Hiring Process



To apply for a position with Dane County Sheriff's Office (Deputy Sheriff, Security Support Specialist, Jail Clerk, etc.) you will need to go to the County of Dane employment page and click on the position and complete your candidate profile. Once your profile is complete you can apply for any open positions.

Application Screening

Applications are screened for completeness, accuracy and qualifications. A records check is also completed on each applicant. During the application screening, this information is compared with the information the applicant has provided. Some automatic disqualifiers include Felony convictions and convictions for domestic violence related offenses.

The next application deadline for Deputy Sheriff I-II is January 17, 2020, 4:30 PM Central

Swearing in Ceremony


Those applicants passing the screening will be invited to take the written examination. You will be mailed notification of acceptance of your application and information as to the date, time and place of written exam. Currently we offer two locations for the exam: Madison and Milwaukee, WI.

The exam we currently use is an Entry Level Law Enforcement Exam called Selection Solutions. The exam was developed by CWH. CWH provides information about the exam to candidates. You can learn more about the exam by visiting the website: http://cwhms.com/resource-center/faq-for-candidates/

In addition, there will be a study guide available for review prior to the exam. Information on downloading the study guide will be provided by Dane County Employee Relations along with your notification of your application being accepted.

The written exam takes about three hours and 15 minutes to complete and is designed to measure five key skills:

  • Handling stress & responsibility
  • Emotional skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Practical skills
  • Basic educational skills 

These traits have been determined to be important to the effective performance of your duties as a deputy.

Handling Stress & Responsibility

This component measures the ability to deal effectively with on-the-job stress, such as dangerous situations, conflict, and emotional interactions. In addition, this component measures the degree to which an individual assumes personal responsibility for his or her own actions and decisions.

Emotional Skills, Work Attitude

These skills include Optimism, Personal Influence, Self Control and Impulse Control, Respect for Authority, and Ethics. These are skills and values that are generated within a person and are demonstrated in the person's integrity, dependability, initiative, and self-confidence.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills have been ignored by traditional selection tests, yet the ability to deal with others is one of the most important skills a Law Enforcement Officer can have. Interpersonal skills refer to the various abilities required to deal effectively and positively with others. These skills include Compassion and Empathy, Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Oral Communication, Service Orientation, and Flexibility. This test component has a strong multicultural basis and measures an applicant's ability to work cooperatively and effectively with diverse groups of people, within the department in which they work, and with members of the public.

Practical Skills

Practical skills refer to the ability to handle everyday problems and situations, to understand how to work with people, how to accomplish goals, and how to use good judgment and common sense in everyday work and life. Law Enforcement Officers must be able to think clearly, quickly, and logically in complicated situations. They must be able to identify, analyze, and solve problems. Part of solving complicated problems is the ability to recognize several different ways of solving a problem and choosing the most effective solution in each particular situation. This test component includes Problem Solving and Judgment.

Basic Education Skills

This component of the test includes more traditional measures of ability related to the job, such as Reading, Writing, and Mathematical abilities. Basic education abilities measure a person's acquired knowledge (such as ability to do basic mathematics), ability to succeed in job training, and ability to comprehend, learn, and retain information necessary for doing the job.

In order to continue with the hiring process, you will have to achieve a passing score on the exam. Passing the exam is not a guarantee of a job. If you don't pass the exam you will have to re-apply at a later time. You can re-take the test every 6 months. If you re-apply before the 6 months, your original test score will be reused to determine your ability to advance.

Re-using Test scores

If you have taken the Select Solutions exam for DCSO or another agency within the past 6 months, we will re-use your score. Just contact a recruiter and let them know when and where you took the exam, and they can tell you if that score can be used.

Exam Administration for Active Duty Military Personnel

Dane County Employee Relations will arrange to test active duty military personnel stationed out of state, who are unable to test at a regularly scheduled exam center. The test will only be arranged at approved U.S. Military installations, and a Test Control Officer or equivalent person must be available to administer the exam. There may be a fee for this service.

Panel Interview

Following a passing score on the exam, Dane County will invite top scoring candidates to a panel interview. If you are a top-scoring candidate, you will be notified through the U.S. Mail or by telephone of your interview time and place. A panel of Sheriff's Office personnel will interview you.

The interview will consist of a series of questions, which focus on assessing essential personal qualities necessary to perform the duties of a deputy sheriff. A panel interview is not intended to cause the applicant stress. Having multiple assessors allows for a more objective assessment of your skills. It is not necessary that you have law enforcement related training or experience in order to do well in this process.

Those candidates receiving a passing score on the panel interview will be ranked according to a combined oral and written test scores. A maximum of 25 candidates will be placed on the eligibility list. Candidates on the eligibility list may be considered for vacancies that occur during the following 12 months.

As vacancies occur, eligible candidates will be notified whether they will advance to the background process.

Background Investigation

A Dane County Sheriff's Office Investigator will conduct a thorough investigation into the character and background of the candidate. Included in this investigation will be a meeting with the Investigator. The candidate will have the opportunity to review their application, provide documents and discuss discrepancies that may have come up.

Psychological and Medical Evaluation

Selected candidates will be invited to participate in a psychological and medical evaluation. In addition, they will be asked to submit to drug screening. In some cases, the candidate may be asked to participate in a follow-up oral psychological interview. The candidate must meet the standards set by Dane County Sheriff's Office to continue with the hiring process.