top of page

Prepare for the Interview

I’ve been invited to interview! Now what?

First, congratulations!  Very few of those who apply to be an Urbana Police Officer are invited to interview. Here are some tips that you may find helpful in preparing.

Ahead of time

  • Review the job description and think about how your education and/or experience have prepared you for this position.

  • Review past projects and experiences you’ve had, such as projects that you are especially proud of or that didn’t turn out as you had planned.  You may be asked about these and what you learned from your experiences.

  • Think of other questions that the interview panel may ask.  Local libraries, the Internet and the Illinois workNet Center (1307 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign) may offer helpful books, flyers and Internet access for further research. The Helpful Links page of this packet also has some ideas where you can start.

  • Review your resume; if any changes have occurred since you submitted your resume with your application, print out the updated version and bring copies with you to the interview.

  • Review directions to the interview location.   

  • Consider scheduling a ride-along with a UPD Officer to see the job first-hand.  See the Ride-Along portion of this guide for more information.


The Day of the Interview 

  • Print out your interview invitation that provides the address of the interview location, your interview time, and other instructions.

  • Be sure to bring any materials you may need, such as copies of your updated resume or any materials you have been requested to bring (such as copies of licenses or transcripts).

  • Allow yourself extra time to arrive at the interview.

  • Be on time!  We advise arriving for your interview at least 10-15 minutes ahead of time.

  • Parking: interviews take place at the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., unless otherwise specified on your invitation. Metered parking is available on the north side of the building (off of Green Street) in Lot 22; look for the sign noting "Public Parking" with an arrow.


During the Interview

  • Dress the part. You don’t need to rush out and buy a new suit, but this is a professional interview and showing that you respect the position is a great way to make a positive first impression. Avoid shorts, tank and halter tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants, sneakers and other casual attire.

  • Be prepared to talk about yourself and why you’re interested in becoming a City of Urbana police officer. You may want to start reviewing your educational and professional history and accomplishments. Is there anything you’re particularly proud of? How did you handle a difficult situation? Questions like these will be asked in the interview sessions. You may find that talking about yourself is difficult, but the interview panel’s job is to assess the best candidate for the position, and they will not be able to get an insight into your skills, abilities and personality unless you tell them!

  • Listen carefully to the question being asked and try to answer it as best you can. Usually, the best answer isn’t the longest answer, but the most direct and focused one.

  • Want more tips? See our Pinterest boards on Resumes & Cover Letters and Interview Tips for more ideas and suggestions.

bottom of page