Deciding to start a career as a security guard is a monumental decision. Not only does this career make a direct impact on the safety of others, but offers a myriad of potential career opportunities. While the security guard industry is governed by state and federal regulations, all jobs begin with the security guard interview.
As you complete training and licensing requirements, the hunt for your perfect security guard job begins. After the endless array of applications and cover letters, you finally score a coveted security guard interview. Much like any other job interview, these formal interactions provide an opportunity to understand a potential employer, but most importantly, it sets the stage for an employer to grasp your experience, efficiency and potential.
The most important part of a job interview actually happens days before you enter the air conditioned office. According to professional recruiters, preparation forms the cornerstone of a successful job interview. While you may have your own routine when it comes to preparing for an interview, the foundation of this process is outlining answers to the most common job interview questions.
To help expedite security guard interview preparation, here are several of the most common questions asked during a security guard interview. Use these questions to help formulate responses that demonstrate your expertise, experience and potential.
This is the most common question asked by security company hiring managers. The interviewer isn’t looking for a brief rundown of your resume. Instead of giving an overview of your experience, highlight your most recent and most impactful experiences. Don’t be afraid to tell a small story as it relates to your experience. Provide the interviewer with expanded information. Try and reveal your answer so it highlights skills and experience needed for the specific job you’re interviewing for.
Throughout the United States, security guards are often required to hold either a certification or license. In states where a security guard license is required to work, be prepared to briefly discuss your licensing experience and provide an official copy of your license. However, this question is more about additional coursework and certifications you’ve earned throughout your experience. If you don’t have any non-required certifications, speak about your desire to enroll in a specific certification course. This demonstrates your awareness of certification options and gives insight into your future goals and aspirations, which are beneficial if the job position relates to your future certification goals.
This question may be asked in many different ways, but the answer is universal. The hiring manager is asking exactly how you can intertwine with the existing policies and procedures of the company, while adding your own unique brand of work. This moment gives you a chance to truly shine. Discuss how your previous experience and training can translate into the known demands and requirements of the position. If possible, use real examples where you made a positive impact in your previous employers or training programs. Be as specific as possible. Generalized responses and non-specific examples are likely to dull your actual talent and ability. Remember, the interviewer doesn’t know much about you. This is your opportunity to shine a spotlight on what makes you unique, and how these qualities will benefit the employer.
This question often causes shy interviewees to clam up. Don’t be afraid to brag, actually, it’s encouraged as long as you know how to do it appropriately. During your interview prep, write down at least 3 of your most noteworthy strengths, but don’t stop there. Attach a relevant story from a previous work experience to highlight the real world impact of these strengths. Never simply recite a laundry list of generic strengths. Always describe each strength with a brief example. You’ll find this approach gives unique insights into your work ethic and talents, while intriguing the interviewer. As always, examples should be relevant to the requirements and duties of the position you’re applying for.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most frustrating questions asked during any job interview. In the minds of most job interviewees, why would you want to sit and outline your weaknesses? Isn’t this counterproductive? Actually, no. This question accomplishes two goals: highlights your self-awareness and provides insights regarding your acknowledged areas of improvement. The goal when answering this question is to provide an example highlighting your stated weakness. However, don’t stop here. Continue to describe how you turned this weakness into a strength and what your action plan is going forward to prevent this weakness from gaining strength.
The purpose of this question is to identify your engagement and curiosity about the security industry. You should never lie during this answer. If you haven’t enrolled in any official coursework, that’s fine. Do you read security industry blogs? Are you an active contributor to security industry forums? These are all ways of expanding your knowledge. While enrolling in official coursework and certification programs are traditional response, this doesn’t mean these education opportunities are the only acceptable answers. Be real and honest. If you have a desire to learn more, but simply haven’t had the time or finances, briefly mention your current situation while highlighting your desire to continue learning about specific topics.
The biggest mistake you can make when this common question is asked is to respond with, “No, I don’t think so.” This is a somewhat trick question. An employer wants to know how invested you are in their company and opportunities. Before the interview, thoroughly research the company. Compile a list of questions and/or comments about the company and their placement in the industry. Questions can involve company culture, promotion opportunities, current stability in the industry or even the company’s goal when hiring a new security guard. Try and formulate questions that provide deeper company insights, while highlighting your interest and pre-commitment levels.