About IllinoisPoliceJobs.com

There are websites out there that list police jobs.  Some have annoying pop-ups and charge for their use. BUT what exactly is involved with the hiring process?

This site will explain every step of the way at NO CHARGE for reading.  We don't even ask for your email address like some other sites.  This site allows you to monitor the changes with full privacy and assurance that we are not selling your emails to a marketing company.  You will need to check back regularly to see changes or you can follow us at: twitter.com/ILPoliceJobs


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The Application

This is the first step in getting your job with a police department.  The KEY is to COMPLETELY fill it the application.  Type it if you can or print very neatly in BLACK ink.  We have included some various applications for you.  One tip is to keep a folder for every department, there may be a lot of them, that you apply for.  Photo copy EVERYTHING that you hand in.  This way when you go in for the interview (later in this section) you will have everything that the department has.  This will be a good way to refresh your memory of what you wrote.

Eventhough departments may hand out 300-500 applications, only about half come back.

Here are some sample applications:

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The Orientation

This is usually the night before the written test or physical test.  This is MANDATORY! Some departments have opted to skip this step as people are much busier nowadays.

During this meeting, the chief will thank you for coming out.  There may be 20-500 people there depending upon the department and economy.  DO NOT be swayed by this.  As you will find out throughout the process, the trick is not to be #1.  The trick is to NOT BE WEEDED OUT! 

Next up, will be another officer that will talk about the hours and how bad it is not to see your family.  They'll talk about missing holidays and special times because as a police officer, you will be working varied shifts, weekends, and holidays.  The next officer will talk about the future of the department and how much there is to do.  The chief will conclude with a victory speech to get you excited about the department.

Know before you go test, that this job is not for everyone.  Departments "hook" you with high salaries and keep you there with high salaries.  A starting salary could be $60,000.  After just four years, you could be making $80,000 or more.  This is very hard to walk way from. BUT 25 years at a job you hate is even worse.

The Physical Test

It would make sense to have a work related physical agility test, but no. There was a test many years ago put on by the Bureau of Testing Services (BOTS).  It was a test that would be very similar to the actual demands of the job.  Since then, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Board has decided to simply use four tests.  I'm not sure if an officer will ever bench press anyone or run a mile and a half, but that's the test..

Here is the test you have to take with the requirements.  There is no maybe.  It's pass or fail. Departments WILL NOT hire you if you fail even one of them.

P.O.W.E.R. test

Peace Officer Wellness Evaluation Report

The Written Test
The written can be all sorts of types.  The most common is a general aptitude test somewhat like an ACT.  Get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast before you go.

The Polygraph

There are two main offices that do the polygraph (or lie detector).  One is in Hinsdale (F L Hunter and Associates) and the other is in Hillside (Theodore Polygraph Service).

It is important to know what a polygraph is, and isn't. First of all a polygraph is not capable of detecting a lie. The polygraph instrument, be it the antique model called an analog, or the new computerized box collects physiological data from three areas of the human body. Two rubber tubes are placed over the police candidates chest and abdomen. These tubes record your breathing activity. Two metal splints are attached to your fingers. These metal plates record sweat gland activity. And, a blood pressure cuff (exactly what doctors use) is wrapped around your upper arm to measure cardiovascular activity.

When you arrive, you will complete a questionnaire.  There will be a few questions that you will be asked in the exam.  The examiner will ask you these questions before you are hooked up to the polygraph.  Here are some of the questions that could be asked of you based on your pre-interview questionnaire:

1.  Are you (fill in blank)?
2. Are you in Illinois right now?
These questions are designed to measure your body algorithms.
4. Have you ever taken illegal drugs in the last 5 years?
5. Have you ever cheated on an exam?
6. Did you tell the complete truth on your job application?
7. Have you deliberately withheld information from your job application?
8. Have you ever been fired from a job?
9. Since the age of ( ) have you committed an undetected crime?
10. Since the age of ( ) have you been convicted of a crime?
11. During the past year, have you used marijuana more than ( ) per ( )?
12. Have you used any other narcotic illegally in the past ( ) years?
13. Have you sold marijuana or other narcotics illegally in the past ( ) years?
14. Have you ever stolen more than ($ ) worth of merchandise in any one year from any of your employers?
15. Have you even stolen more than ($ ) in moneys in any one year from any of your employers?
16. Have you ever used a system to cheat one of your employers?
17. Have you ever had your driver’s license suspended or revoked?
18. Have you ever had any traffic citations in the past five ( ) years?
19. Have you deliberately lied to any of these questions?
20. In the last five years did you steal any merchandise from previous employers?
21. In the last five years did you steal any money from previous employers?
22. In the last ten years did you take part in or commit any serious crime?
23. Did you falsify any information on your application?

Putting a tack in your shoe, pennies in your armpit, soap under your tongue.

The Psychological

There are many different companies that do psych tests.  It seems that Stephen Laser and Associates in Chicago does most of the tests in the area.  The first test is an info only test taken on a computer.  You need to answer honestly as these cross check with additional tests.  The next test requires you to follow rules and apply them.  This is a longer test and is very mundane.  Then one of the associates will speak to you with a battery of questions.

As long as you remain professional and honest, you will have no issues passing the exam.

The Background Check

This is the silent killer.  What's in your background can really damage your chances of getting that dream job.

Make sure that your references know that you listed them as a reference.  Nothing will hurt your background more than a reference who doesn't remember you.  Do not list relatives as references.

Maintain a folder of EVERY job that you have.  Copy that job's COMPLETED application that you handed in and keep all hand outs.  If you ever get a commendation or write up, add those to your file.  Make sure you know everything that your employer has.  When you leave a job, request n entire copy of your personnel file with a letter from the human relations person attesting to the completeness of the file.  You may have to have each document numbered to show completion.

Do not lie about your schooling. Make sure that you have transcripts both for your records and a set that is sealed, in case you find a job and applications are due immediately and you don't have time to request through your school.

FOIA can be your friend.

The Interview

The image you present in your Police Oral Board Interview is one of the most important elements to consider in any preparations you undertake.

Grab a video recorder and go through the following recording yourself and then play it back. You may see some irritating mannerisms that you can easily remove. Get rid of the 'ums' and 'likes'. Learn to speak intelligently and controlled.

First off, make sure you are at least 15 minutes early.  This will give you time to readjust anything that needs to be.  Make sure you are conscious of traffic and other obstacles that may make you late.  A good practice would be to go to the site of the interview the night before and know exactly where it is.  After all, if you get this far, an extra drive is well worth the return of knowing where you are going.

Be positive to everyone you meet.  One time, an chief was waiting in the room talking to the potentiation candidate.  The candidate gave some crude reasons for working at the department not knowing he was talking to the chief. When The host opened the door, he invited the men in and greeted the chief accordingly.  Needless to say, the candidate did not get the job.

Make a positive image. 
Walk into the room and offer your hand to whomever is on the other side of the desk.  Don't crush their hands, but give a firm handshake, even to female interviewers.  Make sure you walk in with great posture.  This shows confidence.  Make sure to have eye contact with each person.  When you shake their hands, repeat their name so you remember it.  Wait to be seated and then say "thank you" when they offer it.

Wait until they speak to you.  Refer to them as Ma'am or sir. 

Show the interviewers that you appreciate the time they have taken to interview you.  Show that you are enthusiastic about the job and department.  Interviewers want to see certain traits.  Empathy has to be shown.  Police officers who are drones, are not wanted in today's law enforcement.  Above all though, you must have confidence.

Do your homework on the department and be prepared to respond intelligently.  Once they ask a question, pause to think and then respond.  Control your breathing and tone making sure that you are not overly excited.

1) Tell us about yourself.  Make it short and sweet.

2) Why do you want to be a police officer?

3) Why do you want to work for OUR agency?

4) What are your strengths?

5) What are your weaknesses? Make sure though it's a positive in the world of police work.

6) What would you do in this scenario?  There may be a flurry of "what you would do" questions.  Some are easy, some are hard.  Here are a few:

You are off duty in  grocery store and see an older lady put food under her jacket.

You are on patrol and see your sergeant and another female officer (not his wife) leaving a motel?

You respond to a burglary and your FTO takes some property not his and tells you that it was stolen during the offense.

You respond to a domestic battery in progress.  You hear screaming but no one will answer the door.

Thank each member and shake their hand. Remember their names and when you get home write a thank you letter to each of them reiterating the interview and maybe stressing a point or two.  This is a good time to reflect and add anything that you may have forgotten.

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