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CBP

30 Interview Questions & Answers

1.
In addition to border agents, CBP employs forensic scientists, international trade specialists, public affairs officers, and other specialists. Talk to us about the unique skills you will bring to our agency.
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Customs and Border Protection is the nation's largest Federal law enforcement agency. For this reason, the agency looks for a significant range of talent when it comes to the security professionals and agents they bring into the fold. You may not be able to speak five languages or hack intense security systems with a single line of code; however, you likely have unique qualities, characteristics, and knowledge that helps you to stand apart from other candidates. Be your greatest advocate when answering questions related to your fit and go to your interview prepared to speak about the ways that you stand out in a sea of candidates.

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1.
In addition to border agents, CBP employs forensic scientists, international trade specialists, public affairs officers, and other specialists. Talk to us about the unique skills you will bring to our agency.
Customs and Border Protection is the nation's largest Federal law enforcement agency. For this reason, the agency looks for a significant range of talent when it comes to the security professionals and agents they bring into the fold. You may not be able to speak five languages or hack intense security systems with a single line of code; however, you likely have unique qualities, characteristics, and knowledge that helps you to stand apart from other candidates. Be your greatest advocate when answering questions related to your fit and go to your interview prepared to speak about the ways that you stand out in a sea of candidates.

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe one area of skill that stands out is my ability to quickly make critical decisions based on my ability to read and understand laws, legal commentary, and regulations. This skill comes from the knowledge I gained from obtaining my degree in Criminal Law. I am eager to apply this learning for the benefit of Customs and Border Protection and my country overall."
2.
On a typical day, Customs and Border Protection seizes thousands of pounds of illegal drugs and makes hundreds of apprehensions. How will you best support your colleagues while managing a perpetually heavy workload?
In a recent CBP report, a typical day of processing, discovery, seizures, and interceptions includes:

- 1.1+ million passengers and pedestrians processed
- 2,354 apprehensions
- 23 arrests of wanted criminals
- 4,695 materials seized for quarantine
- 3,707 pounds of narcotics seized or disrupted

And, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Amid a significant workload and considerable stress, CBP needs to see that you will remain a team player who has the back of every fellow employee, officer, and agent around you. Discuss how you handle high amounts of stress in the workplace and what you plan to do to keep your cool and remain helpful and collaborative, no matter the volume of work and pressure on any given day.

Rachelle's Answer
"The volume of processing, seizures, and apprehensions handled by CBP is remarkable and difficult to comprehend as an outside observer. For myself, every seizure and apprehension means less crime on our streets, fewer drugs for our citizens to abuse, and a lower number of illegal weapons in the hands of dangerous people. Thinking about this is highly motivating and will serve as a significant driver for me, even on the most difficult days. The more often I can skillfully help my team members along the way, the better. I will support my colleagues by maintaining this enthusiasm and desire for collaboration every single day."
3.
Customs and Border Protection has a robust Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan designed to create an inclusive and engaged workforce. How do you plan to support these efforts?
CBP has put a lot of resources and effort into ensuring they fully embrace equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion. To CBP, 'diversity and inclusion management is the ability of an organization to create an environment in which differences are valued and integrated into every part of an organization's operations and leveraged to improve performance.'

Before your interview, take the time to review the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, released by CBP. You can find this information on the CBP.gov website. Customs and Border Protection has also provided Diversity FAQs to address a candidate's most frequently asked questions, such as what is the purpose of the plan, and what are the agency's overall diversity goals? Comb through their website for available documents and releases on diversity and inclusion. Then, work to create a specific and tailored response in regards to the ways that you will support and encourage their efforts.

Rachelle's Answer
"I read a great deal about the CBP Diversity and Inclusion Program as well as the committee's four goals. First, CBP is looking to create a diverse, inclusive, and engaged workforce where diversity is fostered and valued. I will encourage this effort by wholeheartedly supporting my team members regardless of race, ethnicity, age, ability, language, gender, orientation, or religion. I will take every opportunity that I can to learn about other cultures through CBP educational forums and will embrace and appreciate those different from me. Lastly, I understand that CBP conducts community outreach activities in a variety of communities to educate and approach a diverse range of recruits, including unrepresented minority communities. I would like to be involved in those efforts as soon as possible."
4.
Customs and Border Protection does not tolerate violence or harassment in the workplace. How often do you lose your temper or fail to control your emotions?
Customs and Border Protection wants to gain greater insight into your personality and whether or not you will be a fit for the ethos and expectations of CBP. Talk about your ability to maintain your cool on the job. Discuss your positive characteristics and the way that you ensure everyone is heard and respected in the workplace. If you have an example of a time when your calm presence stood out from others, you can tell this brief story.

Rachelle's Answer
"I maintain my cool and do not easily lose my temper. Naturally, I am a calm and confident person, and it's pretty hard to get me rattled emotionally. In my current role, my colleagues and supervisors know me for being even-keeled. In law enforcement, I believe it is imperative to maintain a calm, controlled presence at all times. This stable behavior ensures that my coworkers, my superiors, and the public feel that they can trust me."
5.
Customs and Border Protection agents safeguard our borders. How will your expertise, character, and dedication to our mission be of benefit to our agency?
This question is another way for CBP to ask, 'Why should we hire you?' Take some time to think of the ways that your best skills and characteristics are a match for Customs and Border Protection and their overall mission to safeguard America's borders.

This question is the best time to qualify yourself and let the interviewer know that you are passionate about this career opportunity. It's a good idea to approach this query like you would giving a sales pitch or crafting a credibility statement.

If hired, how would you solve a problem or create solutions for CBP? Choose a handful of your strengths that align with the requirements of this job. Prepare your answer around that framework, clearly distinguishing yourself from other candidates.

Rachelle's Answer
"The core values of CBP include Vigilance, Service, and Integrity. When it comes to vigilance, I will apply my keen observational skills as well as my ability to think and react quickly under pressure to ensure the safety of the public. I consider myself to be an observant and watchful person who will be of service when it comes to detecting and preventing outside threats. I am courageous, as shown by the time I spent serving in the Navy. I have a proven history of stepping up when it comes to protecting our nation and serving my country. I am dedicated, trustworthy, and also see integrity as the cornerstone to every action that I take and each decision that I make. It would be an honor to be of service to this esteemed agency and the American citizens."
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