Book Excerpt: Police Promotion Oral Interview

Learn how to speak illustratively, which allows oral board members to not just hear the answer, but see and experience it as well


While sitting on oral board panels, I have often heard statements like, “I am a good communicator” or other similar statements. Such statements are often in response to, “Why are you the best candidate for the position?” or “What are your strengths?” or similar type question. I like to ask a follow-up question, such as, “Yes, communication skills are critical, can you explain to the panel WHY you are a good communicator?” Unfortunately, I often get a look of panic or confused disbelief that the promotional candidate actually has to back up a claim.

So, if you say you’re good at something as important as communication skills, leadership, ethics, or other critical component of supervision and management, don’t just give us a few words; explain it to us. Talk to us like we are three. Provide your panel members with a detailed explanation that proves your talent in a particular area. If you provide a single sentence with no explanation, you are selling yourself short and such limited statements may likely leave the panel unimpressed and wanting more.  

“I am a good communicator”

Or…

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