Police Oral Board Interview Tips – Department By Department Manual

Police Oral Board Interview – Law Enforcement Oral Exam Tips

The oral board interview is a highly structured interview designed to measure your background, motivation, professional demeanor, decision making, problem solving interpersonal skills, and verbal communication skills. The three-member board is comprised of police personnel who will evaluate you in several areas. That’s why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the interview by reading over a police interview prep guide.

Things To Know: The police oral board is designed to test the suitability of a candidate for the position of entry level police officer.

All candidates are asked the same set of structured questions. The questions are open-ended to allow the candidate to express his/her individual view more thoroughly than a multiple-choice question would permit. Answers are evaluated by a panel of three or four with a scoring range of “Does not meet minimum competency” to “Excellent.” This handout contains questions that are commonly encountered in many police oral interviews.

The questions do require a great deal of thought about yourself and why you want to become a police officer with that particular agency. Knowing what to expect in an oral board interview may help you overcome some of your nervousness. Remember that a little nervousness is to be expected; the key is to control it.

Helpful Hints to Remember for Your Next Police Job Interview

  • Dress appropriately (i.e., shoes polished, clothes clean, hair and nails clean). Do not wear something that is too tight or uncomfortable.
  • Introduce yourself confidently with a firm handshake.
  • Show appreciation for the interview. At the conclusion of the interview, thank the panel for their time.
  • Be on time for your appointment.
  • When asked a question by the oral board, answer the question in sufficient detail so the oral board can effectively evaluate your knowledge of this particular subject.
  • Where possible, use examples to demonstrate your experience.
  • Remember to emphasize your particular experience and education as it relates to the position for which your are testing.

Do Not’s

  • DO NOT BE LATE!
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not wear sunglasses or a hat during your interview.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Do not bring a drink with you (i.e. coffee or coke).
  • Do not slouch.
  • Do not swear or use inappropriate language.
  • Do not bring a friend or family member with you to your interview.
  • Do not downgrade previous employer(s).

Commonly Asked Questions Usually Encountered in a Police Oral Board Interview

  • Why do you want to become a police officer with (place your agency here) Police Department?
  • How have you prepared for this position?
  • Tell us about your experience and training as it relates to the position of a law enforcement recruits.
  • What are your qualifications?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest assets (strengths)?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest liabilities (weaknesses)?
  • What do you consider to be your most outstanding trait? Why?
  • How would you rate your ability to get along with others? What is the basis for this rating?
  • What experience do you have as part of a team effort?
  • Why did you choose a career in law enforcement?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • How would you describe your work ethic?
  • How has your education/training prepared you for a career in law enforcement?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction and why?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • How would you rate your ability to work under pressure? What is the basis for this rating?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your present job?

In  conclusion:

Additionally, you can expect several scenario-type questions that are designed to measure your reactions to certain situations. Generally, these questions have no clear-cut right or wrong answers. Instead, the raters will be looking at your decision making ability and your justifications for your actions. The key to being successful in these questions is to just be yourself.

Answer the questions the way you would actually handle the situations. The raters DO NOT expect you to have any prior law enforcement experience to answer these questions. They DO expect you to approach them logically by applying common sense. Typically, the oral board is concluded with a blanket question asking if there is anything you would like to add. It is generally worded like:

“Is there anything you would like to add that will assist us in making our rating?”

Remember, this is a question that you should have a well thought-out answer for. Take this opportunity to “sell yourself.” The scores obtained on the written test (60%) and the oral board (40%) are weighted together to determine your placement on the resulting eligibility list.

Final Thoughts:

If you don’t want to spend a couple bucks on a police oral board preparation guide to assist you with your next interview at least download a Cheap Job Interview Prep Guide.

Here are some of the top city police departments by rank that arguably have the toughest oral board interview process in the nation.

Rank City
1 New York
2 Los Angeles
3 Chicago
4 Houston
5 Phoenix
6 Philadelphia
7 San Antonio
8 San Diego
9 Dallas
10 San Jose
11 Detroit
12 San Francisco
13 Jacksonville
14 Indianapolis
15 Austin
16 Columbus
17 Fort Worth
18 Charlotte
19 Memphis
20 Boston d[›]
21 Baltimore f[›]
22 El Paso
23 Seattle
24 Denver
25 Nashville e[›]
26 Milwaukee
27 Washington
28 Las Vegas
29 Louisville e[›]
30 Portland
31 Oklahoma City
32 Tucson
33 Atlanta
34 Albuquerque
35 Kansas City d[›]
36 Fresno
37 Mesa
38 Sacramento
39 Long Beach
40 Omaha
41 Virginia Beach f[›]
42 Miami
43 Cleveland
44 Oakland
45 Raleigh
46 Colorado Springs
47 Tulsa
48 Minneapolis
49 Arlington
50 Honolulu b[›]
51 Wichita
52 St. Louis
53 New Orleans
54 Tampa
55 Santa Ana
56 Anaheim
57 Cincinnati
58 Bakersfield
59 Aurora
60 Toledo
61 Pittsburgh
62 Riverside
63 Lexington
64 Stockton
65 Corpus Christi
66 Anchorage
67 St. Paul
68 Newark
69 Plano
70 Buffalo
71 Henderson
72 Fort Wayne
73 Greensboro
74 Lincoln
75 Glendale
76 Chandler
77 St. Petersburg
78 Jersey City
79 Scottsdale
80 Orlando
81 Madison
82 Norfolk f[›]
83 Birmingham
84 Winston-Salem
85 Durham
86 Laredo
87 Lubbock
88 Baton Rouge
89 North Las Vegas
90 Chula Vista
91 Chesapeake f[›]
92 Gilbert
93 Garland
94 Reno
95 Hialeah
96 Arlington c[›]
97 Irvine
98 Rochester
99 Akron
100 Boise
101 Irving
102 Fremont
103 Richmond f[›]
104 Spokane
105 Modesto
106 Montgomery
107 Yonkers
108 Des Moines
109 Tacoma
110 Shreveport
111 San Bernardino
112 Fayetteville
113 Glendale
114 Augusta e[›]
115 Grand Rapids
116 Huntington Beach
117 Mobile
118 Newport News f[›]
119 Little Rock
120 Moreno Valley
121 Columbus
122 Amarillo
123 Fontana
124 Oxnard
125 Knoxville
126 Fort Lauderdale
127 Salt Lake City
128 Worcester d[›]
129 Huntsville
130 Tempe
131 Brownsville
132 Jackson
133 Overland Park
134 Aurora
135 Oceanside
136 Tallahassee
137 Providence
138 Rancho Cucamonga
139 Ontario
140 Chattanooga
141 Santa Clarita
142 Garden Grove
143 Vancouver
144 Grand Prairie
145 Peoria
146 Sioux Falls
147 Springfield
148 Santa Rosa
149 Rockford
150 Springfield
151 Salem
152 Port St. Lucie
153 Cape Coral
154 Dayton
155 Eugene
156 Pomona
157 Corona
158 Alexandria f[›]
159 Joliet
160 Pembroke Pines
161 Paterson
162 Pasadena
163 Lancaster
164 Hayward
165 Salinas
166 Hampton f[›]
167 Palmdale
168 Pasadena
169 Naperville
170 Kansas City
171 Hollywood
172 Lakewood
173 Torrance
174 Escondido
175 Fort Collins
176 Syracuse
177 Bridgeport
178 Orange
179 Cary
180 Elk Grove
181 Savannah
182 Sunnyvale
183 Warren
184 Mesquite
185 Fullerton
186 McAllen
187 Columbia
188 Carrollton
189 Cedar Rapids
190 McKinney
191 Sterling Heights
192 Bellevue
193 Coral Springs
194 Waco
195 Elizabeth
196 West Valley City
197 Clarksville
198 Topeka
199 Hartford
200 Thousand Oaks
201 New Haven
202 Denton
203 Concord
204 Visalia
205 Olathe
206 El Monte
207 Independence d[›]
208 Stamford
209 Simi Valley
210 Provo
211 Killeen
212 Springfield
213 Thornton
214 Abilene
215 Gainesville
216 Evansville
217 Roseville
218 Charleston
219 Peoria
220 Athens e[›]
221 Lafayette
222 Vallejo
223 Lansing
224 Ann Arbor
225 Inglewood
226 Santa Clara
227 Flint
228 Victorville
229 Costa Mesa
230 Beaumont
231 Miami Gardens
232 Manchester
233 Westminster
234 Miramar
235 Norman
236 Cambridge
237 Midland
238 Arvada
239 Allentown
240 Elgin
241 Waterbury
242 Downey
243 Clearwater
244 Billings
245 West Covina
246 Round Rock
247 Murfreesboro
248 Lewisville
249 West Jordan
250 Pueblo
251 San Buenaventura (Ventura)
252 Lowell
253 South Bend
254 Fairfield
255 Erie
256 Rochester
257 High Point
258 Richardson
259 Richmond
260 Burbank
261 Berkeley
262 Pompano Beach
263 Norwalk
264 Frisco
265 Columbia
266 Gresham
267 Daly City
268 Green Bay
269 Wilmington
270 Davenport
271 Wichita Falls
272 Antioch
273 Palm Bay
274 Odessa
275 Centennial
276 Boulder

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