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  1. #1
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    Oral Board Interview

    I am currently in the hiring process for the Garden Grove Police Department and I have my oral board interview coming up in a couple of weeks, which I am really excited about! The only thing is that I have applied for other departments in the past and can never seem to get past the interview stage of the hiring process. Can anyone give me some insight on what I might be doing wrong? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Wear a suit, sit up straight, and give direct answers. No ummss, likes, ahhhs. Do some research on the department before you go in there. Be able to reference things that Joe Blow off the street wouldn't think about. What do you think tripped you up before? Were there few spots for a lot of applicants in your other applications?

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  3. #3
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    One of them I knew I messed up as soon as I left the interview with the umms and uhhs. The other ones had 600+ applicants and only about 3 positions available. Is this my biggest factor? If so, how do I stand out? Thanks again for all the help.

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    Don't talk with your hands, know the population of the city, city demographics, any special features that the city has. You can find most of that on wikipedia. Have a clean hair cut, shave etc. Make sure you wear dress socks with your suit, no tennis shoes, red ties are good.

    Why do you want to be a police officer? (they will ask that) Have that answer ready. What qualities do you have that will stand out above the rest. When they ask you if you have any questions, ask them a question.

    Don't stare into space, be professional and polite, yes and no sir/ma'am will go along way.
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

  5. #5
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    Five-0 said it best. Dress professional. At least a shirt and tie if no jacket. (slacks too of course) Be yourself but be articulate. Being able to speak clearly and intelligently is a plus. Be prepared by being confident.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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  7. #7
    Ryan701's Avatar
    Ryan701 is offline Officer First Class
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    Thanks for all the input! Is there anything else I can do to make myself stand out in the interview? I have made a list of sample questions that I remember being asked from past interviews and have a family member interview me with those questions. I also study the web-site of the Police Department and city I'm applying for. Are these things that I should do? What else should I do to prepare for my oral board interview? Thanks again for all your help!

  8. #8
    4 Turns is offline Rookie
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    You will usually be asked at the end of an interview if you have any questions for them. Have 2-3 questions ready, but don't read them off a notebook. Applicants who say no don't appear to be very interested in the workings of the department, just trying to get any job. They should be reasonable questions, not what kind of gun officers carry or how many vacation days you get (both of which were asked when I was on a panel). You can obviously see what they are wearing, and benefits questions should be asked to the city/county personnel department. Wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts isn't looked upon very favorably either.

  9. #9
    Five-0's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ask about vacation and the like.

    Give clarifying statements followed with a question like, "I look forward to the next step in the process. When can I expect to hear from you again?"

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  10. #10
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    Should I ask questions like, I'm interested in becoming a SWAT officer, how does one go about this? Or, I'm intersted in eventually becoming a K-9 handler, how does the process work to do so? Great stuff guys! Please keep them coming!

  11. #11
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan701 View Post
    Should I ask questions like, I'm interested in becoming a SWAT officer, how does one go about this? Or, I'm intersted in eventually becoming a K-9 handler, how does the process work to do so? Great stuff guys! Please keep them coming!
    No. Ask about the processes right in front of you. FTO program. Time on the road with an FTO before Academy for example. Baby steps if you will.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  12. #12
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Sequence and time frames are reasonable questions -- if they haven't already been answered. Yeah -- pay attention because they may tell you these things first, but otherwise, be ready to ask about what the next phase is, when you can expect to hear something, and what academy date are they aiming for.
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    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

  13. #13
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    I sit on our boards pretty regularly. The last board I was on, one of the applicants started off almost every answer with, "Dude...". I would recommend staying away from that type of opening remarks.......

  14. #14
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    I have been a panel member on several oral boards. "Dude" is seen as a disrespectful street slang term. TV cop jargon gets no traction either.

    Do not discuss the interview or questions asked, with other applicants before or after the interview, on or off the premises.

    Sometimes a long table will be a barrier and you will be directed to a single chair in the middle of the room. You will be asked to take that seat. You will be introduced to the members of the board. In some instances the panel will come around the table to meet you. More often the table is in the way. Stand, approach the table and the board member, make eye contact and a handshake across the table. Your palms may be sweaty (the panel expects this as normal stress indicator, but try to discretely wipe your hand.) Look at the person as you shake hands. It is very much OK to smile.

    Remember the names and titles of the panel members. Be able to describe them and their clothing. Note what is going on in the room, what appears normal and what does not.

    The oral board is a test, and a job interview. You are being evaluated on your communication skills, memory under stress, how you interact with strangers, your situational awareness and command presence. You will be asked open end questions about you and who you are, and your opinions on most anything. Your judgement will be measured with situational questions where there may be no right answer or a "no win" solution. Listen carefully to the question, and if you do not understand the question, ask for clarification. You may get no more info, you will be directed to answer the question as asked. As you listen to the questions, make eye contact with the person asking, and let your eyes scan the other panel members. When you reply, you are addressing the person asking the question, and the entire panel. Make eye contact with all members. If you do not know an answer, don't try to make something up. Tell them you do not know, but will provide the answer in writing as soon as you are able to investigate or research. If the panel agrees, follow up in writing as soon as possible. Answer each question truthfully, to the best of your ability, and do not go off into side topics to evade, or avoid an answer you do not have.

    The panel will be watching you closely, so you may feel like a bug under a microscope. Watch your posture, nervous gestures with your hands & feet, nail biting, mannerisms, shoulder shrugs, scratching your scalp or crotch (yes, I have seen males and females do this...). No gum, no chewing tobacco, no cough drops or breath mints. Have a fresh haircut and clean shave, wear clean business attire + tie, and shine your shoes. Have something to eat an hour or two before the interview. If you feel like a ball of nerves, take 3 deep breaths and keep going. You may be asked if you are nervous, always be truthful.............and always be yourself.

    You may be asked "do you have anything else". This is your time to say you are a superior candidate and be prepared to justify. "Do you have any questions of tihs board?" Ask questions relevant ot the selection, hiring, training process. "Thank you" and handshakes with the panel are appropriate on exiting.

    Outstanding candidates are revealed on the oral boards. They generally show situational awareness, good manners, maturity, clear speech lacking profanity and slang, poise or command bearing, flexibility, fairness, ability to attend to multiple topics....they are genuine and accept responsibility for their actions. The panel is viewing you as how you would fit into their department and squad room as a sworn officer. A panel member may probe deeper and "what if" the candidate as a back up officer on a building search or felony arrest, and whether they would trust in the candidate's ability and composure, with the necessary training, when the going gets tough. If you are a lateral, reserve, explorer, do not wear your present police uniform to the orals. Active duty military with no "business attire' civivies? Ask a few days before your interview appointment.

    Good luck.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan701 View Post
    Should I ask questions like, I'm interested in becoming a SWAT officer, how does one go about this? Or, I'm intersted in eventually becoming a K-9 handler, how does the process work to do so? Great stuff guys! Please keep them coming!

    No. Don't put the cart in front of the horse. Although, showing that you have some interest in furthering your career with that department can be good.

    Stay away from remarks or questions like that. Every officer, oral board panel, administrator, and secretary has been asked how to become SWAT or K9. It's not new, it's not original, and frankly it's annoying. It makes it seem like the applicant doesn't care about patrol except for making it a stepping stone. You need to make statements or base questions around becoming the best patrol officer you can be, helping newer officers beyond that, and then advancing to positions in which you can best serve the public and department. Phrase it similar to that.

    Patrol is the largest and most important division within a department. Without it, all of the "fun" things wouldn't exist or function properly. You appearing to look like you want to circumnavigate the backbone of the department will leave you looking for more agencies that are hiring.
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  16. #16
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    I know I havn't been on here for awhile, but I appreciate everyone's repsonses to my questions. I really gathered some great insight! Unfortunately, I am still struggling with the Oral Board phase. The last interview I had I was told that I did very well, but I wasn't "outstanding." This is something that I will continue to work on, as it is my DREAM to become a Police Officer.

    Thanks again for everyone's reponses and comments!!! I really appreciate it!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan701 View Post
    I know I havn't been on here for awhile, but I appreciate everyone's repsonses to my questions. I really gathered some great insight! Unfortunately, I am still struggling with the Oral Board phase. The last interview I had I was told that I did very well, but I wasn't "outstanding." This is something that I will continue to work on, as it is my DREAM to become a Police Officer.

    Thanks again for everyone's reponses and comments!!! I really appreciate it!!!

    Anything worth while is worth the effort. Hang in there.
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    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

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  18. #18
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    I agree 100%. I won't give up! I believe I'm getting better with every interview. Thanks again for all the responses and input. I continue to get GREAT information from this forum on my quest to becoming a Police Officer. Thanks Again!!!

  19. #19
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    Stay your course if it is what you want. I applied to 14 different agencies before one took me seriously.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


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    I've always sent a thank you letter afterwords thanking the interview board for their time. Doesn't hurt. I was told that for a police seasonal position they got the thank you letter and it drove it home that I was the one to hire.
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