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PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION PREPARATION (PEPtalk)

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Police Psychological Interview Dress Code

 

You will have only one chance to make a first impression during your oral interview. How you choose to dress can impact whether you are found to be psychologically suitable for the position of police officer. Following is a list of what to wear:

 

Men 

 

•  Dark suit, preferably navy blue

•  White dress shirt

•  Conservative tie

•  Black belt

•  Well-polished black dress shoes

•  Dark socks

•  A watch

•  A conservative haircut

•  minimal facial hair (neatly trimmed moustache that does not go over the corners of the mouth is OK)

•  No cologne

•  Cary a black portfolio or briefcase

 

Women

 

•  Dark suit or conservative dress, preferably navy blue

•  White conservative blouse

•  Conservative shoes - No high heals

•  Minimal, non-distracting jewelry

•  A watch

•  Professional hairstyle

•  Minimal make-up - No perfume

•  Manicured nails

•  Cary a black portfolio or briefcase

 

Most important, dress to look like a police officer.


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Dos and Don'ts for Law Enforcement Psychological Evaluation


Do


•  Arrive before the scheduled time

•  Be well dressed and well groomed, and dress conservatively

  1. If you know the examiner’s name, warmly greet him/her by name and use your name

   (e.g., "Good morning, Dr. Green. I'm John Smith.")

•  Be honest and consistent

•  Smile when appropriate

•  Turn off the ringer on your cell phone

•  Show enthusiasm and self confidence



Don’t


•  Show feelings of anger

  1. Try to present yourself in an overly favorable light

•  Become confrontational

•  Be defensive

•  Ask for the results of your evaluation

•  Make excuses or minimize transgressions

•  Try to impress the evaluator with questions


Note: A comprehensive list can be obtained by contacting us.



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What is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 (MMPI-2)?


The MMPI-2 is perhaps the most widely utilized objective personality measure administered to law enforcement candidates. It is a standardized test with a large body of research to support it. The MMPI-2 aims to identify personality characteristics/structure and the presence of psychopathology.


The test consists of 567 true/false questions. Although you may be tempted to try to practice taking this test, we strongly advise that you don't. The MMPI-2 has validity scales that detect whether candidates are being consistent and truthful in their responses. More often than not, we find that candidates have problems with credibility, and trying to present themselves in an overly favorable light ("Fake Good" profile), more often than those who exhibited valid profiles and psychopathology.


Our advice ... be truthful and consistent. Don't lie to try to make yourself look better. Read each question slowly and carefully. Don't over think and look for an underlying meaning in a question. The MMPI-2 is used across the country for pre-employment psychological evaluation of law enforcement candidates for a reason. The best advice, be honest.



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Troops Return Home with Scarlet Letters: PTSD

"Psychologically Unsuitable for the Position of Police Officer"



You served your country. After two tours of duty in Iraq, you are Honorably Discharged and begin transitioning back to civilian life.

 

A fellow Marine encourages you to visit the VA. He informs you that there is money available to compensate you for some of the stuff you’re going through—recollections of small arms firefights and roadside bombings, disturbing dreams, and jumpiness with loud noises. You figure, “What do I have to lose?”

 

At the VA, you undergo screenings for depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While your scores show no signs of depression, you endorsed statements indicating symptoms of PTSD. Ultimately, you’re awarded a 10% disability pension.  

 

Fast-forward one year. You’ve been working at a deli while applying for law enforcement jobs. You complete written examinations, physicals and meet with police department psychologists. Ultimately, you receive a letter from a department indicating that you have been found “Psychologically Unsuitable for the Position of Police Officer.” You’re informed that you have thirty days to file an appeal.

 

Your childhood dream of becoming a police officer is shattered. What went wrong?

 

After retaining an attorney to file your appeal, you to meet with a private psychologist. He will review your file from the police department and conduct an independent evaluation. Months go by as you wait for the the police department to photocopy your file for the independent evaluator.

 

You ask yourself, “How do I explain to my family and friends that I’ve been psychologically disqualified from being a cop? With everything I went through in the Marines....”

 

Finally, you receive the phone call you’ve been waiting for. The private psychologist received your file and he wants to meet with you to discuss the documentation. He then informs you that you were psychologically disqualified due to “Poor stress tolerance— PTSD.” He further indicates that while there were no data to suggest an inability to manage stress at the time of your evaluation with the police department. Apparently the 10% disability pension from the VA made you a “marked man.”

 

Unfortunately, this scenario is playing itself out over and over again across the country. Troops returning from the military, aspiring to work in law enforcement positions, are finding that instead of their military experience being viewed as a positive asset, they are deemed “psychologically broken.”

 

While there are certainly a number of troops who develop war-related PTSD, the vast majority of people do not. And although many troops return from war experiencing traumatic stress reactions, normal responses to abnormal events, all of our troops will not live their lives with significant distress and impairment of functioning—with a traumatic stress disorder. 

 

When transitioning from the military to civilian life, normal men and women will no doubt grapple with symptoms of PTSD, particularly those who were exposed to the theater of war. However, we must recognize that these symptoms generally dissipate with time, and that they should not prevent experienced troops from pursuing careers in law enforcement.

 

Explaining the psychological evaluation process and reducing candidates' fears


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