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Security Guard Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated December 22nd, 2019 | 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
How would you react if you felt that you were in physical danger on the job?
View Answers
How to Answer
There are many reports in the news of security guards being placed in danger or experiencing situations of aggravated assault. The interviewer would like to know that you are fully prepared to face these potential risks. Show confidence in your training. Let the interviewer know that you would lean on your training and knowledge should you be placed in a situation where you felt physically threatened. If you are new to your career as a security officer, this is a great time to ask about the training you will receive with this company. Show that you are confident in your ability to react professionally in all situations.
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30 Security Guard 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 would you react if you felt that you were in physical danger on the job?
  2. Does stress and pressure ever get the best of you?
  3. Walk me through your education and how it relates to the work of a security guard.
  4. We require that all security personnel undergo full background checks. Are you willing to comply?
  5. As a security guard, which task do you enjoy the most? Which task do you enjoy the least?
  6. Good communication is a requirement as a security guard. What does good communication mean to you?
  7. Why do you believe we need security, here?
  8. Are you a detail oriented person? How well do you recall facts and small details of an event?
  9. Talk to me about your hours of availability. Do you have a preferred shift?
  10. Talk to me about your future career goals within security.
  11. What are the most important traits for a security guard to possess?
  12. Are you CPR Certified or trained in First Aid? If not, do you plan on earning these credentials?
  13. How do you keep focused during long, or overnight shifts?
  14. Have you worked with other security guards in a team environment before? If so, how did you best communicate with them?
  15. What motivates you to protect others?
  16. What type of security technology are you familiar with?
  17. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  18. Tell me about a time when you solved a security problem on the job.
  19. What is your greatest strength, and how will it help you as a security guard?
  20. Describe a time when you had to deal with a security breach. How did you handle the situation, and what would you have done differently?
  21. Tell me about a time when you successfully dealt with an angry member of the public.
  22. Have you ever been terminated from a job?
  23. Define integrity, what it means to you, and how you practice it in your everyday life.
  24. Break down for me the responsibilities of a security guard.
  25. Do you have experience working large events with crowds of people?
  26. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
  27. Do you have experience as an armed guard? How do you feel about working in an armed security role?
  28. Are you able to work independently, with little supervision?
  29. How important is being on time or early for work, to you?
  30. With which industries do you have the most security experience?
Answer Examples
1.
How would you react if you felt that you were in physical danger on the job?
There are many reports in the news of security guards being placed in danger or experiencing situations of aggravated assault. The interviewer would like to know that you are fully prepared to face these potential risks. Show confidence in your training. Let the interviewer know that you would lean on your training and knowledge should you be placed in a situation where you felt physically threatened. If you are new to your career as a security officer, this is a great time to ask about the training you will receive with this company. Show that you are confident in your ability to react professionally in all situations.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As a seasoned security guard, I have felt in danger a handful of times on the job. I have faced perpetrators with knives, bear spray, and one with a gun that turned out to not be loaded. In each of these situations, I leaned on my training and worked to calm the violent person down through calm conversation and reasoning. Rarely do I use force on the job. I have taken coursework on Crisis Negotiation Techniques, which was an incredibly helpful addition to my security training."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I hope to never be in this type of situation as a security guard; however, I feel that my training will prepare me to react appropriately in dangerous situations. I am a calm person by nature and also have an ability to calm other people down, so I would certainly use that skill to my benefit if I ever found myself in a dangerous situation."
2.
Does stress and pressure ever get the best of you?
A skilled security guard should always exude confidence and never crack under pressure. You may come across situations that raise your blood pressure, and the interviewer needs to know that you will continue to perform your job as expected, even under stress. If possible, talk about a time when you were under immense stress and pressure and were able to come out on top. Show the hiring authority that you can remain calm, relaxed, and collected even when facing a challenge.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have trained extensively, and have been in many challenging situations as a security officer. For instance, I worked as a hospital security guard for eight years in the emergency room department. No two days were the same. We would have patients who needed care immediately, and others who would become angry because they needed to wait too long. We also had some transient folk who were high on drugs and looking for a fix. I quickly learned to keep my head on a swivel and never react emotionally to anything that I saw during a shift."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I often hear stories about violent acts against security officers and, of course, that is a concern for me. With that said, I believe that my training in hand to hand combat and my post-secondary courses in criminal psychology will lend themselves well, should I ever be in a similar situation. I am a calm person by nature, and I like to sort issues out rather than dwell in them or become panicked."
3.
Walk me through your education and how it relates to the work of a security guard.
The hiring authority would like for you to bring your education to life for them, pointing out exactly where your education and training will benefit you in a security guard role. There are many top skills that a security guard should have, and many of these are transferable regardless of your educational focus. For instance, a security guard should feel confident and prepared. They should be quick to think and take action. They should have a strong moral compass, be rational, and act as a leader at all times. Talk about the ways that your education has prepared you for the role of a security guard.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have completed basic security training which included over 40 hours of classroom training. This coursework covered a variety of topics, including an introduction to the security industry, the US legal system, basic security patrol procedures, communication, documentation and evidence, health and safety, as well as emergency response procedures. Thanks to this training, I feel very well prepared for a career in security."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have a Bachelor's degree in communication and feel there are many ways that my post-secondary education has prepared me for a role in security. First, clear communication is a significant component of a job well done. I am an excellent writer and will excel in areas such as documentation. My time in post-secondary also taught me how to pay attention, be patient, and juggle multiple responsibilities and tight deadlines."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, it has been expired, but I will make an appointment for renewal."
Nazish's Answer
I would suggest saying that you are working on getting it renewed, rather than you will make an appointment in the future to do so. Also, emphasize that you do have the skill, in the case of an emergency.
"Although my current CPR certification has expired, I am CPR trained and in the process of getting it renewed. I am, in the meantime, equipped to handle an emergency in which CPR may be needed."
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4.
We require that all security personnel undergo full background checks. Are you willing to comply?
Most security jobs will require you to have a clean criminal record. At the very least, you should not have a felony on your record for which you have not received a pardon. Some security guard roles require the use of weapons and even arms. Others may require you to operate a vehicle. For these reasons, your security checks will vary from company to company. If you have a mark on your criminal record, driving record, or believe that you will not pass drug tests, you need to be honest with the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am willing to comply with any background checks that you require. I will disclose that I have a couple of traffic infractions; however, nothing serious that would prevent me from doing this job safely and professionally."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am happy to comply with any background checks you require. You will find that my criminal background is clean, as will be my driving record and drug test."
5.
As a security guard, which task do you enjoy the most? Which task do you enjoy the least?
The hiring authority wants to picture you in this role and, part of doing so is determining whether or not you will enjoy the daily tasks and responsibilities given to you. There is a significant range of security work, so be sure to have a full understanding of the company's needs and expectations.

The key to answering this question is to remain positive. Avoid jumping into a list of things you 'hate' doing. This type of response will lead the interviewer to think negatively about your work ethic and ambition. Discuss what you enjoy least but follow this up with what you do to make the tasks more enjoyable.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would say that patrolling buildings at night by myself is a task that I enjoy the least. To combat this, I ensure that someone on my team knows where I am and how long I expect to be away from the desk. I think this is a responsible way to ensure safety while working alone. As far as the tasks that I enjoy the most, I would say greeting everyone who comes across our desk during the day. My current job requires me to communicate with a significant range of people every day, and I love the variety."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe I will like documentation the least; however, that is because I am not fast at typing. I am currently taking a course on typing so that I can improve this skill. If I had to guess which task I would enjoy the most, I believe that would be patrolling the property, whether on foot or in a vehicle. I am an active person, and I like to be on the move."
6.
Good communication is a requirement as a security guard. What does good communication mean to you?
Excellent communication goes much farther than merely speaking clearly. To be a great communicator, you must also allow others to express themselves clearly in a conversation. A skilled communicator will:

- Respect the relationships around them
- Be knowledgable in the topics they are speaking about
- Spend more time listening than talking
- Recall information that is given to them because they listen actively
- Be able to read nonverbal cues such as body language and eye contact

Think of the ways that you exercise excellent communication, and be prepared to speak to the interviewer about the way that you interpret excellent communication. Talk a bit about your communication style in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Miscommunication is never a good thing in the workplace, especially as a security guard. In my current job, working around so many members of the public every day, I must carry a conversation clearly and precisely. Attention to detail is critical, so I must actively listen to the words and also the body language of others. Lastly, when it comes to documenting an incident, I must be able to express myself clearly in writing, which is another critical component to good communication."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"To me, good communication means being someone who listens and observes more than they speak. As a security guard, the more observant I can be with my eyes and ears, the better I will be in my job. By observing, I will be able to recall information and critical details much more clearly."
7.
Why do you believe we need security, here?
The interviewer wants to see how observant you are when it comes to their needs. If you are interviewing for a direct security job, take a scan of what you believe the requirements to be when you arrive at your interview.

If you are interviewing with an agency that contracts you out to a variety of jobs, this answer will be positioned a bit differently. In this circumstance, talk about their top clients, and what those clients' security needs may be.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that the clients who outsource your security guards are ones who have temporary needs. These needs include events, high peak times, or seasonal work, when hiring a full-time team member would not make sense. I have worked as a full-time dedicated officer, and as a contracted security officer. I am open to either situation and can adapt to a variety of needs and scenarios."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that you need security here because of the high volume of traffic you experience during the day. You also hold a lot of cash and sensitive goods that need 24/7 protection. Is this a correct assessment?"
8.
Are you a detail oriented person? How well do you recall facts and small details of an event?
As a security guard, you will have many interactions in a day. The hiring authority wants to see that you can manage and document essential details while also paying close attention to your surroundings. The best way to answer this question is to give an example of a time when you paid close attention to detail, making a meaningful contribution to your employer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Yes, I do consider myself to be detail-oriented. I make sure to pay close attention to what is happening around me. For instance, we recently had a theft in the shopping mall where I work. I happened to notice the brand and color of shoes and jacket the suspect was wearing. This information was beneficial when the police were making their identification through our surveillance tapes. It's essential for me as a security professional to add valuable details to my documentation as often as possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My professors have often commented on how detailed my papers are. I attribute this to my ability to sort information mentally in ways that help me to remember important facts and stories. I will take this skill and apply it to my role as a security guard."
9.
Talk to me about your hours of availability. Do you have a preferred shift?
It is best if you answer this question clearly and concisely. Be upfront about what you can and cannot do. Avoid committing to hours that will put too much pressure on your personal life. It's always best to frame your response in a positive way. So, rather than telling the interviewer what you cannot do, focus your answer on what you can do.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am looking for full-time employment and prefer working daytime or afternoon shifts. I have a young family that I would like to spend my evenings with as often as possible. Of course, should you be in a pinch and need evening coverage now and then, I am certainly willing to be a team player. Do my hours of availability meet your current needs?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would like to offer a range of availability as I kick-start my career in security. I know this may mean night shifts, doubles, shift work, and even weekends and holidays; however, I am prepared to start where I can!"
10.
Talk to me about your future career goals within security.
Most hiring companies want to know that when they take a chance on hiring and training you, that you will stay with them for the long term. Nobody knows where life will take them three or even five years down the road. With that sais, this should not stop you from expressing where you would like to take your security career. You do not need to make any promises when answering this question, but you should convey an interest in growing with the company.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My future goals within security include gaining my firearms license and ability to be an armed security officer. I have career goals that include leading a team, supporting law enforcement in every way possible, and protecting the public from harm for many years to come."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that starting my career in security will position me nicely for a full-time career in law enforcement. I plan to work part-time while attending my pre-requisite college courses and training."
11.
What are the most important traits for a security guard to possess?
The traits that you discuss in your response should be traits that you have or are working towards having. This question offers an excellent opportunity for you to discuss your top qualities while showing the interviewer how they will of benefit, should you be hired. Some essential traits of a security guard include confidence, keen attention to detail, bravery, excellent communicator, a desire to help others, reliability, and honesty.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most important traits for a security guard to posses, and traits that I am proud to have are my unwavering honesty, my ability to make people feel safe, and my clear communication style. I make my presence known on the job without being too intimidating because I want those who need help to be able to approach me. I am alert and pay close attention to my surroundings."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"After reading the job description and getting to know the needs of your company, I believe the most important traits are to be reliable, alert, eager to help, and thorough in tasks. I know that I can deliver these qualities on the job because I already exercise these traits as a full-time student and part-time volunteer."
12.
Are you CPR Certified or trained in First Aid? If not, do you plan on earning these credentials?
Many security jobs will require you to be CPR certified or trained in First Aid. Depending on the type of security role you are taking on, you could be the first to respond in emergencies and when dealing with the public. Talk to the interviewer about any certifications that you have or are currently acquiring. Bring certificates for your candidate file, in case the employer needs a copy. If you do not have any emergency response training, that is okay too! Just be sure to express an interest and willingness to gain these credentials.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been certified in CPR and First Aid for six years now. My certifications recently came close to their expiry, so I took it upon myself to renew them. I have copies with me today that you may keep for my file. It's important to me that I continue to offer a variety of skills to my employer. Part of that is knowing that I can react properly and effectively in an emergency."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was looking online at some options for First Aid and CPR certifications and found one at my local community college. I have enrolled and aim for full certification in 30 days. I understand the importance of this training and look forward to offering even more to your organization and those I serve in this position."
13.
How do you keep focused during long, or overnight shifts?
As a security professional, you may face a variety of shifts, including doubles, evenings, or quieter times. It can be tempting to let your mind focus away from the job. Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you keep yourself focused on your essential tasks staying top of mind. Maybe you keep checklists of everything that you need to accomplish, and another list of the things you can do when there is downtime. Express how you are a trustworthy and hardworking employee.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am experienced in the security industry and understand that it can be easy to get lost in thought or even nod off during quiet times or long shifts. I make sure to arrive at work well-rested and with a plan. I will have a list of activities that I need to get through and then some projects that I can tackle in my downtime. I am dedicated to my work and am sure to optimize my time, no matter the shift."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am accustomed to late-night study sessions from my time as a university student. I stay focused by having an end-goal in mind with a list of tasks that I need to accomplish to achieve that goal. I am also very good at keeping busy and have an eye for tasks that seem overdue or neglected."
14.
Have you worked with other security guards in a team environment before? If so, how did you best communicate with them?
Many security jobs will require teamwork, such as if you are working a role where event work is needed. The interviewer would like to know that you are helpful, communicative, positive, and goal-oriented; all qualities required to work well in a team environment. If you have some work experience, take the time to talk about when you have worked closely alongside others. Discuss what your collective goal was and how you contributed to reaching that goal. If you are new to your career, you can offer up a similar example from your post-secondary, high school, volunteer, or team sports experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked in teams with the size of the team depending entirely on the size of security project at hand. The largest was a concert that I worked on contract, with over 20,000 attendees. This show required security professionals from all different backgrounds. We all had different ideas and areas of expertise, which could have become a problem; however, it ran remarkably smooth. We each communicated our area of strength and levels of comfortability with each task. The team leader assigned us our posts, and we all worked equally as hard to ensure a safe space and fun experience for every attendee."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked in teams and group environments both in a sports setting and while in school. As the team captain of my schools' football team, I made sure to communicate with my team by encouraging their strengths. I would push them to give their best before every practice and game, praising their efforts when they would push themselves physically. While working group projects, I would lean on spreadsheets and other cloud-based tools to ensure the projects were on track, and everyone knew what they were to be working on. I will apply these same leadership and communication techniques to this role."
15.
What motivates you to protect others?
The interviewer would like to know what feeds your desire to work in the security industry. Perhaps you have always been the one to jump in and help others. Maybe you have dreams of joining the army or police force down the road, and you see this as an excellent jumping-off point. Whatever your reasoning, be sure that the interviewer can feel the passion in your response.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I like to serve others and spend time, inside and outside of work, ensuring that others have what they need. For many years I have volunteered with our community's underserved community and find a great amount of fulfillment in doing so. In a world full of hate crime and insecurities, it's critical that I do my part to help others feel safe and cared for."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Being raised in a home where my father and grandfather were police officers, it was always ingrained in me to take on a job where I am serving and protecting others. My goal is, in two to three years, to have enough money saved to begin my coursework in criminal justice. I feel that working in a security role will provide me with a lot of the training, experience, and insight needed to reach my career goals."
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