If you desire to be a SWAT team member, you must understand the interview process will not be easy. Some prospects will do well on their interview, while others will fail miserably. That’s why I suggest looking over Robert Lawrence’s Killer Job Interview Secrets e-book. In it, you will get sample questions, as well as tips on how to answer questions naturally without sounding scripted.
I encourage you to go ahead and read over Robert’s Job Interview Book all the way through.
Now Let’s Move on to the Police Oral Board:
Whether you’ve already been to a police oral board interview and didn’t do as well as you’d like, you are getting ready to go to one, or maybe you are interested in becoming a cop and want to study up on some sample questions. I want to let you know that you are at the right place. I’ll try to give you some really good oral board exam tips that will help you out.
Here’s just a few practice questions that you might be asked by the oral board panel.
1). Why do you want to be a local police officer / state trooper/deputy?
2) If you witnessed another police officer steal something right in front of you what would you do?
3) If you stopped your Mayor for drunk driving what would you do?
4) If you stopped a family member what would you do?
Huge tip: The interview panel knows that you wouldn’t write your family member a ticket (unless it’s that evil step brother…haha) so be honest and tell them what you would do.
Here’s a good answer:
“No I wouldn’t.” They will of course start drilling you as to “So its ok if your family speeds?” I would say “No its not, but I certainly would not write my own mother a ticket. However, I would tell my Mother not to speed any more and explain that she’s putting me in a bad situation by violating traffic laws.”
Those are just a few practice questions that you might be asked on your Police Oral board interview. When the panel gives you a scenerio question and ask you to tell them what would you do, answer the question from the beginning to the end and don’t jump around.
Rule of thumb, if you are ever in doubt, call your supervisor to the crime scene.
Always notify your supervisor of anything that you may think of as being of that nature your boss would like to know about. And make sure you request him/her to any scene that they need to be present on.
More sample questions
One scenerio question that you may be asked in your interview session is…
“You respond to a possible suicide.When you arrive it appears to be a suicide, what would you do and who would you notify?”
Answer: “First I would see what I have and check the victim for signs of life if that has not been done, then I would close off the scene and notify my supervisor to respond.” While that may not be to the departments exact procedure, it shows your thinking and also you know about chain of command and its proper use.
Also make sure you ALWAYS put the departments interest first. The typical question of “You see another officer steal a candy bar from a store while you are there on a burglary call, what do you do?” is actually a very simple one.
You would tell the officer you saw what he did, and you have no choice but to notify your supervisor immediately. You just observed a crime and you can not overlook that. And it places the department in a bad position.
Most stores have cameras, and if they find out about it and you did not report it, you would also be fired along with the officer for failing to report the crime. You get the idea?
Other officers do not pay your rent or put food in your families’ mouth. You do not cover for anyone, you take care of yourself and the department. The days of cover-ups and stuff like that are gone, about 20 years ago.
Always maintain eye contact and remember the names and title of the oral board members as this will be very important through out the interview.
Make sure to look at the person that asks you the question. Eye contact is very important, looking from one panel member to the other is a good idea. In fact here is where remembering the titles and names of the panel members would be a good thing.
Say Lt. Johnson ask you a question, beginning your answer this way is a impressive tactic;“Lt. Johnson I would………..” showing your ability to remember names and titles is a good way to make an impression on the panel members. And it shows respect for the title they used.
The question “why do you want to be a police officer?” is one of the hardest for some reason for people. A simple short decisive answer is best.
Answer: “I want to be a police officer because I would like a secure, steady occupation that I can enjoy and is not the same thing day after day. One I can make a 20 year career of.
I want to be able to meet people and see if I can help them when they are in need, and I want to be able to protect those that cannot protect themselves, and I think I would be very good at that. That’s why I want to be a police officer.” That short answer is a good one and does not go overboard.
Please don’t tell them because you want to carry a gun, drive fast and get discounts on meals. Those are not impressive answers. Most oral board exams end with the panel asking you if there is anything you want to add.
This is your chance to shine and put yourself apart from the rest. You should research the department you are applying to on the internet and see if you can gather some information on the department.
When asked do you want to say or add anything, you can simply say for an example:
“Yes I would, I have looked closely at your department and I like the fact that it has 4 Districts, and a Rescue/Swat team and K9 both of which I might be interested in. I like the fact your department has ____ and ____ and that the size of your department, 345 officers, is just right for where I would like to be a member of, it gives me a chance to work at ______.I think I would be a very good officer at your department.” Look up some things that you can use to show the panel you have looked at the department and like it and how it is being run.
If you have a particular interest and the department has this unit or program, tell them you saw they have such and such and would be interested, in due time, looking onto helping in that program or unit.
Always stick to the truth, honesty, and ethics. Its what your supposed to stand for.Then when they say your done, get up, thank the panel for having you there, and excuse yourself.
If you follow those simple guidelines, you should do well enough to pass the police oral board interview and you may even stand out just enough to move your name to the top of the hiring list.