10 Desirable Candidate Attributes
10 Desirable Candidate Attributes
Public Safety Testing solicited from the many agencies we work with a listing of critical factors candidates frequently fail to adequately address in the hiring process. This document was produced to benefit YOU, the candidate, to enhance YOUR competitiveness for public safety positions by providing an awareness of desirable candidate attributes and characteristics as defined by the agencies themselves. This is what THEY said...
#10. LISTEN CAREFULLY
#9. KNOW YOURSELF
Know why you want to work in the profession, and how your background, skills and aptitude indicate success in performing specific duties. Agencies want to know your capability and potential to address the various issues and challenges faced in public safety today.
#8. CANDOR & SINCERITY
Demonstrate sincerity, candor, integrity and conviction. If you are not yourself, it will show! Avoid canned responses - they want to see who you are, how you think and what you value. Be ready to admit your mistakes, but explain what you learned from them and how you improved yourself.
In all phases of the hiring process, be completely truthful and omit nothing asked of you. Everything you say or write in the entire process will be cross-compared. Untruthfulness in any form results in immediate disqualification - and is the #1 reason candidates are eliminated from the hiring process! Integrity, honesty and trustworthiness are the bedrock requirements of public safety professions. No agency will equivocate with a shortcoming in this area.
#6. PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS ATTIRE
Dress and groom professionally and conservatively during any interview, preferably a conservative business suit. Failure to do so needlessly stacks the deck against you right away. Agency representatives are conservative, and expect professional, conservative dress and grooming. If you are unsure what constitutes conservative attire and grooming, ask someone who knows.
Arrive at ALL appointments at least 15 minutes early. Develop a habit of being early. No reasons will be accepted for a late arrival. Anticipate any possible cause for a delay. Accommodating a late arrival adversely affects the entire testing schedule and portends poor time management skills on the part of the candidate.
#4. KNOWLEDGE OF OCCUPATION & DEPARTMENT
Applicants must have a solid knowledge of the specific duties and demands of the profession, as well as knowledge of the agency and the jurisdiction served. Good sources are the agency and city/county website, the agency's annual report, talking to agency employees, friends in the profession, and ride-a-longs. This knowledge will be tested in virtually every interview. Failure to possess it indicates a candidate who is not serious and passionate about the profession or that agency.
#3. FOLLOW APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
You must read and follow meticulously all instructions. Application and background forms must contain all required information. Failure to follow written or verbal instructions reflects poorly on the candidate, and in some cases may result in disqualification. Public safety positions demand rigorous attention to detail and thoroughness. Sloppy, incomplete and error-filled paperwork indicate the candidate lacks a professional attitude and attention to detail.
#2. COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS
Oral and written communications skills are critical in public safety occupations, and are emphasized in the testing process. Practice through mock oral boards and video/audio taping of yourself. Make eye contact with all panel members and practice concise, confident answers. Eliminate distracting verbal and physical mannerisms. Oral communications skills and the ability to establish rapport with an interview panel can be developed through practice and honest feedback from others.
You must prepare for EVERY stage of the hiring process. This includes the initial testing process, interviews, background investigation, etc. The prepared are noticed and so are the unprepared. Be noticed for the right reasons! Prepare for commonly asked oral board questions (and the written exam) through various resources and talking with others now working in the field. Maintain physical fitness and practice wellness. Very narrow point margins typically separate candidates, and diligent preparation often makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful candidates. You may not necessarily be the BEST candidate, but you certainly can be the BEST PREPARED candidate!
BEST WISHES TO YOU AS YOU PURSUE A CAREER IN PUBLIC SAFETY!
TESTING IN WASHINGTON STATE CANCELED THROUGH MAY 4, 2020
All pre-employment tests in Washington State have been canceled until May 4, 2020. The previous date was April 30th, but with recent updates, facility closures, and government guidelines, this step is necessary and could be modified at any time. The health and safety of our customers, our staff, and their families is of the highest priority.
We will continue to evaluate developments and make changes to this policy as necessary. When we do resume testing, there will be plenty of events for everyone to test. We are in regular communication with our public safety agency partners, assessing alternatives to the traditional testing model and our testing policies. Any future updates will be posted on the PST website and our Facebook page.
If you have tested with PST in the past 12 months, there may be additional positions you are now eligible to add. Several departments have temporarily changed their testing policies due to the suspension in testing that COVID-19 has caused. Please login to your PST account and navigate to the ‘New Positions’ page to see what departments you can add! We will regularly update that page in your account as departments send updates.
FUTURE TEST REGISTRATION
We know that there will be testing in the future - we just don’t know when! We want you to be prepared for when testing begins again so we have created test events on our calendar that you can register for that will place you in a queue to be first notified. These tests are not “real” test events, they are essentially a holding area. You will be able to “reschedule” out of that event to any other event date/location at no cost. Registering now will also give you time to work on your Personal History Statement (PHS) so that your data will be ready and up-to-date to send to your departments once testing resumes.
To sign up for this placeholder event, select the May 15, 2020 test date in your category (police, fire, 911 dispatch, corrections, etc.). If you are currently registered for an exam before May 5, we suggest that you reschedule your test to this May 15 event as well.
You may also click on the test event of interest below to sign up:
Please check back here frequently and ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay updated.
PST staff are working remotely and are available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We anticipate a high email volume and will respond as quickly as possible.