How We Hire - Entry Level Police Officer

Thank you for choosing Renton!

The hiring process for the City of Renton Entry Level Police Officer positions are outlined below. The duration of the hiring process can take several months as we conduct thorough background checks on the top candidates that pass an interview. We understand this process can be overwhelming and this information provides an overview of the process to help you prepare.

If you have any questions along the way, please email either the Police Department at [email protected] or the Human Resources Department at [email protected].


Testing through Public Safety Testing

  • The first step to becoming an Entry Level Police Officer is completing the written and physical ability tests conducted by Public Safety Testing (PST). (Experienced/Lateral Officers are not required to test and can apply directly on the City’s Job Opportunities page.)

  • You can schedule your written and physical ability tests directly on the PST website. The PST website has numerous resources available to prepare for the written and physical tests.

  • Many local Police agencies contract with PST. Please note, PST requires you to select the agencies you would like to have your written score sent to prior to you taking the test. If you do not select City of Renton, we will not be able to accept your application.

Submitting your Application

  • After successfully completing the Written Exam and the Physical Ability Test , please visit the City’s Job Opportunities page and click on the Police Officer – Entry Level link and select the “Apply” button.

  • Since you provided your work history and education on your Public Safety Testing application, you do not need to provide the same information on the City’s application. We have access to that information and do not want to be redundant. If applicable, you will be able to attach your Veterans’ information (usually a DD 214) to the application.

  • Answer all of the supplemental questions associated with the job announcement. Integrity is important during the entire process. It is best to be honest when answering these questions. We have questions that are automatic disqualifiers and others that depend on the circumstances. For those candidates that are placed on an eligibility list and move forward to the background phase, we will verify your answers to these questions.

  • If you have specific questions regarding your background, please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Interview Invitation

  • Prior to interviewing, the Police department will determine how many days they are able to interview and will invite a certain number of candidates based on candidates’ PST written score. If you are among the top candidates, an invitation to self-schedule and interview time will be sent via email, and text messaging if you opted in to receive texts.

  • Monitor your email and follow directions to schedule your interview by the deadline provided. Failure to respond, or schedule a time, will lead to your application being removed from consideration.

Interview Process

  • In person or by video conference.

  • Panel includes at least three staff, representing the City.

  • Interviews last approximately 30 minutes.

  • You will have an opportunity at the end of the interview to ask the panel relevant questions.

  • Interview questions are a combination of behavioral based and scenario-based interview questions.

Preparing for the Interview

  • Research the City and the Police Department. There is a plethora of resources about the City on our website.

  • Review the job announcement and learn more about the job responsibilities.

  • Practice your responses to interview questions out loud. It is also a good idea to video record yourself so you can watch and learn how you can improve to answer your questions.

  • Prepare a list of interview questions you think the panel may ask. There are many samples online.

  • Create a list of your top skills and recall past work experiences when you utilized these skills. Be prepared to present this to an interview panel based on the sample interview questions discovered during your research to include what you did and the result of your actions or behavior.

  • Be prepared to explain your interest in becoming a City of Renton police officer.

  • Come prepared with questions you may want to ask the panel to learn more about the responsibilities. Tips on asking good questions during an interview are also available online.

  • If the interview is going to be conducted via video conference, make sure you are prepared. 

Eligibility List

  • Candidates that pass the interview with an 80% or above will be placed on a 12-month eligibility list.

  • The PST written score is worth 30% and the Interview score is worth 70%.

  • If you selected to receive Veteran’s Points on the City’s application and attached supporting documentation, those points are added on after successfully passing the interview.


Background Process

  • The Police Department contacts the top candidates on the Eligibility List to begin the background process. If you are selected to continue in the process, we will contact you by email and will conduct an integrity interview. We will also begin checking references and conduct a criminal background check which include the following:
  •  Driving record
  • Fingerprint background check
  • Credit history
  • Pre-employment Drug & Alcohol testing
  • Polygraph
  • Medical and Psychological Exam
  • Please note that conviction of a juvenile felony or misdemeanor is not an absolute bar to employment, we review every situation individually and carefully.

Chief's Interview

  • Candidates that pass the background process are invited to meet with the Chief for a second interview.

  • Candidates invited to a Chief’s Interview may be provided with a conditional offer of employment; the offer would then be finalized after successfully completing a medical and psychological evaluation.

The Offer

  • Congratulations! You will receive an initial offer over the phone from the Recruiting Sergeant. We will work with you to select a start date.

  • If you accept the offer, we will send you an offer letter via email.

  • You will also receive an email with your benefit and onboarding details.

  • Eligible for $1,000 sign-on bonus

On to the Academy

  • A new police officer's career begins at the academy where training is provided for 18 weeks (720 hours), 8 hours every day, except weekends and holidays. Commissioned academy graduates are assigned to the Patrol Division under the guidance of a Field Training Officer who instructs and guides new officers in the practical application of academy training.

  • All entry-level officers serve an 18-month period of probation where job performance is formally evaluated by a supervisor.

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