How to Prepare for the Police Interview
The interview for any job is one of the most critical moments that can make (or break) your chances at
acquiring the job of police officer. There are some imperative Do's and Dont's for having a successful police interview,
so make sure you attend training seminars and practice giving your reponses ahead of time. The key is to give an honest,
heart-felt response that falls within the acceptable parameters of oral interviews, which typically encompasses four key areas:
preparation, interpersonal sensitivity, independent decision making, and oral communication.
How you should prepare:
Potential Interview Questions
- Be on time
- Get a haircut and be clean-shaven
- Dress to impress. Wear a dark suit with a subtle tie (blue, black, or gray)
- Avoid using any strong colognes or perfumes
- Be enthusiastic, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and smile when greeted or spoken to
- Be truthful. They are trained professionals and will find out if you are being deceptive
- Bring multiple copies of your resume (1 for each interviewer if applicable)
- Rehearse answering potential questions (make flashcards and bring them with you)
- Ask the interviewers 2-3 pertinent questions (it shows you are interested)
- Practice answering potential interview questions with someone or in front of a camera.
- Try to relax before being interviewed. Take 3 deep breaths.
Short Answer Questions
- Tell us about yourself.
- Why do you want a career in law enforcement?
- Have you applied to other law enforcement agencies?
- What are some of your best qualities/strengths?
- What motivates you?
- How would your friends describe you?
- What are some of your weaknesses?
- Are you participating in any kind of personal fitness program?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Have you used any kind of illicit drugs?
- Do you have any kind of medical condition that we should know about?
- Have you been involved in any car accidents? How many driving infractions have you received?
- Who is the Mayor and Chief of Police in the region?
- What are some of your career goals?
- Do you work well with other people?
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Personal Experience Questions
- What makes you a suitable candidate as a police officer?
- What is your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
- Give us an example where you did NOT lose your cool in spite of the circumstances.
- Tell us about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with someone.
- Give us a situation when you had to deal with someone who was irate and/or hostile towards you.
- What are the sources of stress in your personal and professional life. How do you manage such stress?
- When have you had to take charge of a situation in order to resolve a problem?
- What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
- Tell us a time when you faced a major obstacle at work. How did you work through it?
- Tells us about your military experience (if applicable).
- You are investigating a crime scene and notice a wad of cash missing. You assume your partner took it. What do you do?
- A concerned citizen is upset that there are frequent speeders in the neighborhood and he/she wants you to do something about it. How do you respond?
- You are called to a school and when you arrive a man is pointing a gun at you. What do you do? What if it was a 12 year old pointing it at you?
- A superior officer orders you to do something that goes against policy and/or breaks the law. How do you react?
- There is a block party going on with about 200 people there. You receive an anonymous loud music complaint, in addition to a tip that there are gang
members attending and they may be armed. How do you proceed?
- You are called to the scene of an accident in the middle of the freeway involving multiple vehicles. One of the persons involved is bleeding and appears to be seriously injured.
How do you approach this situation?