Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/15/2006 7:44:38 AM EDT

Well, I applied to a local police department a couple of months ago. I figured that I was doing well in the application process as sent me to an outside company for a polygraph exam. I passed the polygraph without any problems and was scheduled for a psyche test and a B-PAD.

Took the psych test and had no problems with it. Took the B-PAD and hated it. For an explanation and info on the B-PAD look here: www.bpad.com/

Got a letter from the department last week stating that they weren't going to allow me to continue in the application process but that I was welcome to review my file. So, I booked an appointment to do so and checked it out today. Sure enough, they failed me on the B-PAD.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. This so-called "exam" has got to be the biggest crock of sh*t in any hiring process I've ever seen. They're supposedly testing you to see how you'll react in various situations, but in order to respond "properly" you'd have had to have had some sort of exposure or training to those situations. All they're really measuring is your ability to act. So, basically by using this test's "standards" a department should be full of drama majors.

Anyway, that's my opinion on it. Has anyone else taken this "exam"? I did see a post in the archives about it but I guess we can't respond to archived posts. Does anyone have any pointers in case I have to take this exam for another department?

For the record, I did get to see my psych test results and they were decent. Mentioned some things about me being "moral", "self-disciplined", "very intelligent for this field of work". Seems rediculous to me to throw out such a candidate based on an exam where you have to role-play with a video.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 9:14:47 AM EDT
I took a BPAD test with city of Riverside here in CA 3 years ago. Worst test i have ever taken. I totally agree that it is a crock of s**t. I understand what it is testing for, it is just a piss poor way to test it. I wanted to laugh at some of the scenarios they gave me. I ended up not proceeding with them, but not because of the BPAD.

Sigmonster
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 10:52:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2006 10:53:54 AM EDT by RDP]

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:
They're supposedly testing you to see how you'll react in various situations, but in order to respond "properly" you'd have had to have had some sort of exposure or training to those situations. All they're really measuring is your ability to act. So, basically by using this test's "standards" a department should be full of drama majors.where you have to role-play with a video.



Did you read the grader sheets??? Or are you just basing this off your opinion?

Consider this, I took the test as part of getting hired. I was a BPAD grader off and on for the past 5 years.

I am not sure what the dept. used for standards, but our's were not hard to meet. Honestly, if you can speak, show compassion, use common sense, and no right from wrong, you passed. I am pretty sure the came from BPAD though.

Some of the auto failures were the integrity issues.

We just quit using it due to cost.........too many to grade and BPAD wasn't cheap.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 1:15:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RDP:

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:
They're supposedly testing you to see how you'll react in various situations, but in order to respond "properly" you'd have had to have had some sort of exposure or training to those situations. All they're really measuring is your ability to act. So, basically by using this test's "standards" a department should be full of drama majors.where you have to role-play with a video.



Did you read the grader sheets??? Or are you just basing this off your opinion?

Consider this, I took the test as part of getting hired. I was a BPAD grader off and on for the past 5 years.

I am not sure what the dept. used for standards, but our's were not hard to meet. Honestly, if you can speak, show compassion, use common sense, and no right from wrong, you passed. I am pretty sure the came from BPAD though.

Some of the auto failures were the integrity issues.

We just quit using it due to cost.........too many to grade and BPAD wasn't cheap.




If by "grader sheets" you mean the record in my file with the scores then yes. It was apparantly graded by a panel of three people. The scores were on a scale of 1 to 3 for two categories and then there was an "overall" category. Only one of the three graders actually wrote any sort of notes and those weren't too helpful as there were 8 scenarios but no indication as to what scores corresponded with what scenarios.

I'm the first to admit that I can be a little uptight and "stiff" when it comes to social interactions. But when a situation calls for compassion I have no problem showing it. I also have no problem knowing right from wrong. So, I really don't know what this department was looking for. A passing score was 20 out of 24 points. They claimed I only scored a 15-point-something.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:29:26 AM EDT
The BPAD grader sheets actually list the requirements for each scenario. The overall score for each scenario determines passing unless there is something that is said that would induce a failure. Each scenario is a page or 1/2 a page. So the actual grader sheets are usually several pages.

The other thing that kills people is the failure to offer several solutions, talk the entire time, dress appropriately ( this may sound harsh, but you could usually tell by looks who was going to fail), and jsut be able to think on their feet.

Does the victim need paramedics? Are you stereotypical in your responses?? Can you actually offer a solution instead of blabbering??

Stuff like that.....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:40:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RDP:
The BPAD grader sheets actually list the requirements for each scenario. The overall score for each scenario determines passing unless there is something that is said that would induce a failure. Each scenario is a page or 1/2 a page. So the actual grader sheets are usually several pages.

The other thing that kills people is the failure to offer several solutions, talk the entire time, dress appropriately ( this may sound harsh, but you could usually tell by looks who was going to fail), and jsut be able to think on their feet.

Does the victim need paramedics? Are you stereotypical in your responses?? Can you actually offer a solution instead of blabbering??

Stuff like that.....



Seems pretty convoluted. Talk the whole time, but not blabber. Offer several solutions, be able to think on your feet.

Most good cops will analyze a situation, and decide on the best way to address it, not offer up 5 and see what happens.

Stereotypical in responses? Not sure what you mean. Certain situation require certain reponses, car crash with injuries.............. FD/EMS request.

Also "handling" stuff without any idea on the training or policy of the department you are interviewing for seems kinda like putting the cart before the horse.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:01:27 PM EDT
I say, throw caution to the wind and have fun with it. I took it in Sunnyville. Hit the highlights and just be animated. I heard the graders in the next room rolling in stiches. They said they gave me extra points for style. After watching 500 boring people being way tooo nervous and serious; they said it was a relief to see someone with a sense of humor. Remember, these people are not only looking for someone who is smart, but someone they can spend a third of their lives with.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:34:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 8:35:51 PM EDT by SKSseven]
The B-pad is a joke, another inconclusive test much like the polygraph. The major problem I have with B-pad is the video screen doesn't react. Its a lot like talking to your TV. I also find that even though B-pad says they are only look at your people skills a lot of their scenarios do require job based knowledge for a correct response.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:56:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SKSseven:
I also find that even though B-pad says they are only look at your people skills a lot of their scenarios do require job based knowledge for a correct response.



Like which scenarios???

They are no more difficult than the questions posed in an oral board. You need to have SOME idea of what this job is.

BTW, we also provided instructional seminars which had sample videos so the test takers knew what we expected. Not rocket science at all......

I don't recall any scenarios where LE training was required to pass......Shoot, you could tell who had the LE training as they reacted the way the rest of us would!!
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 7:40:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:
<snip>

Took the psych test and had no problems with it. Took the B-PAD and hated it. For an explanation and info on the B-PAD look here: www.bpad.com/

<snip>


From the website:

"When screening candidates, there's really no substitute for the old-fashioned 'work sample' test — that is, watching the candidate do something."
--The American Management Association

This apparent endorsement disturbs me on a few different levels.

First: While definitely not a fly-by-night organization, the American Management Association is also not the final/authoritative word on all things management-related. Let's just say that they're no Academy of Management.*

Second: It disturbs me that the AMA would make such an endorsement of a product or company. Bottom line, however, is this: I find it hard to believe they did. It seems to me like the company is taking a statement [which may have been] made "by the AMA" out of context and is using it in a manner that could be considered misleading.

Third: As alluded to in the second/above item, I find it hard to believe the AMA made this statement in an "official capacity" (i.e. in a Position Statement or something similar). If you can get them to cite their source, I can have it vetted (and might possibly have time to do it myself - I mean, I am surfing arfcom, after all).

I've not been on the board as much in recent months, but I'd like for DK-Prof to see/comment on this if I run across him. While I am an academic in the field** with faculty appointment, he is the real/true scholar in the area and would almost certainly be the official "Arfcom Expert" in this area.

Best,

Jake.

* personal opinion only.
** "in the field" = arguably
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 7:42:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RDP:

Originally Posted By SKSseven:
I also find that even though B-pad says they are only look at your people skills a lot of their scenarios do require job based knowledge for a correct response.



Like which scenarios???

They are no more difficult than the questions posed in an oral board. You need to have SOME idea of what this job is.

BTW, we also provided instructional seminars which had sample videos so the test takers knew what we expected. Not rocket science at all......

I don't recall any scenarios where LE training was required to pass......Shoot, you could tell who had the LE training as they reacted the way the rest of us would!!


But is this SOP where XeroSygnal took the test? Off the top of my head, I doubt something like this is applied both objectively* and across the board in every PD which uses it.

* Not saying that complete objectivity is the best way to do things, or that all other parts of the hiring process are done in/with complete objectivity.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 8:36:12 PM EDT

Ok, it sounds to me like there's a discreptancy with how this test is applied then. I can see RDP's point in that at least in his department, instructional seminars were provided and applicants were given some idea beforehand as to what was expected.

I can say that at the department I took the test at, there was nothing provided for any sort of preparation. I wasn't even told what the B-PAD was until I showed up that morning and even then we were just told what the test entailed. There was no info given as to what the department was looking for as far as responses or what we'd be graded on. No indication that they would be looking at body language or anything else outside of verbal responses. Hell, I didn't even know that it was graded or was going to be any sort of "pass/fail" test. Since it was given during the same visit as the psych test I figured that it was part of the actual psych test.

As for scenarios, without getting into too much detail, here's some examples of the ones I had:

1. Scenario where you are off-duty and a minor informs of having been molested by a relative. (Not being any sort of crisis councilor, I wouldn't know what to tell the minor. Do you take them to the PD to file a report? Do you call some sort of crisis center?)

2. Responding to a call at a municipal building where you encounter a mentally unbalanced person who is suffering delusions. (again, never worked with the mentally ill before, so I wouldn't be familiar with the solution)

3. Traffic stop. You approach the driver's side window and the driver locks the door, rolls up the window, removes the keys from the ignition, flips you off, and then looks forward and doesn't say anything. (I would assume that they'd cover "uncooperative drivers" in the academy perhaps?)
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 9:57:39 PM EDT
#1 is a compassion, critical thinking, and ability to work through a complex problem. You need to see if they are hurt, if they need assistance in any way, should we call a family member, you need help, can he ID the subject that did this, tell them everything will be alright.

#2 is the fun nutty guy.....you just need to play him. You just need to be creative and not a bump on a log.

#3- Try and downplay the situation and explain the reason for the stop. It is easy to see if you get frustrated and can't try and work through an uncooperative subject.

BTW, at the beginning of the test they ask if the subject has any LE experience. This will change how they are graded.

And those with LE would definitely handle #3 differently.......The best one was "Sir, you need to roll down the window before I break it and drag you out".
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 10:47:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 2:21:16 PM EDT
Since B-Pad provides a demo video for the departments which includes what they are looking for, is it wrong to discuss it??

Especially since they only have so many scenarios, which occasionally appear on the demo video, I don't see an issue in discussing them.

No different then discussing oral board questions......
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 8:34:29 PM EDT

That's why I didn't give specific examples earlier and why when I finally did, I only tried to briefly outline 3 of the 8 scenarios I had.

I'm actually kind of surprised at the lack of "how to beat the B-PAD" info on the web when compared to how much info is out there on things like oral boards, psych tests, and polygraph.
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 9:36:15 PM EDT
That is because only those that grade the Bpad are going to know the exact areas they look at for passing.

Any new hire oral board is pretty simple......
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 5:30:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:
Ok, it sounds to me like there's a discreptancy with how this test is applied then. I can see RDP's point in that at least in his department, instructional seminars were provided and applicants were given some idea beforehand as to what was expected.

I can say that at the department I took the test at, there was nothing provided for any sort of preparation. I wasn't even told what the B-PAD was until I showed up that morning and even then we were just told what the test entailed. There was no info given as to what the department was looking for as far as responses or what we'd be graded on. No indication that they would be looking at body language or anything else outside of verbal responses. Hell, I didn't even know that it was graded or was going to be any sort of "pass/fail" test. Since it was given during the same visit as the psych test I figured that it was part of the actual psych test.

As for scenarios, without getting into too much detail, here's some examples of the ones I had:

1. Scenario where you are off-duty and a minor informs of having been molested by a relative. (Not being any sort of crisis councilor, I wouldn't know what to tell the minor. Do you take them to the PD to file a report? Do you call some sort of crisis center?)

2. Responding to a call at a municipal building where you encounter a mentally unbalanced person who is suffering delusions. (again, never worked with the mentally ill before, so I wouldn't be familiar with the solution)

3. Traffic stop. You approach the driver's side window and the driver locks the door, rolls up the window, removes the keys from the ignition, flips you off, and then looks forward and doesn't say anything. (I would assume that they'd cover "uncooperative drivers" in the academy perhaps?)


OK, immediate disclaimer: not LEO, no LEO experience.

That said, any on-site interview in my profession will ask you questions of the same ilk: "How would you handle situation 'x', 'y', 'z'. There's always some legal/medical/ethical component to it that most wouldn't be able to answer [completely] correctly w/out an atty present (especially if it's in a state other than where you presently work/reside).

My immediate answer/disclaimer is usually words to the effect of: "I would handle it according to my interpretation/understanding of departmental/organizational policy. If said policy didn't exist, or - such as for the sake of this interview - I was not familiar with it AND no experienced colleague were available for reference, I would handle it [like this]. My rationale is [this]. As soon as I could ask mgt/admin, I would do so. I would also discuss the necessity of drafting policy/procedure to provide guidance for this area/situtation in the future."

Now that that's out of the way, here's how I would answer:

#1. Do I look like I give a shit, kid? I'm off duty. Now go home and quit asking for it. [not really]
#1. Stay right there, kid. I left my throw-down in the ankle holster on the dining room table.
#2. [The answer doesn't matter. Just start off anything you say to him with:] Well, when I worked for the CIA........
#3. [Pretty hard to come up with one better than RDP's answer]
Top Top