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Probation Officer Panel Interview

DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, shot in the dark here, but I recently had a stroke of luck and have finally made some headway into finding a job. I've got an interview coming up for a Probation Officer position for a county in California (already took a test and passed) and was wondering if anyone had any experience with law enforcement panel interviews and could relate their experiences. I'm trying to get a feel for what they might be asking me, I do know it'll be a 3 person panel with 2 supervising probation officers and 1 deputy probation officer.

PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
Drakeon on


  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    Have you done a Google search?

    I've been been interviewed for police officer positions, but the questions varied. Since actual officers are interviewing you, I assume they will ask questions directly pertinent to the position, like, scenario questions and critic you based on how you respond.

  • DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    I've been extending tendrils to every known resource I have. Including former classmates (one whos gone through 4 oral boards, although for police officer positions and just contacted me back, whos now been a huge help), former professors, former coworkers at an internship (related to this job), asking them what to expect. Google has also given me some good results, been boning up on the department history, the job announcement and what it expects, etc. It's a few weeks off (about 3 1/2 weeks off), but I want to be as prepared as possible, as this is my first oral board interview.

    PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
  • DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    Looks like you are going about it the right way. The best source of information are people who have recently gone through a similar process as local interviews can vary greatly.

  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    A mock interview would be a good idea if you can actually get a few former classmates together.

    I've only done two panel interviews in the gaming industry but they can be a bit intimidating the first time.

    It's also a good excuse to go out and buy them drinks afterwards and catch up.

    So why do you want to be a probation officer?

    And what makes you think you'll be an effective one?

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • Raif SeveranceRaif Severance Registered User regular
    Job interviews are going more towards situational questions. Be prepared to answer open-ended questions similar to: Tell me about a time when you handled a difficult situation, or Your good friend Bobby D. is lying about his hours worked. What do you do?

    Yours will most likely be geared towards the occupation you are pursuing but be prepared to offer personal experiences to back up your answers.

  • KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    My interview for an emergency dispatch position in law enforcement was a panel interview, and while the exact questions/situations will obviously be different I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot of similarities. My supervisors also seem to agree that the questions they utilized are generally the same things used in law enforcement interviews.

    Basically they'll likely pose scenarios, and ask how you'd respond to them - and maybe even ask you some questions about what you were already told to see if you paid attention to details. For example, in my interview they gave a scenario about a teacher having to call 9-1-1 because a child was choking or sick or something, and asked what I'd do. After a few questions regarding this scenario, they asked me again to tell them who called 9-1-1 in the first place. You'd be surprised how many (most) people totally forget the teacher called, due to the somewhat confusing way the scenario was laid out or something. So if they start throwing scenarios like this at you, make sure to pay attention and remember the key details (reporting party, suspects, crime, direction of travel, vehicle information, whatever)

    edit: Oh and this is pretty common for law enforcement positions - if they pose a scenario where you're put in life threatening danger (suspect coming at you with a knife or other weapon, suspect with a gun pointed at you or someone else) they'll generally ask you what you'll do. The answer is pretty much always "shoot the suspect." Anything dumb like "I'd try to fight the crazy person with the knife, or ask the guy pointing the gun at me to put it down" or anything else besides *shoot the guy* you're wrong and will probably fail the interview because of it.

    Karrmer on
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    There are probably going to ask you a series of ethical and moral questions, and try to break you. Google up on proper responses to prepare and keep your cool. I have been through something similar before, its similar to what Karrmer stated, only it was dealing with "What if your friend tried to steal cash out of your wallet? why if your friend tried to steal cash out of someone elses wallet and you caught them? What if it was a stranger? Why are your answers different to those questions?(if you answered tell the police on your friend, the questioning turns into dont you have any loyalty?)". Not to scare you, but its like the questioning you see in Blade Runner. This was a series of questions to kids when we were getting certified as police explorers (boy scouts for police). They taped each one, and were going to show it to everyone in "fun" to watch reactions, but they quickly told us based on the reactions in the meetings they would not be doing so, which leads me to believe they got alot of people very very angry and upset at their own beliefs.

    The lesson from above is that generally because were human, we do fucking terrible at the above, and its more about being able to explain yourself properly (they will always have a biting follow up question) and keep cool. Which is basically how most interviews go anyways.

    DiannaoChong on
  • pantsypantsy Registered User regular
    As a supervisor in the corrections industry that regularly does panel interviews and hires people, here are the things I look for (and my questions tend to help me judge these qualities):

    -Does this person have good common sense? Are they able to think on their feet? Can they make good decisions and multitask?
    - Professionalism; How does this person handle being in the chain of command? How do they function with other people?
    - Reliability; Can I expect this person to arrive on time for all of their shifts? How often does this person change jobs, i.e. can I expect them to stay
    - Honesty- is this the sort of person who tells the truth and accepts responsibility for their actions? Or are they just telling me answers I might want to hear?

    Don't worry about being nervous. Everyone is nervous going into interviews. If you don't have an immediate answer (like for a situational question), take your time and think about it. I would rather have someone think about their answer for 30 seconds and give me a good one than have someone spout the first thing that comes into their head (although that is sometimes telling about a person).

    Dress nice. Wear a suit if you have one. If you come looking like a slob you won't get a second thought, especially in law enforcement.

    Come early to the interview. If you aren't on time to the interview, how can I expect you to be on time to work?

    In law enforcement, being respectful/politely formal is good. These people will be your superiors. Sir and Ma'am go a long way.

    Hope that helps!

  • DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    Thanks for the answers guys, appreciate the help greatly.

    PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
  • alholio15alholio15 Registered User new member
    Drakeon I was searching google for good interview tips for probation . And these posts came up. It looks like you went through the process a year ago. Do you have any advice or suggestions for getting through the interview. Thank you!!! Any help would be greatly apreciated!

This discussion has been closed.