Being prepared for any interview is incredibly important and good preparation can be the difference between getting a job or being just another applicant. However, when it comes to security companies, the safety of their employees, equipment, and facilities literally depends on hiring the right person. When you apply for a security guard position, your prospective employer will not only look for technical ability and relevant experience, but will also want to know that you have excellent character and the ability to think on your feet. Poor interview responses can raise red flags that could cost you the job. To help you out, here are eight interview questions that you’re likely to hear during a job interview for a security guard position and things to think about when answering them. Be sure to tailor this advice to your personal resume and the role you’re applying for as everyone has a different experience.
What is your relevant experience?
Your research should tell you what duties are expected of you in this job and you should be able to relate past experiences to them. Give information about certain scenarios you were faced with and how you handled them. This could include condominium security, bouncing, body-guarding, armed security, money transfer, personal security, and more. Be sure to tell the interviewer that you enjoyed the work and would like to have the same position again. If you do not have any experience, however, try to emphasize that you know what is expected from a good security guard, aren’t afraid of the dangers the job presents, and are eager to learn.
What do you feel the main responsibilities of a security guard are?
These answers can be found simply by looking at the job description and listing those skills back to the interviewer, such as patrolling property, monitoring surveillance equipment, permitting entry to a building, etc. You can also just summarize the job in one sentence. Alternatively, you can say that the main responsibility of a security guard is to keep the workers/customers and the property safe from criminal activity and any other disaster. Be sure to show the interviewer that you understand the job and look at it responsibly. Show them that you know your goals and the things and people you should protect and are ready to do so.
What are some of your strengths on the job?
This question is often asked in interviews for all types of positions because the answer can tell the interviewer a lot about the interviewee. Always be honest and don’t exaggerate as exaggeration will be noticed eventually. Be sure to prepare an answer that emphasizes the skills and requirements outlined in the job listing and match your abilities to the company’s needs and goals. Focus your reply on what makes you stand out from the competition. Good strengths to mention are strong work ethic, quick thinking skills, good with teamwork, able to work independently, self-control and the ability to remain calm in all situations.
How do you deal with risky situations?
Being a security guard requires vigilance as you’re dealing with potential threats in every shift. If you’ve never felt threatened at work, ask the interviewer if you should discuss a threat you encountered in your private life. Ideally, these threats should have come from other people as your answer is supposed to indicate how you’ll respond to threats in your work as a security guard. If you’ve never felt threatened by another human being, ask if some other form of danger (e.g. an earthquake) might be considered relevant. Be sure to relay how you analyzed the situation before taking action so that you could choose the safest method of dealing with it.
Tell me about a time you successfully dealt with an angry member of the public.
This question is designed to give the interviewer a sense of how you respond to security threats and is focused on your ability to encounter danger without becoming triggered yourself and without resorting to violence. As a security guard, this situation will be inevitable, so be sure to demonstrate your capacity to handle conflict by pacifying the angry person and resolving the situation. Remember to focus on the outcome and what it says about your skills and abilities, rather than getting bogged down in telling a funny (or scary) story. If you’ve ever worked in any kind of customer service role, you’ll most likely have something to share.
What relevant certifications do you have?
It’s a good reminder to familiarize yourself with the general requirements of the job when you begin interviewing. Your research will tell you what skills are expected for someone in this role. Be sure to mention if you have a current driver’s license and a clean driving record, are trained in self-defense, are CPR/First Aid/AED certified or have completed your high school diploma. Also, feel free to mention if you’re currently enrolled in a class and working toward achieving certification. This question is used to demonstrate that you have the technical expertise needed to handle a variety of situations.
Why do you want to work as a security guard?
This is your chance to explain to the interviewer your interest in applying and why you feel like you’re the right candidate for the position. Tell the interviewer that you enjoy working at night or that you have had the same job before and felt good doing it on a day-to-day basis. Talk about your skills like how good of a mediator you are and how you’re able to defuse the situation. Alternatively, you can bet on honesty and say that in the current stage of your professional career or in your present financial situation, you basically need any job and that being a security officer sounds like a good choice as it allows you to do something that helps others.
The end of the interview is your chance to show your knowledge about the company, as well as find out if the job is really the right fit for you. Here are some examples of common post-interview questions to help you decide if you want to work there:
- Who would I report to if I were offered this position?
- If I was hired for this position, what could I expect to be doing five years from now?
- What is the best way to advance in the company?
- What is the biggest priority for the person who is hired for this job?
- Is there an option for ongoing training once someone is hired for this position?
- What are the skills that people who advance in your company possess?
- Can I call you back in a week if I have yet to hear back from you?
Finally, be sure to send a post-interview thank you letter as it can go a long way to show your interest in the position. Ensure it’s free of spelling or grammatical errors as it will be the last impression you leave on your potential employer.