Let’s pull the vail of secrecy back just a bit and give everybody here some tips about the hiring process. Just the tips. (Cue superhero music) Don’t worry, I’m from the government and I’m here to help!” 🙂
Top 4 Reasons You Were Turned Down for a Police or similar Government Job.
If you’re on Social Media and have any type of skepticism about our government you may have run across this quote from @BillMurray
“So, if we lie to the government, it’s a felony. But if they lie to us its politics.”
You can see our recent post about the general hiring process where we touch on each topic just a bit. I often mentor people through their hiring processes with police and government jobs, it’s such a bullshit system. I’m pretty good at this coaching process and have a really high success rate for mentoring people and them getting hired (Let’s say 100%…because it is). How do I get such such good results? I DON’T FUCKING LIE TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT. Let’s see some examples shall we?
Reason #1 – They will use other applications against you, so you do the same.
Issue in your background? It DOESN’T automatically mean they found “dirt” on you.
Let’s say you fill out an application with Department A, your first attempt. You either make a mistake, or omit an address, or forget to include an employer (or maybe you just embellish or lie). Regardless of the status of that application (accepted, denied, background portion, etc.) makes no difference. You also fill out an application for Department B. For one reason or another your two applications don’t match (Well “government” it could be that your 20 page hiring forms are written in bad grammer and the rules are not always clearly laid out…).
EVERY time a Law Enforcement Agency gets a new hire application they have you list ALL the other agencies you have applied for and what their statuses are. THEN they ALL call each other, and fax each other ever single page of your employment packets so that they can all go line by line and see which one of the agencies you are lying to. This is considered a portion of your “Background Investigation”. And sometimes this is the FIRST hurdle that without even calling you to ask about a discrepancy they just say “Sorry, we can’t hire you because of an issue in your background”. So you get denied because of a type or because you forgot to list that one job you had for a week back in college but then remembered on your next application.
SO! What can you do about it? First off, keep a FULL copy of every LE application you have ever filled out. And EVERY time you fill out a new one, go line by line and make sure that all of the same info is in every single packet. AND if you have a question about the format of your answers or what they are asking do this: Call their HR department, ask them to clarify, and get a name and a contact phone number for the person who gave you the answer, write all that shit down and keep in organized in your files.
This alone should help several people avoid getting wrongfully turned-down in the first place and sometimes this can help you re-right yourself in the process.
If you suspect this is the problem (and you are innocent, i.e. you didn’t blatantly lie on an application) you can tell your next “Background Investigator” in person that you suspect this may have been an issue and that you would be happy to answer any questions about any applications that you’ve sent to other agencies (helps if you keep copies, see?)
…the other most likely issue is that you have an “automatic disqualifier” in your background. Most agencies either have a link on their website that lists automatic disqualifiers, or the state law, state statutes, that will list some definitions of what constitutes “Moral Discrepancies” or a similar term your state may use. If this is the case, and you KNOW that you have a disqualifier in your past then I’m sorry but I’ve got no advice for you.
Resaon #2 – Because they say it, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Being screwed by one agency and having to move on to the next.
You might not have failed or been disqualified… so make that clear to the agencies that you are still in the process with, or will apply to.
“We can’t hire you because of (a,b,c,) but we can’t tell you why or how…..super secret” -Government Employee.
Mainly here I’m speaking about the Psychological test and the Lie Detector test (Polygraph or VSA), and sometimes even the Oral Board Interview portion; these “tests”, because they are ALMOST ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE they are able to be used to weed out an otherwise entirely capable and qualified applicant.
So, if the hiring board, or shrink, or lie detector guy, doesn’t want you hired, or DOES want someone else hired they can very easily say “Nope, you failed” when in fact you did not. And because it’s a super-duper-state-secret they don’t have to disclose why or how.
Nowwww you have to go to the NEXT agency you apply to and tell them you failed a test… This looks bad. I would not LIE to that next department but I have in the past said things like “I did not make it past the Lie Detector with Agency X but I DID pass several other Lie Detector tests all with the same answers…”
My advice is two fold, ONE is to keep applying and to get hired somewhere, but while you do it be smart about what you put on your applications and what you give up on your Lie Detector and your Psychological (if your shitty state makes you take those tests…mine does). Bringing us to my next tip…
Reason #3 – Once it’s on record, it’s on record…forever.
The Lie Detector.
I’m not recommending that you lie…. well, ehhhh, ummmm, I’m kinda just saying that the truth will NOT set you free. And that’s ok. And it’s acceptable. Why?
1- bad people get hired because they lie, shouldn’t you also get hired as a GOOD person with some type of protection for your personal privacy?
2- good people SHOULD be hired and your private life is your own.
3- THEY started it!!! “I’m here to help you get hired” is the first lie your “Lie Detector Proctor” will tell you. I don’t think it’s so bad to keep an even keel on this ship of lies…
Here is hypothetically what I suggest to people I may mentor: I personally would rather keep something private and off the record and fail a lie detector (or psych) than ADMIT to something stupid and be permanently disqualified from every department. I PROMISE I will be doing MUCH more content about the lie detector in the future.
Reason #4 – The Oral Board.
A LOT of people, especially YOUNG applicants, have big issues here. Military applicants to law enforcement and government jobs usually crush it. It’s because the oral board interview is a product of a government system. EVERY single oral board that I have taken and that my mentorees and my friends have briefed me on ALL have a very similar process.
“Oral Board Interviews are a product of the government system!”
***This is a BIG tip!!! (that’s what she said) The good news here is that because government systems are in fact “systems” then they can be exploited.
I just started getting a LOT more people contacting me about this issue. If you suspect you have any of these problems than go ahead and subscribe to our website and also go ahead and click on the contact us page and let me know what you are the most interested in hearing about and I’ll try to get some more content out to help good people get government jobs.
Sometimes, to win, you’ve got to learn to play the game even if you don’t like the rules or the players.
Stay sharp. Work your ass off. Thanks for stopping by.