Border Force Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Border Force interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Border Force was updated by on May 22nd, 2023. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Can you give an example of a time you had to adapt to a changing situation?

"Yes, actually a couple of months ago, I was at a work event at a local Futbol game. Towards the end of the game, a small riot broke out in our immediate vicinity, and I immediately took charge, escorting our employees out of the area and into a safe zone in an orderly fashion. At the time, it seemed like a small matter, but my coworkers and superiors expressed how impressed they were with my professionalism and calm demeanor. Many of them said I was the calming force in that situation. Unfortunately, several others in the crowd got injured, either while fleeing or becoming entangled in the brawl."

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30 Border Force Interview Questions & Answers

Below is a list of our Border Force interview questions. Click on any interview question to view our answer advice and answer examples. You may view 10 answer examples before our paywall loads. Afterwards, you'll be asked to upgrade to view the rest of our answers.

Border Force is part of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, a ministerial department of His Majesty’s Government, and is independent of Parliament and the political government. In addition to managing the Border Force, The Home Office is responsible for immigration, security, fire and rescue, and law and order. The Border Force is not to be confused with The Border Patrol of the United States, Customs and Border Protections, or the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA).

For the United States Border Patrol, please visit: United States Border Patrol Officer Interview Questions.

For the United States Customs and Border Protection, please visit: United States Customs and Border Protection Interview Questions.

For the Canadian Border Security Agency, please visit: CBSA Interview Questions.

When you begin the application process, it’s crucial to gain as much insider knowledge as possible about the organisation, work environment, culture, and the expected challenges you may face. Being prepared demonstrates your investment in pursuing the opportunity and confidence that this is the right role for you. It will help you deliver more sincere responses, resulting in a superior interview performance. Lastly, the more prepared you are, the better equipped you’ll be to ask your interviewer quality questions.

Although the Border Force is primarily responsible for protecting the borders, they also support the wider Home Office agenda, including high-profile areas such as counterterrorism, tackling and disrupting organised crime, human trafficking gangs, and modern slavery. The Border Force primarily oversees customs and immigration and protects vulnerable people from exploitation while screening freight, passengers, and port staff across air, rail and sea ports. Their duties also include conducting intelligence-led searches for prohibited counterfeit or restricted goods such as drugs, firearms, weapons, cash, tobacco, and alcohol. This front-line work is crucial and challenging, and its impact resonates throughout the communities across the UK. The agency operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

  • Adaptability

    1. Can you give an example of a time you had to adapt to a changing situation?

  • Behavioral

    2. How do you maintain your professionalism and impartiality in your work?

  • Behavioral

    3. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone working in a law enforcement agency?

  • Career Goals

    4. What operational location are you most interested in working in?

  • Communication

    5. How would you handle a situation where you had to work with someone who had a different opinion or approach to a problem than you did?

  • Communication

    6. Can you give an example of a time you had to communicate complex information to someone who didn’t have a background in your field?

  • Competency

    7. What do you think are the main challenges facing the UK border today?

  • Competency

    8. How do you ensure you follow health and safety procedures in your work?

  • Conflict

    9. What would you do if you had to work with someone who had a strong personality or was difficult to work with?

  • Conflict

    10. What would you do if a member of the public was being difficult or confrontational?

  • Creative Thinking

    11. Can you give an example of a time you had to work with limited resources to achieve a goal?

  • Critical Thinking

    12. What would you do if you suspected someone was trying to smuggle goods across the border?

  • Customer Service

    13. Can you give an example of a time you had to provide excellent customer service?

  • Diligence

    14. What steps would you take to comply with our ethical standards in your work?

  • Diligence

    15. How do you maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information?

  • Direct

    16. Why do you want to work for Border Force?

  • Direct

    17. Would you have any issues with undergoing a vetting interview?

  • Discovery

    18. How do you like to spend your spare time?

  • Discovery

    19. Have you ever travelled abroad, and if so what was the last destination you visited?

  • Diversity

    20. How do you handle situations where you have to work with people from different backgrounds or cultures?

  • EQ

    21. Tell me about a time you exhibited moral courage.

  • Experience

    22. What skills and experience do you have that would make you a good fit for this job?

  • Leadership

    23. Can you give an example of a time you had to take initiative to solve a problem?

  • Organizational

    24. How do you prioritise your workload when dealing with multiple tasks?

  • Problem Solving

    25. Can you give an example of a time you lacked data and had to rely solely on your judgement to make a decision?

  • Problem Solving

    26. Can you give an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision?

  • Problem Solving

    27. Do you have any scheduling restrictions or a preferred schedule you would like to work?

  • Stress

    28. How do you handle working under pressure or tight deadlines?

  • Teamwork

    29. How would you work with a colleague who wasn’t pulling their weight?

  • Teamwork

    30. Can you give an example of a time you worked effectively as part of a team?

  • Questions To Ask In A Border Force Interview

    To reflect your professional worth and commitment to this opportunity, prepare for the challenges of this role. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. There is a common misconception that asking questions might suggest you haven't fully paid attention. But that kind of insecure thinking most often comes from second-guessing or gaslighting yourself.

    On the contrary, asking questions suggests you have enhanced communication skills, are paying attention, and possess a drive to learn more. And don’t be afraid to ask questions or worry about how the person being asked will react. A person who grows impatient with questions they think they’ve already answered does not realise their communication has room for improvement.

    Now, if you’re not sure what questions to ask, start with what you don’t understand. If there is anything that needs further explanation, dig into that. If Border Force doesn’t answer your questions on their site, do a Google search. If you still can’t answer it on your own, ask your interviewer. Keep doing this, and your attention to detail will improve. Question every detail and take nothing for granted. The more you learn, the more you’ll want to know.

    You can present yourself as their ideal candidate by asking the right questions. The more nuanced and specific your questions are, the more invested you will seem. It tells them you are a hard worker, have put care and thought into your decision to pursue this opportunity, and would likely over-perform in the role you are interviewing for. Showcase the research you’ve done by asking clarifying questions about what you’ve learned. Here are a few examples of some clarifying questions you could ask in your Border Force interview:

    1. Considering the Border Force secures our borders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, how varied are the rostered shifts? Would I consistently work one shift, or would it rotate, varying from one month to the next, week to week, or day to day? Also, does that include being on call at all times?

    2. I am flexible and understand that some officers work consistently at airports or seaports across the UK and overseas. I also noted that others are expected to be mobile, working across several ports or other locations in a region. I didn’t see any mention of these expectations in this job description. How is this determined, and what can I expect from this role in this regard?

    3. I was pleased to read that part of the role is building relationships and developing strong bonds with my colleagues. I imagine that helps quite a bit with blowing off steam after working under pressure and facing down some of the more challenging parts of the job. I am no stranger to working in difficult and pressurised environments and feel fully prepared for what lies ahead. But, of course, you can never truly know until you do it. Can you describe what a bad day looks like on the job?

    4. I understand that comprehensive training is a part of the onboarding process. Are you permitted to tell me more about the training and development? For example, how nuanced is the decision-making process for who is allowed into the country and who isn't? More specifically, how much of that decision-making relies on experience and judgement versus a strict profiling protocol?

    5. I am very ambitious and would like to learn more about career growth opportunities. I am interested in growing into a managerial role and a more specialised operational role. Besides forgery detection, safeguarding vulnerable people, mobile response, and commodity search teams, can you tell me some of the other more specialised roles I could grow into? What does the career progression look like starting as a Border Force Officer?

    About the Author

    I’ve always been a writer, but it wasn’t until much later that it became my full-time profession. My management career, however, started long ago when my supervisors noticed the hard work I put into the job I held at the time. I embodied the culture and environment of that company and lived their core values. It wasn’t hard. I was just the right fit for the company, and the job was the right fit for me. The hard work was the easy part because I was having fun doing it.

    When I was recruited to train for a leadership role, I wasn’t fully prepared for what it entailed. I was favoured by both my manager and regional manager and felt like a rising rockstar. But when my manager and regional transferred to roles across the country, I suddenly had to work twice as hard as everyone else to prove myself. From there, the road was rough.

    When I was promoted to a leadership position, I was transferred to the roughest and toughest location in our region. It was known as the place where new leaders were sent to die. Despite the new obstacles, I stuck with it, passing every test thrown my way, and continued to operate with integrity. The work was no longer fun, but I was growing as a leader and a person, and that is something a true leader doesn’t cast aside lightly.

    I was eager to share every lesson I learned the hard way with others to usher their success and spare them unnecessary failures. That’s when I discovered coaching was my favourite part of the job, and the work became fun again. Second to that, I found interviewing and recruiting my ideal teams rewarding. When I interviewed someone who seemed ready for the job before their foot was even in the door, I knew immediately they were the right addition to my team. There’s confidence, swagger, and a light in their eyes that you don’t see in every candidate. There are actions behind their words and a commitment that comes with them.

    After a decade with the company, I had job security, was well-liked and still enjoyed the work, which only got easier with time. Yet, I was no longer growing professionally or personally. I realised the company had given me all it could, and I had given them the same. So I decided it was time to move on and seek out new challenges. Soon I found myself managing a small medical practice, and my skills grew.

    During this time, I volunteered at career fairs, helping college graduates customise their career goals, cover letters, and resumes while coaching them on how to deliver an above-average interview. I started training two of my staff, and they both grew into newly created management positions, and I’m proud to say they are running the clinic together to this day. I’ve since turned writing into my full-time career. Now thanks to, these many years later, I can do my two favourite things in the world in tandem: writing and helping you land the job of your dreams.

    Learn more about Kevin Downey