Articles, Blog

Police Oral Board Scenario Question – Partner Steals Candy Bar, What do you do?

September 13, 2019

Hi, I’m Chief Russ Ehlers. I’ve been a chief
for seven years and in law enforcement for twenty-five years. You’re looking for Oral
Board interview questions and answers. We’re going to have fun with this. We’ll just do
one as an example and we’re going to have fun with this again. Picture me out of uniform.
I’m going to act as the applicant for a police interview question or Oral Board questions. So, I’m the applicant and I’m dressed obviously
conservatively in my suit and tie and that sort of thing and I’m applying for a job or
a career in law enforcement. I’m at the Oral Board. Scenario questions are some of the
most difficult to answer because you’ve not been in law enforcement or maybe you’ve been
lateraling over, you’re comfortable with how to answer but if you’re not lateraling and
you have little or no law enforcement experience, it’s the scenario questions that very often
just get people flushed out of the system. I want to help you out. So, I’ve got an associate with me. He’s going
to ask me a question and then like they almost always do in Oral Boards, they’re going to
challenge your answer. Right, wrong, or different, they’re going to challenge you to see if you’ll
change your mind. Let’s go. Mr. Ehlers, let’s say you’re on foot patrol
and you’re pulling yours. You happen to find a convenience store with the doors unlocked
and you and your partner walk in and assessed the situation and find out everything’s okay
and on your way out, you notice your partner grabbed a candy bar on the way out. What would
you do? I would certainly challenge my partner. I
certainly would ask him if he paid for it or left money on the counter even though that’s
unconventional, I would like to believe that my partner was honest enough to leave more
than enough to cover the candy bar with tax. I’m guessing he didn’t leave money for it
and of course, in that situation, I would have to bring that to the attention of one
of my supervisors, sir. Okay, let’s change this up a little bit. Let’s
say, your partner is a veteran and he’s got one year left to retirement. You tell me you
would ruin his entire career for an eighty-nine cent candy bar? You would really do that? Yes, sir. I would. I don’t mean to be argumentative
but I guess this is hard but look at it. I didn’t ruin his career. He did. I mean, we’re
expected to be the cream of the crop and to uphold the laws and not violate them. I think
the way i would look at this is that I didn’t ruin his career. He did. I believe this is
a decision that’s better dealt with by a supervisor than a frontline officer so I’m certainly
going to stick with my guns and say that I would talk to a supervisor. I believe in my
heart of hearts that that’s the right way to handle that situation, sir. So, I’ve answered the question, I got the
challenge and again, you’re always going to get a challenge. I answered it and I justified
my answer. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns. Again, I’ll say it like I did before.
Right, wrong, or different, the Oral Board is probably going to challenge your answer,
particularly when it comes to the scenario questions. Hold your ground, give them a good
answer, don’t become argumentative with them. In fact, I even told my associate who was
acting as a panel member, not only to be argumentative but I have to stick to my guns because I think
this is a situation better handled by a supervisor– not a frontline officer. I’m willing to submit
to the authoritative supervisors, I justified my answer. There are hundreds of more questions we could
go into. I want to throw this video out so that you could get the answer to at least
one question. I would ask you that if you got an interview coming up, please don’t memorize
the answer. Make it your own but there are a lot more in the Oral Board interviews. The
most difficult part of it, I believe, of the process. I’ve interviewed so many people from
Oral Boards, one-on-one interviews. I can’t keep track of how many I’ve interviewed but
I’ll tell you this: I’ve seen very good people get flushed out. There are things that you have to say, there
are things that you have to know about the Oral Board panel and how to answer but just
as importantly, there are things you have to know that you should never ever do in an
Oral Board. We call them the seven deadly sins. If you’re curious, the website is Take a visit. We’ll go through this together.
I’d love to help you out. Good luck and God bless.


  • Reply MusicJams17 September 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you Chief Ehlers! I'm hoping I to become a Police Officer soon, this helped a lot!

  • Reply Earn Your Badge September 16, 2011 at 2:45 am

    @MusicJams17 You are very welcome and I look forward to posting more videos soon.

  • Reply Ember121Scorpio September 28, 2011 at 5:57 am

    it's not about the 89 cent candy bar, it's about code of ethics

  • Reply Earn Your Badge November 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    @titanicmusic14 Police

  • Reply Earn Your Badge November 9, 2011 at 2:40 am

    @nwmsfootball79 The B-pad can be a valuable tool for assessing candidates. The unfortunate thing is, it tends to favor candidates with LE experience. This is where I hope to be of assistance to non-experienced candidates. Scenarios vary greatly but often include an upset citizen. I will be producing a video discussing B-pad in the near future for inclusion in the Member’s Area of EYB.

  • Reply Earn Your Badge November 17, 2011 at 10:19 am

    @TheNinerfan87 A very good question and I strongly suggest you begin preparing one hour per night given that you are this close. In a perfect world, you should begin preparing for your oral when you decide you want to work in LE. There is much to learn about the oral board and while scenario questions are VERY important, the other aspects of preparation are of tantamount importance. You will be competing against many other candidates. Best wishes!

  • Reply Earn Your Badge November 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    @thomasewhite1010 Corrections and LE oral board panels can, and usually are very similar. My videos along with all other content in the EYB Member’s Room are useful for not only LE position, but for State and Federal Park Wardens, Local, State and Federal Correctional Officer positions as well as State and Federal Game Officers, often referred to as Department of Natural Resources and/or Fish and Wildlife Officers

  • Reply Klinch La' Gramm November 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    where is fire penguin dancing panda?

  • Reply Devyn Pope December 11, 2011 at 2:50 am

    @EarnYourBadge What do you think of paying for your partner's candy bar, and asking him to pay you back?

  • Reply Earn Your Badge December 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    @503al3xis The quick answer is no. We talk more about that in the Members Room at EarnYourBadge.

  • Reply Iek Chan December 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I just failed my written test, I believe it is because of the psychological question on morals that failed me. What is expected? Do they want someone to follow the rules no matter what or do they expect gray areas on some answers?

  • Reply Earn Your Badge December 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    @Homecmk1 Very difficult question to answer without seeing the test questions but I can say this, the psychological part of the hiring process is often a factor beginning with the written test, as you noted. Do they want a candidate to follow the rules no matter what? If the “rule” is lawful, my answer is yes, usually. Continued….

  • Reply Earn Your Badge December 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    @Homecmk1 Continued… An ambiguous answer I know, but psychology is a vague science and so are many of the “test” questions often seen in these environments. I’m in the process of putting together a “Pass Your Psychological” with much work remaining until publication. Thanks for the great question!
    Chief Russ

  • Reply Earn Your Badge December 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    @youngergermanpope Noble from the standpoint that you don’t want to see a theft occur, and you can mention in your answer that you’d put money on the counter if you feel compelled to do that, but if you “go there” it’s only going to look to the panel that you are trying to cover something up. This partner of yours is a thief, he needs to be taken to task by the department’s supervisory staff. If THEY want to pay for the candy bar you’d do well to let them make that decision.

  • Reply si12j12 January 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    very informative , thank you.

  • Reply Earn Your Badge February 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    @69690patricia1 There are of course some questions that will be specific to the position you are applying (such as reading teletypes aloud or questions having dealing with hysterical people on a 9-1-1 call) however, interviewing techniques are covered in great detail in the Member’s Room of EYB. The technique is at the very least, as important as the answers, if not slightly more important. Great answers are great, but if the applicant’s delivery is poor, they may as well have stayed home.

  • Reply Earn Your Badge February 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @SUPERMAN60440X I was once told by a seasoned officer that cops are notoriously bad spellers. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, nor am I convinced that spelling is a critical component to landing a job in LE. I’ve known officers that couldn’t spell their way out of an elementary school and were great cops. Follow you dream of entering this profession and if you put your heart in that endeavor, my guess is, you’ll do just fine.

  • Reply lalosfun March 5, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I just had my interview yesterday it was good thanks alot you really helped.

  • Reply Mat Smith March 6, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Officer: Sir what would you do if you had to areest your mom?
    Me: Call for backup.

  • Reply Maryland Finest May 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    really good…i learn't something today

  • Reply bigwoods May 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    If your homeless, how d o you have a computer?

  • Reply David Motyka May 13, 2012 at 2:42 am

    I have a question.. Here in Canada to be a police we need 20/60 one eye and 20/100 on the other eye without correction. I have 20/200 and 20/300-20/400 on my second eye , is it still possible for me to become a police officer in the United States? I have 20/20 vision with correction ( Contact Lenses ).

  • Reply Earn Your Badge June 8, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Yes, some agencies don’t do vision exams and if they do, there is no standard that is set state wide nor nationwide. Conditions are set agency by agency in the U.S.

  • Reply john steiner June 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

    What this teaches you is how to bullshit in the interview and in the department.

  • Reply michaeljordanpoop June 26, 2012 at 5:28 am

    has anyone purchased it and wants to send me their code? 😀

  • Reply Glocker2217 July 12, 2012 at 7:55 am


    I just had an oral board today where everyone on the board was nice, but one gentleman was terrible. This guy was very confrontational and indirectly accused me of lying. Why would they have invited me to interview if they planned on treating me so harshly?

  • Reply Earn Your Badge July 19, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Not so sure it was planned, but it may have been. Some panels will intentionally plant a panel member that is there to challenge and stress the applicant out as much as possible. They want to see how you’ll react to the “obnoxious” person. Conversely, is this man wasn’t a “plant” it may be the last panel he ever serves on. Don’t sweat it, it’s often just part of the program.

  • Reply Alan Franklin July 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Chief, I have been trying very hard to become a police officer for the past 2-3 years. I have interviewed with 4 departments. All told me I did not have enough experience. So I took a job at the Montana State Prison, and have worked there for 10 months. In that time I have certified in firearms, completed corrections/detention officer basic at the academy, and been given several positive actions notes from my supervisors. In one week they are interviewing 5 of us for 2 spots. Is this enough?

  • Reply Alan Franklin July 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Sorry "They" meaning the Dept. in my town.

  • Reply Mitch Mabee July 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Copley Press v. San Diego in 2006 allows allegations of police misconduct to remain shrouded in secrecy. Misbehavior by public employees who have the right to use deadly force is often off-limits to scrutiny The exemption in the public-records act, police agencies need not release most details of their reports of officer-involved shootings. Their Procedural Bill of Rights Ca Govt Code makes discipline more rare than a black pearl Idiots outside the law go to jail the smart ones get a badge first

  • Reply Gaijinquest August 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I have an interview in 2 hours I've practiced a million times. Still a nervous wreck lmao

  • Reply Jesse Bains August 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    How do you join EarnYourBadge, is it closed to new members? I can't find a join page

  • Reply Earn Your Badge August 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    You can join by visiting EarnYourBadge (dot) com
    Just watch the videos, it will take you where you need to go.

  • Reply Jesse Bains August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    How'd you do? Good I hope, getting a police job these days is nearly as difficult as getting into Harvard

  • Reply Gaijinquest August 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Sir I passed my oral board test with flying colors! I was ranked 9th out of 54 candidates however and this was only because of "veterans preference".. Your advice helped out alot! I will know if Ill be hired on august 29th. thank you for everything sir. But Im curious why is it so dang hard Ive tried out for numerous departments and each one only has about one or two positions open and I havent been able to get an interview for it the economy?

  • Reply CherryPicking September 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

    What do you think about this possible answer to this particular question? What if I proposed that I confront my partner about stealing the item, but allowed him to return to the store and pay for it in full — you know, satisfying justice and mercy. How do you think the board would see that somewhat creative response?

  • Reply ya45 September 30, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I would like to comment on this video but I'm afraid you'll arrest me because of my name.

  • Reply Sam Shelley October 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I agree with you on this. As an officer you are in a position of trust. Today it could be an 89 cent candy bar. Tomorrow it could be stealing a $20 bill off of a dresser in a home you are searching. I would ask my partner if he had left the money if I suspected he hadn't.

  • Reply Ed1 Mnkla November 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    What if the guy who took the candy bar is your A

  • Reply Ed1 Mnkla November 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    What if the one who took the candy bar is your FTO (Field Training Officer) what would you do? You as the trainee, would you have enough testicular fortitude to go up to him and say "did you steal the candy bar?" How would you approach this situation?

  • Reply ya45 November 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm


  • Reply Ed1 Mnkla November 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    So one Mr butthead suggested that it does not matter who stole the candy bar they should be arrested. Pretty cool in theory, that is if you believe in unicorns and talking teddy bears with rainbows shooting out of their asses, in real life this is not the ideal way to approach this situation. Like that would really happen a trainee would read his/ her FTO the miranda rights and trow them in back of the squad car because he did not pay for a candy bar. Thats really a thinking solution.

  • Reply frank spancer December 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm


  • Reply DST RV December 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I am 19 and a half and just passed my oral board and should get my academy invite soon 🙂

  • Reply CaLxRoyalty December 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    This is just bs to say. In a real case situation im pretty sure someone would ruin their retirement or career..

  • Reply Brad Dennis December 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    These are just the straight forward answers everybody has to give in order to pass the oral board. Once the interviewee becomes a police officer and learns the ropes he'll know what's really expected of him in a situation where another police officer does something unethical 🙂 The interviewer knows this as well. Once he is accepted into the brotherhood it's expected of him to do his best to protect the thin blue line.

  • Reply marqus fultz January 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    well cool video

  • Reply ofsoundminds January 17, 2013 at 10:51 am

    usa flag with gold fringe that is on your uniform is under ucc, not the constitution. why do people want to be cops that dont follow the constitution….

  • Reply DominicanOps January 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    The Oral Board is looking for PC answers no matter what. At the same time, don't BS them. I was once asked a long time ago "Would you arrest your dad if you caught him driving and he was drinking?" I answered No, explained why and what I would do. I passed that interview because they know no one is going to arrest their father or mother. BTW I was asked this question in the video and said I would tell a supervisory and now I'm on the job since 09. Reality and Oral Board definitely different

  • Reply alex lam January 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Dulac <3

  • Reply Leandro De Lima January 24, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I would like to find out more about the BPAD assessment test.

  • Reply Pat R February 19, 2013 at 2:53 am

    I have a question for him:
    You stop someone and is recording you on a video for record purpose, what are you doing?

  • Reply tiffwork May 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Do you get tased and pepper sprayed in training?

  • Reply GPMJC94 May 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    yes, sometimes both, but some depts allow you to choose either one

  • Reply William Avitt May 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Man, that pepper spray is hateful stuff. Took be 2 whole days to fully recover after my pepper class

  • Reply canninerash0311 May 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Chief Russ: I passed the physical requirements and written requirements and have an interview today! Because of your videos I feel more prepared in regards to tact and an overall idea of what to expect. I appreciate the help!

  • Reply 6chicolin9 May 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I applied for a police officer job. since i am bilingual (spanish/english. i thought i could be hired. but I haven't heard back from them yet. What can I do or what am I doing wrong?

  • Reply ballsackTbager May 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

    watched the 7 deadly sins video. Where am I supposed to put my hands then you just said where you aren't supposed to put them

  • Reply jholleyjr2 June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Being bilingual does not assure that you will get a call. If they are hiring at the time they will go through apps and look to make sure you filled out the app completely and correctly, if not most of the app gets trashed. But if you did the will contact you to inform you when to come test and or interview. Sometimes you it takes a few months before they will contact you. Plus they may have 100's of people who applied before you on a waiting list.. Call to check the status of your application.

  • Reply MMA Maxim June 10, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Hey @Glocker2217! Can you update us on what happened with your interview? Was he is simulating the stressful people you will confront while serving as we suspect?

  • Reply zathath July 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    The star of the badge of the police officer is the seven stars in Jesus right hand. This means that police officer do not worship the dragon, and the scarlet beast with his right hand. He is a man of God.

  • Reply thelastoneontheplane August 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm


  • Reply Y Arafa March 10, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Thank you for your videos!

    I was asked a question during my oral board: 
    "You are in the first week of your FTO program, and your Field Training Officer is late to pick you up. Once he picks you up you observe him speeding, and you smell an odor of alcohol from his breath. What would you do?" 
    My answer was "Well driving under the influence is illegal and I would notify the FTO's supervisor of the incident"
    What do you think of that answer?

  • Reply David Williams May 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    thanks a lot chief

  • Reply Tiny Reader July 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Could you please do a video on what to day if they ask you to describe a color to blind person. Someone said they'd gotten that question

  • Reply Francoeur Farms August 20, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Your video's are great and very helpful. I'm a paramedic and I used a lot of your video's to get me in the mindset for the interview. Thanks for posting this its awesome! I've passed this on to a few of my friends too

  • Reply eric branton January 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    his flag is supposed to be back words not front words wow he does not know how to dress well that guy his flag patch is all wrong its supposed to be back not front,

  • Reply Harman Singh January 23, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I have been living in USA since 8 years and i am us citizen. I have high school diploma, went to high school but i still think i can not speak english very well. So will it be any problem to join police force.   

  • Reply Jose Belindo December 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm


  • Reply Jose Belindo December 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    This was an actual question on an NYPD written exam "you are called to a movie theater and there is a pipe with wires sticking out in a phone booth what is the first thing you do ? a) call the bomb squad b) evacute the theater c) order popcorn d) pull the wires out of the pipe "the correct answer is b)evacuate the theater

  • Reply shihab shanto December 14, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Read Police oral board review on my blog before you buy. Go to garyreviews. com/police-oral-board-review/ Thanks. Isiah.

  • Reply Nathan Rivas February 22, 2017 at 7:36 am

    your awesome

  • Reply S K April 26, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I failed my oral board when they asked me "what did you want to be when you were younger?" I answered "A school bus sir." They then replied "nice! a school bus driver what made you want to do that?" I quickly replied "No sir a school bus not a driver," they then escorted me outside and disqualified me indefinitely. I think if I answered a airplane I may have still had a chance.
    (I'm joking)

  • Reply Extreme Point September 20, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Nice video. You may also want to checkout the review of police oral board on my blog at garyreviews. com/police-oral-board-review/ Thanks. Pkl Manfred.

  • Reply Miguel Marquez October 10, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Even though I need this help I get nervous watching the videos because I remember the feeling when I went to an interview and failed soo hard

  • Reply Justin Holden December 22, 2017 at 3:52 am

    You were a large factor in getting hired! I start the academy in two weeks! Thank you!

  • Reply I laugh for complex reasons February 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    How to become a robot 101.

  • Reply Pyroman / August 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    What a bull shit propaganda video a cop would never turn in a cop for stealing a bar or even stealing thousands of candy bars

  • Reply Bryan Oberhausen September 15, 2018 at 1:08 am

    A scenario I was presented with was, “your partner pulls into an alley were there is a group of kids. He gets out of the car and says, ‘don’t worry, I’ve got this.’ After speaking with the group for a few minutes he lets them leave and as he’s walking back you see him holding a bag and money. When he gets back to the car he tells you not to worry because it was just some weed and offers to split the cash with you.” I believe this scenario is what caused me to fail my oral exam. I respond that I would not accept any of the money and after challenging him I would report it to a superior officer. The way Louisville Metro Police works is once you begin the oral exam you can’t ask any questions and they will not say anything else to you so I wasn’t able to get any information on how I answered my questions.

  • Reply Kas Al November 30, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you chief

  • Reply Working Hard! December 18, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I got upcoming interview with oral board for CVSI-2…! Very scared, since there are total of 10 CANDIDATES!!! HAPPY & SCARED AT ONCE!!!

  • Reply Old Cop May 21, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Good Q b/c this happened to me when I started my career. Found a small store broken into and my partner stole some cigarettes and asked what brand I smoked. I declined and reported the incident to my sergeant. I left for another department shortly after and don’t know what happened to the guy.

  • Leave a Reply