How To Land Your Dream Job As Deputy Sheriff

You’ve seen the posters on the subway, you’ve watched the TV commercials. You want to become a deputy sheriff because you want to help people and make a difference. But how do you land your dream job? Well, it’s not as easy as it looks! 

The competition is stiff for jobs in law enforcement, but with some preparation and hard work, you could be ready for this exciting career path!

Have A Plan

You should have a plan for how you will get the job, what you will do once you get the job and how to keep it. 

Make sure that this plan is flexible enough to accommodate any changes in your life. Be sure to consider your strengths and weaknesses and how they might affect your ability to perform as well as others during the hiring process.

Know When To Move On

If after applying for many jobs over time without receiving an offer from one employer, it may be time for another strategy or rethink about what career path might suit your interests best. 

If at first, nothing seems promising from applying directly through an organization’s website, try contacting someone within that company via LinkedIn and asking if there are any openings available within their team (as long as doing so won’t jeopardize any future opportunities).

Prepare For The Written Exam

The written exam is an important part of the application process. It allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of police work, as well as your ability to communicate with others. The exam has two parts:

A multiple choice section that tests basic math skills and comprehension (sample questions include identifying laws related to civil rights, determining when it is appropriate for officers to make arrests, and choosing the best course of action in various scenarios)

A writing sample in which you’ll be asked to explain how you would handle a hypothetical situation

Prepare For The Physical Ability Test

The physical abilities test (PAT) is a basic strength and endurance assessment. This portion is comprised of events that challenge your speed, power, agility, coordination, and balance. The PAT consists of five parts:

  • Pushups (maximum repetitions)
  • Sit-ups (maximum repetitions)
  • 300-meter run/walk
  • Agility run
  • Obstacle course

Make The Most Of Your Past Experience (Or Lacking Experience)

If you have the right experience, finding the right job is often a matter of submitting your resume and waiting. 

But if your experience is less than stellar, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. Don’t despair even those with little or no experience can land a great position as deputy sheriff!

If you’re new to law enforcement:

Make use of the many resources available to learn about the profession and how it relates to local law enforcement. Read up on what it takes to become a deputy sheriff in your state by checking out our guide on “How To Become A Deputy Sheriff.” 

If possible, shadow an officer to understand what their day-to-day responsibilities entail while gaining insight into their career path.

Consider applying for entry-level positions within smaller agencies that may not have such stringent hiring criteria. You’ll gain valuable on-the-job training while still having opportunities for advancement down the road (which will give you more time on the force).

Get Prepped For The Interview

The interview is the last thing you want to get wrong, so make sure you’re prepared. Review these tips and questions before your interview:

Have a list of questions ready for the interviewer. This can include any information that is not covered in the job description or application form. 

You may also want to ask about opportunities for advancement within the department or community, where you could see yourself working five years from now, and why this position appeals to them (it’s important for candidates and hiring managers alike).

Or what skills they think are necessary for success in this role. You might even ask them about themselves if it seems appropriate this shows an interest in your potential boss beyond just their qualifications as well as gives insight into what it might be like working together down the line!

Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your background and experience will play a big role when determining whether.

Or not someone should hire you based on how well they know who they’d be getting into business with on such an important level (and whether or not there would be any conflicts between personalities). 

The same goes when talking specifically about why they’re interested in becoming deputy sheriff themselves; show sincerity and enthusiasm while still being honest.”

Show Up On Time!

It’s a simple concept, but it can be difficult to remember. Most employers expect you to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time and 15-30 minutes before your physical ability test, written exam, and driving test. 

The background check may take some time, so if you’re not there when they call you back for that, then it might affect your chances of being hired. Finally, don’t forget about the polygraph test! 

That takes longer than any other part of the application process because it involves getting hooked up with sensors and answering questions about your personal life that make most people uncomfortable (for example: “Have you ever taken drugs?”).

Be Ready To Talk About Motivation And Why You Want To Become A Deputy Sheriff

While you’re preparing for the interview, it’s important to think about what your motivations are for becoming a Deputy Sheriff. Why do you want this job? How can you contribute to the department and its members? What can you offer that someone else might not be able to?

This is also an opportunity for you to show that you’re passionate about your goal of becoming a deputy sheriff. You should have already thought through these questions before arriving at the interview, but if not, now’s the time!

When asked why they want to become a Deputy Sheriff, candidates often respond with “to serve” or “to help people” or other such generalities. 

While those answers may seem like good answers on paper, they don’t tell anyone anything specific about why this job appeals specifically to them.

Or whether there’s any particular experience or skill set they’ve developed over time that would make them good at it (such as being able to deal with difficult situations).

Be Ready To Talk About Why You’re Right For This Job

You’re going to have to explain why you want this job, so you must do your research and know what the department is looking for. 

This means researching the department itself, as well as reading any job postings or interviewing guides they may have. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of getting an offer!

  • Give examples of how your specific skills and experience make you a great fit for the position. Focus on what makes you unique, why should they hire YOU?
  • Don’t just talk about yourself, talk about how the community will benefit from having more officers like yourself in their area (and be specific).

Be Prepared To Handle Stressful Situations And Stay Focused Under Pressure

As a deputy sheriff, you will need to be prepared to handle stressful situations and stay focused under pressure. You will also have to work well with people from different backgrounds and communities.

Talk About Your Communication Skills And How You Work Well With Others

You will be asked to communicate with all sorts of people, from your coworkers, who may have dramatically different backgrounds and opinions on things, to the people you arrest.

You’ll need to listen carefully to understand their point of view. You can show that you are listening by asking questions that clarify information if needed, or by using eye contact (not staring). You should also respect others’ opinions even when they don’t agree with yours.

Being polite is necessary for any job situation, but it’s especially important as a deputy sheriff because you’ll often be dealing with people who are angry or upset about something. 

Showing respect throughout these conversations can help calm down nervous suspects or victims while still getting the job done safely and effectively. 

An important part of being respectful is not lying; if someone asks how long their loved one has been missing or what happened during an arrest, tell them the truth even if it means disappointing them with bad news!

Mention Your Extra Qualifications

If you have any extra qualifications that are relevant to the job, mention them. If you’ve been told to be thorough in your application, this is where it comes in handy. Any kind of experience or skills that overlap between your work history and the job description are worth mentioning here.

If there’s something specific about yourself or your education that makes you uniquely qualified for this position and it shows that they have not only read through but also read carefully it will get noticed by a hiring manager who takes his time reviewing applications.

Don’t Forget To Provide References

You’ll want to provide at least two references when you apply. The people who will be providing these references mustn’t be family members, friends, or work colleagues. 

You also don’t want to use romantic partners as a reference because they might say something negative about you and your employer won’t get an accurate picture of your skills and abilities. 

Lastly, it’s best to avoid recommending neighbors as well since they may not know enough about you professionally to give a strong reference.

Once you’ve chosen who will be writing letters for you, make sure that they know what kind of job is being applied for so that their letters are tailored appropriately (i.e., if applying for Deputy Sheriff positions then make sure that any letters written have an emphasis on those skills).


If you’re ready to start your career as a deputy sheriff, then it’s time to take action. Start with some research and planning, and then make sure that you are prepared for the tests and interviews. 

You never know when an opportunity like this will come along again so make sure you take advantage of it!