Open Discussion

Prepare for the JOB, not the test!

Since we’re starting to work on dates for 2020, there’s a couple of things that would help. First of all, is to consider when your testing dates are. Honestly, most officers only think about this type of class is when the job announcement comes out… Not a good tactic! The reason why is that the more successful candidates are also the one’s who are the most prepared, and have worked toward developing those skills for that next rank.

The first question in an interview is often, “Tell us about yourself,” or “What have you done to prepare yourself for the new rank.” Too often we see officers in their “mock” interview or presentations, tell us all about the roles they have had on the Department; Patrol, Traffic, SWAT, K-9, Investigations, etc. They are not telling us about the things they have done, (If anything) to really prepare themselves for the new job.

Typically, raters are really looking for the candidate who is the most “Ready” to step into that role. This means they’ve demonstrated most if not all, of the skill sets spelled out in the job description.

The second issue is to develop a study plan that includes “Hands on” practice, to build those skills: running a meeting, contingency planning, counseling those who may work under you, such as a trainee if you’re an FTO. By the way, FTO’s are virtually a mirror in many respects of a supervisor. That’s why those KSA’s are so important. Study plans should include a serious approach to your scheduling. And I don’t mean just reading P&P’s, etc. That’s ok for the written test but assessment centers are far more interactive.

Let me know what you think?

Process

READ THIS FIRST BEFORE YOU CONSIDER REGISTERING!

How NOT to get Promoted with an Assessment Center Process! *
(Also published with Police One)

1. Just pass the class information on to your competition, as you’ll be working for them soon enough!
2. Listen to everyone who tells you, “Don’t worry about the Assessment Center. Just “be yourself!”
3. Find someone who will tell you exactly what the last assessment scenarios were, since they always do same ones.
4. Better yet, just wait till the first participants come out of the assessment center process and ask them what the scenarios were before your turn! After all, who will know?
5. Don’t read anything on assessment centers, but read all you can about your policies and procedures.
6. Study for hours and hours for months ahead of your assessment center by reading your departmental manuals and policies until your eyes bleed!
7. Don’t read your job description for the new rank – just sell yourself as how good you are at what you do now.
8. Don’t practice strengthening your core supervisory and management skills EVERYDAY as “free practice” using daily scenarios, in-baskets, presentations, briefings, initiating projects, etc.
9. Rely on your years of experience, and winning personality.
10. If your department won’t pay for you to go to any training prior to your promotion, such as a supervisory/management course or a course like ours that focus on assessment centers, do not pay for a course yourself.
11. Do NOT attend ANY course that isn’t POST or “Certified” by your state certification agency. They know what courses are best for you so stick to their menu courses.
12. Do NOT read any professional journals or magazines that would have articles on supervision or management in public safety.
13. Only attend conferences that are exciting, and involve either firing weapons, looking at cool stuff, or hearing lectures about safety/survival and advanced technical skills
14. Don’t take any supervisory or management skill-building courses – stick with what’s worked for you so far.
15. Wait until the last minute just before the assessment center dates are announced and quickly watch a video on assessment centers
16. Ignore your departments annual reports, long range plans, budgets, and future needs – you won’t need to know about them anyway
17. Do not memorize your departments mission, values, goals and objectives. Those are just trick questions.
18. Don’t worry about the challenges the department will be in 3-5 years; you’ll still be where you are now most likely.
19. Wait until after you are promoted to go to Supervisory or Mid-Management training; obviously if your agency wanted you to know anything about Supervision or Management they would have trained you before you got promoted, not afterwards!
20. *I hope you realize this was a “tongue in cheek” list.