Police Officer Hiring Process – The Psychological Exam
Most agencies have a psychological exam and this may be given to those who pass the written exam, the oral board interview, the physical agility, and are being considered for employment.
Why do agencies give a psychological?
Before an agency invests the time and resources in hiring and training somebody, they want to make reasonably sure that the person is able to perform the job and will not pose a risk or a danger to the public. Basically, that they are psychologically fit for the job.
It is a lot easier to filter somebody out during the hiring stage than it is to filter them out after they’ve already been hired.
What are agencies looking for in the psychological?
The psychological is meant to rule out significant mental disturbances or personality disorders that would make somebody incompatible with the role of being a police officer. The purpose of the psychological is not to engage in an in-depth probe. This is often a point of importance with people because sometimes people are so focused on trying to answer every question “right” that as a result it looks like they’re not being truthful because they’re over analyzing the questions rather than just answering the questions honestly.
What does the psychological exam consist of?
There are often two main components, however, an agency could use either part. There will be a clinical interview with a psychologist and a standardized test which is basically a pen and paper multiple choice psychological test.
During the interview with the psychologist they’re going to ask you questions about your background, your work history, and your lifestyle. They will also ask you about any problems that you may be experiencing and what your expectations are about the job.
The standardized test is usually several hundred questions, and often the same question is asked several times but worded differently. The reason for this is that way the test finds out how you would really answer the question. If you try and “out think” the test by figuring out what you should answer rather than what you really think, this inconsistency will show up.
How to Prepare for the Psychological
The questions asked do not have a right or wrong answer. However, you can fail by not understanding the process and not being prepared. Mastering the Psychological Is a course from Sgt. Godoy which helps people prepare for the Polygraph and includes simulated questions.