.S. I just read your post again Sarge and hope you don't mind having to read a few more "In my opininon's." I just throw them in to soften my tone I guess so it doesn't sound so argumentative.

1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 


Insight into the process can be obtained when you sit in on your interview. Stop looking for a "catch all" answer, there isn't one. Answer the questions to the best of your ability, not what you think they want to hear.


You can't cure stupid.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

SEMIO says ...



Thanks to all who've responded so far. (see above...)


+++++++++++++++


Thanks for your clarity of thought.


No problem here. Looks like you have some good answers to ponder.


Good luck on your interview. Let us know how you 'feel' after it.



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Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

ajsdaddyCCSO says ...




Insight into the process can be obtained when you sit in on your interview. Stop looking for a "catch all" answer, there isn't one. Answer the questions to the best of your ability, not what you think they want to hear.


 


Not trying to be argumentative but you're making MY point I think. I have already gained a lot of insight from all the other interviews I've been on. I would guess everyone who's been to more than one would say they did better oneeach subsequent interview. That experience and insight is the same thing I'm looking for now. I DO NOT want a "catch all" answer. I DO NOT want to answer what I think they want to hear. Have you read my post?


Sorry, I might still be a little amped up... Just had my second pursuit ever tonight. Didn't get this one though. Lost him in some backroads....


Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

My interview went very well today for anyone who's interested. I 'feel' great about it..... I'm not really sure if you were asking if I 'feel' like I cheated the system. If so, I absolutely don't. I can't really get a true read on ya Sarge...


Since this is my post, and it may be read by those actually seeking oral board advice, I'd like to share what an instructor told me when I was still in the academy.


When dealing with scenario questions it's important to break them down into these five points:



  1. Assess the Situation

  2. Gather Information

  3. Internal and External Resources

  4. Action Plan

  5. Follow Up/Reevaluate

There are two parts to most scenario questions as I see them. First, the initial choice (Arrest vs. Not, Which is More Important, etc.) must be made by the interviewee. This must be YOUR choice and you must be ready to defend it. Do not change your mind and do not say something just because its what you think they want to hear. Remember that as much as the board might squeeze you, there are no "wrong" answers.


This brings us to the second part of the question. Once you've made your choice, you must defend it. By using the points above, you should be able to provide a well reasoned solution to the scenario.


Good Luck and God Bless

Justice-400_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I'll point out something that I think is being ignored. Law enforcement employs a lot of people who hold themselves to very high standards. That is unquestionable. They also hold those who they work with to very high standards.


Sometimes though, those standards are ridiculous, unfounded, and harsh for the sake of being harsh. Law enforcement in some cultures and departments, but not all, can have a tendency to eat their young. I think jumping all over someone for researching oral board questions and decent answers for them is an example of this. It is normal for people seeking a law enforcement job to do this sort of research. I've always been told that during ride alongs, asking certain questions that may end up giving you insight on oral board questions was a great idea. It could be general law enforcement questions or questions about the department and city.


My first oral board was, to say the least, a train wreck. Not only was it my first time and I had done only a little research, I was an EMT and had just come off of a 24 hours shift and barely slept in the last 30 hours. I was tired and not really all there. Needless to say the Seattle Police Department was not so interested in me.


I went and spoke with my coworker, a former deputy, long time SWAT member in the military,  and now nurse, etc. He wore a lot of hats in his time. I told him how I answered certain questions and he gave his insight on what I did well and what I did poorly.


Yes, he was essentially giving me the answers to the questions. In the process though, I was learning about law enforcement. My next oral board with a different agency, I ranked 3rd on the list. Deadly force questions, amongst other topcs, were far more clear to me after speaking with him.


If that's really immoral to someone, they need to take a better look at their priorities. My advice to you when it comes to getting the best answers would be this: talk with police officers about them; research common questions online and come up with good responses for them; practice your interview skills with friends, family or in front of a mirror; do ride alongs and look deeper into the department.


Lastly, my biggest piece of advice would be to apply to a lot of departments, even those that are only establishing a list. The more oral boards you do, the more confident you feel, the more variety you are exposed to, and the more real practice you will get. Once you get good at them, like I did, you'll also have the wonderful experience of being very humbled by an oral board that goes completely sideways. I failed my first oral board. The next failure was #5, then somewhere  #15. Everything inbetween was usually top 5 or something completely random, like 43rd. It happens.


Glad to hear the board went well. I hope the future boards go well too.

Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Just got a new quotes app on my phone and these seemed interesting and related to our topic.


 


"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."  -  Woodrow Wilson


"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."  -  Mark Twain


"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."  -  Aristotle


"By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest."


 


 

Th_policeavatar_2__max50

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Rated +2 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 All good responses. Let me add:


If a candidate comes in with what I perceive as "researched form answers" they show me the situation is like a child cheating on a test. We want YOUR OWN THOUGHTS. We've heard it all and know when someone thinks so little of the process and nature of our work that they "cut corners" in order to gain an edge. 


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

Schultz3_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

SEMIO says ...



Just got a new quotes app on my phone and these seemed interesting and related to our topic.


 


"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."  -  Woodrow Wilson


"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."  -  Mark Twain


"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."  -  Aristotle


"By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest."


These quotes work great if you have a  panel made up of these guys. Chances are that you're going to get a group of people that want your answers and want to see how you think. Going into an interview informed is a very good thing. But going in with rehearsed answers is not. The idea is to see how you think under stress and in difficult situations. A well thought out wrong answer is better than a rehearsed right answer.  


 


Zack_s_pics__2_022_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

To schultzy04 and SGT405.


“I believe the most important thing is for applicants to see the kind of thought process the board is looking for. Police Officers have a different thought process than regular Joes but thats because we've learned it.”


“I DO NOT really want to know the exact question or answer. What I do want, is some insight into the process.”


“I would guess everyone who's been to more than one (interview) would say they did better on each subsequent interview. That experience and insight is the same thing I'm looking for now. I DO NOT want a "catch all" answer. I DO NOT want to answer what I think they want to hear.”


I agree that a candidate shouldn't rehearse scenario answers. Of course, I'm not even sure how that would be possible as I've had different questions in each of my interviews.

Th_policeavatar_2__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 I see what your getting at and I partially agree. Interviews are about how fast you can think on your feet. About your confidence and character. You can't rehearse those. You are what you are and that's what we want to see.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo