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Author Topic: Interview help  (Read 26769 times)

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  • Guest
Interview help
« on: February 08, 2005, 03:58:19 PM »
I have an interview for a Firearms/Toolmarks position coming up in a few weeks. I was wondering if anybody had any tips for me that could help me land this job?

I am going for an entry level job. I don't have any real crime lab experience besides the internship that I did. I have a BS in Forensic Science from John Jay.

Any help would be appreciated.

Offline Bob Shem

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Interview help
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 05:25:11 PM »
Hi Allan,

Because you are a new hire with no experience I would expect that the interviewer will be looking for several qualities:

1.  Honesty.  If twisting the truth comes easy, you're interviewing for the wrong position.

2.  Communication skills.  You should be comfortable sharing what you know in front of an audience (ultimately - twelve members of a jury).

3.  Smarts.  If you can problem solve and know the fundamentals of the scientific method you are ahead of the game.

4.  Confidence.  You need to have faith in your ability to do the job without being a cocky know-it-all.  Some young, new people tend to be too cocky, going beyond confidence.  Show a good balance.

You will not be expected to know much, if anything, about Firearm and Toolmark Identification.  You new employer is hoping for a person who is a quick study who thirsts for knowledge.

Good luck.
Robert J. Shem, 4900 Buckingham Way., Anchorage, AK  99503, ph 907 952-2254,

Offline AFTE Admin

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Interview help
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2005, 05:34:38 PM »
Hi Allan,

You could also mention that you have thought ahead about the training process involved to get you be a court qualified examiner, and that you are interested (assuming that you actually are) in getting into the ATF's National Firearm Examiner Academy.  You can find info about the program at  While the program does not actually certify you as a court qualified examiner, I can't think of a quicker way to get much of the needed base knowledge in the field.  This is assuming that the lab doesn't use an in-house program.  It can't hurt to let them know you've been thinking ahead.

Good luck,

Jay Stuart
SEMO Regional Crime Lab, Cape Girardeau, MO
Jay Stuart
Metro Crime Lab - Albuquerque, NM


  • Guest
Interview help
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2005, 06:26:56 PM »
Thank for the feedback. I will definitely keep those things in mind. I have been preparing by thinking of answers to questions that might be asked of me.

Offline L. M. Kogler

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Interview help
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2005, 02:44:25 PM »
You new employer is hoping for a person who is a quick study who thirsts for knowledge.

What Bob said is very true -- a willingness to learn is important.  If you have any examples of where you went and studied or learned more about a subject where it wasn't required of you (for example, attending a seminar), keep these in mind for your interview.  

And if you don't know an answer to a question, don't be afraid to say that you don't know.  (Although if you can think of where you might go to find that information, that may be helpful.)  I sat on an interview board last year, and it was interesting to see that when asked certain knowledge-based questions, some candidates totally made stuff up!  Needless to say, they weren't hired.
L. M. Kogler


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