The Oral Interview

Preparation

As you progress through the hiring process, we will be taking a closer look at who you are and what you are about. You should do the same for us! Take some time to do research about the department through open source information, and learn as much as you can about us. At a minimum, you should know the general population size, the geographic area we cover, and the makeup of the communities we serve. Our social media pages are also full of details about the activities we are passionate about being involved in, as well as news and related information pertaining to some of the critical incidents we have handled. All of this will give you a better understanding of the core values of the Bakersfield Police Department.

Take time in advance to put together an outfit that is clean, neat, ironed, and presentable without being too flashy or distracting. You’re not interviewing with a tech company that espouses a business casual philosophy, so professional attire is expected. Prior to your interview, double-check your appointment time and location, investigate projected travel time, and ensure you give yourself enough room to arrive without being rushed.

Practice

Examine yourself in the mirror and practice welcoming a new person. Say, “It’s nice to see you,” and mean it. You will be asked if you have something else to say at the end of your interview panel. This is one time that a police department will tell you not to say “No!” Accept the offer to by offering a two-minute description of who you are and why this opportunity is important to you. Make sure you practice this ahead of time so you don’t run out of time to give the panel a brief description of your personality and why this work, this job, and this agency, in particular, are important to you.

Interview

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview. Dress professionally and arrive early the morning of. You will be interviewed by a group of interviewers who may be from the department’s supervisory ranks, some from neighboring agencies, and possibly other members of our community. Make eye contact and offer a firm handshake to everyone you meet. They’ll then ask you a series of questions to learn more about your past, previous work experience, and critical thinking abilities. If you’re asked about a tough situation you’ve faced in the past, don’t be afraid to admit a mistake – the desire to adapt, evolve, and overcome adversity reflects positively in the long run.

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