Interviewing Analyst Candidates

The oral board process gives the hiring agency an opportunity to determine the qualifications of the candidate and how that candidate might fit within the agency.  Along with standard questions your agency may use to learn about a prospective employee, the following questions may be used to determine the candidate’s knowledge and abilities to perform the duties of a Crime Analyst.

InterviewFollowing each question is a set of answers that can be used to rate the responses given by the applicant.  The answers provided are not meant to be an exhaustive list.  Comparing the applicant’s responses to these answers should give the hiring committee an idea of the applicant's qualifications.

  • Describe the role a crime analyst plays in law enforcement.
    • Information sharing within and outside the agency
    • Review reports to determine and analyze trends and patterns
    • Provide analytical support for investigations
    • Prepare crime statistical reports
    • Create and distribute bulletins on suspects, patterns and trends
    • Provide regular reports on crime activity in the agency’s jurisdiction
    • Develop effective strategies and tactics to prevent future crimes
    • Help in planning effective use of resources and future resource needs
  • Who would you think the crime analyst’s primary “customers” are and why?
    • Patrol Officers – provide information and analysis on offenders, patterns, hot spots, officer safety concerns, and crime statistics
    • Traffic Officers – provide data/statistics/reports on traffic incidents
    • Detectives – provide analytical support and research for case investigations
    • Command Staff – provide reports on crime statistics, trends and resource planning
    • Crime Prevention Unit – provide neighborhood crime information
    • City Officials – provide information on crime statistics and trends
    • Citizens – provide updates regarding crime trends affecting the community
    • Outside agencies – exchange information on crime patterns, series and offenders
    • Prosecutors – create products for prosecutors and courtroom presentations
  • Describe the activities/tasks that would be part of a crime analyst’s daily routine.
    • Review the calls for service on a daily basis
    • Identify crime and incident patterns
    • Disseminate information to department via bulletins or other information sharing processes
    • Provide investigative research on incidents and cases
    • Research offenders for crime activity, history, location, associates, vehicles, warrants, etc.
    • Liason with surrounding agencies to share information on related cases
    • Attend briefings to provide information to and receive information from officers
    • Produce ad hoc analytical reports for Command Staff
  • What information sources would you utilize to help identify a crime trend?
    • Records Management System (RMS)
    • Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD)
    • Case reports
    • Regional Crime Analysts
    • Crime bulletins
    • Patrol officers and detectives
    • Regional information sharing systems
    • Regional information sharing meetings
  • Describe the general types of information that you would put into a bulletin to get information out to patrol officers on a crime series.
    • Suspect description (name, dob, height, weight, hair, eyes, address, etc)
    • M.O. description
    • History of series including locations, dates, times (crime matrix)
    • Pattern description of series
    • Map of incidents
    • Suspect photo
    • Vehicle photo (or sample if actual vehicle photo not available)
    • Surveillance photos
    • Request for action/response
    • Contact information for responsible officer/detective/crime analyst
  • You have determined that there is a crime series in your jurisdiction that may be linked to crimes in other cities.  Describe what you as the Crime Analyst would do to disseminate this information?
    • Send a request for information to other agencies to see who has similar incidents
    • Talk with crime analysts or detectives from other agencies about their similar incidents
    • Create a matrix to help analyze the series
    • Create a bulletin to disseminate to your agency and outside agencies to inform them of the series
  • Describe your experience compiling and analyzing data to identify significant events, series, patterns and trends.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience compiling and analyzing data to identify significant events, series, patterns and trends that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Describe a time when you worked on a project where you used analytical skills.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience using analytical skills on a project that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Give an example that shows you are proactive rather than reactive in the work environment.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience being proactive rather than reactive in the work environment that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Describe a specific example of how you have used analytical or statistical techniques to complete a work-related project. 
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience using analytical or statistical techniques to complete a work related project that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Describe your experience working with personnel from multiple agencies or companies.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience working with personnel from multiple agencies or companies that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Describe your experience using the internet to conduct research as part of a project.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience with research done on the internet that meets the requirements of the agency/position?
  • Discuss your knowledge of Problem-Oriented Policing.
    • Address a problem by more than just responding with officers
    • Thoroughly analyze the problem - there are different ways to look at a problem so it must be reviewed from all sides to determine the best course of action
    • Analyze solutions that go beyond arresting offenders
    • Utilize resources along with enforcement to solve the problem
    • Pro-actively try to solve problems rather than just react to the harmful consequences of problems
    • Deal with the conditions that create the problem
    • Evaluate responses for effectiveness
  • Tell us how you would work to gain the confidence of department personnel.
    • Provide useful and actionable information in a timely manner to officers
    • Regularly attend patrol briefings
    • Attend detective meetings
    • Go on ride-alongs with officers
    • Survey department personnel on usefulness of CAU products
  • What do you see as the goals of your job as a Crime Analyst?
    • Work with department personnel to solve crimes
    • Develop effective strategies and tactics to prevent future crimes
    • Conduct research to locate offenders
    • Help the department improve safety and quality of life for the community
    • Assist the organization to optimize internal operations
    • Provide analysis to help prioritize patrol and investigation resources
    • Detect and analyze community problems
    • Work with Command Staff to plan for future resource needs and enact effective policies
    • Assist Crime Prevention Unit in educating the public regarding crime activity and trends
  • Describe the computer skills you possess that are necessary for the Crime Analyst position?
    • Word processing (MS Word)
    • Spreadsheet (MS Excel)
    • Database (MS Access)
    • Presentation software (MS PowerPoint)
    • Publishing software (MS Publisher)
    • Email (MS Outlook)
    • i2
    • GIS software (ArcGIS)
    • Internet search experience
    • Records Management Systems (RMS)
    • Computer Aided Dispatch Systems (CAD)
    • Automation techniques
    • Other specialized software for analysis
  • What resources can a Crime Analyst use to obtain non-traditional police data in order to analyze a crime-related issue?
    • Motor vehicle registration data (DOL)
    • County real estate data
    • Business licenses
    • Telephone directories
    • Pawn data
    • Geographic Information Systems; Online geographic mapping applications
    • National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
    • Social Security Index (SSI)
    • CARFAX
    • VIN Query
    • News media
  • Describe how crime analysis and intelligence are the same and how they differ.
    • Share common tools, techniques and skills
    • The smaller the agency the more likely an analyst will perform both types of analysis
    • Crime Analysis
      • Reduce crime and disorder using a problem-solving process
      • Identify and analyze patterns, trends and problems
      • Create and disseminate information that solves, reduces or prevents crime
      • Focus is more with local law enforcement
    • Intelligence Analysis
      • Collection and dissemination of information about criminals, particularly organizations and conspiracies
      • Investigative process looking for information on the structure and hierarchy of criminal organizations, flow of money and goods, relationships, and personal information on participants
      • Focus is more with larger agencies
  • Describe Administrative, Tactical and Strategic Crime Analysis.
    • Administrative
      • Administrative reports (e.g., annual report)
      • Statistical reports (e.g., UCR, IBRS)
      • Research (e.g., Demographic changes within the city)
      • Operations analysis (resource allocation planning)
      • Presentations to City Council
      • Other activities not focused on a specific crime pattern or trend
    • Tactical
      • Daily identification and analysis of emerging or existing crime patterns, series and short-term trends
      • Help develop tactics to address crime patterns, series and short-term trends
      • Develop suspect information for crimes based on M.O. correlation and other factors
    • Strategic
      • Focus on long-term crime trends
      • Opportunity reduction rather than offender apprehension
      • Identify problems by studying trends
  • Describe your educational background and career experience(s) and how it has prepared you for the position as Crime Analyst.
    • Does the candidate’s response indicate that he/she has sufficient education and experience to meet the requirements of the position?
  • What “extra” have you done to prepare for this position?
    • Review the agency’s website
    • Research crime stats for the agency’s jurisdiction
    • Talk to crime analysts from this or other agencies
    • Attend crime analysis specific training and conferences
    • Go on department ride-alongs
    • Perform an internship or volunteer work within an agency
    • Job shadow a crime analyst
    • Review crime analyst literature
    • Research or join crime analyst associations
  • This position requires you to make presentations to different groups.  Describe your experience making presentations in front of groups.
  • Does the candidate’s response indicate significant or sufficient experience making presentations in front of groups that meets the requirements of the agency/position?

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What is Crime Analysis?

Interviewing Analyst Candidates

What Crime Analysts Do

Sample Analyst Products

Testing Analyst Candidates

Sample Work Request Forms

Evaluation and Measuring Performance

Mission Statements

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Crime Analysis Success Stories

Analyst Position Descriptions