All interested candidates must complete an application either online or in person. Questions must not be left blank and applicants are encouraged to be as detailed as possible.
Cognitive Skills Test
Once an application is approved, the candidate will receive an invitation to attend a cognitive skills test. The cognitive skills test is a short, timed examination designed to measure a candidate’s ability to understand instructions, solve problems, learn and easily adapt.
HR specialists will work with candidates to schedule a convenient date/time for testing.
Candidates are asked to dress in business casual clothing (no jeans, leggings or t-shirts) and can expect to be at the department for approximately one hour.
Initial Interview & Fingerprinting
Candidates who pass the minimum score needed on the cognitive skills test are then scheduled for an initial interview that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
Professional attire is recommended for this step.
If a candidate is recommended to continue in the application process following the initial interview, they will be scheduled for a polygraph interview. This test takes approximately three hours and is scheduled based on the candidate’s availability. Applicants are provided a polygraph questionnaire ahead of the interview; there will be no surprise questions during the exam.
Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
Business casual attire is recommended for this step; however, we ask that you wear a short-sleeved blouse or shirt to allow space for the blood pressure cuff used during this examination. Suit jackets and long sleeves are not recommended.
Physical Abilities Test (PAT) or Job Shadow
The course measures a total of 870 feet, and consists of a series of nine interspersed individual tasks, arranged in a continuous format viewed as essential physical job-tasks for law enforcement training. The tasks include running, jumping (low hurdle), climbing stairs, low crawling, broad-style jumping, climbing a fence, climbing through a window, moving/dragging a 150-lb weight and changing direction on the run. The standard for successful completion of the PAT will be for the applicant to complete the course in two minutes and six seconds (2:06). Please see the PAT Protocol on the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy’s website at sccja.sc.gov/training-support/physical-ability-test.
Psychology Evaluation & Personality Testing
After the polygraph results are reviewed and accepted, a candidate will be referred to a licensed psychologist for psychological testing and interview. The psychologist will schedule the candidate for the personality testing and psychological evaluation. The examiner will provide the Sheriff’s Department with a recommendation of the candidate’s psychological suitability for the position for which they have applied.
This test has 350 questions. It’s designed to help determine a candidate’s suitability for the position for which they’ve applied.
The test is untimed, but usually takes about an hour to complete.
Once a psychologist recommends a candidate for the position for which they have applied, the Sheriff’s Department human resources staff will conduct profession and personal reference checks via telephone.
Candidates should provide a minimum of six references: three co-workers or former co-workers, and three personal friends or neighbors.
Applicants are asked to make sure the phone numbers provided for each reference are accurate, working contact numbers.
Once steps one through seven are completed, the human resources director and chain of command will review an applicant’s file. This review will determine a candidate’s overall suitability to fill vacant position(s).
Once a candidate is recommended for hire by the human resources team, they will be scheduled for a final interview with the human resources director and Sheriff Jay Koon. These interviews are back-to-back; if the Sheriff chooses to extend an offer of employment, the candidate will be asked to meet with HR personnel to select a start date of employment.
Following an offer, an applicant will be scheduled for a pre-employment drug test and physical to be conducted before their start date. An offer of employment is contingent upon satisfactory results of the pre-employment drug test and physical examination.
Candidates should expect to schedule approximately two hours for this step.
The pre-employment drug tests and physicals are conducted by a licensed physician contracted by the Sheriff’s Department.