42 Security Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in becoming a security professional, knowing the types of interview questions employers might ask during an interview can help you prepare your answers. Interviewers ask a variety of questions to understand more about your personality, skills, experiences and qualifications. Preparing or practising answers before your interview can help you show employers why you're the ideal candidate for a position. In this article, we explore 42 interview questions with some sample answers and include some tips to consider, which can help you prepare for your next interview.

General security interview questions

These general security interview questions help an employer learn more about your personality and interest in the position:

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.

  2. How would your previous employer describe you?

  3. Do you consider yourself an attentive person?

  4. What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?

  5. Why are you interested in this job?

  6. What are your career goals as a security guard?

  7. Explain your previous experience as a security guard.

  8. What skills make you qualified for this position?

  9. What's your favourite part of being a security guard?

  10. What's your least favourite part of being a security guard?

  11. What would you do during your downtime at this job?

  12. How comfortable are you with being on the premises alone in the evening?

  13. Are you able to work night shifts primarily?

Related: How to Write a Security Officer Cover Letter (Plus Examples)

Questions about security experience and background

These questions help an employer determine if you have the right experience and background for a security position:

  1. What industries have you worked in as a security guard?

  2. Please explain what your responsibilities were in your last security role.

  3. How have your previous experiences prepared you for this role?

  4. What's your greatest strength as a security officer?

  5. What's your greatest weakness as a security officer?

  6. Describe your experience with different security systems.

  7. Do you have any previous medical or CPR training?

  8. How do you help guests and employees feel safe?

  9. What procedures do you typically use to keep large crowds under control?

  10. How do you stay alert and attentive during a shift?

  11. Have you ever dealt with a difficult visitor? What did you do in this situation?

Related: Security Guard Duties (With Career Steps and Key Skills)

In-depth questions

These in-depth questions help an employer gain specific insight into your skills and qualifications as a security guard or officer:

  1. What was the most challenging situation you've experienced as a security guard? How did you handle it?

  2. What strategies do you use to diffuse high-tension situations?

  3. What strategies would you use to protect our facility, employees and yourself?

  4. How would you handle theft or vandalism?

  5. What would you do if an intruder broke into the facility?

  6. What would you do if someone you knew tried to enter the building without the proper credentials?

  7. Have you ever had to save a person's life?

  8. What would you do in a security emergency where the facility is understaffed?

  9. What would you do if you noticed a fellow security guard slacking off on the job?

  10. Describe a time you had to work with others to solve a security problem.

  11. Describe a time when you had to collaborate with the police.

  12. Can you tell me about a time when you intervened in a physical conflict?

  13. What training or certifications do you think can benefit you in a security role?

Related: 8 In-Demand Cyber Security Roles (Plus Skills and Salaries)

5 interview questions with sample answers

Here are some example interview questions with answers to help you understand how you might answer these types of questions in an interview:

1. What training do you have that relates to the role?

This type of question can help employers better understand your qualifications and how they can benefit the organisation. When answering this question, describing your training and how you can use it in a security role can help you answer this question effectively. Some useful training to consider detailing for this type of interview question includes first aid certification, conflict resolution training or emergency management training.

Example: "In my previous role as a security guard, I was able to get First Aid certifications along with CPR and AED certifications. This helped me respond to situations more effectively with the knowledge that I can help guests beyond just providing basic situation responses. I think these certifications, along with the conflict resolution training I've completed, can make me an effective team member for your security team."

2. Tell me about a time when you successfully de-escalated a situation.

Describing past situations you've helped de-escalate can help employers better understand your communication, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for security professionals because they help professionals effectively complete their duties. When answering this type of question, focus on the techniques you used to help de-escalate the situation and what skills you used to fully understand and respond to the situation.

Example: "During my time as a security guard for another company, I responded to a situation where a customer was arguing with a customer service representative. I arrived on the scene and asked straightforward questions to further understand the situation. During my questioning, I was able to have the customer redirect their focus to me rather than the customer service representative, which helped both individuals calm down.

From there, I stepped away from the situation with the upset customer, which enabled the customer service representative to resume their duties. Using a calming tone, I was able to communicate with the upset customer about potential solutions to their problem. I calmed the upset customer down and found an agreeable solution and the customer ended up leaving a positive review on the company's website."

3. What do you consider suspicious activity?

This type of question can help an interviewer assess your critical thinking, observation and attention to detail skills. Describing what you consider suspicious activity and your process for verifying and responding to suspicious activity can help you emphasise your security skills. This can also help an employer better understand how you might perform in a security role with the company.

Example: "When establishing potential suspicious activity, I first analyse an individual's body language and the scene around them for anything out of place. After my quick evaluation, I either review video recordings or approach them to ask some questions. If I have to approach them, I ask some general questions to gauge their responses. Based on their responses and attitude, I can determine whether to continue my line of questioning, dismiss their activities as non-malicious or inform the appropriate authorities."

4. How do you remain vigilant during a long night shift?

Many security professionals work long hours or work overnight. Employers want to ensure that you have several strategies to help you remain aware during these shifts so you can remain effective in your security duties. When thinking of your answer, think of the different ways you can increase your energy or focus, such as moving around or drinking coffee.

Example: "I enjoy physical activity and drinking coffee, so I always ensure that I have a travel mug with coffee readily available during my shift. If I feel drowsy during my shift, I either drink some coffee or get up and start moving. I find that moving around helps me stay even more focused and refreshed than just drinking coffee alone."

5. Have you ever saved a person's life?

Depending on specific circumstances, you may be able to save someone's life. Employers want to know if you have previous experience with this challenging situation. In your answer, be honest about whether you've had to save a person's life. If you have, explain the steps you took to help this person, and if not, discuss what you might do if this situation ever occurred.

Example: "When I worked as a security guard at a popular tourist attraction, a guest stopped breathing. Luckily, I am trained in CPR and knew what to do. I ordered my coworker to call an ambulance while I administered CPR. When the medics showed up, I helped them safely get the guest onto a stretcher. Then, I began to calm other guests and diffuse any panic by reassuring them about the situation and answering questions. I later heard from the hospital that the individual was in a stable condition."

Tips for security interviews

Here are some tips to consider, which can help you answer questions effectively during your security interview:

  • Practise your answers. Thinking about and practising your answers to different types of interview questions can help you answer questions concisely and effectively during an interview. Asking for feedback from a trusted peer can help you understand what items to expand upon or improve for your upcoming interview.

  • Prepare your own questions. Creating a list of questions to ask during your interview can help you show employers your enthusiasm and interest in the position. This also can help you clarify information about the company and the security position.

  • Remain authentic and upbeat. Remaining authentic and upbeat can help employers better understand you and your personality, which can help them envision how you might align with the organisation. Staying authentic and upbeat during the interview can also help alleviate stress and answer questions effectively.

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