Interview Advice from.... the Police?

Last Updated Oct 17, 2007 3:11 PM EDT

Interview Advice from--. The Police?Despite the occasional impulse to press charges against a colleague for criminal negligence or stupidity (or the passing desire to dust for fingerprints to finally explain who keeps taking your snacks out of the company fridge) we generally hope that the world of law enforcement and the world of business don't collide.

However, Carmine Gallo, writing for Business Week yesterday, looks to police officers undergoing the high pressure, ultra-competitive promotion process for some tips on acing a tough job interview. He boils down what he learned observing the officers to three useful tips:

  1. Role Play -- Some of the officers meet every week to study and conduct mock interviews with each other. They ask the toughest questions possible and critique each other on their answers. They even bring video cameras so they can review their performances.
  2. Command Attention -- Gallo was impressed that role-playing began before participants had even stepped into the office. The candidates practiced how they would stand, walk, and make eye contact. People form opinions about you in the first 90 seconds of your conversation, and it's your body language that communicates competence.
  3. Dress the part -- Gallo overheard officers discussing what they would wear during the job interview, down to the color of their shirts. This is something few job candidates put enough thought into. Dress like the position for which you're interviewing.
It may sound like commonsense advice, but when interviews become high pressure, it's small differences and the little things you overlook that can make the difference.

(Image of police officers by jimieye, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.