The rigorous phases of the hiring process test an applicant’s aptitude, physical fitness, communication, background and general health. Certain phases have minimum requirements but applicants should remember they are competing against hundreds of other men and women who are all vying to be police officers. Applicants should perform at their highest level during the process, continue to live their lives in a professional manner and improve their aptitude and physical fitness.
Application Process: The process begins with the announcement of test dates and recruit orientation dates. Recruit orientations provide invaluable information about the testing process and online applications must be submitted by the deadline to be considered.
Hundreds of initial applications are received and only the top candidates are invited to the participate. Those invited to the test will complete an AzPOST background questionnaire and submit it upon arrival at the test. Visit this website regularly for updates on recruit orientation dates, test dates and application availability. Back to Top
Physical Agility Test: The physical agility test consists of three (3) components – a 1½ mile run, pushups and sit-ups – and is held the same day as the written examination. The evaluation is designed to measure an applicant’s general cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and muscle endurance. An applicant must successfully pass all three (3) components to move to the written examination.
Applicants should wear appropriate clothing to include running shoes. Applicants are encouraged to bring water to the test and hydrate well in advance. It is wise to stretch and warm-up prior to physical activity to avoid unnecessary injury.
The standards below are the minimums to pass the physical agility test.
1½ Mile Run - Applicants must run six (6) laps around a ¼ mile track in 14 minutes or less. Walking is not permitted and those who do fail this portion of the test. Applicants may carry water during the run.
Pushups - Applicants must complete at least 21 pushups; there is no time limit. If an applicant needs to rest during the test, they may do so in the front leaning rest (up) position. If an applicant stops with any part of his or her torso touching the measuring block or ground or is unable to complete 21 pushups, s/he fails this portion of the test.
A proper pushup begins with the applicant in the up position; arms extended; hands on the ground shoulder width apart; fingers pointing forward; feet together or up to 12 inches apart. Applicants must bend their arms at the elbow to lower their chest until it contacts the top of a four (4) inch measuring block and then return to the up position. Modified pushups are not permitted.
View the video demonstration of appropriate pushups and sit-ups.
Sit-ups - Applicants must complete at least 29 sit-ups in one (1) minute. If an applicant needs to rest during this test, they may do so but only in the up position. If an applicant stops with any part of his or her back touching the ground or is unable to complete 29 sit-ups in one (1) minute, s/he fails this portion of the test.
A proper sit-up begins with the applicant's back on the ground; knees bent and feet flat on the ground; hands either cupping the ears or interlocked behind the head. The applicant must raise his/her upper body off the ground until the elbows touch or break the plain of the knees and then return to the start position. This is considered one (1) sit-up. Back to Top
Written Examination: The written examination is a comprehensive test designed to evaluate memory, analytical and logical thinking, reading comprehension, written communication, problem solving and other tasks critical to the success of a police officer. The exam will take approximately two (2) hours to complete. Exams are scored upon completion and applicants are notified if they have passed or failed. The written exam will be conducted immediately after the physical agility test. Only applicants who pass will move onto the panel interview. Back to Top
Panel Interview: Upon successful completion the written examination and physical agility test, applicants will immediately be scheduled to participate in a panel interview. Applicants should expect to attend a panel interview as early as the week following the written examination and physical agility test. The panel interview lasts approximately 30 minutes once the process begins but applicants should plan to set aside up to two (2) hours of their time.
The interview board will be made up of two (2) members from different areas of the police department and city. The panel interview may be different from other interviews an applicant has attended as only the applicant will speak during the interview and the panel members will not ask follow-up or clarifying questions. This provides a consistent experience for all applicants. Applicants should answer questions completely and base answers on personal experiences, skills and knowledge. Panel members do not view applications or the results of previous tests and only information provided by the applicant can be can be evaluated by the interview board. Applicants will be notified via email if they did not pass the panel interview. Those who pass will not receive any notification. Back to Top
Background Investigation: If an applicant successfully completes the panel interview and is selected to move forward in the process, s/he will be contacted by a background investigator to schedule an interview. Passing the written examination, physical agility test and panel interview does not guarantee an applicant will be given further consideration.
During this interview, the detective will review your AzPOST questionnaire and address all areas of your life. The background investigation may take several weeks or months to schedule and complete. During this portion of the process, the department will conduct a thorough check of an applicant’s criminal history, driving record, work history, past drug use, etc. The background investigator will contact personal references, previous employers, family members, etc. During this process, you should continue to carry yourself in a professional manner befitting a police officer recruit and improve your physical fitness in preparation for the rigors of the police academy, should you be selected to continue in the process. Back to Top
Polygraph Examination: Upon completion of the background interview, applicants may be scheduled for a polygraph examination. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a polygraph examination. Back to Top
Psychological Evaluation: Upon completion of the previous phases, applicants are evaluated and the best are selected to move forward. Should an applicant move forward, s/he will be scheduled for a psychological evaluation. This phase consists of a written tests and a face-to-face interview with the department’s psychologist. The purpose of this phase is to ensure there are no psychological issues that would prevent an applicant from having a successful career as a police officer. Prior to the psychological evaluation, an applicant will be given a conditional offer of employment. Back to Top
Medical Examination: Applicants who successfully complete the psychological evaluation will be scheduled for a medical examination. Once an applicant has successfully completed the medical examination, s/he may be scheduled to attend the police academy. Back to Top
*Out-of-State Applicants: Out-of-state applicants need to be in Tempe on the scheduled dates for the physical agility test, written examination and panel interview. The department will attempt to accommodate out-of-state applicants by minimizing travel during later phases. Back to Top