Sample Dispatcher Screening

There are many methods of determing if applicants for public safety dispatcher can successfully perform the job.

The following sections were taken from actual job announcements for public safety dispatcher and are typical of the selection procedures that agencies use to screen public safety dispatchers. Be sure to check our listing of current and past job announcements for more examples.


Written exam: completed applications are screened by a committee and those meeting minimum requirements will be invited to a written exam. Pass point 70%.

Appraisal interview: candidates will be scheduled in groups of 20, beginning with the highest written test scores. Designed to evaluate your training, experience and other job-related qualifications. Minimum qualifying score is 70%. Weight 100%.

Screening: candidates will be scheduled in groups of 10, beginning with the highest appraisal interview scores. May consist of 1) police record check, 2) DMV driving record review, 3) personal history statement 4) initial background investigation.

Candidates who successfully complete all phases will be placed on the eligible list. Following the job offer, candidates are required to take and pass a city-sponsored medical exam, including psychological profile.


Standard state public safety dispatcher test, weighted 50%

Panel interview, weighted 50%

Supervisor and peer review


Submit application. Application and supplemental questionnaire will be evaluated to determine those applicants meeting minimum qualifications. Those persons may be invited to a pre-interview exercise and an oral panel interview to further assess the candidate's knowledge, skills, training and experience. Successful applicants will have their names placed on the eligible list. Prior to appointment, a full background investigation will be conducted.


Following an initial screening of applications, applicants with the most desirable qualifications will be invited to participate in an oral interview (weighted 100%). Names of those applicants who pass the oral interview will be placed on an eligible list.


All applicants must submit clear, concise and complete information regarding their qualifications for the position. Those candidates whose qualifications best meet the city's needs will be invited to participate further. A written test will be given to measure job-related knowledge and abilities. A typing test will be given to measure ability to type at a corrected speed of 30 words per minute. An appraisal interview will be held to evaluate training, experience and personal qualifications.


Candidates are then selected based on their qualifications and given a conditional job offer. The conditions are that the candidate successfully complete a medical and psychological evaluation. Download (pdf) guidelines by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for using psycological tests for law enforcement officers: guidelines for tests and for using consulting psycologists.

Upon successful completion, the candidate is hired, sometimes into a position specially designed for training, such as "Dispatcher Trainee," and sometimes at a reduced rate of pay. Upon successful completion of the training (which can take up to six months or more), the person is then promoted to the full position (Dispatcher, for example), with the full pay rate of that position.