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Law Enforcement Interview
Questions

34 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 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 34
How do you get along with others, on the force?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to gauge if you can maintain healthy relationships in the workplace. They want to know more about the dynamics with your coworkers. Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Good communication, sense of humor, and support are all great qualities that make co-worker relationships healthy and harmonious.
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Answer Examples
1.
How do you get along with others, on the force?
The interviewer wants to gauge if you can maintain healthy relationships in the workplace. They want to know more about the dynamics with your coworkers. Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Good communication, sense of humor, and support are all great qualities that make co-worker relationships healthy and harmonious.

Rachelle's Answer
"I get along great with my coworkers. I try to maintain a positive attitude and be supportive, whether I am offering to assist someone who is overwhelmed, or if I am taking time to listen to someone who is having a bad day."
2.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
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?"

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."
Rachelle's Answer
"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?"
3.
Why did you choose a career as a police officer?
The interviewer would like to know the driving forced behind your choice to be in law enforcement. You can give an answer that allows some personal insight if you wish. The interviewer must see that you have a passion for this career path! Your passion is what will keep you in this role for years to come. Show the interviewer that you are committed.

Rachelle's Answer
"I grew up with a father in law enforcement and it was a career path that I always knew would be mine one day. Growing up, I loved to see the pride in my dad's eyes when he came home after a shift. I heard stories of him helping people and taking steps to make our community safer. I want to do the same."
4.
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
"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."
5.
You must be physically fit to be a police 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 for this position. Generally, 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
"I am fully prepared to complete the fit test. I am in great physical shape. To train myself for a career as a police officer I have attended CrossFit 5 times per week for the last 12 months. I also run 6 to 15 miles every week."
6.
What motivates you?
Typically, employees are motivated by environments where they feel supported and encouraged. The interviewer wants to know how they could motivate you - even on the toughest of days! Be open with the interviewer about the ways you can stay motivated on the job, even when the going gets tough.

Rachelle's Answer
"It does not take a lot to keep me motivated. If I work in a positive environment with a forward-thinking team, I am a very happy employee. If you see me going above and beyond, a quick thanks or small recognition of my hard work is good enough for me."
7.
Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it relates to a career in law enforcement.
The interviewer would like a more detailed breakdown of your law enforcement training and any other education related to your career within law enforcement. Likely, this is listed on your resume; however, this is an invitation to give a more detailed breakdown. Be sure to highlight any awards, scholarships, or special accolades that you may have received.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have a Bachelor's Degree in Law Enforcement from the University of Louisville. I am very proud to say that I graduated with honors, and was even working part time during those studies. Since then, I have been working on completing my Masters Degree. This should be complete in the next 2 years as I am working and taking online courses in tandem."
8.
From your personal understanding, under what circumstances is the use of deadly forced justified?
The interviewer is asking for your personal understanding (not opinion!) when it comes to the laws and regulations surrounding deadly force. This is a serious question and should not be a question where you give your personal opinion. Answer by the book!

Rachelle's Answer
"According to US Law, deadly force may be justified only under conditions of extreme necessity, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed."
9.
It is important for law enforcement to be an active part of the community. How are you currently involved in your community?
The interviewer is interested in knowing how involved you are in your own community. As a law enforcement professional, it is really important that you have a face in the community, along with a strong reputation and desire for involvement. Outline your recent community involvement. Avoid going back further than 10 years.

Rachelle's Answer
"I fully believe that it is important for members of law enforcement to have a great reputation and strong presence in their community. For that reason, I have spent the past 5 years volunteering every Sunday morning with the local Food Bank. I also have a regular volunteer opportunity at the Drop In Centre for the homeless."
10.
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 on 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
"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."
11.
Are you actively applying to other law enforcement agencies?
It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if they are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in final stages with any other agency, I am actively seeking a new position."
12.
Whether you were caught or not, have you ever committed a crime?
The interviewer wants to put a bit of extra emphasis on the fine line of being a good person, and not being caught. This answer should be kept very simple, and 100% honest.

If you have never committed a crime: "I have never committed a crime. I was raised to always be an honest person and to respect other people, their property, and myself."

If you have committed a crime: "I was a trouble maker in my teen years and was pressured into shoplifting at a gas station when I was 15. I was never caught for it but always felt terrible. When I was older, I actually went back to that gas station and paid them back."
Rachelle's Answer
"I have never committed a crime. I was raised to always be an honest person and to respect other people, their property, and myself."
13.
Competition is stiff for this position. Why are you the best candidate for us?
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, special 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 strongest advocate.

Rachelle's Answer
"You should hire me because I am unlike anyone else you have interviewed before. I am dedicated 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."
14.
Tell me your favorite, and least favorite, aspects of your current or most recent position.
Always answer a question like this with the negative first, so that you can end on a positive note. This can completely change the vibe of the interview.

When it comes to discussing your least favorite aspect of your current/most recent position, beware of complaining to the interviewer. Take this question as an opportunity to shine when it comes to your ability to overcome challenges and dislikes. Describe the challenges your previous employer offered you, and how you thrived in that environment. Stay away from company gossip or drama. Avoid getting into a negative spiral that you can't recover from!

When discussing your favorite aspect of your current/most recent role, stay away from company perks and choose to focus on something like growth, the culture, or your ability to make an impact.

Rachelle's Answer
"Every place has areas for improvement. My least favorite aspect of my current position is that I have very little autonomy when it comes to making decisions surrounding our priority cases. The best part of this job and part of the reason I have stayed there for 6 years is that my coworkers are amazing and there is a strong push for professional development."
15.
Law enforcement 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 true interest in the law enforcement industry. Perhaps you read law related books, follow particular police journals or subscribe to a blog related to this industry. Briefly share with the interviewer the ways in which you stay up to date on current events related to law enforcement.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am always interested in learning more about this industry and the changes that are taking place. It's truly fascinating how 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'."
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Behavioral
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34 Law Enforcement Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. How do you get along with others, on the force?
  2. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  3. Why did you choose a career as a police officer?
  4. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?
  5. You must be physically fit to be a police officer. What have you done to physically train yourself for this position?
  6. What motivates you?
  7. Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it relates to a career in law enforcement.
  8. From your personal understanding, under what circumstances is the use of deadly forced justified?
  9. It is important for law enforcement to be an active part of the community. How are you currently involved in your community?
  10. 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?
  11. Are you actively applying to other law enforcement agencies?
  12. Whether you were caught or not, have you ever committed a crime?
  13. Competition is stiff for this position. Why are you the best candidate for us?
  14. Tell me your favorite, and least favorite, aspects of your current or most recent position.
  15. Law enforcement 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?
  16. Are you applying for any other jobs?
  17. Have you ever taken or sold illegal drugs?
  18. How often do you lose your temper? Do you consider yourself to have a short fuse?
  19. What are your salary expectations?
  20. What are you reading right now?
  21. What part of this career brings you the most stress?
  22. Do you think it is possible to be a good law enforcement officer, yet disagree with your Captain or Chief at times?
  23. How do you handle stress on the job?
  24. Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?
  25. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  26. Why should we hire you?
  27. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes?
  28. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in law enforcement
  29. Have you ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident that was your fault? How clean is your driving record?
  30. Tell me something about yourself that I would not know from reading your resume.
  31. Are you accustomed to working within a diverse community?
  32. What are your career goals, within law enforcement, in the next 3 years?
  33. There are numerous career avenues you can take within law enforcement. Which career path interests you the most?
  34. What would you do if a civilian called you a racial slur or other derogatory term?
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