8 Questions to Expect in Your Next Security Job Interview

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Finding employment in the security guard job market often requires candidates to impress employers during the interview process. Practice and preparation are key to success in this regard.

When it comes to acing your security guard interview, there’s plenty of information to consider, including understanding the role, researching the company, showcasing your experience and qualifications, and demonstrating your knowledge of protocols and procedures.

In this blog, we built on these concepts by outlining eight questions for you to practice with, offering you tips for effective preparation and responses along the way:

1. Can you tell me about your previous experience as a security guard?

  • Preparation: Review your past security roles, focusing on duties like monitoring surveillance systems, patrolling premises, and responding to incidents.
  • Response: Describe your responsibilities in previous security positions, emphasizing the aspects of the role that showcase your reliability and attention to detail.

2. How do you handle difficult or emergency situations? Can you provide an example?

  • Preparation: Think of a challenging situation you’ve faced in a security role and consider the steps you took to resolve it.
  • Response: Consider using the STAR method to structure your answer: describe the Situation, the Task you needed to accomplish, the Action you took, and the Result of your actions. Highlight your ability to remain calm under pressure and follow protocol.

3. What would you do if you noticed unauthorized individuals on the premises?

  • Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the specific protocols and procedures for handling trespassers or unauthorized individuals.
  • Response: Explain how you would approach the individuals and how you would ask them to leave the premises. Offer an effective approach you would take if the individuals object to your request. Outline how you would reach out to law enforcement, if necessary, while maintaining a professional demeanor and ensuring that everyone involved is safe.

4. How do you prioritize your duties during a shift?

  • Preparation: Consider how you manage tasks such as patrolling, monitoring surveillance, and documenting incidents.
  • Response: Discuss your specific method for prioritizing tasks based on security risk and site-specific requirements. Don’t be afraid to show off your organizational skills and offer examples of how you have implemented effective time management skills in the past. Also, highlight your ability to multitask effectively while maintaining vigilance.

5. What measures do you take to ensure the safety of the premises and its occupants?

  • Preparation: Review security procedures such as access control, emergency response, and incident reporting.
  • Response: Outline your approach to maintaining a secure environment through regular patrols, monitoring surveillance systems, conducting thorough inspections, and promptly addressing any security breaches or hazards.

6. How do you handle conflicts or disturbances among individuals on the premises?

  • Preparation: Think about conflict resolution techniques and de-escalation strategies.
  • Response: Describe how you approach conflicts calmly, assess the situation, and attempt to defuse tensions through effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Mention your experience in handling such situations peacefully and professionally.

Techniques and Strategies

Preventing conflicts while on the job is important. However, despite your best efforts, incidents can still happen, which is why it is essential to understand ways you can mitigate intense situations with various individuals. Consider how you incorporate the below methods in your daily tasks and how you might relay your experience and knowledge of them to an interviewer.

Conflict Resolution Techniques

  • Active Listening: Practice attentive listening to understand the concerns and emotions of those involved in the conflict. Show empathy and respect towards their perspectives.
  • Remaining Calm: Demonstrate your ability to stay composed and maintain emotional control, even in tense situations. Your demeanor can directly influence how others respond to the conflict.
  • Assertiveness: Communicate clearly and assertively while respecting boundaries and avoiding aggression. Use confident body language and maintain eye contact.
  • Problem-Solving: Approach conflicts by finding mutually acceptable solutions. Propose compromises or alternatives that address the underlying issues causing the conflict.
  • Mediation Skills: If appropriate, act as a mediator between conflicting parties, facilitating constructive dialogue and guiding them towards resolution.

De-escalation Strategies

  • Assessment: Quickly assess the situation to determine potential risks and the best approach for de-escalation.
  • Empathy and Understanding: Show empathy towards the emotions and concerns of those involved. Acknowledge their feelings and validate their perspective.
  • Communication: Use calm and non-confrontational language. Speak slowly and clearly to diffuse tension and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Offering Choices: Provide options or choices that can empower individuals involved in the conflict, helping them regain a sense of control.
  • Physical Environment: Consider how the physical environment might impact emotions and behavior. If possible, move individuals to a quieter or more neutral space.

Scenario-based Practice

To improve your handling of conflicts or disturbances in the future, try role-playing scenarios that mirror real-time situations. You might even reference these in your interview to further demonstrate your skills in this area.

  • Role-Playing Exercises: Practice scenarios in which conflicts escalate and you must intervene. Act out different roles to practice using conflict resolution techniques effectively.
  • Feedback and Reflection: After each practice scenario, solicit feedback from peers or mentors on your approach. Reflect on what worked well and areas for improvement.

7. What would you do if you discovered a fire or other emergency situation?

  • Preparation: Review emergency response protocols, including evacuation procedures and fire safety measures.
  • Response: Explain exactly how you would notify occupants, assist with evacuation if needed, and alert emergency services while ensuring your own safety and following established procedures.

8. How do you stay vigilant during long shifts or periods of low activity?

  • Preparation: Consider strategies for maintaining alertness and focus throughout your shift.
  • Response: Discuss techniques such as regular patrols, varying patrol routes, staying physically active, and using technology like surveillance equipment effectively to stay alert and attentive.

General Tips For Effective Interview Preparation

  • Understand the Role: Familiarize yourself with the specific responsibilities and requirements of the security guard position you’re applying for.
  • Review Protocols: Study security protocols, emergency procedures, and any specific regulations relevant to the site or organization.
  • Demonstrate Reliability: Emphasize your punctuality, dependability, and commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment.

General Tips For Effectively Responding to Interview Questions

  • Be Clear and Concise: Provide specific examples and demonstrate your understanding of security principles and procedures.
  • Show Initiative: Highlight instances where you took proactive steps to enhance security or resolve issues.
  • Highlight Soft Skills: Emphasize your interpersonal skills, ability to work independently, and dedication to ensuring the safety of others.

By preparing thoughtful responses that showcase your experience, skills, and commitment to security, you’ll be well-prepared to excel in a security guard job interview.

Find Your Next Security Guard Position with SGO

Ready to discover your next career move? With Security Guards Only, you can find featured job listings in multiple cities such as Toronto, Chicago, London, and more. If you would like to learn more about our platform, we invite you to sign up!


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