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Lifeguard Interview Questions

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  1. Have you ever had to deal with disruptive guests in a pool or beach setting? How did you resolve the issue? See answer
  2. What are some items that you feel you absolutely must have for your shift? See answer
  3. Have you had prior experience where you had to supervise children in a pool setting? See answer
  4. Can you describe how you take care of yourself throughout your shift to maintain your alertness? See answer
  5. What are some of the most important characteristics that a lifeguard should have when they’re out on duty?
  6. Do you your CPR certification, and do you keep up to date on it needs to be renewed?
  7. Are you calm under pressure? What examples can you provide me relating to your experience as a lifeguard?
  8. Do you know how to check the pH levels in a pool? Describe the process.
  9. Have you ever experienced a serious incident as a lifeguard? What happened and how did you react?
  10. A child has pale coloration around their mouth and eyes. They complain that their arms and legs hurt and they feel nauseous. What is the likely cause and how do you respond?
  11. What is your process for cleaning the facility before, during and after hours?
  12. Your facility reaches capacity, but a family demands to be let in. How do you calm them down and resolve the situation?
  13. A parent continually leaves their young child in the pool, unsupervised. How do you enforce facility rules while maintaining customer service?
  14. A guest continuously dives in a “no dive” zone. How would you approach them and help them understand safety rules?
  15. Your supervisor asks you to work on your day off. Without a certain number of guards, they won’t be able to open the facility. What do you do?
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6 Lifeguard Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What are some of the most important characteristics that a lifeguard should have when they are out on duty?

A:

Listen for overlap in both of your expectations. You want your potential candidate to understand the importance of a few key qualities for this position. Make sure that attentiveness and responsibility are two of the traits that they list. You want a lifeguard to be comfortable in difficult situations and to be ready to jump into action the second they spot somebody in need of assistance. What to look for in an answer:

  • Attentiveness in a distracting environment
  • Ability to handle responsibility
  • Willingness to take initiative and reinforce the rules as necessary

Example:

“A good lifeguard should always be on the lookout for danger and be prepared to engage the guests if their lives are potentially at risk or if they are being unlawful.”

Q:

Have you ever had to deal with disruptive guests in a pool or beach setting? How did you resolve the issue?

A:

This question can give you insight into the candidate’s people skills in difficult situations. Being able to deal with disruptive individuals, whether at the beach or the pool, is vital to a lifeguard’s skillset. They should be firm but gentle enough to avoid making a potentially frustrating incident worse. Understanding de-escalation techniques and being knowledgeable in conflict resolution are both tremendous bonuses in this regard. What to look for in an answer:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to de-escalate a potentially difficult situation
  • Understanding of the importance of professionalism

Example:

“Guests have argued with the rules before. I firmly explained that they are in place for a reason and I am obligated to enforce them.”

Q:

What are some items that you feel you absolutely must have for your shift?

A:

Though some equipment may vary depending on whether the lifeguard is supervising a pool or a beach, you want your potential candidate to be well versed with the tools of the trade. Ask them about some of the specific things that they should be familiar with and pay attention to how they prioritize what to bring. There is a baseline expectation to have knowledge of items like first aid kits and spine immobilizer boards. What to look for in an answer:

  • Familiarity with basic lifeguard equipment
  • Willingness to adapt according to the situation
  • An understanding of required first aid procedures

Example:

“I like to bring my whistle, spinal immobilization board and first aid kit with me so that I feel ready for just about any situation.”

Q:

Have you had prior experience where you had to supervise children in a pool setting?

A:

Taking on a supervisory role is a key aspect of a lifeguard’s duties. You want to know that the professional you are considering hiring has worked successfully with others in the past and is comfortable with speaking up in noisy environments that may also be chaotic. A pool filled with young children may be especially loud, so effective public speaking is a necessary part of this job. What to look for in an answer:

  • Comfort level with loud, active environments
  • Experience with supervising children
  • Extra vocational training in public speaking

Example:

“I have worked in a water safety education program for young children in the past, so I am very comfortable working with kids.”

Q:

Do you have your CPR certification, and do you keep up to date on it when it needs to be renewed?

A:

Avoid working with candidates who do not have their required certifications. A CPR certification is vital to maintaining a position as a lifeguard, especially in the event of a sudden emergency. You want to make sure that the applicant will be able to intervene with career-specific training should someone be drowning or hurt. Make sure that their certification is renewed fairly frequently as well. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledgeable in the basics of CPR
  • Certifications to practice as necessary in the field
  • Timely updates of all certification exams

Example:

“I am up to date with my CPR certification exam, and I recently helped host an emergency first aid seminar regarding the benefits of CPR.”

Q:

Can you describe how you take care of yourself throughout your shift to maintain your alertness?

A:

Lifeguards spend hours outdoors in the heat and sunlight. The measures they take to care for themselves throughout their shift have an impact on their ability to watch over swimmers, make rescues or administer medical care. This question helps interviewers decide whether a candidate has the right habits to take care of themselves so they can keep others safe.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Ability to stay hydrated and eat healthily
  • Understanding of how their alertness impacts others
  • Self-awareness

Here's a possible answer to this interview question:

Example:

"I always have two 32-ounce water bottles with me and I make sure to drink small amounts at a time to prevent nausea, especially on really hot days. My goal is to refill them every two or three hours to stay hydrated. On breaks, I stay in the shade and use my time to reapply sunscreen or eat small snacks like berries, granola bars or nuts. I also keep a cooling cloth around my neck to prevent drowsiness so I can effectively monitor the pool area."

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