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Correction Officer Interview Questions

30 Correction Officer Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
What would you do if an officer next to you was engaged in a physical fight with an inmate?
How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know that you understand what to do when you see an officer engaged in a physical altercation. Answer this according to the way that you have been trained. Refer to your training manual, and corporate policies, and recite those if possible.

Answer Example
"According to my current employment policy, in the event of a physical altercation between an inmate and another officer, I am trained to call code black, ensure all inmates are out of harm's way and then assist."
Entry Level Example
"If you are new to the industry, you should refer to your instinct. It's okay to ask the interviewer what they would prefer that you do if you genuinely do not know. For example: "I have never been in a situation like this; however, I feel that the best thing to do would be to call for assistance and attempt to hold the inmate back. What would you suggest in a situation like this?"
Experienced Example
"According to my training, when I observe that an inmate is engaged in a physical altercation with an officer, I'm supposed to [actions and procedures] to ensure [an outcome, e.g., the inmate is under control] while maintaining [conditions, e.g., officer and inmate safety]."
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Question 2 of 30
Do you have a role model or mentor?
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How to Answer
Having a mentor, or role model, shows the interviewer that you are open to gaining personal, and professional, growth.If you do not have a mentor, be prepared to discuss who you would choose as a mentor if you could.

A mentor can be someone like a leader, motivational speaker, or pastor who you respect. Maybe you listen to a specific podcast or read a particular author's books for personal development.
Whatever you choose, be sure to display to the interviewer that you are open to continued growth through mentorship.

Answer Example
"My role model is Tony Robbins. I listen to his podcast every morning because I find him motivating and I like his tougher approach. He's taught me the importance of grabbing life by the horns."
Entry Level Example
"You can answer this question in a more personal way if you wish: "My role model has always been my mother. She has such a level head and sticks to her decisions once they are made. She taught me everything I know about the importance of discipline and also enjoying life."
Experienced Example
"One of the most significant role models I have was my supervisor in the state facility which I was first hired. He took me under his wing and taught me best practices that I still implement. He did not bring an ego to work and treated the inmates with empathy and respect as much as possible. I still implement the methods he taught me."
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Question 3 of 30
Tell me about an experience where you successfully used de-escalation techniques in preventing a physical altercation.
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know more about your de-escalation techniques and your confidence when it comes to implementing them. Give an example of a time when you lead a de-escalation and how it was successful. Keep your answer brief but be sure to display that you are comfortable conducting this type of initiative.

Answer Example
"Last month I had two inmates who were feuding. It came to a head at dinner one evening when I could see that the two groups had a lot of extra tension between them. I heard rumors from other inmates that a fight was to start that evening. I was sure to bring on additional officers, and we kept the inmates busy with conversation and a lot of unexpected movement. It worked as the fight never happened. We broke their routine which was enough to shake up their plan."
Entry Level Example
"Because I am new to this career I do not have a specific example; however, if I were to experience a potential threat like this I would be sure to follow the regulations and procedures put in place at this facility. Safety is incredibly important for both the officers and inmates and order must be kept at all times."
Experienced Example
"I have a few techniques at hand when it comes to de-escalating conflict. My current place of employment implemented an 8-step process that I follow. Listen, Acknowledge, Agree, Apologize, Clarification, Choices + Consequences, Sequence Questions, and Suggestibility. This is a method that I am well-versed in, and able to train as well."
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Question 4 of 30
Why do you want a position as a correction officer?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to understand why this career path interests you. If you have been a correction officer for many years, this can be a simple answer. If you are new to the career, then you can talk a little bit about what attracted you to the industry, to begin with.

Answer Example
"I was attracted to a career as a correction officer for a variety of reasons. My father was a correction officer and, as a child, I recall seeing him come home in his uniform and showing a sense of pride. His job was to protect. After I left the military, I decided that a career as a correction officer would be the most natural and positive transition for me."
Entry Level Example
"I started my education in Criminology because I initially wanted to become a police officer. When I was in post-secondary studies, I learned more about the career path of a correction officer. I prefer the idea of working with inmates rather than being a street cop."
Experienced Example
"I have been a correction officer for six years now, and I love my job. Every day is a new challenge, and I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of others. This is a career path that I will be following for years to come."
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Question 5 of 30
Tell me about yourself.
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How to Answer
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

Answer Example
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful career in corrections, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local homeless shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
Entry Level Example
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and goes to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my work during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer!"
Experienced Example
"I am a calm and quiet leader, with excellent communication skills. Even though I am quiet, I can motivate my team and keep morale high within the prison."
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Writers for Correction Officer Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 03/19/2014
Last modified on: 08/30/2018

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About Correction Officer

September 17th, 2018

Correction officers monitor individuals who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or who have been arrested and are waiting for their trial. Besides counseling and rehabilitating prisoners, correctional officers also inspect facilities periodically to ensure that all safety and security standards are met.
A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum qualification required for this job. In addition, correction officers have to go through a training academy to learn the practical aspects of the job. Correction officers must have good judgment and must have excellent self-discipline, physical strength, and negotiating skills.
Expect to go through a rigorous interview. The interviewer will want to ensure that you are the right candidate for the job and will ask you about your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to this role. Are you a good judge of character? Do you have the necessary self-discipline so you can be a role-model the individuals you are in charge of? To gauge your ability to handle challenging situations, which are the norm in this job, the interviewer may provide you with a mock scenario and ask you how you would handle it. Your answer will play a key role in whether or not you get hired as a correction officer. You can find several more questions at Mock Questions. Go through them and spend some time thinking about how you will answer them. The more compelling your replies, the higher the chances of getting hired.