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Surveillance Operator 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
What do you know about our company?
View Answer
How to Answer
Always do basic research about the company: how long it has been in business, any specializations or awards that it has earned, etc. If it is not a security company, then research your department's role in the company. Give a reason that you're excited to work for that specific department and how you imagine that you could make a positive impact on the business as whole.
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Answer Examples
1.
What do you know about our company?
Always do basic research about the company: how long it has been in business, any specializations or awards that it has earned, etc. If it is not a security company, then research your department's role in the company. Give a reason that you're excited to work for that specific department and how you imagine that you could make a positive impact on the business as whole.

Rachelle's Answer
"Blackwood Casino's been in business for fifty years, and I read in the Loss Prevention Ledger that the casino has seen a small but steady rise in customer-on-customer incidents over the last three years. I want to put my skills to use and help Blackwood Casino reduce its liability and increase its safety record, that way the casino's guest reputation will improve."
2.
Walk me through your resume, highlighting your surveillance experience.
This question would most likely be asked if you don't have a lot of surveillance experience throughout your career. Therefore you must make a strong impression that you have the necessary traits and abilities.

Identify the traits and abilities that are crucial to your success as a surveillance operator. Keep those in mind as you recount your previous work experience and point out how you were able to use those traits and abilities in a surveillance-oriented manner in those other jobs.

Rachelle's Answer
"
3.
If you could attend training of any kind, what would you choose?
Research the company's openings and hierarchy. You want to demonstrate that you're not a flight risk and that you have a stake in developing yourself professionally.

Choose a skill that you judge to be valuable to the company and the role you're interviewing for and explain the positive impacts that training would bring to the company. Bear in mind that, depending on the company, you may have a chance to participate in this training on the company dollar.

Rachelle's Answer
"I'd be interested in getting further training on surveillance security. For example, I'd like to learn more about how to install cameras, where to place them [...] so that I can reduce the impacts on the company's insurance premiums."
4.
One of your coworkers starts making sexual comments about guests on the video monitors. What do you do?
Demonstrate your honesty and integrity as well as your professionalism by telling the interviewer what you'd do. Expand on the situation with "if...then" sentences to give the interviewer a complete picture of how your values define your actions.

Rachelle's Answer
"if...then"
Anonymous Answer
"I would inform the coworker that what they are saying is inappropriate, and I don't want to hear comments like that. If they continue to make inappropriate comments, I'd inform my supervisor about the issue."
Rachelle's Answer
Good answer! Your approach shows responsibility and the ability to speak up in the workplace, even when the situation may be uncomfortable.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
5.
What is your greatest weakness?
Pick one of your weaknesses that is not a necessity for the role. Be candid and humble in your answer recognizing that you really aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure you have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness too. Perhaps you are watching TED Talks about the weakness, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center in the near future. We are all human and all have weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
6.
What are your long term career goals?
Be honest in your answers and only give information that presents you in the best light possible. Give a clear picture of how staying in this position for a minimum of one year will be necessary for you to achieve those goals. Highlight the importance of the surveillance operator in the context of the entire team. Be enthusiastic but not overzealous: it's important to be humble as you convey the importance of the surveillance operator in relation to the rest of the team.

Rachelle's Answer
"In ten year's time, I'd like to be the director of loss prevention. That means that I need to know how to do a good job at each of the positions that will be reporting to me. I'm choosing to commit myself to surveillance operator at this time because I believe that surveillance plays an important part in loss prevention. After all, I can see much more than the officers can on the floor."
7.
As a surveillance operator you have many options to further your career path. What seems most interesting for you?
When possible, research the needs of the company by looking at the job openings. Look on Glassdoor for information about the company. Search LinkedIn for the company name and try to draw out an organizational chart. This will help you see the possibilities in that organization.

You may want to choose a position two levels separate from the one you're applying to. For example, a supervisor would be one level above yours, and a manager would be two levels above yours. This indicates to the interviewer that you have a low probability of leaving the job and a high probability of staying with the company.

Otherwise, you can choose to speak on a certain aspect of the job that interests you. Connect your interest with key traits that you have and skills that you're good at.

Rachelle's Answer
"I'm very interested in surveillance because I'm very good at observation. I think very logically, in terms of cause and effect, and I'm very detail oriented and good at writing reports. I'm really interested to see how these skills can be used in other positions, but right now I'm focused on doing the best job I can as a surveillance operator."
8.
What skills would you like to develop in this job?
Demonstrating your desire for professional growth shows that you're serious about this industry and will give the interviewer confidence that you have a good chance of staying in this position.

Start with a strength and mention a skill or trait that you'd like to improve.

Rachelle's Answer
"I've been in video surveillance for 18 months now, and I'm very vigilant about watching the monitors. But now I'd like to learn how to set the cameras up and where to place them. I'd also like to learn more about physical security."
9.
If you can, tell me about a time when your trustworthiness was challenged. How did you respond?
Give a genuine answer. If you have been challenged before, explain the situation briefly. Then, whether you've been challenged or not, demonstrate your integrity by highlighting honesty and your willingness to comply.

Rachelle's Answer
"I haven't ever been questioned on my trustworthiness, but if I did, I would cooperate fully and give everyone anything that they need to complete an investigation. I know that they'll need concrete details, so I'll do my best to give them this kind of information. I wouldn't take it personally because it's our job to maintain integrity and do our due diligence."
10.
What would your previous supervisor say about you?
Choose 1-3 character traits that are uniquely valuable to this particular position. For instance, as a surveillance operator, you'll be expected to be vigilant for long periods of time.

Give a brief example of this trait in action. Then follow up with how this character trait will benefit the company. Use quantifiable impacts when possible.

Rachelle's Answer
"My last boss would say that I'm very vigilant and that I have a great memory. One time, I helped detect a banned individual. He was caught stealing two years ago, and I remembered his face. He was in the middle of stealing a high-value object, and I notified loss prevention, and together we successfully prevented a $350 theft."
11.
Do you have an interest in criminal justice?
People who have a professional interest in a related field tend to take the job more seriously and will have lower turnover rates. Give the interviewer confidence that you're a good fit for the job by showing that you're engaged with the profession.

Explain your interest in criminal justice and connect it with your role.

Rachelle's Answer
"I do have an interest in criminal justice. I get upset when I see people getting away with crime, and I see my job as a surveillance operator as one way to try to prevent that. The cameras are always going to be recording everything, but it's up to me to monitor the video feed and report any suspicious activity. I also have to provide solid documentation because this might be used in an investigation from law enforcement. They don't have time to watch hours of footage, they depend on me to point them in the right direction. Criminal justice is very interesting to me and I want to be a part of the system."
12.
We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you saw someone stealing on the video monitor?
Demonstrate your trustworthiness and knowledge of professional standards. Give the interviewer a step-by-step description of the actions you would take in response to this situation.

Rachelle's Answer
"Immediately I'd write down the details: a description of the person, the location of the incident, the date and time, and the item that I observed was being concealed. I would immediately report it to my supervisor."
Anonymous Answer
"I would write down a detailed description of the person, where it happened, what time the incident occurred, and what was taken."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer reflects a good amount of knowledge/training, which is great! If you have ever come across a situation like this on the job, feel free to give a real-life example.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
13.
As a surveillance operator, it is very important to be detail oriented. How do you stay organized and focused on the correct details?
Demonstrate your observation process in a logical and step-by-step manner. Make sure that the details you note are the pertinent ones in this position.

Rachelle's Answer
"I developed a system that I use every day. I always make sure that I have a pad and working pen every time I come to the station. When there's an incident, I note down the second first because that changes in an instant. Then I note the minute.

Next, I observe how many individuals are involved so I know how many people I need to detail. I start from the left of the screen and jot down in shorthand the most identifiable: hair, eyes, and skin color, male or female, and their height and build. [...]"
14.
When have you shown great integrity at work?
Integrity is best displayed through honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way(s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer
"In my last position, I was responsible for the cash deposit on a daily basis. There was never a discrepancy, in the 4 years that I worked there. I best show my integrity by being a consistently reliable employee."
15.
What started your interest in surveillance?
Prepare a quick anecdote that illustrates key character traits that are important to the job. Start with 1-2 traits and explain how it enables you to be good at a skill. Move on to 1-2 other traits. End by tying it all together to explain why that makes you a 'natural' for the position.

Rachelle's Answer
"I'm a very observant person, and I'm a good judge of character. One time, when my friends were in a bar, I noticed a man who was a little bit out of place and paying attention to all the wrong things. From his body language, I thought that he might've been looking for someone to fight. I told my friends that we should move to other side of the bar to avoid any problems. And I was right: shortly after we moved, he started picking on someone and they got into a fight.

That's when I took an interest in surveillance. With all those cameras, I could see more and detect more."
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30 Surveillance Operator Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What do you know about our company?
  2. Walk me through your resume, highlighting your surveillance experience.
  3. If you could attend training of any kind, what would you choose?
  4. One of your coworkers starts making sexual comments about guests on the video monitors. What do you do?
  5. What is your greatest weakness?
  6. What are your long term career goals?
  7. As a surveillance operator you have many options to further your career path. What seems most interesting for you?
  8. What skills would you like to develop in this job?
  9. If you can, tell me about a time when your trustworthiness was challenged. How did you respond?
  10. What would your previous supervisor say about you?
  11. Do you have an interest in criminal justice?
  12. We have had concerns with employee theft recently. What would you do if you saw someone stealing on the video monitor?
  13. As a surveillance operator, it is very important to be detail oriented. How do you stay organized and focused on the correct details?
  14. When have you shown great integrity at work?
  15. What started your interest in surveillance?
  16. Are you a leader or a follower?
  17. How would you describe your personality?
  18. Why do you want to work for us?
  19. Have you ever had to deal with equipment failure? What did you do or what would you do in that situation?
  20. Your coworker consistently forgets to organize the tapes in chronological order before ending his shift and handing over the post to you. What do you do?
  21. Would you consider yourself tech savvy?
  22. What are your short term career goals?
  23. Do you have a criminal record?
  24. As a surveillance operator, you will be responsible for documenting any incidences. Do you have experience in writing and documentation?
  25. Do you have any post-secondary education?
  26. Have the jobs you held in the past required little attention, moderate attention, or a great deal of attention to detail?
  27. How do you involve your manager when you make a decision?
  28. Describe a time when you were asked to keep information confidential.
  29. Why are you the best candidate for this surveillance job?
  30. Name the top 3 skills you possess that will help you the most in this role.
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