FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
Careers

A Few More Job Interview Tips

Good looks won't land the job. Good preparation will.

May 23, 2011  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

The job market is competitive, and this seems to be the question of the day. If you really want the job, a little practice and planning might get you over this hurdle. Exhale, calm down and follow these tips.

Practice. If this is your first interview or this is your dream job, practice is everything. The interview board wants more than just a smile and good looks. They want to hear what you have to say, not gaze upon you with awe. There are plenty of articles available that address interview questions, so do some research. Next, find some trusted friends on the job to give you some help. Keep in mind that some agencies don't allow current employees to discuss the process with an applicant. Find  a way to gather questions.

Get some trusted help here. Friends who can be critical, such as an former professor, trusted colleagues, or a grumpy veteran cop can form a dais for interview practice. Dress up in the interview clothing you've selected (get used to wearing that suit). Sit before them, and let them interview you as if it were real. Don't treat this as a casual chat. When you're done, exit the room. Follow the entire process without short cuts. No yada yada yada responses; answer the darned question properly. You'll respond under pressure the same way you practice. Ensure your practice board throws you a few hard balls. Because they want to see you successful, you'll see some soft balls, as well. You'll have to hit them all.

Don't over-think the questions or try to figure out the psychological angles. Answer truthfully from the heart. Remember, the actual interviewers are usually cops, human resources professionals or civil service board members. They've seen hundreds of interviews and can spot a lie in a heartbeat. Be yourself and don't fabricate an answer; it will be picked up.

Body language. Your mouth may say yes, but your clusters of untruthfulness will leap from you. Practice will give you an edge. Have your practice interview dais critique your excessive movement, wiggles, twitches, and eye contact under pressure. You may also practice before a mirror, and some I know have taped themselves for review. This sounds like a lot to do. Ask yourself if the job opportunity is worth it.

I won't cover how to enter the room or whether you should shake hands with your interviewers. Each process is set up differently. So, you'll have to handle this yourself. If you do shake hands, make sure your hands are dry. Sweaty hands are a dead giveaway of nervousness.

Avoid flash and bling. Cops wear uniforms that are conservative, so dress accordingly. Watch the rings, bracelets, pins, pinky rings and so forth. Stay conservative. Don't get a haircut that morning; get a fresh haircut a couple days earlier. It will groom well, and won't look too fresh.

Easy at lunch. Meals before the interview need to be easy on your stomach. You don't want chili dogs barking during the interview.

Don't set the board up. Most of the interviews follow civil service or similar guidance and rules. Each candidate is asked the same questions. Don't try to make the board commit a violation by asking if they have any bonus questions. This won't go over well.

Practice and practice well. This will help with the interview and allow you to display your confidence. This isn't an all-encompassing list of tips. There are more to come. Now go practice and get that job!

Related:

Oral Interview Tips

Interview Failures and Faults

Preparing For the Oral Interview

Tags: Job Interviews, How-To Guides


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Jason Moore @ 5/28/2011 7:56 PM

Good Article,
After being so close on several interviews I knew I had to alter my preparation. I was missing out not because of my qualifications but because of my interviewing skills, very frustrating! After trawling Amazon for books etc I came across "The Complete Job Interview Preparation Course" DVD. I worked through the 30 something page work booklet (which was straight to the point and full of great advice and examples) and then applied my new skills in their interactive virtual interview program. Man, I could really see a massive improvement in both the structure and delivery of my answers. This course gave me so much more than any book could have, and yes, Im now employed in my dream job, The Police Force!

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

Just What the Hell Are We Protecting?
I do wonder to what extent the federal employees among our ranks ask themselves whether or...
Remarkable Statistics on Officer Response to Active Shooter Incidents
The author reviews the PERF report on police response and results from 84 active shooter...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of over 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine