About the Recruit & Lateral Testing Process

The testing process evaluates an applicant’s aptitude, physical fitness, communication, background and health. Certain phases have minimum requirements and applicants should remember they are competing against hundreds of others who are vying to be police officers.

Application Process: The process begins with completion of an online application. Current application availability is regularly updated on this website. Back to Top  

Physical Agility Test: The physical agility test has three components: a 1½ mile run, pushups and sit-ups. An applicant must successfully pass all three components to move forward in the process. Applicants should bring water and wear athletic clothing and shoes during the test.

Click here to view more information about physical agility test and written examination preparation. Back to Top 

Written Examination: The written exam evaluates problem solving, memory, analytical thinking and other tasks. The exam will take approximately two hours to complete. Exams are scored upon completion and applicants notified if they passed. Only applicants who pass will move on in the process. Back to Top

After successful completion of both the physical agility test and written examination, applicants move to an eligibility list for further consideration.

Panel Interview: Upon successful completion the written exam, applicants will schedule a panel interview. Applicants should expect to attend a panel interview the week following the written exam. The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes once begun.

The panel interview may be different from other interviews an applicant has attended as only the applicant will speak and the panel members will not ask follow-up or clarifying questions. Applicants should answer questions completely. Only information provided by the applicant can be can be evaluated by the interview board. Those who pass will not receive any notification and are placed on an eligibility list. Applicants who fail will be notified via email. Back to Top

Background Interview: Being on the eligibility list does not guarantee an applicant will be given further consideration. The background interview may take several weeks or months to schedule and complete. During this portion of the process, the department will conduct a thorough review of an applicant’s life. Back to Top 

Polygraph Examination: Applicants may be scheduled for a polygraph examination after the background interview.  Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a polygraph examination. Back to Top

Command Staff Interview: Select applicants will interview with members of the department's command staff.

Psychological Evaluation: Upon completion of previous phases, applicants are evaluated and the best are selected to move forward. Should an applicant move forward, he or she will be scheduled for a psychological evaluation. The purpose of this is to ensure there are no psychological issues that would prevent an applicant from having a successful career as a police officer. 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, he or she 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 and written exam.  The department will attempt to accommodate out-of-state applicants by minimizing travel during later test phases.  Back to Top