Behavioral Sciences & the Law

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Volume 17 Issue 4 (October/December 1999), Pages 407-551

Development and preliminary validation of a semi‐structured interview for the screening of law enforcement candidates (pages 467-481)


A standard practice among most law enforcement agencies is to include psychological screening in the selection of job candidates. Although the use of personality tests in predicting job performance of law enforcement officers has received empirical support (e.g., the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Inwald Personality Inventory), there is a conspicuous absence of data regarding the reliability and validity of interview procedures. The present study represents the first step in the development of a standardized, semi‐structured interview for use in the screening of law enforcement personnel. This interview, the Law Enforcement Candidate Interview, was constructed using content areas drawn from measures used in the screening of law enforcement personnel (e.g., Inwald Personality Inventory) and assessment of personality functioning (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM‐III‐R Personality Disorders). This interview was then administered by two doctoral students to a group of law enforcement academy cadets (n=34). A modest degree of inter‐rater reliability was achieved, although internal consistency was somewhat lacking. Interview scores were correlated with measures of academy performance (final grade‐point average and peer and supervisor ranking of academy performance). Results of these analyses suggest the LECI is a modest predictor of academy performance. Potential uses of the LECI and future research indications are outlined. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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