You’ve been diligent about putting out your resumes and applying for security guard jobs, and you’ve finally scored an interview. Congratulations! Now you just have to ace it and you’ve got the job.
And if you want to ace that interview, preparation is everything. It’s especially helpful to know exactly what kinds of questions and answers that you can expect on the job.
Many security guard interview questions are actually quite routine. You may be asked to describe your training and certifications for example. But others might be a bit harder to answer. Use the guidelines below to craft good, confident, and solid answers to each of the following questions.
1. Why are you pursuing a career as a security guard?
What they want to know: They want to know that they’re not going to hire you only to have to replace you three months later because you’re desperate or coming in with a batch of unrealistic expectations. They also want to know that you aren’t trying to enter the field to catch up on your reading or your sleep.
What you should say: Stress the parts of the job that align with your personal values and goals. A good answer might stress your commitment to looking out for the well-being of other people, your trustworthiness, or any other quality which might demonstrate your commitment to the actual job.
Sample answer: When I worked in XYZ’s customer service department I learned that I was very good at diffusing so-called ‘difficult people.’ I actually had a lot of fun doing it, but I wanted to do something a little more meaningful. Since I was always the guy who watched out for the younger kids in my neighborhood and since I care about keeping other people safe I thought that this would be a good way to build on my strengths while offering me something that is a little more meaningful.
Why do you want to work for this company?
What they want to know: They want to know that you’ve done your research, and that you’re not just scouting to take the first job that comes along.
What you should say: At the very least you should make sure to pay attention to the company’s website. For extra credit, take a look at any recent news surrounding the company. Work this information into your answer.
Sample answer: I know that DK Security was recently awarded a 3 year contract to provide security at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and was actually quite interested in whether there might still be some openings with that contract. In addition, I know that DK has recently made the list of West Michigan’s 101 Best Places to Work. How could I not want to work here?
3. What are your greatest strengths?
What they want to know: What do you actually bring to the table as a security guard? Do you have any of the qualities they’re looking for?
What you should say:Choose qualities that really make a difference to a security guard career: attention to detail, integrity, calm under pressure, etc. Use examples to back up any quality you claim.
Sample answer: I think my greatest strength is my sense of responsibility and honor. For example, when I worked at ABC Retail Store and we closed up shop I was always the one double checking all of the locks and making sure everything was put away. I was also the one who was consistently trusted to bring the deposit to the bank because everyone knew that I’d never steal or do anything to harm my employer.
4. What is your greatest weakness?
What they want to know:They want to know that you’re not cocky or arrogant. They also want to know that you’ve thoughtfully evaluated yourself and understand that you have room for improvement. And they do want to know if there are any potential issues, as well.
What you should say: Be honest, but talk about what you’re doing to improve the situation.
Sample answer: Sometimes I try to bite off more than I can chew. I don’t like asking for help and I’d prefer to figure things out for myself. Because this has caused me problems in the past I’m trying to address the situation by being more open with my supervisors and my team, which at least gives them the option to weigh in or give me information I didn’t have before.
5. Tell me about a time you…
What they want to know: They want to know if you can actually get the results suggested by your resume, or if you have the qualities they need.
What you should say: This is where you’d use a “challenge–action–results” story tailored to the question. This means you outline the problem, describe the action that you took and what the result was. You can do this even if you don’t have much work experience.
Sample answer: Tell you about a time I handled a particularly volatile situation? No problem. Last year at the prom two guys got into it over a girl. They were about to get into a serious fight. I was able to step in and quietly talk them down. The fight never broke out, and the girl and her date left the dance. The other guy, her ex, went home and cooled off, and the party continued.
What about other questions?
It’s impossible to anticipate every question that you might receive during a security guard job interview. However, you can position yourself as the perfect candidate by considering what the employer is really trying to ascertain by asking that question. At that point, craft a confident (but not cocky) answer that gives them the information that they want while painting you in the best possible light. Good luck!