police car

Police Hiring Process: How To Become A Police Officer In 2022

An increasing amount of police departments across the United States have reported a rise in the number of applicants compared to the number of open police posts. To put it more simply, the police force employment process is extremely competitive, and only the most qualified applicants are selected for further consideration.

Therefore, it will not be sufficient to merely “clear” the police exam. It’s more accurate to say that you must outscore the competition by a large margin. While the competition for police positions can vary from department to department, the hiring procedure is consistent.

Understanding the steps involved in getting hired as a police officer can help you plan effectively and efficiently. If you’re thinking about a career in law enforcement, you should know the steps involved in the recruiting process, and today we’ll go over those steps in detail.

Step 1 – Fill Out The Application

There is more weight to the first application than you may expect. The application process takes a lot of time. Although inconvenient, application forms are essential to give police departments around the United States the information they need to determine if you’re a qualified and convincing applicant for employment.

You must provide accurate information on the form. Keep in mind that you’ll be subjected to a polygraph test and a board interview toward the end of the selection process. Many applicants get caught in a trap when they overlook crucial details from their initial applications.

police officer

Step 2 – Police Written Test

The written examination, often referred to as the police entrance exam, is the primary determinant of whether or not an applicant will be hired as a police officer. The police officer examination covers seven major topics:

  • Analyzing and comprehending written material
  • Grammar, spelling, and vocabulary
  • Arithmetic and calculus
  • The ability to use both inductive and deductive reasoning to solve problems
  • The ability to read a map, find your way around, and make sound decisions in unfamiliar situations
  • Data analysis
  • Short-term memory

Step 3 – Interview

With the correct amount of study, you should be able to do well on the interview for the police exam, although many applicants struggle. The interview is meant to determine whether you possess the right attitude, ability to make quick decisions, depth of knowledge, as well as practical experience to perform the duties of a police officer.

You will be subjected to a stream of questions, some of which will be more personal and others that will be more in the vein of those used by the police. Although you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to respond, you should be sure that your reasoning is sound and consistent. To avoid giving the panel the idea that you can’t make up your mind, try not to change your mind too much.

Step 4 – Physical Abilities Test

The physical abilities test, such as the written police examination and the interview with the panel, varies from one police department to the next. Because of the significance of physical competence to a police officer’s numerous active duties continues to play a significant role in the selection process. As a result, the following assessments are typically combined by most departments:

  • Sit-ups
  • 300-meter sprint
  • 5-mile run
  • Push-ups

Step 5 – Polygraph  Test

While some jurisdictions routinely use polygraph tests, others don’t. Even though some departments have doubts about the reliability of such tests, others stand by them as an additional safety measure to utilize in conjunction with other methods to determine whether or not candidates are speaking the truth.

agent of the law

A polygraph exam measures your physiological reactions to questions, including your heart rate, breathing rate, and skin conductance. The first part of a typical polygraph exam consists of a set of questions. There are certain questions whose answers are clear lies and others whose answers are obvious truths.

The polygraph can then be administered from this established set of “obvious” responses. It then compares your responses to additional controversial questions to this benchmark to determine whether you’re telling the truth.

Step 6 – Police Psychological Exam

Policemen need to be able to keep their cool under pressure. Given the nature of the job and the stresses that officers may face, they must undergo psychological evaluations to see if they will be able to do their job properly under these conditions. That’s why the police psychological test is so crucial to getting hired. The standard police psychiatric evaluation includes two parts:

  • personality tests
  • a psychologist interview

Step 7 – Background Check

Although they can be time-consuming (anything from a few weeks to several months), background checks are essential when hiring police officers. This is since many of these assessments are extremely detailed and time-consuming.

The candidate’s right to privacy does not extend to anything, including credit checks, conversations with former employers, or even calls to former partners. Therefore, you must have an impeccable track record.

Step 8 – Medical Test

It has always been standard practice for police departments to require medical examinations of applicants. There’s a significant need for medical examinations. Only those physically and mentally fit will be considered for employment and training as police officers.

Extensive medical examinations are needed to determine if a candidate possesses the physical fitness necessary to fulfill the duties of a police officer.

Step 9 – Drug Test

Drug testing is the next-to-last step in the selection process for police officers. Bear in mind the stringency of this evaluation. If a candidate has a positive test result, they will be instantly eliminated from consideration. In addition to looking at current usage (within the last few days), drug tests can also be used to examine longer time frames (within the last few years).


If you or someone you know is looking to become a police officer in 2022, Civil Service Success is the best option. We are one of the best institutes that helps applicants to prepare for civil service jobs. Whether you want to prepare for NYC Civil Service Exams, Suffolk County Police Test, or Civil service jobs in Nassau county, we can help you with them all. Contact us today for more details.

  • Scroll to Top