In order to obtain a criminal justice job, typically you will have to prepare for an interview, because most employers will want you demonstrate some your basic skills, especially interpersonal communication skills, before they hire you. An interview gives you this opportunity. Unfortunately, demonstrating your skills in an interview can be tricky, and many people actually derail their criminal justice job search efforts during their interviews without even realizing it. In order for you to find and obtain your desired criminal justice job, you may want to know some of the ways you can prepare for an interview and avoid some common mistakes that people typically make.
- First, you should learn a little more about the department or the agency to which you are applying. Every department or agency is different, so you need to know what an organization has to deal with and what an organization is looking for in order to demonstrate the skills that the interviewer or the organization considers important. In fact, learning a little more about the departments or agencies to which you are applying will not only allow you to focus your interview on the skills that are the most important, but will also allow you to show the interviewer that you want the position and that you have already put in some effort to obtain it.
- Next, you need to practice. Wanting to focus on your experience or your education in an interview is good, but accomplishing this in your interview can be difficult without it coming across in the wrong way. For example, it may seem like a good idea to explain that you had to work with some difficult managers at your previous job, but you were able to accomplish a number of things in spite of their poor management skills. However, this is not a good way to portray your accomplishments to an interviewer because most interviewers will notice that you spoke negatively of your previous employer more than they will notice your accomplishment. In other words, it is typically a good idea to focus on all of the positive aspects of your coworkers and the things that you learned and accomplished in your previous jobs and schools rather than the negative aspects that you dealt with. In fact, if an interviewer asks you to talk about a negative experience, try to turn it into a positive by focusing on the things that you learned or accomplished as a result of that experience instead of focusing on the negative things that happened or the things that other people did wrong.
- The third thing that you should do when preparing for an interview is to anticipate some of the questions you might be asked, and then develop answers to those questions. Most employers will ask why you think you deserve a position in law enforcement/the court system/etc., why you want this position, and other questions, and you need to be prepared to answer these questions.