interview questions about CSI forensic science!

Posted by Andrea Andrea
      Options
Hi, my name is Andrea and i'm doing a career project for biology we were told to conduct an interview for someone in the field. Iwas wondering is someone could answer my questions and give me their name of whoever answered them. This would really help me out considering that my project is due on wednesday! :) please answer as soon as possible!
1. What is an average day in the field like?
2. What type of outlook should you have going into this job? (ex. should you be a people person?)
3. Do you enjoy what you do?
4. Is it anything like forensic scenes on tv?
5. Are there any benefits from the job?
6. What is the annual salary?
7. What type of highschool or community activites would help prepare for this career?
8. What is the working enviroment like?
9. Is it tough to get into school for forensic science?
10. What do you most/least enjoy about your job?
11. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career as a Forensic Expert?

please, please, please someone answer! this would help me so much with my project!
-Andrea :)

1 Comment

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
Hotwired Hotwired
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: interview questions about CSI forensic science!

1. What is an average day in the field like?

Morning shift...
Unlock the office, switch on computer, while it boots up put the kettle on for a cup of tea.

Check the overnight logs of crime to see if there was any incidents that may need dealing with quickly (assault scenes where a cordon has been put in place, scenes where the weather may destroy evidence etc). If there is, get in touch with any allocated officer (if there is one yet), contact officers at scene and give them an E.T.A.

If no major incidents, check the crime scene log for the scenes that have come in overnight or have been left over from the day before. Check what staffing levels for the CSI office are that day and allocate the scenes. Drink tea. If no immediate scenes (that need attending pronto - such as businesses that will want to get their crime scenes done quick so they can get on with opening for business, or people who are available for a visit straight away) get kettle ready for the CSI officers who are coming on soon.

Check vehicle tyres, oil etc. Get personal equipment loaded onto van and drive to first scene.

During the shift on a usual day I would attend three or four scenes such as burglaries, vehicle crime (theft from and theft of), possibly take pictures of an assault victim or a criminal damage.

At a burglary scene I would record what has occured, including any distinctive modus operandi, look for evidence to identify the offender/s, such as fingerprints, footwear marks, blood or other body fluids that may have DNA material in or on them (face prints on windows, cigarette ends, chewing gum etc). I may cast toolmarks to compare against any tools recovered from suspects. I would also consider glass samples from broken windows, fibres around the point of entry, glove marks (to assist in linking scenes), paint samples, and any other forensic samples.

At vehicle crime scenes, I would do all the above, although mostly it would be fingerpint and DNA material and method of entry to the vehicle.

Photography of injuries is to rcord what the injuries are like (they will have healed by the time the case comes to court), a scale would be used to record the size of inuries and to enable comparisons with any weapons such as knives, blunt instruments or teeth, in the case of bite marks).

If I have an suspected arson scene, I may only take that one task, as it is difficult to access how long it will take to examine. A fire scene is usually examined in conjunction with a FIO - fire investigation officer, from the fire brigade. This would involve a more detailed Health and Safety assessment than at a usual crime scene. Recording the scene photographically before, and during, my examination, which may involve excavating the scene to locate seats of fire, and any evidence that may have survived the fire, such as accelerants, matches, footwear marks and items with potential fingerprint and DNA material on them.

If I have an serious assault scene, or a murder/homicide, I may assess that I require a forensic scientist to be called out from the forensic laboratory to interpret Blood Patterns and give advice on how to approach the scene.

On finishing my scenes I may radio back to see if there are any other jobs that have appeared on the task list since I went out. I also listen out on the radio to what the police are being called to so I can support them as soon as possible.

On returning to the office, I put the kettle on, I store my exhibits securely, check to see if any statements have been requested for jobs I have done previously, I process my photographs for delivery to the photograhic department, my fingerprints for submission to the fingerprint bureau, and my forensic exhinits for submssion to the forensic laboratory.

I may also give advice to police officers investigating crime as to what protocols to approach their investigation with, what forensic evidence we have, what potential results we may get etc.

If I have examined a major incident, I will have a debrief with the investigating officers.

That is a usual day. The later shifts (ending late at night) are slightly different in that I pick up my scenes as they come in during the day, prioritising them so that the ones that need doing soonest get done. I may leave tasks where the scenes can be preserved until the morning shift comes on to be done the next day if I do not have time.


 
2. What type of outlook should you have going into this job? (ex. should you be a people person?) 

All my colleagues are 'people persons', you have to have an interest in the job and also a desire to help people, as the role can be very hard - particularly when young people or old people are involed.

3. Do you enjoy what you do?

Absolutely. I have been a forensic scientist and thought it was the best job in the world. Now I am a CSI I think I have the best job in the world. It is very rewarding (tjhough not financially).

4. Is it anything like forensic scenes on tv?

Not really. The science on television is usually correct, but scenes take longer, evidence takes loger to get results, and the amount of resources is usually less than the shows indicate.
Also, we do not always get a result - on television, they nearly always get the offender.

5. Are there any benefits from the job?

My friends think my job is cool.

You get to see 'behind the scenes' of investigations.

You get treated as a respected part of a team.

6. What is the annual salary?

Somewhere between 15 000 and 30 000 pounds (20 to 50 thousand dollars?) United Kingdom.
Plus shift allowances, plus weekend working allowances (and, rarely, overtime). Plus call out for major incidents that occur at night (my office is not open between midnight and 7am).

7. What type of highschool or community activites would help prepare for this career?

Photography and video courses would be of assistance - both media formats are used to record crime scenes for presentation in court, and also for briefing purposes for the investigating officers (so they do not have to enter the crime scene).

Science club - a background in science is always useful.

Public speaking - we give talks to interested parties, briefings to investigating officers, and have to stand up in court to answer questions from barristers and magistrates. This can be quite intimidating until you get used to being the centre of attention.

8. What is the working enviroment like?

The office is like any office - desks and computers.

Crime scenes vary. They can be very dirty, or contaminated with bodily fluids. The smells can be quite bad, but, in my opinion, are part of the scene - decomposing bodies, rotting food, unclean houses. You get used to it.

Heath and Safety is important, body fluids can be health hazards, hepatitus, general biological hazards, such as bacteria as well. Drug addicts may drop used needles, broken glass at a point of entry is sharp, exposed sharp objects such as nails, structural collapse in fire scenes, this list is endless (well, almost).

You may have to deal with unpleasant, or upset (emotional) people, both complainants and offenders.

Working with very young, or very old, victims can be upsetting, but you have to be able to rise above it to do a good job.

9. Is it tough to get into school for forensic science?

I do not know. I know that CSI and forensics is becoming more popular due to the shows on television, so more people are becoming interested in the field,but more and more universities and colleges are setting up courses to fill the demand.

10. What do you most/least enjoy about your job?

Likes: My colleagues, helping people, every scene is a puzzle and challenge.

Dislikes: nothing in particular, unpleasant people (a rarity), working on child abuse cases, working on cases where people target old people (who tend to be very trusting). Knowing that I cannot always help people get justice.

11. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career as a Forensic Expert?

Well, just starting, they would not be an 'expert'. Learn all they can. Take advantage of any courses available. Do not rush to be considered an 'expert', take your time and you will just discover one day that you are one. Do the little jobs and not push to move onto major cimes too quickly. Wait until you are ready and trained before taking on too much work.