Practice applying these image elements to
everything you do, every encounter with
another person, and soon, they will
become a part of you -- natural and
supportive in all your social interactions
-- ready to reassure others of your
capable nature and social skills.
WHAT TO DO
A number of important actions need to
be strictly under your control for the best
chances of success in your interview,
Do Not Be Late! Target your arrival to be
at least 20 minutes prior to the
scheduled interview time.
Walk into the interview room smiling,
head up, and with excellent posture.
Make eye contact with each interviewer
and introduce yourself -- give a firm
handshake if the courtesy is offered.
Wait to be seated, then sit when invited
to do so, smile and say ‘thank you’.
Let the interviewers begin the
Small talk should be responded to with
respectful phrases appropriate to a police
department -- yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am,
no ma’am -- while keeping additional
comments brief and to the point.
WHAT TO SAY
Once the interview begins, the positive
image you have worked to establish so
far must be given depth and reality with
effective speaking. Your ability to convey
your thoughts clearly and concisely is a
powerful factor for success in your
To achieve successful communication,
Control what you say.
Do your homework and be prepared to
Take Your Time – Think Before You
Control how you say it.
Your emotional attitude must be kept
Your tone of voice must convey
confidence and self-assurance.
Your pattern of speech must be relaxed
Your physical posture must be
composed, alert, and purposeful.
Successful Speaking Tips
Let the interviewer finish their question.
Look at the person speaking to you,
show active listening with affirming nods.
Take time to think before answering.
Give an answer that reflects the
interviewers line of thought.
Speak slowly and clearly pronounce your
Let your mind wander, forcing you to ask
for the question to be repeated.
Interrupt the interviewer.
Answer before giving yourself time to
Use poor grammar, slang, or jargon.
Speak too rapidly or too slowly.
Give unrelated or off subject ideas or
WHAT TO WEAR
Wearing proper interview attire goes a
long way towards creating a positive
image. Ideally, your qualifications and
character should be the ultimate criteria
for judging you as a police officer
candidate, but in reality, surface
impressions play a significant role.
Putting your best-dressed foot forward is
fairly simple and straightforward and can
be applied to male or female candidates:
Wear conservative colors—dark blues and
Wear clean, pressed clothing that fits well.
Wear your hair neatly groomed.
Wear minimal jewelry.
Wear mild cologne or perfume, lightly
applied, better yet wear none at all.
Wear black or brown leather shoes in a
simple style, clean and polished.
Wear makeup appropriate to daytime
WHAT YOUR BODY SAYS
Two-thirds of what we communicate to
others is through nonverbal ‘body
language’. Skilled interviewers are trained
in interpreting nonverbal communication
and consider your body language to be
the truest indicator of your character.
Learning what nonverbal signals you are
sending to others and controlling those
signals will help you make the most
positive impression possible with your
Friends and family are excellent resources
for learning your particular, nonverbal
communications in certain situations.
They can help you see the image your
body language presents, especially in
Some nonverbal communication tips you
may find useful are:
Show you are alert, interested, and
energetic by maintaining good posture.
Show honesty, confidence, and interest
by maintaining consistent eye contact.
Show active listening with appropriate
gestures -- like a nod of understanding.
Show openness by smiling, keeping arms
at your sides, hands relaxed in your lap
Appear casual by slouching in your seat,
crossing your legs, or sitting at an angle
to the interviewers.
Appear fearful by sitting rigidly or at the
edge of your seat.
Appear aggressive or confrontational by
leaning too far forward.
Appear nervous by tapping your feet or
talking ‘with your hands’.
Appear dishonest or lacking confidence
by looking down or away from the
Appear to lack the ability to focus by
staring at the interviewers. Staring is
considered rude and antagonistic.
RECOVERING FROM A POOR FIRST
A poor first impression can be derived
from a number of things, from an ill-
timed laugh to tripping into the room.
Whether the damaging event was
avoidable or not is not important in this
situation. The only important thing is
taking action to recover control of the
interview and yourself.
How does this happen? What can be
done to get your interview back on track?
Recovery is simple.
Do not panic.
Maintain your composure.
Take a deep breath and smile.
Make steady, friendly eye contact with
Offer a brief, sincere recovery statement
that establishes your commitment to
becoming a police officer.
Shake off your jitters and hold your
course for a strong finish.
The bottom line in facing your police oral
board interview comes down to your
ability to present yourself in the most
easily assimilated, universally accepted,
integrity-driven manner. You should
appear professional, polished, poised,
and comprehensively able. Your
interviewers should be able to visualize
you in their department’s uniform,
enforcing the law in their community, and
supporting their department regulations
with every action you take and decision
|Police Oral Board Interview
From Stress To Success
The image you present in your Police Oral
Board Interview is one of the most
important elements to consider in any
preparations you undertake.
The most positive image to present is
one that displays character traits that are
universally perceived as positive. Bringing
a powerful combination of accepted
positive images to your interview is a
sure way to make a winning impression
that puts you one step closer to your
ultimate goal -- becoming a police officer.
WHAT MAKES A POSITIVE IMAGE
Some positive image elements to
incorporate into your interview would
Appreciation – for the opportunity to
interview for the position.
Enthusiasm – for the job. Your interest
should be genuine and informed.
Empathy – for others and displaying an
understanding for the role compassion
plays in police work.
Confidence – in yourself and your
abilities. Be comfortable with your beliefs
and reveal your trust in the abilities of
|Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22
year police veteran. During his police
career, Sergeant Godoy served for 5
years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000
potential police recruits.
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|Copyright © 2021 Barry M. Baker
|Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
|There are Five
for a Successful Police
|Recommended reading for
those of you thinking
about becoming a Police
|Accurate crime reporting is
so important on so many
levels. It all begins with
you and your preliminary
|As a police officer, you'll
be writing something
everyday of your police
career. Everything you put
to writing, no matter how
will be important.
|While television police
shows and movies are not
normally the best examples
for you to apply to your
police career, they do
sometimes offer some
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