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Advice on Oral Boards

edited 22 Feb 2013 in Ask a Officer
Back in late September, I had my first experience with oral boards while in the hiring process for a local department here in Colorado. Unfortunately, I didn't make it past oral boards but I do intend to keep trying with this particular department as I highly respect everything they do and would feel very privileged to be able to join their ranks in the near future. Nevertheless, I didn't fare well on my oral boards. What kind of advice could you guys give to me regarding oral boards?


  • Wear a suit and a tie to the board. Have a fresh haircut. Shine your shoes and present yourself in a highly professional manner. Say "Yes, Sir" and "No, Sir". If you're not well spoken, or get nervous, try practicing in front of a mirror. Just sit in a chair facing the mirror and recite facts about yourself as if they were the answers to questions.
  • The "yes, sir" part I didn't do. Thanks for the advice on that.
  • That really shouldn't be a deal breaker, but it will look better
  • I haven't been though my police oral board yet, but I have been though many promotional boards with my JROTC program in High School. I was battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel so I've been though at least 10-15 promotion boards. My Drill Sergeant told me be professional, dress exceptional, eye contact, yes sir and no sir will help a lot, don't be moving around a lot. Try to 'sell' yourself, you know, be confident in yourself and make sure they know you will be a great asset to their department. but don't be overconfident or cocky(acting like you know everything). but don't be unsure, or self conscious of yourself and your abilities, you know what you can and cant do. They want to see you work well under the pressure of the oral board, because once you become a police officer the work will be so much more stressful than sitting in front of your leadership answering questions.

    Now, I haven't been though a police oral board yet, but from my promotion boards, which were tough, they have helped greatly with building public speaking and confidence.
  • The Police are a para-military type outfit. They are looking for a well presented, well spoken, educated, mature and even tempered individual. Always tell them the truth as you see it and not what you think they want to hear. Be forthright and honest. Good luck...
  • Since you have been through a round of oral boards, you know what questions to expect. Think about how you would respond to those questions. You have time to come up with a great answer. Questions about yourself like education and background, you can practice so you dont forget something important or try to insert it later. Yes and No Sir/Ma'am is a must as well as the eye contact and not moving around a lot. Get information about the city and department, showing intrest in their department will help generate intrest in you. Don't put down past supervisors or fellow co-workers. Never try to "one up" an interviewer. To them, you have not been there/done that, even if you have.

    Like others have said - dress well, fresh haircut, recent shower, etc. Even go to the gym a couple hours prior to the interview. One always feels great and confident after a work out or haircut.

    It doesnt hurt to find some way to work with the department in some other capacity. Even if it is volunteer work. It will help make contacts and show an intrest in working their. But dont over do it.

    Good luck.
  • Thank you for the advice, everyone. I greatly appreciate it.
  • "recent shower", I love that lol
  • Make sure you don't do what my brother did (although he was still hired) he was asked what he would do if he pulled over the deputy chief at 3 am intoxicated. (his dept has less than 20 sworn personnel) his response was "Well after 2 days I'm pretty sure I would know everybody's POV so if I saw the Majors vehicle, being a rookie, I would turn my head and see nothing"
  • The correct response to that scenario is, "I would arrest the Deputy Chief for DUI, Sir. No officer in this department should be above the law. On the contrary, we are the ones who should be setting the example. We should be holding ourselves to a higher standard, Sir." Now, whether or not you're sincere or blowing smoke, that's the textbook right answer
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  • I know what the correct response should of been, I just couldn't believe the balls he had to actually say that.
  • Lol I don't know if I'd call that ballsy or just stupid. But at least he got the job anyway
  • I'm sticking with the theory that he only got hired because his military experience...buts it's nice too because he works the next town over from me
  • edited 16 Mar 2013
    I'm just about to start applying for jobs while still in the air force would it help during the interview process to wear my formal military uniform our stick to formal civilian dress? Thanks
  • @Manny, I would stick to formal civilian dress. However, that's just my opinion. Being still on active duty you are entitled to wear it. I would ask someone in your chain of command or an officer at the department you're applying to
  • Dress conservative. Black suit. White undershirt, and red tie. Wil couldn't be more right about hiring processes and what they look for. What ever happens is meant to be. Don't give up.
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