Here we have provided the top 10 most asked security guard interview questions along with suggested answers that will help prepare for your interview. Preparing will help you give great answers and also help you relax so you can let your personality shine through in the interview, showing that you are the right person for the job.
1. Why are you interested in working as a security guard?
It is important to demonstrate a strong interest in the position and in the company. Make sure to do some research before attending the interview. Having prior knowledge of the company will help you to align your answers with its vision and values. If one is available, read the position description thoroughly and think through how you fulfill the requirements of the job. You will want to answer this question by showcasing the characteristics you have that are important to this role, such as honesty, punctuality, alertness, physical fitness, a calm but assertive attitude, a low profile, and a drive to help people. Avoid answers that indicate you are just looking for any job, even if this is true.
I have always found that I enjoy positions that offer the opportunity to have a positive impact on a person’s day. As a security guard, I am presented with many opportunities to do just that, whether it be through just smiling and being polite as the first staff member someone entering a site comes in contact with, or by providing a feeling of safety to other people working on the site. I am a naturally calm but assertive person who is good at keeping a low profile. I believe rules and procedures should be followed, and that a person’s integrity is of utmost importance. Given the nature of the security industry, I feel a role such as this provides me with the opportunity to use my skills and enforce my values.
2. What do you think are the main tasks or responsibilities of a security guard?
While it may seem as though this a very straight-forward question, it gives the interviewer the opportunity to gauge your knowledge, experience and the research you have done. Make sure to give well thought out and detailed answers. Try to use keywords in your answer that are role or industry-specific to show a good understanding of the industry.
The role of a security guard can be very varied, and tasks may change in an instant, depending on the scenario you are faced with at the time. First and foremost, a security guard needs to ensure the safety and security of both the people and the property at the site at which they are working. They are required to observe and report on any incidents, perform routine checks of the site, and monitor the electronic surveillance. A security guard will also need to alert emergency services in the event of an emergency and aid in any way that is required.
3. Tell me about a time when you have dealt with a person experiencing heightened emotions such as anger or aggression.
As a security guard, you are likely to experience situations in which you are required to deal with a person who is being angry or aggressive. If you have previous experience, give an example of how you dealt with the situation. Be sure to pick an example that had a positive outcome. If you are new to the industry, explain how you would approach the situation and discuss any training or research you have done in this area. Remember that the key to answering this question is displaying your ability to remain calm and follow protocols.
When faced with an angry or aggressive member of the public, the key is to remain calm and not to do anything that would trigger further escalation. So I would make sure to speak in a polite and calm manner and display passive and non-threatening body language. Before dealing with the person in question, I would ensure that there are no bystanders that may be harmed. Then, I would make sure that the person’s concerns are heard. My goal would be to resolve the person’s issue in a peaceful and non-physical way, using rational discussion and techniques acquired during my training in conflict resolution. If I am unable to de-escalate the situation in this manner, I would seek assistance from my colleagues or supervisors before using physical restraining tactics.
4. Are you aware of the physical demands of the job, such as standing for long periods? Are you capable of meeting such demands?
Security guards are often required to look after an area for long periods of time without breaks. They may be required to walk patrols, stand guard or even chase intruders off the property. In order to effectively do this, you will need a certain level of physical fitness. If you are obviously in great shape, talk about your fitness routine and your endurance. If you are clearly in questionable shape for a job that may involve chasing people, you should be on a workout regime that will change that, and you should bring this up in the interview. Also, consider wearing clothing to the interview that de-emphasizes that you are out of shape.
I am aware that performing the duties of a security guard can be physically demanding and know I can meet these demands. I have always prided myself on trying to maintain my fitness and make sure I look after my health well.
5. Due to the nature of the security industry, you may be required to work unusual hours, such as nights, weekends and extended shifts that could go for longer than 12 hours at a time. Are you comfortable with this aspect of the role?
Security guards are known to work long shifts, even up to 20 hours or more in a day. They also do not have the liberty of the standard 9-5 job. Being able to demonstrate you are willing to work nights, weekends and for long times is especially important. The employer wants to ensure you are going to be reliable and that it will not be faced with having to cover your shifts. You need to demonstrate that you are committed to the role and have the necessary availability to fulfill it.
I understand the importance of being reliable. I have considered the fact that security guards can have irregular working patterns and do not foresee any reasons why I would be unable to meet this requirement. I am available for any shifts, including nights, weekends and long hours. I do not have anything in my personal life that would interfere with being available, punctual and reliable.
6. What precautions do you take to ensure your own personal safety?
A security guard job can be an extremely dangerous job, and knowing how to keep yourself safe is essential. In this question, the interviewer wants to see that you are well prepared, safety-conscious and will not act recklessly. It is important to display that you understand the risks involved in this line of work and the ways to mitigate them.
I take safety very seriously. Before each shift, I check to make sure I have all the appropriate personal protective equipment and that it is in good working order. I perform regular risk assessments throughout my shift and always have an escape plan should I be faced with an extremely dangerous situation. I treat everyone I come across with respect and do not do anything to provoke or antagonize. I have practiced de-escalation techniques. I also look after my own physical and mental wellbeing to ensure that I always have a clear mind while on shift. Finally, I am constantly observant, take notes of any hazards and do what I can to mitigate them.
7. Do you have any emergency medical knowledge or training, such as CPR or First Aid?
Security guards are often the first responders to emergency situations, so skills and training in First Aid and CPR are highly desirable. If you have completed training in these areas, be sure to let the interviewer know and bring your certifications with you. If you used your First Aid or CPR skills in a previous role, give an example. If you have not yet completed this kind of training, you can tell the interviewer that it is something you would be very interested in learning.
I have not yet had the opportunity to take First Aid or CPR training, but it is something that I would like to do. I am naturally calm under pressure and good at assessing situations. This type of training would be very helpful to emergency situations I might encounter as a security guard. I am confident that I would be able to successfully use these new skills in a real-life scenario.
8. How would you describe your ability to use various pieces of technology to assist in completing your duties?
Security guards often use a wide range of technology to assist them with their daily duties. Some common things that you may encounter include CCTV and other video monitoring, computer programs, mobile devices, electronic gates/barriers, and sign-ins. Knowing that you are tech-savvy is important for a potential employer. If you have previously used these or other devices in your work, you can explain to the interviewer what you have used. If this is your first time working in the security industry, you should speak to your general ability to use technology and your interest in learning new technologies.
I consider myself to be very tech-savvy. I have experience using a wide range of technological devices, including computers, phones, tablets, etc. I am a very quick learner and pick up programs and devices without any problem. I am very methodical and detail-orientated, so I have no trouble in using complex systems or troubleshooting when I encounter problems. I enjoy learning about and using new technology, devices and gadgets.
9. Are you comfortable with carrying a firearm as part of your duties?
Security guards can be required to carry a weapon while on duty. The interviewer is looking for several things when asking this question. On top of knowing if you are comfortable having a firearm on your person, they are also looking to discover your temperament. It is essential that you do not speak to a love of guns or shooting. What they want to hear is that you understand the power of a weapon, but also that it is a last resort and that you respect the responsibility that comes with carrying one. If you have a license to carry, a license for ownership (in applicable U.S. states), have done any training, or regularly do target practice, be sure to tell them.
I am comfortable with carrying a weapon. I understand the deadly nature of a firearm and do not take lightly the responsibility that comes with it. My preference is always to exhaust all non-violent solutions to a problem before using force; however, I am not afraid to use the tools at my disposal if the situation requires it.
10. What do you do to remain alert and motivated during slow periods or downtime while on shift?
Working as a security guard, there can be a lot of downtime. A potential employer wants to know that you can be trusted during this time and that you will remain alert and aware of your surroundings. The last thing they need is a security guard who is taking naps or watching movies and misses an incident because of this. You want to make sure that you demonstrate the ability to remain focused and vigilant, even during the quiet periods.
I understand that it can be difficult to stay focused for long periods when there is little happening. To ensure that I am always alert, I like to create a routine that enables me to always remain engaged and vigilant. This may include a number of things, from adding extra checks of the property or extra communication with other staff members or supervisors, to simple things such as ensuring every hour I spend a couple of minutes to stretch, go for a walk or do another form of physical activity to keep myself alert and energized.
Next 30 Most Asked Security Guard Interview Questions
- What methods/processes do you use to determine how to approach a challenging situation?
- Can you tell us about a time you have experienced interpersonal conflict with a colleague or supervisor, and how did you resolve it?
- What previous experience do you have related to this position?
- What do you consider your greatest strength?
- What do you consider to be the area you most need improvement or development? (This is a question about your greatest weakness.)
- Do you have experience in controlling large groups?
- What do you think makes a successful team, and how do you contribute to it?
- Have you ever had to deal with an incident involving an assault?
- What relevant qualifications do you have for this position?
- What defensive tools do you have experience using (i.e., gun, taser, baton, etc.)?
- What is your availability?
- Do you have any vacation planned in the next six months?
- What tactics do you employ to stay calm in confrontational situations?
- When have you had to deal with an unauthorized entry in a previous role? How did you deal with the situation?
- What would you do if you witnessed a fellow security guard failing to follow correct protocols?
- What do you consider the key pieces of information that should be recorded in an incident report?
- How do you ensure the correct handling of confidential information?
- Can you tell me about a time where you have had to remove a person from the premises?
- How would your friends describe you?
- How would you describe your ability to prioritize and multitask?
- How would you rate your verbal and written communication skills?
- Are you available for on-call or ad-hoc shifts?
- Do you have a driver’s license?
- What aspect of the security guard role do you find most enjoyable?
- Would you consider yourself to be an honest and ethical person?
- How would you approach a person that you have deemed to be behaving suspiciously?
- Can you give me an example from your previous experience where you have successfully defused a violent situation?
- Have you had any training in conflict resolution?
- What are your long-term goals, and how does this position fit your career path?
- Why are you the ideal applicant for this role?
10 Best Questions to Ask in a Security Guard Interview
Once the interviewer has asked you all the questions they have, they will usually give you the chance to ask questions of the interviewer. Take this opportunity. The questions you ask can be a further opportunity to show the interviewer you want this job. The questions you ask can also help you assess whether the company is a good fit for you. An interview is a two-way process.
- What training is provided to new staff members?
- Are there opportunities for career advancement within your organization?
- What do you look for in a perfect candidate?
- What is the next step in the recruitment process?
- How do you define success in this role?
- Can you recommend any further activities I can undertake to increase my chances of being successful?
- Why do your current staff like working for the company?
- What policies or procedures do you have in place to assist with keeping staff and the public safe?
- Why has this position become available?
- Can you explain a typical day in the life of a security guard at your company?
Have you ever heard that if you are not early, you are late? Well, punctuality is critical for this position. So ensure you know where the interview is precisely (including floor number, etc.), have planned how you are going to get to the interview location and have backup options just in case. Be there early. Be dressed sharply. Yes, security guards have casual uniforms, but this is an interview and is a formal event. Show that you care and are prepared. If you have prepared for your interview, now is the time to relax so you can show a calm confidence in the interview. You can do this!
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.