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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.
Job Interviews     Careers     Protective Services    

Question 1 of 30

How many days were you absent from work last year?

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Answer Examples

1.

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."

2.

Competition is stiff for this position. Why should we hire you?

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, individual 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 most influential advocate.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"You should hire me because I am unlike anyone else you have interviewed before. I am dedicated to law enforcement and engaged in this career path to the point where I commit myself to taking at least one career development or leadership related workshop every year. I am a competitive achiever and an honest person. You won't be disappointed when you hire me."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I'm qualified and passionate about border safety. I am excited about the idea of contributing to the high level of safety that our citizens have come to know, and expect."

Anonymous Answer

"I have been a firearms instructor, Sergeant within the Marine Corps Infantry, and a Corrections Officer. I would also like to qualify that corrections experience is increasingly valuable to your agency; whereas, you often have detainees that you cannot house with offenders and criminal detainees. This is a political issue, and experience inside of detention facilities or institutions of confinement will continue to increase in importance."

Rachelle's Answer

You make a very strong case, here! Nicely said - compelling, informative, and confident.

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Anonymous Answer

"I should be hired because I have a strong military background that is based on discipline, loyalty, and commitment to the United States."

Rachelle's Answer

Employers often look most favorably on military experience. This is good, and be sure to give as much detail as possible regarding your responsibilities in the military and how they will transfer to the job at hand.

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3.

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.

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4.

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.

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5.

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

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I can maintain my cool and do not easily lose my temper. In my current position, I am best known for being even-keeled. If you'd like to call my references, they will attest to this as well. In law enforcement, I believe it is essential to maintain a calm, in-control, presence at all times."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have never had a temper; however, I do not hesitate to stick up for myself when needed. I do keep myself in check during stressful situations."

Anonymous Answer

"I am not infinitely patient; however, I am good at maintaining my calm. While studying in college, I became a fan of stoic philosophy. To answer in short, never lose control of myself, seldom become significantly angry, but I do occasionally become irritated. I also understand that yelling or demonstrating anger signifies trying to regain control over a situation that I have lost."

Rachelle's Answer

This is a well-balanced response - good work. Stoicism is gaining in popularity, and rightfully so - it's a valuable practice, especially in your line of work. Have you read The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday?

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Anonymous Answer

"My first response to negative situations is to put things into perspective or applying emotional intelligence characteristics as a way of both controlling both the situation and my actions. I do not lose my temper."

Rachelle's Answer

It's fantastic that you are so controlled! Diving into emotional intelligence a bit further; how would you best describe your EI characteristics?

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6.

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?

For obvious reasons, law enforcement agencies need to be very cautious about 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am happy to comply with any background check required. My record is clean, and I have a strong credit history. I do not participate in drug use, either. You can be assured that if you hire me for this role, I will maintain a clean record."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have no discrepancies to disclose at this time. If you'd like, I can certainly provide you with additional documentation and identification for your back check process."

7.

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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8.

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.

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9.

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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10.

Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in law enforcement

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The greatest accomplishment in my border patrol career was being recognized by my peers with the Humanity Award last year. I try to be very involved in my community, and It felt great to be recognized for my dedication."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am still new to my career; however, I am very proud of my grades achieved while obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Studies. I graduated top of my class while working part-time in a security role."

Anonymous Answer

"I have never been a law enforcement officer. However, I have worked with a few during the war. We made sure that vehicles and personnel leaving and returning to the country had nothing illegal on their person or stored in vehicles."

Rachelle's Answer

Although you don't have direct experience, you do a nice job highlighting the exposure that you do have. This is a smart approach.

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11.

Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?

Perhaps you have led a team at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.

Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current department, I am the president of the community volunteer committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I do see myself as a leader. I currently show my leadership skills by being a mentor to brand new patrol officers, showing them some things they can do to advance their career. Because I am newer to my career but have advanced quickly, I feel that my perspective is valuable for recruits."

Anonymous Answer

"I do see myself as an interdisciplinary leader. I led Marines. I led Corrections Officers. As importantly, I lead a family. I have lead Classroom Learning Communities among my fellow teachers-education students while in college. While I often wait until I am confident in my experience level within a job to apply for higher positions, my general attitude has been to lead. This disposition has grown as I have aged."

Rachelle's Answer

You showcase natural leadership skills in a variety of situations, which any interviewer should be happy to hear. Well crafted answer.

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Anonymous Answer

"I have led a series of teams as a soldier on the battlefield. Upon returning from Afghanistan, most units were getting into trouble for alcohol or other related problems. I sat down with my platoon and spoke with them about the importance of not ruining their future by getting into trouble. My platoon was the only one in the Battalion that never had a soldier being charged for any discipline-related-issues."

Rachelle's Answer

Amazing! This is an incredible outcome and one that says volumes about your leadership skills and value as a mentor.

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12.

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!

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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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13.

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.).

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14.

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.

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15.

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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30 Border Patrol Officer Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  2. Competition is stiff for this position. Why should we hire you?
  3. Do you demonstrate leadership qualities even when you are not in a leadership role?
  4. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
  5. How often do you lose your temper? Do you consider yourself to have a short fuse?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. What questions do you have for me?
  9. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  10. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in law enforcement
  11. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?
  12. You must be physically fit to be a border patrol officer. What have you done to physically train yourself for this position?
  13. 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?
  14. Do you possess a valid drivers' license and firearm license?
  15. We prefer that our border patrol officers be multi-lingual. Which languages do you speak?
  16. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  17. How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?
  18. Being a border patrol officer is a stressful career. How do you handle stress on the job?
  19. Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?
  20. Do you think it is possible to be a good border patrol officer, yet disagree with your superior officer at times?
  21. Why did you choose a career as a border patrol officer?
  22. What part of your career in border patrol brings you the most stress?
  23. What are you reading right now?
  24. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
  25. Have you ever taken or sold illegal drugs?
  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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