Police Officer Hiring Process - Oral Board Interview

What is the Police Oral Board?

The police oral board interview is a panel consisting of a minimum of 3 panelists who ask the applicant a series of pre-determined questions. All applicants are Police Oral Board Interviewusually asked the same set of questions. The panel may consist of law enforcement personnel from the agency doing the hiring as well as officers from other departments in the area.


The panel may include non-law enforcement personnel from other areas within the overall agency doing the hiring such as personnel from other city or county departments. The panel may also include individuals from the community who have volunteered to assist with the hiring process. The reason for the variety of panelist is so the applicant is evaluated by people with varying backgrounds and perspectives.


In my opinion, the Police Oral Board is the most important step of the hiring process that will determine whether or not you get hired. It is also possibly the item the applicants prepare for the least, if they even prepare at all. An applicant taking the time to prepare for the Oral Board Interview will put themselves ahead of 95% of all the other applicants who have done little if any preparation.


It is very common for an applicant to go through the hiring process with anPolice Oral Board Interview agency, where that agency knows the applicant either through an internship of through the applicant working for another agency.


Everyone with the hiring agency is looking forward to this "great applicant" coming to work for their agency. But that doesn't happen because either the applicant didn't score high enough on the Oral Board Interview to be high enough on the list to get hired. The hiring agency scratches their head that they lost out on this applicant, but that is how the Oral Board process works.



How to Prepare for the Oral Board Interview?

The Police Oral Board Interview is the most step in the hiring process and will be the main determining factor in whether or not you get hired. 95% of all applicants do little or no preparation for the Oral Board Interview. If you want to be part of the 5% who prepare properly and greatly increase their chances of getting hired,


Ace the Oral Board


Police Oral Board



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What is the Board looking for?

  • Ability to communicate verbally and articulate his or her thoughts and reasoning
  • Ability of an applicant to evaluate a situation
  • Ability of the applicant to make decisions under pressure
  • Will the applicant be a good fit with the department

How is the Oral Board Interview scored?

The hiring process for most law enforcement job openings consists of setting a written test, oral board interviews, and often a physical agility test. How these tests are scored or "Weighted" will vary. Some agencies will have the written test be pass/fail with the oral board interview score being 100% of your ranking score. Some agencies will have the oral board interview be pass/fail with the written test score being 100% of your ranking score. Some may use a combination of the applicants score from the oral board interview along with the score of the written exam to determine the applicants ranking score.


The physical agility test, if required, is always pass/fail. When finished with the process the ranking score is the order in which applicants are placed in line to be considered for the job opening.


Who can take the Oral Board?

Some department will offer the oral board interview to any applicant who applies for the job and is determined as meeting the minimum qualifications. There are other departments who only offer the oral board interview to those that have passed the written exam.


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Next Step - The Physical Agility Test



Job Announcement

Application Packet

Cover Letter and Resume

Written Test

Oral Board Interview

Physical Agility Test

Background Investigation

Medical Exam

Job Offer