LAPD Oral Board Interview – Sample Questions

The LAPD oral board interview along with the New York Police Department’s interview process is by far the toughest in the country. Why? Well for one, both are large departments that cover a lot of territory in their respective counties. This article is not about NYPD’s interview process per se, I only mention them to give you a broader perspective of how stingy the interview panel will be when you enter that interview room. They are going to select only the best of the best.

You would think because the LAPD recruiting department has a flood of applicants they’d be a little lax on the interview, but that is simply not the case. In fact, the LAPD oral exam has a very high failure rate. You would think most prospects would flunk the written exam than the oral interview, but again that’s simply not the case.

Here’s a quick sample interview question you should expect to hear during the the police oral board interview. Remember, there’s no “right” or “wrong” answer unless your response is way out in left field.  The key here is to be completely honest.

LAPD Sample Interview Question#1:

You are off duty, and you walk into a convenience store. While you are in the back of the store looking for household items, you notice a fellow cop walk in the store. He doesn’t know that you are in the store nor did he see you walk in.

You notice the officer to proceed to the front of the counter and place a snickers bar in his pocket, while the clerk is busy talking to a customer. He then pays for a packet of kit kat, but fails to pay for the item that is concealed in his pocket.

What should be your next course of action?


Okay this question is pretty simple.  You should immediately contact the supervisor that is working and inform him of what just took place. This officer is bad news and can be a detriment to the police department, but even worse he can cost you your job if not reported. Luckily, you were in the store to spot him, but think about how many time he might have done the same exact thing without being caught.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that someone else could have spotted him as well or the video system could have captured it. What if the clerk later reviews the video and notice the incident. Seriously, this can get pretty ugly for you really quickly if you don’t report this clown.

Police Oral Review Board Questions – Get Interview Answers

While we wait for the economy to bounce back, law enforcement agencies around the country are being bombarded with employment applications from people seeking the security of government jobs. With so many applicants, the police review board interview has become even more important.

In many instances, the police panel interview is the last chance you’ll have to sell yourself to the hiring panel. If you do poorly in the interview during this phase of the selection process, don’t expect to get hired.

Here are some tips for the police officer interview review board:

During the law enforcement oral board interview, always listen carefully to the question, ask for clarification if necessary, and make sure you answer the question completely. Your interview preparation should include identifying examples of situations from your experiences that you’ve displayed the ability to work with others as well as demonstrate your ability to lead (I reveal how to do this in great detail in my police oral board interview secrets e-book).

Use the  Star Technique:

When answering behavioral and/or situational questions from the panel, use the STAR method and convey specific situations, actions, and outcomes/results.

  • Situation- Use specific details about a situation or task.
  • Task- Tell what led to the situation or task?
  • Action- Take and discuss what you did and who was involved?
  • Result- or outcome communicate the outcome?

For sample police oral review board questions, download the police interview success guide. You’ll learn frequently asked police interview questions, and common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

How To Prepare For The Police Oral Interview – Get Typical Interview Questions

It’s not in your recruit welcome handbook and those candidates that know about it won’t tell you, but your performance during the police oral board interview will ultimately decide if you get hired or not. If you do well during your interview either one of two things will happen. First, you may get offered the position contingent on you passing the medical exam, psych test, and the drug screen. Secondly, you may get placed on the eligibility list for future hire.

That’s why it is so important to study up for the oral exam. In the event that you do poorly on the interview, you’ll likely get a letter in the mail stating you are no longer eligible for hiring. You don’t want to get a rejection letter, it’s not a very good feeling.

How to prepare for the oral exam

The best way to prepare for the police officer interview is to simply practice answering common questions that you’ll likely be asked during the interview. Here are some typical police interview questions below:

  • Why do you want to be a police officer?
  • What have you’ve done to prepare yourself for this position?
  • Give us an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership?
  • What is your career objective?
  • What do you know about our agency, starting with the Chief’s first and last name?

Once you practice answering the questions above, start practicing your closing statement. The panel will likely ask you if there’s anything else you want to say toward the end of the interview.

This is time you want to show your knowledge of the department, point out your strengths, and clear up any mistakes that you may have made during the interview.

In conclusion, whether you’re preparing for your first Police Oral Interview or you’re doing another interview after you were eliminated the first time around, you need to be ready. The best way to do this is to get a comprehensive list of the most commonly asked police interview questions readily available online.

Police Department Oral Board

Typical Police Interview Questions And Answers

Are you preparing for the police oral board interview? If so, you’ll want to practice answering questions to commonly asked law enforcement interview questions. However, make sure that your answers don’t sound scripted. Don’t recite an answer word for word that you read on an interview handbook purchased at a bookstore.

The panel, made up of veteran police officers, can spot “canned” answers a mile away and if they suspect you are regurgitating answers rathen than that of your own opinion, you can kiss that job goodwill not get the job.

Remember, the sample police interview questions that I’m going to share with you in just a minute is only a guide. It was never intended to be recited word for word. Here’s one question that will definitely be asked during your panel interview:

Sample Questions#1: How would your past co-workers describe you?

Here are tips to answer this question.

Be confident:
You can never cast more doubts onto your answer if you sound unconfident, unclear, or uncertain about what people would say about you. Don’t start your answer using the phrase ‘I think my colleagues would tell that ..’ . You don’t ‘think’ you are sure.

Be Professional:
The interview panel wants to know how would your colleagues describe you rather than your friends. Even if asking about friends, they wouldn’t be interested in your personal life, at least for now.

When asked about how your friends would describe you, try to keep the description as professional as possible. Do not try to implement any factors of your personal life, like being jovial, adventurous, easy to get along with, etc.

Be Concise:
When asked about how your co-workers would describe you, be concise and not say anything that would be considered ambiguous.

Remember that the person who is interviewing you could be your future sergeant, lieutenant, or captain. You should definitely give a thoughtful answer in describing how you believe colleagues would describe you.

Be Factual:
Another important aspect to remember is to provide facts and truthful information ONLY.

You never want to place yourself in a position where you tell something that is not true and it could be discovered later.

Most of this information would be cross checked and some of it may even be used to make decisions about you. For example, if you describe that you have leadership qualities, there are many chances that they might consider you for leadership positions now or in the future of working with the agency.
Keep in mind that if you are asked for referrals during your recruitment oral board interview, these questions might be asked to those referrals too. Of course, you cannot tutor all your referrals about how they should reply to any questions and therefore you should only give out information that would be agreeable by all.

Police Officer Oral Interview Questions and Answers

Behind every police job interview question, there is a concern that you are not aware of. Your job is to process the question thinking about what the oral board’s concern might be.

In other words, why are the members on the police interview board asking me this question?

Sample Police Interview Question #1

Q: How many police oral exams have you been through and how long have you been looking for a job?

Possible Concern: is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?

Response  to question # 1:

“After I was laid off from my last job, I took the opportunity to take some time out to examine my career goals and where I wanted to go with my life. I have just begun my search in the last few months. I have a definite goal in mind and have been selective about the positions I consider. Your agency and this position as a police officer are of great interest to me.”

Sample Police Interview Question #2:

Q: How did you prepare for the police oral board interview?

Possible concern: are you interested enough to do some research on the department, or are you going to “wing it” like so many other recruits?

Response to question #2:

“When I found this position posted on your website I was immediately interested. I checked out the department’s website and mission statement, looked at the bio of the chief of police, and was impressed. Once I had the interview appointment, I talked with people I knew was in law enforcement. And, I’m sure I’ll find out a lot more in today’s meetings.”

Sample Police Interview Question #3:

Q: How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industries that you have worked in?

possible concern: Once you become a police officer will you be motivated to continue to learn and grow – stay challenged and motivated?

Response to question #3:

I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in the law enforcement industry. I do a lot of reading – the police section of the newspapers and law enforcement related magazines. I belong to the neighborhood crime watch program in my area.  I take classes and seminars whenever they are offered to citizens by the local PD”

Police Interview Question #4:

Q: Why do you want a police job?

Possible Concern: are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you really know what you want?

Sample Response to question #4:

“I’ve been very careful about the agencies where I have applied. When I saw the ad for this position, I knew I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of experience, and knowledge of the industry, plus my ability to communicate and build solid relationships. That, along with my flexibility and organizational skills, makes me a perfect match for this position as a patrolmen. I see some challenges ahead of as a police officer, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.”


There is no way you can accurately predict the questions that will be asked by the police interview panel, but you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the factors that might concern the panel before the interview.