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.


A number of important actions need to be strictly
under your control for the best chances of success
in your interview, these include:

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 conversation.

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.  


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 interview.

To achieve successful communication, you must:

Control what you say.

Do your homework and be prepared to respond
Take Your Time – Think Before You Speak.

Control how you say it.

Your emotional attitude must be kept moderate.
Your tone of voice must convey confidence and self-
Your pattern of speech must be relaxed and natural.
Your physical posture must be composed, alert, and

Successful Speaking Tips

Listen Carefully.
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
Speak slowly and clearly pronounce your words.

Let your mind wander, forcing you to ask for the
question to be repeated.
Interrupt the interviewer.
Answer before giving yourself time to think.
Use poor grammar, slang, or jargon.
Speak too rapidly or too slowly.
Give unrelated or off subject ideas or opinions.


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

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 browns,
and grey.
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 business.

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
stressful situations.

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 interviewers.
Appear to lack the ability to focus by staring at the
interviewers. Staring is considered rude and


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 the
Offer a brief, sincere recovery statement that
establishes your commitment to becoming a police
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 you make.
by George M. Godoy
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.


Some positive image elements to incorporate into
your interview would include showing:

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 others.
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.
Police Exam

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