Selection Process

Process Overview

The selection process consists of:
  • Pre-employment Questionnaire
  • Personal Integrity Questionnaire (PIQ)
  • Personal History Statement (PHS)
  • Two written exams
  • Physical agility exam
  • Background investigation
  • Oral interview
  • Polygraph examination
  • Psychological examination
  • Medical examination.
Upon satisfactory completion of these requirements, all qualified applicants will be submitted to the sheriff for final selection.

Submit Pre-Employment Questionnaire, PIQ and PHS

The Pre-Employment Questionnaire, Personal Integrity Questionnaire (PIQ) and the Personal History Statement (PHS) must be delivered to a MCSO Recruiter at the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Law Enforcement Selection Inventory (LESI)

The Law Enforcement Selection Inventory (LESI) is an eighty item measure of cognitive ability designed specifically to select law enforcement personnel. LESI items test math, reading, logic, grammar, and vocabulary skills needed to pass the academy and perform such duties as writing reports, testifying in court, and investigating accidents and crime scenes.

Forty Eight minutes will be allowed for this test and a score of forty-seven correct is needed to pass. The use of calculators will not be allowed. The test is broken down into four sections: math, vocabulary, grammar, and logic. Should you fail either written exam, you must wait until the next testing process before you will be allowed to re-test.

Section I Math

Section I contains twenty word problems.  Applicants will need to be able to accurately add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Additionally, the applicants will need to answer questions accurately concerning time and distance.

Section II Vocabulary

Section II contains twenty questions concerning vocabulary.  The applicant will read a sentence, the word in question will be in bold, and the applicant will select among three choices which word is most similar in meaning to the word in bold.

The following is an example of what an applicant can expect see in this section.

• The deputy took an apathetic attitude towards the victim.
(a) lack of emotion     (b)  belligerent     (c)  cautious

The correct answer would be (a) lack of emotion.

Section Ill Grammar

Section Ill contains twenty sentences and these sentences are divided into four parts.  In these sentences there may be misspellings, grammatical errors, or punctuation errors. There also is the possibly that the sentence is correct.  The following is an example of what an applicant can expect in this section.

• My Sergeant /  and me /  agreed to meet / at a later date.
(a) and them  (b) and I  (c) and me (d) Correct

The correct answer would be (b).  My Sergeant and I agreed to meet at a later date.

Section IV Logic

Section IV contains twenty questions.  The applicant will be given statements following a short passage of information. The applicant must decide if the statement is true or false based on the information given in the passage.  If the passage did not provide enough information to determine if the statement is either true or false, the applicant must indicate so.

• Passage:  Gallup has the highest auto theft rate in the city.

Statement:   If you park your car in southeast Gallup it will almost always be stolen.
Answer:   False

Physical Agility

The physical agility consists of separate physical agility tests all performed on the same day. Applicants are given 15 minutes for stretching, 1 1/2 mile run, 5 minutes rest. 300 Meter, rest. Sit-Ups maximum 1 minimum 27 reps, Push-ups maximum 1 minimum 15 reps.

Should you fail any portion of the physical agility, you have failed the entire exam. You will be given one opportunity to retest. You will need to reschedule with a recruiter within 4 weeks. Be aware that if you have failed any portion of the exam you must retake the entire physical agility exam.

Background Investigation

Your background investigation will be conducted by a member of this agency. A thorough investigation is a long process and you must understand that your file may not be the only background the investigator has. Your background may take up to 4-6 weeks to complete, please be patient.

Oral Board Interview

The oral board interview is a professional interview with you and three members of the department, a deputy, a sergeant, and a lieutenant. Dress appropriately and think before you speak.


A pre-employment polygraph screening examination will be conducted by a licensed polygrapher in accordance with New Mexico state law, in order to verify information placed on the applicants PIQ / PHS. This test measures simultaneous electro dermal, cardiovascular and respiratory responses utilizing formats approved by the American Polygraph Association.

Psychological Evaluation

The psychological evaluation is a two segment examination lasting approximately 4 hours. The examination consists of a lengthy multiple choice written exam and a one on one interview with the department psychologist.

Medical Examination

The medical examination will be conducted by a department appointed physician. A complete physical including but not limited to vision, hearing, heart, blood work will be conducted.

Upon Acceptance

Cadets will continue to the Academy and Laterals will work with a Field Training Officer.