Sample Interview Questions

This is just a sample of practice interview questions which could also be incorporated into structured interviews or even some of the assessment center role play scenarios. The self-rating box is meant to give yourself a chance to rate your own (KSA’s) to reflect your skill levels. You may find that you do need some help in developing your own experiences after reviewing these samples. When answering them, do so as though you were already in that new rank you’re promoting, not in the position you have now. I.e., if you’re going for a Sergeant, then your response should reflect those KSA’s of a good Sergeant. Keep in mind the more specific you can be with law, policy or procedure, the more likely you are to demonstrate your “readiness” in that rank. After all, wouldn’t a good Sergeant know those policies and procedures?  Keep in mind that judgement, decision making, flexibility/adaptability, communication skills, organizational awareness, etc, are all included in measuring a candidates readiness level.

Sample Question #1  Please tell the panel what you think are the three biggest challenges you see to the:

  1. department in the immediate future?
  2. profession in the immediate future?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets  Readiness level 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #2 Attacks on Officers

Nationally, attacks on officers seem to be increasing. How would you handle issues such as officer safety with the combination of the risks of terrorism, increased anti-police rhetoric, and unstable/mentally ill who have firearms/knives.

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #3 – Succession planning/career development

The “brain drain” of skilled individuals due to early retirements/DROP programs, could result in loss of tactical effectiveness, supervisory and leadership losses. How also can the department build for the future, when the most experienced employees are leaving?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #4: Unit effectiveness

What would you, in your new role, do to ensure consistency, high morale, and departmental effectiveness?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #5 Mission & Value Statement

Please tell us what the departments’ mission and value statements are?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #6 Grievance Procedures

Would you please explain the “Grievance” procedures? Please be a specific as possible as to:

  1. your new role as it relates to the policy & procedures
  2. time limits and deadlines
  3. progression of the grievance, and appeals?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #7 Sexual Harassment

Please address the Departments Sexual Harassment policy, including the investigative component. Include your role, in addition to the role of supervisors, managers, and time frames.

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #8 Situational Leadership (If you don’t know you should look it up. See Hershey & Blanchard’s work on this) 

Can you explain what is meant by “Situational Leadership?”

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #9; Evaluations

  1. What do you perceive as the most important reason for using personnel evaluations?
  2. How will you address evaluations in your new role?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #10 Recruiting minorities/women

  1. What would you recommend the department do to help recruit and retain more minorities and women on the department? Include specifics, especially your personal input and actions.
  2. What’s your personal experience in this area?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #11 Morale, etc.

Assume you already have noticed a deteriorating morale and strained workplace relations within your new unit. Supervisors and subordinates appear lax, tardy with assignments, missing drills/training, and have a high rate of overtime, sick leave and absenteeism. What would you do upon taking command?  (Note: for Fresno, include what the recommendations were of the recent survey and impact on the department. What would your role be in supervising your unit knowing about the survey results)

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #12. Under the influence

  1. While holding your unit meeting, you notice that one of your subordinates seems to be under the influence of alcohol.  You determine that he/she has, in fact, been drinking and has alcohol on his/her breath.
  2. What is your Department’s policy on this issue, and…what are you going to say and do?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #13 Passed over

A subordinate comes to you with a complaint about alleged discrimination, and being singled out for special treatment.  The discrimination allegations include complaints of not being sent to specialized training, being “passed over” for some choice assignments. This person is wants to know what his/her “rights” are. This person does have seniority in most cases. What are you going to tell this person?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #14. Active shooters

Recent public shootings at Malls and schools have prompted an increase in training by first responders.  You find that your new unit has not done any local evacuation drills or coordinated any training either the schools or local public safety responders. What would your role be?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #15 Wildfire – expenses

You’re reviewing expenses for a recent incident large scale wildfire. Your review reveals extraordinary expenses for items not normally included in emergency operations, but they have been submitted officially. These items include x-rated video rentals, room service and “in-room” massages for a group of subordinates who were put up at a local hotel. Two of your subordinates were in charge of the group and signed off on the expense report. What would your action be and why?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #16 Social Networking issues

One of your colleagues brings to your attention that one of your subordinates has some highly questionable material and images of themselves on the social network “Facebook.”  You check it yourself and agree that it is inappropriate material and note that several other officers and another supervisor are also involved. What steps would you take to resolve this?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #17 Mission & Values

  1. What are the mission, vision or values are of your department?
  2. Please tell us how you will ensure your subordinates will be demonstrating the mission, values and vision of the department?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #18 New Command/Unit

In your first meeting with your new command/unit, what you most want to say to them?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

 Sample Question #19 Challenges

  1. What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing the department?
  2. What do you see your role is to help the agency meet these challenges?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #20 Code of Silence

What steps would you take to ensure that the “code of silence” would not be tolerated within your command, squad or unit?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #21 Red Flags

What types of behaviors or indicators would you be alert to for “red flags,” to identify and mitigate abuse or misconduct?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #22 Measuring success

How will you be able to measure your successes in your new rank? Use measurable benchmarks, such as 3 months , 6 months and one year from your promotion.

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #23 Mobile communications

Mobile unit to unit communications (text and voice) are increasingly informal and contain both racial and sexist comments. What steps would you take to control this situation?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #24 Tour of facility

As you assume command of your new unit, you conduct a tour of the facility. You notice several calendars or posters of scantily clad females, and several have rude or offensive comments written on them. These have obviously been up for some time. What action will you take?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #25 – Ferguson Effect

What is the “Ferguson Effect,” and how does it affect our department? How would you explain it to your unit?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #26 Female trainee

A female trainee who is still on probation is seen sitting with her arms crossed and eyes downcast, when you are addressing your new unit. You note a few members trying to suppress some laughter and giggling during your presentation. You did notice one commenting that the trainee officer fit her uniform well, especially from the back. You know some of these subordinates from prior shifts when you were their peer and know them to be “salty” and resistant to any supervision.

What will your actions be?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #27: Diverse Communities

In your new unit or command, there are several distinctly diverse areas in a true multi-cultural community. How would you, as the new supervisor or commander of this area, manage police-community relations with the different areas?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #28 Retaliation

You are just talking informally with a couple of subordinates and one of them implies that he or she is suffering retaliation by a supervisor. This supervisor is also one of your subordinates.  The complainant says after having filed a Title VII complaint six months ago against the supervisor, the retaliation has been non-stop. The subordinate asks you for help. What actions would you take?

Rating

1 – Low readiness level 2 3 Meets minimums 4 5 Exceptional response

Sample Question #29: Black Lives Matter

As a new supervisor, you know there is a large contingent of the African-American community that is active in the Black Lives Matter “movement.” How would you deal with this particular group in establishing a relationship with the community leaders? You know that there are several political events which are planned for your area in the near future and you anticipate acts of civil disobedience and protests with a variety of groups.