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!
Oral Interview Tips
Interview Failures and Faults
Preparing For the Oral Interview