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Law Enforcement Interview

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    Job Interviews Careers Law Enforcement

40 Law Enforcement
Interview Questions

    Law Enforcement

  1. Why did you choose a career as a police officer?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      The interviewer would like to know the driving forced behind your choice to be in law enforcement. You can give an answer that allows some personal insight if you wish. The interviewer must see that you have a passion for this career path! Your passion is what will keep you in this role for years to come. Show the interviewer that you are committed.

  2. What would you do if a civilian called you a racial slur or other derogatory term?

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      The interviewer is looking for any indication that you may have a short temper or a tendency to overreact. Show that you are able to remain professional and composed, even in uncomfortable situations. If you have a real life example to provide, it's a great idea to walk the interviewer through your reaction and the outcome.

  3. How do you get along with others, on the force?

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      The interviewer wants to gauge if you can maintain healthy relationships in the workplace. They want to know more about the dynamics with your coworkers. Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Good communication, sense of humor, and support are all great qualities that make co-worker relationships healthy and harmonious.

  4. You must be physically fit to be a police officer. What have you done to physically train yourself for this position?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of meeting the physical demands required for this position. Generally, a fit test will be administered; however, this is an opportunity for you to disclose any concerns you may have regarding the fitness portion of the role.

  5. Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it relates to a career in law enforcement.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      The interviewer would like a more detailed breakdown of your law enforcement training and any other education related to your career within law enforcement. Likely, this is listed on your resume; however, this is an invitation to give a more detailed breakdown. Be sure to highlight any awards, scholarships, or special accolades that you may have received.

  6. From your personal understanding, under what circumstances is the use of deadly forced justified?

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      The interviewer is asking for your personal understanding (not opinion!) when it comes to the laws and regulations surrounding deadly force. This is a serious question and should not be a question where you give your personal opinion. Answer by the book!

  7. It is important for law enforcement to be an active part of the community. How are you currently involved in your community?

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      The interviewer is interested in knowing how involved you are in your own community. As a law enforcement professional, it is really important that you have a face in the community, along with a strong reputation and desire for involvement. Outline your recent community involvement. Avoid going back further than 10 years.

  8. There are numerous career avenues you can take within law enforcement. Which career path interests you the most?

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      It is important that you fully research the growth opportunity in this department or district before your interview. You can then accurately assess the potential growth opportunities. Discuss your career growth and desires with the interviewer.

  9. Whether you were caught or not, have you ever committed a crime?

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      The interviewer wants to put a bit of extra emphasis on the fine line of being a good person, and not being caught. This answer should be kept very simple, and 100% honest. If you have never committed a crime: "I have never committed a crime. I was raised to always be an honest person and to respect other people, their property, and myself." If you have committed a crime: "I was a trouble maker in my teen years and was pressured into shoplifting at a gas station when I was 15. I was never caught for it but always felt terrible. When I was older, I actually went back to that gas station and paid them back."

  10. What are your career goals, within law enforcement, in the next 3 years?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      It's impossible to know exactly where you will be in 3 years but do assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long term fit for their position.

  11. Are you accustomed to working within a diverse community?

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      The interviewer would like to know if you are comfortable with the degree of diversity that you will be faced with, in this position. Anyone in law enforcement must be able to communicate with a great range of personalities, and human needs. Express to the interviewer that you are capable of handling diversity. Be sure to give an example.

  12. Competition is stiff for this position. Why are you the best candidate for us?

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      Show the interviewer that you are unique and that you stand out from the crowd! If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived. Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This could include any industry accolades, special achievements, additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your strongest advocate.

  13. Are you actively applying to other law enforcement agencies?

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      It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if they are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.

  14. Tell me something about yourself that I would not know from reading your resume.

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      The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from what is written on your resume. You are certainly not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate! Focus on special non-work related skills or hobbies. For example, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when its possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)

  15. We conduct early-stage criminal background checks, credit checks, and drug tests on all of our candidates. Is there anything you would like to disclose at this time?

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      For obvious reasons, law enforcement agencies need to be very cautious on who they hire. There is a chance that much of the information you are going to access could be confidential and dangerous if put into the wrong hands. You will be working with the public, and with vulnerable individuals. Assure the interviewer that you are most willing to comply with any form of background check they require.

  16. Have you ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident that was your fault? How clean is your driving record?

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      Law enforcement officers should have a clean driving record. A speeding ticket now and then is not the biggest of deals; however, a charge for dangerous driving could be a deal breaker. Disclose to the interviewer any penalties on your driving record. Assure the interviewer that you are most willing to comply with any drivers' background check that they require.

  17. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?

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      When you work in law enforcement, you will often be asked to change your priorities on a dime. How do you react to this kind of shift in priorities? Assure the interviewer that you are able to respond in a professional manner when it comes to sudden changes.

  18. What are your salary expectations?

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      The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

  19. What motivates you?

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      Typically, employees are motivated by environments where they feel supported and encouraged. The interviewer wants to know how they could motivate you - even on the toughest of days! Be open with the interviewer about the ways you can stay motivated on the job, even when the going gets tough.

  20. Law enforcement is ever-changing. We seek to hire individuals with a keen interest in this industry. How do you stay up to date on law enforcement related current events?

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      The interviewer would like to confirm that you have a true interest in the law enforcement industry. Perhaps you read law related books, follow particular police journals or subscribe to a blog related to this industry. Briefly share with the interviewer the ways in which you stay up to date on current events related to law enforcement.

  21. Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?

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      The interviewer would like to hear about a time that you led a team, with a positive outcome. Highlight for the interviewer the primary factors that made your leadership style a success. Your example could come from the workplace or perhaps a time when you led a group project during your post-secondary studies.

  22. Are you applying for any other jobs?

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      It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if the are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.

  23. Detective

  24. How do you handle stressful situations?

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      As a Detective, you will be exposed to an incredible amount of stress on the job. Assure the hiring manager that you are able to handle this stress and pressure both gracefully and professionally.

  25. How are your communication skills with your superiors?

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      Do you have an issue with authority? Assure the interviewer that you are more than capable of strong and smooth communication with everyone, including your superiors on the job.

  26. Do you strive for excellence in everything that you do?

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      Striving for excellence should be a very important part of being a Police Officer/Detective. Talk to the interviewer about the steps that you take to ensure excellence in everything that you do.

  27. Are you able to communicate with people from all walks of life?

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      Communication is key and as a Detective it is really important to display that you are able to clearly communicate with people from all walks of life. Tell the interviewer about your experience with this.

  28. What additional training would you take if you could?

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      Is there some sort of training or coursework that you would enjoy taking? Talk to the interviewer about any career related training that you would take if you could.

  29. Tell me about a time when you needed to take on a leadership role. Did you enjoy being a leader?

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      Are you a natural leader? Do you enjoy leadership and being a mentor? Talk to the interviewer about your capabilities and interest in taking on a bigger role as a leader. This is also a great time to mention any volunteer leadership roles you have taken on.

  30. Tell me about your physical capabilities. Do you have any injuries or issues that would hinder you on the job?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      Being a Detective is a very demanding job and you must be able to show the interviewer that you are able to handle the physical and mental components of the role. Talk about the actions you take to ensure you are in good physical, and mental, shape and discuss any challenges you may have from old or recent injuries/issues.

  31. Are you able to work with minimal supervision?

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      As a Detective, working unsupervised will be a regular part of your regime. Assure the interviewer that you are able to work productively with minimal supervision.

    READ: View All Detective Interview Questions

  32. Border Patrol Officer

  33. What are your career goals, within border patrol, in the next 3 years?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      It's impossible to know precisely where you will be in 3 years but do assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.

  34. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in law enforcement

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a definite idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments within law enforcement.

  35. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?

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      The interviewer would like to know if you consider yourself a patient individual. Impatience can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in coworkers, so it is essential that you can showcase your ability to remain patient and professional in workplace situations. Patience is indeed a virtue but can be challenging to maintain when it seems that situations continue to push your buttons. Show the interviewer that you possess the ability to keep your cool in challenging conditions.

  36. How many days were you absent from work last year?

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      A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.

  37. We prefer that our border patrol officers be multi-lingual. Which languages do you speak?

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      Depending on where you are applying, preference usually goes to those candidates with a second language or more. In the United States, Spanish is preferred as a second language where in Canada, French is the preferred second language. If you have additional language skills, ensure that they are highlighted on your resume. You can keep your answer brief and be sure to rate your skills in each language as beginner, conversational, or fluent.

  38. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?

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      Do you feel that you are a sincere person or do you have room for growth? This could be a tricky question as nobody is always 100% honest. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about your ethics.

  39. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.

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      On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

  40. Have you ever taken or sold illegal drugs?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      For obvious reasons, you must have a clean drug history before you can work as a border patrol officer. Your answer should be kept very simple, and 100% honest. If you have taken or sold illegal drugs in the past: "I hung out with the wrong crowd for a brief time in my teen years and was pressured into trying cocaine when I was 19. I didn't like it and had stayed away from drugs since then."

  41. How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?

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      The interviewer would like to know how you can win your new co-workers over. Workplace relationships are essential to nurture. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to earn the trust of your new co-workers, should you be offered the position.

  42. How often do you lose your temper? Do you consider yourself to have a short fuse?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      This question is for the interviewer to gain greater insight into your personality and whether or not you will be a fit with their team. Talk about your ability to maintain your cool on the job. This is also a great time to offer up some references.

    READ: View All Border Patrol Officer Interview Questions

Law Enforcement Author