First and foremost, this is an awesome forum. Thanks Steve! I've been peeking at it ever since it went online.
Does anyone have any advice for an upcoming interview for a CST position in Tacoma, WA? Any tips, hints, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
From my experience as both a candidate and as an interviewer I have three main things I think you should do to have a successful interview.
Undoubtedly there will be many individuals who will be interviewed for the job. What you need to do is be memorable. After the interview panel has completed all their interviews and begin to decide on whom to hire, they need to remember who you were. You make yourself memorable by standing out in your interview.
Here is how you can stand out:
Of course there are all the other normal things about interviews: Sit up straight, look directly at the person asking the question, speak clearly, dress conservatively, cover any tattoos, no excessive jewelry (especially nose rings, tongue studs, etc.). Leather pants, high heel shoes, low-cut tops and wild hair might look good on TV, but most departments want normal looking people to represent them in the community.
Congratulations on getting the interview! Best wishes on your interview.
Crime Scene Investigator Network
In reply to this post by wa98059
Congratulations, generally speaking, this involves a Supervisor of the unit, a peer (to the position for which you are applying), someone from a different agency, and a Human Resources rep that monitors the process for compliance with standards, laws, etc.
This is the opportunity to sell yourselves and can arguably be thought of as the most important part of the hiring process. As a general format, this involves a series of about 12 scripted questions that either fall into a "what do you know about (topic X)" or "Tell us about your thoughts on (topic X)" or "Tell us about a time when you..."
The strategy here is they want to see how knowlegable you are about the position or how you deal with stress and conflict. Be prepared with examples from your life experience or from previous work situations.
First things first: Dress professionally! If you don't own a suit, buy one. You'll use it later anyway when you testify in court, because once you get the job, you'll end up in court, guaranteed. Secondly, eye contact, handshakes and confidence go a long way. Lastly, be yourself, after all it's you they'll be interested in. Personality is definitely a consideration in the hiring process. "How will this person fit in with the office" is a question every employer considers.
If you're human, then you're going to be nervous. It's ok! Find your balance, as you don't want to be too short, concise and robot like nor do you want to be rambling. These interviews are usually scored on a matrix that includes your use of specific words that are industry specific or keywords like 'conflict resolution' in the answer.
While these interview questions are scripted, not everyone stays on script. Sometimes the interviewers have the latitude to follow up their questions depending on your answer. If you encounter the interview that asks you to take a stand on a topic like office gossip and the person asks a followup question, stand firm in your answer.
Depending on the combined score of your written and oral interview you'll be given a final ranking and this signifies what order your application will be given consideration when beginning the background portion of the hiring process.
Good luck. I work in Seattle and we hire frequently for our AFIS unit, if you want to know more , email me at email@example.com
In reply to this post by Boyd Baumgartner
Thanks Boyd! Your suggestions and tips are greatly appreciated. And thanks for the email offer. I also applied for the King County ID tech position so perhaps I'll be emailing you in the future. Thanks Again!
My email address at school is firstname.lastname@example.org
I was going toask you to answer some questions about crime scene Investigation.
1. how hard can this job be?
2.how dangerous do you think that the job can get?
3. did you start off as a regular police officer before you started to work in the crime lab?
4. what do you usually do when you dont have a crime scene case opened?
5. do you have to stay in one office with evidence until someone comes or can you just take it to another office?
6. does every police station have a crime lab in the whole intire country?
7. how many crime labs are in this state of michigan?
8. could you tell me some of the crime labs names?
9. could you tell me how many hours it takes until you finally catch the person and close the case?
10. how long does it take to clear and clean a crime scene?
Honestly, I wish I would have read this before I went to my interview over a month ago. They asked me all sorts of questions, about Locard's Exchange Principle, about latent prints, what I would do if I saw another CST improperly handling evidence, etc. It was not at all what I expected, as I was thinking they might ask me a little bit about my work history before, but they did not even seem to care. I suppose that's the difference between a common job and an actual career.
All said, I didn't get the job but I walked away with the wisdom of what NOT to say the next time around, if there is a next time.
My question is, do you think that after they choose not to hire you, that they could hire you in the future? Or is it that one time, that you did not do so well, that could taint you for the future? I realize it varies from agency to agency, but I'm thorougly disappointed.
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