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Border Patrol Officer Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Border patrol 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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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to confirm that you have a genuine interest in becoming a border patrol officer. Perhaps you read law related books, follow particular journals or subscribe to a blog related to law enforcement. Briefly share with the interviewer how you stay up to date on current events related to border patrol.
30 Border Patrol Officer Interview Questions
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  1. Border patrol 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?
  2. Do you possess a valid drivers' license and firearm license?
  3. To be a border patrol officer, you must be a permanent citizen. What is your citizenship status and how long have you lived in this country?
  4. You must be physically fit to be a border patrol officer. What have you done to physically train yourself for this position?
  5. We prefer that our border patrol officers be multi-lingual. Which languages do you speak?
  6. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  7. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  8. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
  9. How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?
  10. What questions do you have for me?
  11. Do you demonstrate leadership qualities even when you are not in a leadership role?
  12. Being a border patrol officer is a stressful career. How do you handle stress on the job?
  13. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?
  14. Do you think it is possible to be a good border patrol officer, yet disagree with your superior officer at times?
  15. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  16. Why did you choose a career as a border patrol officer?
  17. What part of your career in border patrol brings you the most stress?
  18. What are you reading right now?
  19. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?
  20. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
  21. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in law enforcement
  22. How often do you lose your temper? Do you consider yourself to have a short fuse?
  23. Have you ever taken or sold illegal drugs?
  24. 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?
  25. Competition is stiff for this position. Why should we hire you?
  26. What are your career goals, within border patrol, in the next 3 years?
  27. Whether you were caught or not, have you ever committed a crime?
  28. Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it relates to your career as a border patrol officer.
  29. How do you get along with other border patrol officers?
  30. What would you do if a civilian called you a racial slur or other derogatory term?
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15 Border Patrol Officer Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
Border patrol 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?
The interviewer would like to confirm that you have a genuine interest in becoming a border patrol officer. Perhaps you read law related books, follow particular journals or subscribe to a blog related to law enforcement. Briefly share with the interviewer how you stay up to date on current events related to border patrol.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am always interested in learning more about this industry and the changes that are taking place. It's truly fascinating how the law can change, and I like reading up on different case studies. Most frequently, I read The Police Journal. There are also a couple of blogs that I follow including Brian Cain's 'Just a Cop.'"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"While attending school to be a border patrol officer, I received a few resources from the professors that I quite enjoy. I also have Google alerts set up so that any changes in the industry are sent straight to my email inbox."
Anonymous Answer
"I frequently use online resources with "Police One" and "Corrections One." These are good for remaining current on technical issues. All too often, I find that much law enforcement news is available in regular popular press sources. This normally transpires from a use of force that is mischaracterized or over-publicized."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you use resources aside from the general news, showing your interest in learning from reputable industry-rich sources.
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Anonymous Answer
"I would stay up to date on law enforcement events through reading about anything law enforcement related that would keep me informed and up to date on the latest issues."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound very eager to be in-the-know. If you are aware of the most reputable resources available to you, it may be nice to include mention of them specifically (i.e., law enforcement journals, etc.).
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
2.
Do you possess a valid drivers' license and firearm license?
The interviewer needs to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for this position. Your answer should be to the point and honest. Be sure to bring your drivers' license and firearms license with you to the interview so that the hiring manager can take copies if needed. If you want to go over and above, bring a recent drivers' abstract with you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Yes, I have a valid drivers' license and clean driving record. Here is a recent drivers' abstract for you to review. Also, I have a current firearms license. I have this with me as well, if you need copies for my file."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recently acquired my firearm license and had a clean drivers' record. I have the documents for you to copy if you need."
Anonymous Answer
"I possess my driver's license, and my state does not require a firearms license of me. I handle firearms and vehicles responsible and within legal requirements."
Rachelle's Answer
Very good! Again, your answer is to the point and informative.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
3.
To be a border patrol officer, you must be a permanent citizen. What is your citizenship status and how long have you lived in this country?
The interviewer needs to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for this position. Your answer should be to the point and honest.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am certainly a citizen of this country and meet all of the requirements to be a border patrol officer in this state."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a permanent citizen of the United States. I was born and raised in this country."
Anonymous Answer
"I am a United States citizen and have been living in this country since 1990."
Rachelle's Answer
Good! To the point :)
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4.
You must be physically fit to be a border patrol officer. What have you done to physically train yourself for this position?
The interviewer would like to know that you are capable of meeting the physical demands required to be a border patrol officer. 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am fully prepared to complete the fit test. I am in great physical shape. To train myself for a career in border patrol, I have attended CrossFit 5 times per week for the last 12 months. I also run 6 to 15 miles every week."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am in peak physical condition. While attending university, I worked as a personal trainer part-time. You can be sure that I am fully prepared to pass the fit test."
Anonymous Answer
"I do 150 pushups every day, a hundred and fifty sit-ups, and run two miles every week."
Rachelle's Answer
Nice dedication to fitness and wellness!
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
Anonymous Answer
"Lately, I have done light to moderate exercise to rebuild my pre-student routines. As my intensity has increased, I have felt considerably better. I try to attend the gym regularly to do repetition lifts. I jog laps do calisthenics. That said, I miss being nineteen sometimes."
Rachelle's Answer
Haha, don't we all! The years we took for granted :) It sounds like you are very active and aware of your health.
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5.
We prefer that our border patrol officers be multi-lingual. Which languages do you speak?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am fluent in English and conversational in Spanish. I understand the importance of speaking a second language, and for that reason, I am also taking courses in French. Currently, I am a beginner."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am fluent in English and am currently practicing Spanish. I would rate myself as a beginner in Spanish. Are there any other languages you prefer that I study?"
Anonymous Answer
"I only speak English but am willing to learn a second language."
Rachelle's Answer
If this is a requirement (often it's Spanish, depending on your location), be sure to express tangible steps that you are ready to take or have already taken to get you to this goal.
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Anonymous Answer
"I am only fluent in English, but I took Spanish in school from 8th grade to my junior year in college. I would say that I am able to hold a basic conversation with a Spanish speaker."
Rachelle's Answer
Avoid burying the lead. I have reworded your response for impact.
"I am conversational in Spanish and fluent in English. I studied Spanish in school from 8th grade, all the way to my junior year in college."
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6.
How many days were you absent from work last year?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and those were accompanied by a note from my doctor. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
7.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will rate myself an eight because I value communication but, just like most people, I have things to learn. Some ways that I ensure clear communication are by utilizing multiple methods of delivering messages, and I give ample time for questions before implementing changes."
Anonymous Answer
"I would use communication skills at 8 out of ten. I am from another country where even though English is our primary language, we rarely speak it regularly."
Rachelle's Answer
That's totally fair! If you could do something to boost your communication skills, what would that be?
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
Anonymous Answer
"I would give myself a 9, and my time working in a correctional institution enlightened me to this. While I was in several uses of force, I often prevented them before they occurred. While working at the Transitional Care unit, I had a unique ability to talk mentally ill people and dementia patients through doing what I needed them to do. My favorite was a dementia patient in his late 60's who had been a teacher. He tried to move from his bed to go to work. I told him that I did not want to embarrass him, but it was Saturday. It worked!"
Rachelle's Answer
Oh my goodness, what a clever approach with your dementia patient. Your communication skills are obviously on point. Your responses are top-notch.
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8.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would love to give myself a 10/10 for honesty but truthfully - nobody is 100% honest all of the time. I will give myself an nine because I always do my best to be as honest as possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I value honesty at a ten on a scale of 1 to 10. You can call my references who will support this."
Anonymous Answer
"I am at least an 8, as I am not perfect as well as there is always room to grow. For example, I could be a little more sincere about others sometimes."
Rachelle's Answer
This is honest, and it's great that you give yourself room for improvement. In which instances do you find it challenging to be sincere? That may be a follow-up question in this situation.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
9.
How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of my co-workers is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some ways that you can build trust with your coworkers:

- Show common courtesy. Say hello, hold the elevator door, bring coffees now and then
- Be respectful in your communication, avoid over cc'ing unnecessarily in emails
- Avoid being a distraction, and respect the use of their time
- Respect their personal space and the line between work life and personal life
- Always ask if they have time before diving into a conversation
- Try to find the answer to your questions before running to ask a manager or co-worker
- Connect with them on LinkedIn but avoid more personal social media platforms
- Treat everyone the same, regardless of their job title
- Do not complain about your job to your coworkers
- Reach out to new employees and make them feel comfortable
- Own up to your mistakes and fix them
- Be timely with your followups and meet your deadlines"
Anonymous Answer
"My number one goal is to be a team player, to be respectful, and honest in my interactions with others."
Rachelle's Answer
These are all fantastic ways to earn the trust of your coworkers. Nicely said.
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Anonymous Answer
"First, I must do the right thing. My primary goal is to support and set a good example for my family. Secondly, I must show a good work ethic. Third, I must be sociable and make active efforts to build good working relationships. I will ask for advice from colleagues when appropriate, and I will always remain respectful."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound like a dream colleague to have, and your approach is steady and strong. Well said!
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
10.
What questions do you have for me?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I do have a couple of questions. First, when would you like to have this position filled? And second, are there any required qualifications that you do not see on my resume?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part of working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
Anonymous Answer
"Are agents allowed the opportunity to apply to other departments in the organization?"
Rachelle's Answer
Good question! Be sure to have 2 to 3 questions prepared just in case your first query is answered along the way, during the interview.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
11.
Do you demonstrate leadership qualities even when you are not in a leadership role?
This question challenges you to think about how you act as a leader in your daily life. Even if you're not leading a team, you can still demonstrate the qualities of a leader!

Give an example of how you coached a coworker who was having difficulty preparing for a big presentation. Maybe you gave them confidence in their strengths by encouraging them, or perhaps you offered some helpful hints. You can be a motivator and a confident communicator in any situation at work!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Just last month I was asked to lead a shift when my superior officer was unexpectedly away. I took charge for two days, and the experience was quite positive. I believe the biggest success factor was that I tried to emulate his leadership style and did ask his help when I wasn't sure what to do. I feel this experience prepared me for a leadership role. I am excited to take on a team lead role again."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Yes, I do. It's so important always to be leading by example, and you never know who is watching. That applies to stepping foot in the unit or behaving on social media when you are tied to law enforcement. No matter what the situation or where you find yourself, to be a real leader, you act accordingly."
Anonymous Answer
"I do demonstrate leadership quality when I am not in the role. For example, I set the standard through my actions, communications, and, most importantly, by how I respond to negative situations."
Rachelle's Answer
These are all excellent ways to demonstrate leadership even when you are not in a leadership role.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
12.
Being a border patrol officer is a stressful career. How do you handle stress on the job?
Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to maintain pressure in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I understand that this job is stressful and I feel prepared for that. I will be sure to discuss any excess stressors with my supervisor."
Anonymous Answer
"By understanding that stress is a natural part of the job and find ways to prioritize and put things into perspective as a way to mitigate concerns."
Rachelle's Answer
That is a good start. Do you have any more tangible/measurable ways of dealing with stress? Try offering up an example of how you have coped in the past during previously high stake situations.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
Anonymous Answer
"I generally handle stress well. Instinctively, I seek to know about what factors I control, which factors I share joint control of with colleagues, and what factors I do not control at all. This is a stoic exercise, but it has helped me in academics. I cannot tell you that I can make stress vanish, but I can manage it."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is perfect and shows the interviewer that you are capable of handling stressful situations with maturity and professionalism.
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13.
Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I do consider myself a patient person. I would rate myself an eight /10 for patience because I certainly have room to grow, but I do have a very long fuse. If I need a boost of patience in a challenging situation, I will take a step away, count to 10 and then return to the situation. I recently read a book, 'The Power of Patience' by M.J. Ryan which also gave me some excellent new methods for coping with stress."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am fairly patient, with other people. I tend to be impatient with myself if I am not finishing a project as fast as I think I should be. But, I am learning to be patient with myself as well. I find that breathing exercises, and closing my eyes for a few seconds can help me regroup."
14.
Do you think it is possible to be a good border patrol officer, yet disagree with your superior officer at times?
The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.

Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with your superior officer from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time.

Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think that it is possible to be a great team member, even when disagreeing with the leader. It's all about how you maintain respect for each other despite the difference in opinion."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree you just have to communicate your thoughts professionally."
Anonymous Answer
"Any officer can be great while disagreeing with their superior, as long as they remain loyal, execute their given tasks even though they might disagree. Addressing their concerns with their supervisor in a professional manner would the only sensible way to resolve their concerns."
Rachelle's Answer
Your response is professional and shows a realistic understanding of workplace dynamics. Good one.
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15.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. Be sure to show confidence in the areas that you know have gone well. If you need to clarify an answer, then you can certainly ask to do so!

If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more that I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe that the interview so far has been very informative. Also, I would love to think that I am doing great. I am a little nervous, but I think that I am doing a good job."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is honest and humble yet very warm and confident. If you wish, you can also ask the interviewer for their feedback or if they desire any clarification.
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