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Police Officer Interview Questions

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  1. Why do you want to work as a police officer for this department? See answer
  2. How would you describe your last police chief, and why did you leave the job? See answer
  3. What do you consider to be your greatest failure on the job, and how did you learn from it? See answer
  4. How do you get along with the different personalities in the police department? See answer
  5. What strategies would you use to remain objective and treat all civilians equally while on the job? See answer
  6. How would you describe your last police chief?
  7. Filling out reports, documenting interactions with the public and completing paperwork is an important aspect of being a police officer. How do you stay organized and make sure your administrative work is accurate?
  8. How will you make a positive impact on the local community through your actions as a police officer?
  9. As an officer, you may have to mediate problems between others and handle direct conflict with civilians. What techniques do you use to deescalate conflict while on the job as a police officer?
  10. How would you handle communication barriers when interacting with people who don’t speak English while on patrol?
  11. What does the chain of command mean to you, and what would you do if you disagreed with a direct order from a sergeant?
  12. How do you stay calm and focused on protecting the community during stressful or frustrating situations?
  13. How do you plan to grow your career in law enforcement and what area would you specialize in if you had the opportunity for a promotion?
  14. Do you have a strong understanding of local traffic laws so that you can successfully direct traffic and perform traffic stops?
  15. How would you handle someone making false police reports and continually calling the police for personal issues?
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6 Police Officer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Why do you want to work as a police officer for this department?

A:

You don’t want to hear an answer where the candidate thinks a police officer job is “cool” or “exciting.” They should give you an honest and well-thought-out answer. The applicant should have a personal history of wanting to help and protect the community. They need to know that police work is more than chasing suspects. Their answer should have a commitment to promoting the image of the department. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of the importance of law enforcement
  • A reflective and personal answer
  • Dedication to helping the community

Example:

“When I was a child, I witnessed a scene with police officers taking charge of the situation. I always admired their commitment to protecting the members of the community. “

Q:

How would you describe your last police chief, and why did you leave the job?

A:

If you are interviewing an experienced police officer, you want to learn their reasons for leaving the previous position. Your candidate should not be focusing on the negative. They should concentrate on the positive qualities of their former boss and former location. Look for a valid reason for changing jobs. Once again, you want to hear answers about how they have learned from their experiences at the last department. What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to learn from past experiences
  • Truthful and thoughtful answer
  • A focus on the positives of the job

Example:

“My last police chief taught me the importance of community outreach. It is important to listen to every member of the community. “

Q:

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the police officer position?

A:

This question will give the applicant the chance to reiterate their strengths for the job. These answers should be confident but not boastful. They must provide real-life examples of how they exceeded expectations on the job and touch on past experiences of their police officer career. You want to find a candidate who understands the importance of a police officer in the community. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience on the job as an officer
  • Ability to work with people with different personalities
  • Willingness to learn new procedures and techniques

Example:

“I always strive to become a better police officer. I regularly take classes to improve my techniques on the street, so I can act quickly in certain situations.”

Q:

What do you consider to be your greatest failure on the job, and how did you learn from it?

A:

Every job has its ups and downs, and law enforcement is no exception. You do not want to hear about personal life stories that show an overall dissatisfaction with the candidate’s life. They need to focus on a small mishap that has changed the way they work on the job. Their answer should show they made mistakes and that they used those situations to grow and to improve in their professional life. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to learn and move on from past mistakes
  • Willingness to be self-reflective
  • An honest and personal response

Example:

“Early in my career, I thought the training classes were unnecessary. However, one day, I encountered a situation that needed an immediate response, and my training helped me through those tough times.”

Q:

How do you get along with the different personalities in the police department?

A:

A police department is filled with many people from different backgrounds. Your candidate should know how to manage various personalities. It can be difficult to work with some people in the department or on the streets, but they need to maintain a professional image on the job. They should be able to handle interpersonal conflicts. What to look for in an answer:

  • Professionalism on the job
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Tolerant and patient demeanor

Example:

“I had a partner who just didn’t mesh with my personality. One day, we sat down and discussed our differences. A little communication went a long way toward creating respect and understanding, and we were able to resolve our issues.”

Q:

What strategies would you use to remain objective and treat all civilians equally while on the job?

A:

This question addresses the important issue of favoritism and discrimination within the police force. Police officers may have to interact with people they know, like friends and family, during traffic stops and investigations, so it's important for them to understand the ways they can uphold integrity and differentiate between their personal and professional lives. They should also be able to put aside any personal biases when interacting with people different from them.

A good answer will include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Respect for others
  • Logical thinking

An example answer could look like this:

Example:

"I always remember that when I'm wearing my police uniform, I'm representing the letter of the law. By giving anyone special treatment, I'd be undermining the laws that I signed up to enforce and causing distrust in the community. I always abide by best practices when interacting with the public, and give out the same allowances or consequences based on people's behavior, not their appearance or relation to me."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021