As you prepare for the police officer panel interview, you must know that the majority of the questions that you’re going to be asked will be behaviorally focused questions. So what is behavioral interviewing?
Police Behavioral interviewing (or behavioral event interviewing, BEI) is a standardized method of interviewing police candidates designed to measure how you will perform on the job. The principle behind the technique is the belief that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.
Traditional Interview Questions Vs. Police Interview Questions
In a traditional non-law enforcement job interview, the interviewer will run through the applicant’s resume using open-ended questions to gain more information. Many of the questions a job applicant will be asked can be anticipated in their own mind beforehand. For example:
- Tell me more about your last job?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Why are you interested in this job?
Police Oral Board Behavioral Interviewing Questions:
During a behavioral interview for police officer applicants, you will be asked a series of standardized questions designed to get you to talk about how you handled or responded to a certain situation in the past. With each answer, you’ll be expected to describe situations from your past and your feelings and observations about them. The raters on the oral board will use this information to assess your proficiency in one or more job-related areas, which may include anything from adaptability to leadership to problem solving.
You can expect the interview panel to have several follow up questions and probe for details that explore all aspects of a given situation or experience; that’s why I recommend that you look over a police oral board prep guide right before your panel interview.
What are the questions like?
Police oral interview behavioral questions usually begin with a statement like:
‘Tell me about a time when…’ or ‘Can you a describe a situation where…’.
The following are some examples of typical behavioral questions and the competencies they demonstrate:
- Describe a difficult problem that you tried to solve. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about trying to solve it? (Demonstrates problem solving)
- Describe a time when you tried to persuade another person to do something that they were not very willing to do. (Demonstrates leadership)
- Describe a time when you decided on your own that something needed to be done and you took on the task to get it done. (Demonstrates initiative)