You might also find it’s a fit for you if you’re looking for part-time work or a temporary gig. It’s such a diversified field that just about anybody can find a security job that fits their criteria. But, once you find that job, it’s all about nailing that interview.
If you’re getting ready for a security officer job interview, then this is the place to be. At Zippia, we’re experts in all things related to jobs. That gives us the inside scoop on what it takes to be a security officer and what employers are looking for.
To help you feel confident during your job interview, we’ve collected some sample questions and answers that you might encounter at your interview.
Feel free to use the information to help you sail through your job interview with the recruiter or hiring manager. Just remember to add your own personal experiences, education, and expertise. Coming off as genuine, trustworthy, and honest is a key part of this job.
These questions are specific for security officers. You might be asked these same questions or ones that are very similar. Being prepared is the best option, so you’re already on the right path.
This is a pretty important question for an interviewer to ask if they’re looking to hire a security officer of any sort. They need someone who is good in an emergency and doesn’t get too freaked out by stress.
You should honestly answer this question and have it be an acceptable answer, but if you are bothered by stress and don’t do well in emergencies, then this might not be the job for you.
I feel that I handle stress, pressure, and even emergencies quite well. I’ve been in a few urgent situations where I stepped up and acted without giving it much thought. My instinct is to help, and I tend not to be overwhelmed by stress. Outside of emergencies, I like to run or exercise when I get stressed or feel there’s a lot of pressure. I tend to externalize rather than internalize stress because I know it will soon pass.
How would your previous employer describe you?
This is a great question for you. It gives you a chance to give yourself a job recommendation. Make sure you point out your good qualities and don’t spend any time dwelling on weaknesses.
My last job was during high school, and I worked at the local Pizza Barn. My employer and I got along very well, and he has said he’s happy to give me a job recommendation. I was always willing to take on extra shifts and stay late when needed. I worked there for three years and learned the ins and outs of the business. Eventually, he trusted me enough to make me part of the opening and closing crew, and I have keys to the business and often do the lock-up at the end of the night. I’d say he would describe me as loyal, trustworthy, hard-working, and friendly.
Another purely personal question. Answer with honesty but make sure it reflects favorably on the position. Check out our potential answer.
I’m going to school to become a police officer, or at least that’s my plan for next fall. In the meantime, and during school, I will need a part-time job to help me pay the bills. This nighttime security position is perfect for my schedule during the summer and during school, and I feel it will give me important skills and training that will help me become a better police officer in the future.
What are your work values?
This one might take some homework on your part, especially if you’ve never thought about it before. It’s a good thing to ponder before a job interview.
I think I have a strong work ethic. My parents are farmers, and I’ve always helped out on the farm. That means we get up early, and sometimes we have to stay up late. Everyone chips in and works until the job is done. I think that has largely shaped who I am, and I enjoy a good day’s work – it makes me feel productive. Beyond that, I believe in teamwork and honesty and treating everyone fairly.
How comfortable are you working alone?
If the job requires you to work alone, then you’d better be prepared for this question and know how you’re going to answer it.
I’m very comfortable working alone. I’m a self-starter, so I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do, and I don’t feel I need to have people around me all of the time.
How do you feel about working during the night?
If you’re not comfortable working alone at night, you might want to look for a different security officer position. Remember, there are many of them out there with flexible hours. Sometimes you work in teams – you can certainly find something that fits your needs and personality.
Growing up on the farm, there are days where we work through the night. On the other hand, we get up most mornings when other people still consider night. It doesn’t matter to me one way or another. I’ve always been good at getting sleep when I can and being awake to work when necessary. If you’re wondering if I’d be afraid in the dark, the answer is definitely not.
What would you do during your downtime on the job?
This can be tricky because you probably don’t know what is allowed or required.
Well, I’m not sure how much downtime there would be and what is allowed with this position. If we are allowed to do other things, I will take advantage of the time to study.
What skills and qualifications do you have that you think would make you a good security officer for us?
Don’t just focus on strength. Give your soft skills a bit of credit, too.
Well, I’m obviously quite strong as I work out regularly, and working on the farm builds muscle, too. But it’s more than that. I think my desire to help people, see right win out, and protect makes me a good candidate for this job. I think that’s what is driving me to want to be a police officer in the future. I’m a reliable, dependable, and honest person. I’m also trustworthy, and I think that’s very important for this job.
What would you do if you caught someone breaking onto our property during your watch?
Again, this question depends on the job and what their protocol is. It’s okay if you don’t know the exact answer.
Because I don’t know the protocol for this position yet and having had any training, I’m going to have to give you an educated guess on my answer. But I would assume that I would assess the situation, contact the police if necessary. Perhaps set off an alarm system, and then follow whatever protocol there is.
Have you ever felt like you were in physical danger on the job? How did you respond?
Whether you have or have not been in danger at work, they’re looking for a nice, level-headed response. You want to prove that you can handle stress.
Working on a farm, you’re always one misstep away from danger. You must stay alert, pay attention to all safety procedures, and immediately respond if things aren’t going exactly how you expect them to. I’ve learned that it’s better always to be cautious rather than trying to take shortcuts or do things quickly.
What surveillance systems have you worked with in the past?
Today, a lot of security work is technology-based. If this is your first job, there’s a good chance you don’t have much familiarity with security systems, but that’s okay. Just stress that you can and are willing to learn.
To be honest, I haven’t had much experience with surveillance systems. We do have an Arlo system on the farm to watch outbuildings, but I’m sure I can learn any system as they seem pretty intuitive these days.
Have you ever been in a physical or violent situation?
This is a reality of the security business. Most businesses encourage their staff never to get involved physically with customers, etc., but there’s not much you can do if you’re attacked. Again, they’re looking to see how calm, cool, and collected you can be.
Not really. I’ve broken up a couple of fights that people were having at school or in football, but I haven’t been involved in any. Typically, my size and the fact that I work out regularly works to my benefit.
Do you have CPR training?
This is a bonus for some security officer jobs, especially if you’ll work with others or in a business or a festival-type setting.
I don’t have it at this point, but I know I’ll need it as part of my training to become a police officer. I’d be happy to enroll and get the training early if it’s necessary for this position.
If someone who works for our company tried to enter the building after hours and without their credentials, what would you do?
This is a tricky question, isn’t it? It depends on the company, its size, its rules, etc. Once again, you shouldn’t be expected to know this off the bat without training, so don’t sweat it.
I suppose it would depend on the situation and who the person is. I assume that access to the building protocols and off-hour protocols would be part of the training, so I don’t really feel comfortable answering the question until I know your specific procedures.
What would you do if you suspect a co-worker was stealing or not performing their duties?
There’s no doubt there that they want you to speak up and report it. Understandably, you’ll probably have some inner conflict about the situation, but as far as your employer is concerned, there’s only one good answer.
I would have to report them to their or my supervisor. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it unless I had good reason and some facts to back me up. I’m not someone who typically jumps to conclusions, and while I believe in gut instincts, they just wouldn’t be enough in this situation.
In addition to questions geared at potential security guards, there are some very common questions that get asked during interviews. You can expect the interviewer to give you a few of these, too.
Typically, these questions are open-ended, meaning they have no right and wrong answers. You just need to answer honestly. That means that our answers really wouldn’t help you because they’re so personal. But you can contemplate the questions and suggestions below and practice answering.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This can be tricky. Telling them what they want to hear or giving them the truth are both options. Your best bet, go with honesty.
So many ways to answer this question, but our best advice here is to stick to facts relevant to the job or a huge part of your life. It’s in your benefit to share information that will make you seem better than any other candidate for this position.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a dreaded question by many interviewees. In the past, you were told to take a strength and make it sound like a weakness – don’t do this. It just comes off as disingenuous. Instead, focus on actual weaknesses. Doing this shows you’re self-aware and you’re looking to improve. Those are good things, and nobody’s perfect.
Whether you haven’t left the job, you quit, you were fired – whatever the reason, let them know the truth but cushion it a little bit. You never want to come off as impulsive, derelict in your duties or a bad employee. Prepare for this question so you can come up with the answer that shows your situation in the best light.
Do you have any questions?
Not a question about you, but this is your turn to ask questions. Your best approach is to have some questions prepared in advance and note questions that come up during the interview.
The impulse is not to ask any questions and end the interview as soon as possible. But the better choice is to ask questions that show that you’re very interested, you’re contemplating the job, and you’ve been engaged in the interview process.