Initial Background Interview

February 22, 2006

So I’m back in Los Angeles, for an Initial Background Interview and the Physical Abilities Test. I’m not quite sure why they scheduled these two events almost a week apart, but hell, this’ll be a great break from the cold winter weather back home.

Today, I spent approximately six hours at the Personnel Building (700 East Temple St). The first thing on the agenda was some sort of personality test. My group was taken to a room that resembled a classroom. We were given five test booklets and as many scantron sheets.

The first four test booklets were comprised of true/false or yes/no questions. Many of the questions seemed to be the same, only phrased differently. For instance, there was a question that read something like, “Sometimes I can’t control my anger.” A little bit later, I was faced with an all-too-similar question: “Sometimes I get so mad that I can’t think.” For anyone with common sense, it should be very obvious as to how to answer.

The last booklet was multiple choice. The questions were background history type of questions. They were very similar to the questions that would be asked at the later part of the day.

We were given two hours to finish the five booklets. I finished in less than an hour. There was a Starbucks several blocks away, so I walked on over for a cup of joe.

At the appointed time, I reported back for the second part of my day. My group was seated right outside of room B-22. We were given a stack of paperwork to fill out, which included a 176-question questionnaire called the PIQ (Pre-Investigative Questionnaire). It was basically dealt with background issues not covered by the Personal History Form (see previous post). A few of the things they want to know: Do you own a firearm? If so, what kind? Have you ever been arrested? What for? have you ever committed a hate crime? Have you ever used any illegal drugs? If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you’ve got to write a paragraph explaining your answer.

While we were working on our questionnaires, a team of background investigators hovered over us, making sure we were completing them correctly. Every now and then, a candidate got chewed out for making a mistake. One by one, as we finished our quesionnaires, a background investigator took us to separate rooms to go over our paperwork.

The investigators, we were told, were mostly retired LAPD detectives. Be completely honest, the lead man said, because if we lied, we would surely be discovered.

I was one of the first to complete my paperwork, and was taken to a small room with two chairs and a table. There, an elderly man went over my PIQ and my PHF.

My impression of the entire event was that it was an initial interrogation, in which the investigators attempt to get candidates to confess to questionable background information. I’m not sure how many candidates are weeded out by the Initial Background Interview, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the people in my group were disqualified.

Before wrapping my interview, my investigator filled out a slip of paper and instructed me to take it upstairs in order to schedule a polygraph examination. This was completely unexpected, as I was not scheduled for a polygraph on this trip. I followed his instructions and scheduled my polygraph.

After being fingerprinted, I was done for the day.

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2 Responses to “Initial Background Interview”

  1. Taylor said

    Thanks for the heads up, and the detailed anecdote.
    What happened after all this?

  2. Joe said

    Thanks for the information, I was wondering the details about this, I have my interview pretty soon. Thanks again.

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