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Detective Interview

24 Questions and Answers by
| 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 24

How do you handle stressful situations?

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Detective Interview Questions


  1. How do you handle stressful situations?
    • As a Detective, you will be exposed to an incredible amount of stress on the job. Assure the hiring manager that you are able to handle this stress and pressure both gracefully and professionally.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am highly trained to withstand a lot of stress and pressure on the job. I manage stressful situations by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable issues and scenarios. From there, I find the situations become less overwhelming and easier to manage."


  1. What is your interview style as a Detective?
    • Detectives must possess strong interview skills as this is a very large part of the job. Tell the interviewer how you would define your interview style and why you feel it is effective.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My most commonly used interview style would be described as a qualitative interview method.This style is incredibly useful because it feels more like a conversation, than an interview, to respondents. However; I am still guiding the conversation with the goal in mind of gathering information from a respondent."


  1. Are you able to work with minimal supervision?
    • As a Detective, working unsupervised will be a regular part of your regime. Assure the interviewer that you are able to work productively with minimal supervision.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My previous Captain was very confident in my ability to work successfully on my own. I am able to work well in a team setting and on my own. Neither scenario is a concern to my productivity."


  1. Have you ever had to fire your weapon?
    • Firing your weapon as an Officer/Detective is quite rare. The interviewer would like to know if you have had to do so in the past. If you have fired your weapon you will likely have supporting documentation. Take that with you to your interview, if possible.

      If you have had to fire your weapon: "I have fired my weapon just once in my career. It was during a robbery and the suspect fired his weapon at my partner. I am happy to have you review the case file and all supporting documentation."

      If you have not had to fire your weapon: "I have never fired my weapon, I am happy and very thankful to say. If the situation occurred then I would absolutely feel confident in my ability to react appropriately."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have fired my weapon just once in my career. It was during a robbery and the suspect fired his weapon at my partner. I am happy to have you review the case file and all supporting documentation."


  1. Do you strive for excellence in everything that you do?
    • Striving for excellence should be a very important part of being a Police Officer/Detective. Talk to the interviewer about the steps that you take to ensure excellence in everything that you do.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I absolutely strive for excellence in everything that I do. As a Detective, there is a great amount of pressure, both professionally and personally, to always do my best. I take my duty seriously and continually strive to better myself through additional training and accepting feedback from my peers and Captain."


  1. Do you have a good memory and the ability to recall small details?
    • As a Detective, it is very important that you are able to recall small details. Tell the interviewer about your strategy when it comes to your memory and recollection skills.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a very strong memory and am able to recall small details and important information. Throughout my career I have been able to refine this skill even more through memory exercises and committing to writing down small details as they occur, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time."


  1. How strong are your documentation skills?
    • Assure the interviewer that you are skilled when it comes to documentation. What have you done to ensure that your documentation skills are on point?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My documentation skills are very well honed and I am diligent with ensuring that my documentation work is completed on time. I understand the importance of proper, and detailed, documentation in this line of work."


  1. Why did you choose to pursue a career as a Detective?
    • You can speak from a bit of a personal angle when answering this question, if you wish. Share with the interviewer what brought you to this career path and how you feel about your choice to become a Detective.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Growing up, my grandfather was a Police Officer and my father was a Detective. I believe that police work is in my blood and it was such a natural choice for me. Even as a child, I knew that I was going to pursue a career as a Detective. I'm very proud of my work and the path that I have taken."


  1. Are you able to communicate with people from all walks of life?
    • Communication is key and as a Detective it is really important to display that you are able to clearly communicate with people from all walks of life. Tell the interviewer about your experience with this.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been highly trained in communication and have no concerns when it comes to communicating with those in all walks of life. The past 7 years I have spent as a Police Officer have taught me a lot about communication and I am confident in my ability to meet people on their level."


  1. Tell me about your physical capabilities. Do you have any injuries or issues that would hinder you on the job?
    • Being a Detective is a very demanding job and you must be able to show the interviewer that you are able to handle the physical and mental components of the role. Talk about the actions you take to ensure you are in good physical, and mental, shape and discuss any challenges you may have from old or recent injuries/issues.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am capable and fit, both physically, and mentally. I work out at the gym every day and keep myself emotionally healthy through meditation and reading. I have had a knee injury in the past but after surgery and 6 months of physio, I feel great."


  1. How many years did you serve as a Police Officer before being promoted to Detective?
    • Discuss with the interviewer how your career progressed from Police Officer to a Detective. Be sure to talk about any special accolades and recognition that you achieved along the way.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I started as a Police Officer 9 years ago and was promoted to Detective after 7 years. I was able to achieve this promotion by committing to additional training and proving my ability as a reliable Officer."


  1. While attending post-secondary studies what was your best course? Which course did you struggle with the most?
    • Take the interviewer through your post-secondary experience. What course did you enjoy most and which did you struggle with? Are these still stronger, and weaker, subjects for you? Talk about how you have overcome the more difficult subjects as well.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. I would say that the courses I struggled in the most would be the computing classes as I was not strong, in a technical sense, back then. My best course was victimology as I found it to be incredibly interesting and in-depth. It really taught me about strategy and compassion while working with victims of crime. Since graduating, I have taken additional coursework in computers, and a variety of software programs, so I am now confident in my abilities."


  1. Tell me about a time that you were ordered to work around the clock. Were you able to maintain your speed and wit throughout the entire shift?
    • Maintaining focus and attention, even when asked to work around the clock, is very important. Assure the interviewer that you are able to do so.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a Detective, I have been asked many times to work around the clock. I am able to maintain speed and wit by reminding myself that there are people relying on me to do my best every minute that I am working."


  1. How flexible is your schedule? Are you able to work overtime, weekends and holidays as needed?
    • As a detective, you will be required to work a huge variety of hours that include holidays and weekends. Assure the interviewer that you are able to manage, and accept, these expectations.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am very aware of the intense requirements that come with being a Detective. I am able to meet these requirements and be flexible with my availability."


  1. What additional training would you take if you could?
    • Is there some sort of training or coursework that you would enjoy taking? Talk to the interviewer about any career related training that you would take if you could.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I could take any additional training I would like to take training in deeper interviewing techniques. The psychology of it all is incredibly interesting to me and I feel that better tuned interview skills would assist me greatly in any investigation."


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