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Police Oral Interview Preparation - Dress For Success

Feb 18, 2008
Police oral board members have about 30 minutes to determine if you will have a career in law enforcement. A person's appearance is the single most common weapon employers use to reduce the number of prospects under consideration. Ideally, your qualifications and character should be the ultimate criteria on how you are judged. In reality, surface impressions play a significant role. Leave nothing to chance. Remember, police oral board members will consciously or subconsciously judge you on your appearance. And this decision may affect whether you become a police officer.

Recommendations for proper interview attire and appearance:

Business Attire - Dress conservatively for the oral board interview. Men should wear a gray or dark blue suit. Women should wear a conservatively styled and colored business suit. Suits should be fresh from the cleaners and free of lint, front and back. Men's trousers should be sharply creased and properly fitted at the shoe line. Keep things such as keys, change and wallet out of your pockets. You don't want buldges that will take away from a streamlined appearance, or worse, you don't want to jingle when you enter the interview room. Women should not carry a purse. Men's shoes, socks, belt and ties should match their suits. The tie must be wrinkle free and neatly knotted. Don't wear a tie clasp. A starched, white, long-sleeved shirt should be worn regardless of the time of year. Men and women's shoes should be spotless and highly shined. Women should wear low shoes.

Hair - Men should get a haircut two or three days prior to the oral board. Men should wear their hair short. The hair should not extend over the ears on the sides or past the shirt collar in back. Sideburns should not extend farther than the middle of the earlobe. Women's hair is best in a short, neat style and at the longest should be no more than shoulder length.

Facial Hair - Men, if you have a beard, shave it off.

Cologne and Perfume - Don't wear it, period.

Earrings - Men should never wear an earring to the interview. Women should wear earrings that are small and appropriate for work. Long dangling earrings call undue attention to themselves.

Fingernails - Fingernails should be trimmed and clean. Women should avoid long nails and bright colored polish. Clean nails with a clear gloss or no polish at all would be the best.

Gold or Silver Chains - Men should not wear them to the interview. Women should limit the wearing of a chain to one, and it should be understated.

Make-Up - The majority of female police officers wear little or no make-up at all. Keep make-up to a minimum.

Rings - If you have a military or college ring, by all means wear it. If you're married, wear your wedding band, but only your wedding band. Limit wearing rings to one on each hand. Pinky rings are not appropriate.

To be a top performer in interviewing you must be a good sales person and sell yourself to the interviewers. The bottom line is, if you are able to sell the product -- yourself -- to the customer -- the employer -- you will get the job. And never forget, your appearance says more about you than you can say about yourself.
About the Author
Hundreds of applicants fail the police oral board each week. Can you afford to be one of them? To learn how to get a thumbs up on the police oral board visit... Police Test Strategies
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