Police Dispatcher Job Interview Tips

If you are interested in a police dispatcher job, you will certainly be called in to do a face to face interview. The dispatcher job carries a lot of responsibility with it, so the hiring department needs to be very careful with who they hire. This article will look at what goes into a police dispatcher interview and help you prepare for it.

Basic Interview Tips

It is basic common sense that you should be on time for your interview. Police dispatchers are expected to be punctual so don't make a mistake right at the start. Try to arrive at the interview location about ten minutes early. If you don't know where exactly the location is, do some research and find out. Also see if you can get the name of your interviewer, if possible.

Although your work dress will likely be casual, dress professionally for the interview. Avoid loud clothes, excessive cologne and jewelry. Make good eye contact with the interviewer, shake his hand firmly and use his name at least a couple of times during the interview. Sit up straight and keep feet flat on the floor; avoid the appearance of fidgeting. It's OK to hesitate a bit before giving an answer. This is not only expected but a good sign. The department is looking for somebody who thinks before talking.

Hypothetical Questions

During the interview, you will be asked several variety of questions. By far, the most important are the hypothetical ones. These are "what if" scenarios designed to see how you would respond in a stressful situation. Response to a crisis is the quality you will most be judged on. Consider the answers to these scenarios well before answering. Below are some brief examples of these kind of questions:

  • You receive a call from a hysterical person who has trouble speaking English. Describe how you would handle the call.
  • You receive two critical calls at roughly the same time. Which would you handle first and why?
  • If you heard a fellow dispatcher curse and hang up on a call, how would you respond?

Background Questions

You will also be asked some questions that probe into your background. Some will just confirm information on your resume, others are designed to see what "makes you tick". Be honest with your responses to these latter questions. Here are some examples of background questions you might be asked:

  • Describe how you dealt with a previous stressful situation
  • What past experience have you had with communicating with others?
  • What exactly led you to apply for a position in our particular department?

Preparation Advice

The old saying "forewarned is forearmed" certainly applies to a job interview. Do a little research on the dispatcher's job before the interview. It may not even be a bad idea to "shadow" a dispatcher on the job to get a good idea what a typical day is like.

You also want to practice a "mock" interview before doing the real thing. Get a friend or relative to help you with this. If you are not happy with a response during the practice interview, work on that answer.

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