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What to Expect During the Police Officer Psychological Evaluation

September 30, 2012


Many police departments require their recruits to undergo a psychological evaluation as they are designed to test the recruit’s mental stability and evaluate how the recruit handles stressful situations. The psychological evaluation helps the police department make sure that they are hiring the right person, as it reveals the individual’s personality traits such as their leadership skills, ability to work in a team and if they are honest.

Personality Test

The personality test that is given to police recruits is a list of questions that are designed to evaluate personality traits, such as interests, attitude and what motivates them for wanting to be a police officer. The personality test is quite lengthy, involving hundreds of questions that ask various questions in different formats. These questions are to be ranked by how you would feel or act in the situation presented.

Personality tests are not something you can prepare for, but you should always answer the questions honestly. It is imperative that you read each question and fully understand what the question is asking before you rank it. Some of the following questions are ones that you may encounter on a personality test:

  • I like to work on teams.
  • Meetings are a waste of time.
  • I find that the only way to get something done is to do it myself.
  • I get along with most everyone I meet.
  • It is never acceptable to bend the rules.

These questions are usually answered using the following scale:

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither Agree nor Disagree
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly Disagree

It is important to remember that these questions are not designed to trick you; they are designed to compare your responses to those of other recruits. The personality test is a hiring tool used to help the police department hire the recruit with the personality that best meets the requirements of the open position.


Psychologist Interview

Not all police departments require a psychologist interview, but for those that do, you can expect to meet with a licensed psychologist. This meeting is nothing to be worried about, as they more than likely will expand on your personality test results and ask you questions about your hobbies, interests, family, friends, schooling and work experience. The psychologist may even open the interview up to you by asking you to tell them about yourself.

The psychologist interview is another test that you cannot study for, so it is important to remember just to relax, answer questions honestly, go with your first instinct and only answer the questions that you are asked.


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