1. What would be your choice of weapon to carry while on duty?

A 40 caliber, but my department mandates a 9 millimeter.

2. Did you ever need to call the SWAT team?

I'm on the S.W.A.T. team as a hostage negotiator. We don't get called out very often, but we must be ready at a moments notice.

3. What kind of decisions do you find most difficult to take?

There is no right or wrong answer here. The logic behind this type of question is that your past behavior is likely to predict what you will do in the future. What the interviewer is looking for is to understand what you find difficult.

4. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction?

It's not a very fair question is it? We'd all love to get paid a Trump-like salary doing a job we love but that's rare indeed. It's fine to say money is important, but remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise, you're just someone looking for a bigger paycheck.

5. So, explain why I should hire you?

As I'm sure you know, "because I'm great" or "I really need a job" are not good answers here. This is a time to give the employer a laundry list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It's also good to avoid taking potshots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents, not other people's flaws.

6. Have you ever had to bend the rules in order to achieve a goal?

Beware of this type of question! Under no circumstances is it necessary to break company policy to achieve something. Resist the temptation to answer and give examples, as what the interviewer is looking for is to determine how ethical you are and if you will remain true to company policy.

7. What sort of person do you not like to work with?

This is not an easy one as you have no idea whom you would be working with. Even if you can immediately think of a long list of people who you don't like to work with, you could take some time to think and say that it's a difficult question as you have always gotten on fine with your colleagues.

8. How to Answer: "Why should we hire you?"

The money question. "Why" indeed. This is where you need to spend a ton of time thinking about the role, the competencies, and how you're the perfect fit.

9. Tell us how are you when you're working under pressure?

Once again, there are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually prefer working under pressure. If you say you crumble like aged blue cheese, this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

10. Would you rather be liked or feared?

I have been asked this a lot, in various incarnations. The first time I just drew a blank and said, "I don't know." That went over badly, but it was right at the start of my career when I had little to no experience. Since then I've realized that my genuine answer is "Neither, I'd rather be respected." You don't want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team. You may got the job done but at what cost? Similarly, if you're everyone's best friend you'll find it difficult to make tough decisions or hit deadlines. But when you're respected, you don't have to be a complete bastard or a lame duck to get the job done.

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11. Are you willing to travel or relocate if necessary?

This is something you need to have very clear in your mind prior to the meeting. There is no point in saying yes just to get the job if the real answer is actually no. Just be honest as this can save you problems arising in the future.

12. How to Answer: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Possibly one of the silliest questions - but it requires an artful and diplomatic answer.

13. Why Do You Want This Job as Highway Patrolling Officer?

Answer this question with a response that highlights why you would be a good candidate for the job and how enthusiastic you are about it.

Ensure that you show an interest in the job sector, understand the company and their ethos and show how your skills match their requirements.

14. Finally, do you have any questions to ask me?

I'll finish the way I started, with one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you've done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are. You'll probably want to ask about benefits if they haven't been covered already. A good generic one is "how soon could I start, if I were offered the job of course." You may also ask what you'd be working on. Specifically, in the role you're applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready, greeting this one with a blank stare is a rotten way to finish your interview. Good luck and happy job hunting.

15. Tell me about a suggestion that you have made that has been successfully implemented?

Here the emphasis is on the implemented. You may have had many brilliant ideas, but what the interviewer is looking for is something that has actually materialized. Be prepared to briefly describe how it went from an idea to implementation stage.

16. How to Answer: "Do you have any questions for me?"

Your questions here can either leave a strong, lasting impression on the interviewer, or make you come across as clueless. Here are some good questions to think about.

17. What do you think about the criminals having more powerful guns than you do?

One word. SCARY !

18. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented?

It's important here to focus on the word "implemented." There's nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad what's the point? Better still, you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt, that's not such a great example either. Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.

19. Are you willing to put the interests of X Company ahead of your own?

Again, another nasty question. If you say yes, you're a corporate whore who doesn't care about family. If you say no, you're disloyal to the company. I'm afraid that you'll probably have to say yes to this one though, because you're trying to be the perfect employee at this point, and perfect employees don't cut out early for Jimmy's baseball game.

20. What do feel are your greatest weaknesses?

This is usually the toughest question for any candidate to do well on. Handle this one poorly and the interviewers will fill in negative blanks you never knew existed.

First of all, this isn't about whether you bite your nails or 'must have' one of the hundreds of food treats that are bad for you. This isn't about weakness either. To handle this question strongly, treat it as you would your assets. What trait or attribute do you possess that you feel hasn't realized full positive potential? What behaviors of yours might, or have in the past, clashed with smooth performance?

These will be simple things. Don't look for complex 'problems'. Look for personality quirks that are translated into actions that might affect you in police work.

An example could be that you tend to be impatient. This could mean that sometimes you rush things, don't give situations and people time to fully develop, or cause you to make judgments quickly that later require adjustments when added information is available.

21. What do you feel are your greatest strengths?

This question, or one very close to it, will undoubtedly be asked in your interview and is your second opportunity to drive home the impression you made in the first question-if it was positive. If you thought you didn't do so well, then this question is your chance for a reprieve.

If your answer will cement the great first and second impression you made, then take this opportunity to drive home your best attribute wrapped securely in the one thing you do that's the core of your confidence.

Draw a direct line between your best, and the position, and department by focusing on the benefits your best will bring to both. This is not a time to brag or grandstand, but rather a time to make the most of an opportunity to show exemplary character and re-state your relative qualifications.

22. Tell us are you good at working in a team?

Unless you have the I.Q. of a houseplant, you'll always answer YES to this one. It's the only answer. How can anyone function inside an organization if they are a loner? You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though; it's a great chance to explain that you're a natural leader.

23. Tell me regarding salary, what are your expectations?

This question is always a tricky one and a dangerous game to play in an interview. It is a common mistake to discuss salary before you have sold yourself and like in any negotiation, knowledge is power. Do your homework and make sure you have an idea of what this job is offering. You can try asking them about the salary range. If you want to avoid the question altogether, you could say that at the moment, you are looking to advance in your career and money isn't your main motivator. If you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident you can get it, then it may be worth going for.

24. How to Answer: "What are your strengths?"

Your chance to toot your own horn - but make sure to do it artfully. Being able to do 20 pull-ups does not count as a strength.

25. If someone was interested in becoming a police officer, what would be some advice that you'd share with that person?

First and foremost law enforcement is not for everybody. You must be dedicated, loyal, humble but tough at the same time and understand that you won't get rich at this if it is your chosen profession. I would not discourage anyone, but I would really let them know what they're getting into.

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26. You are responding with another officer to a report of loud noises and the sounds of arguing coming from a house. Both officers arrive, check in with dispatch and approach the house. What are the next actions to take?

Look, listen and evaluate the scene.
Approach the door to the house, listen for further signs of a disturbance.
Step to the side of the door (officers have been shot through closed doors).
Knock firmly, identify yourself as a police officer and state that the door needs to be opened.
If sounds of a struggle-screaming, glass breaking, shouting-are heard a forced entry may be necessary to prevent injuries from occurring.
If the door is answered, establish whether anyone is injured and call for medical backup if needed.
Separate the involved parties, establish the mental state of each and check for weapons.
Start working the call to determine the nature of the dispute, the level of threat, etc. and if the situation can be resolved, or if an arrest needs to be made to keep the peace.

Domestic disputes are extremely unpredictable, often dangerous, calls. Weapons are often involved and either, or both, parties may be mentally disturbed, intoxicated or high-and always highly charged emotionally. Neighbors can also throw another dicey element into the mix.

Again, in this response, common sense dictates actions. Avoid a train wreck: stop, look and listen, then take your safety and the safety of all involved parties into account before you act.

27. How to Answer: "Describe Your Current (or Most Recent) Position"?

One of the easier questions to answer - but you'll still need to use it to highlight your job-relevant greatness.

28. Discretion is available to police officers to ticket traffic offenders, or to issue a warning only. Give me some examples where a warning would be appropriate, and explain why?

A person suffering a health problem that makes it difficult for them to maintain control of their vehicle, or to lose control of their vehicle. The person is reacting to the immediate pain or confusion resulting from the health problem and is unable to respond appropriately to traffic rules, signals or signs.

A person from another state fails to observe a no left turn sign, due to being unfamiliar with the area, or even turns onto a one-way street against traffic (but there is none to show the obvious fact of traveling in the wrong direction). The person may be lost, traveling under stress/tired or trying to follow directions instead of watching signs closely enough.

A person is speeding within department policy tolerance, has no prior violations and admits being distracted by something that has just occurred-like finding a water leak upon coming home for lunch, or receiving tragic news, etc. The person is operating below their usual at that time, for a specific reason.

In lieu of issuing a summons, a verbal warning is more likely to gain future voluntary compliance of the law.

The guiding factor is common sense and the option to forgive the offense under the circumstances. Your answer can show that you are aware of special circumstances, of the need for humanity in decision-making and of opportunities for community service with compassion.

29. Resisting arrest, a wanted traffic offender lunges at the arresting officer with a knife. Is the use of deadly force warranted?

Yes, the suspect is using deadly force against the officer.

Common sense dictates that the threat to an officers' life takes precedence over the original offense that initiated police response. Police common sense will further dictate that the threat of deadly force by an officer will be enough to gain control over a situation and secure officer safety.


All 'What If' questions are designed not to test you on proper police procedure, since a candidate cannot possibly possess such knowledge. Instead, they are designed to show the interviewer your ability to place events in common sense perspective in order to act with reason and to not allow panic or emotion to pull your decision trigger.

Use your ride along experience to good advantage here. Remember how the officer reacted to various situations and what precautions were taken to insure the safety of all concerned.

Take a moment to consider the question, be sure you understand all the elements involved and be certain of what the interviewer is asking of you. Listen carefully. Do not assume you know what will be asked and tune out before the question is completed.

30. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it's crucial. Here's the deal: Don't give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead give a pitch-one that's concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you're the right fit for the job. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.

31. When can you start?

Be careful about this question for a few reasons. First of all, it doesn't mean you "got the job." They may be just checking to add that to their notes. You must keep your guard up until you are in your car and driving away from the interview.

If you are currently employed, you should be honest about the start date and show professionalism. You should tell them you would have to discuss a transition with your current company and see if they require a two-week notice. If you currently have a critical role, your potential new employer would expect a transition period.

If you can start right away (and they know you are not currently employed), you certainly can say you're able to start tomorrow. Sense of urgency and excitement about starting work at the new company is always a good thing.

32. How to Answer: "Why do you want to work here?"

Repeat after me: Don't say "for the money" - Don't say "for the money" - Don't say "for the money"

33. What has been your biggest professional disappointment/achievement so far?

If asked about disappointments, mention something that was beyond your control. Stay positive by showing how you accepted the situation and have no lingering negative feelings. If asked about your greatest achievement, choose an example that was important to you as well as the company. Specify what you did, how you did it and what the results were. Ideally, pick an example that can relate to the job positions you are applying for.

34. 15 Very Good Questions To Ask A Cop:

☛ 1. How long have you been a police officer for?
☛ 2. How long have you wanted to become one?
☛ 3. Do you like the job?
☛ 4. What made you want to become one?
☛ 5. Do you have family members in the law enforcement field?
☛ 6. What was the worst call you ever had to respond to?
☛ 7. What was the most tickets you gave to one person at one time?
☛ 8. What did you think of the police academy?
☛ 9. Would you to be moved to be an undercover or a narcotics officer one day?
☛ 10. If you weren't a police officer what would you be?
☛ 11. How many times have you had to show up in traffic court because someone fought a ticket you gave them?
☛ 12. How many days a week do you work? How many hours?
☛ 13. Have you ever worked with your town's K-9?
☛ 14. Ever been in a police chopper?
☛ 15. Did you ever need to call the SWAT team?

35. 15 Common Interview Questions To Ask A Cop:

☛ 1. Are you into S & M?
☛ 2. You wanna meet me somewhere?
☛ 3. Can u cuff someone with one hand?
☛ 4. Do you enjoy frisking female arrestees?
☛ 5. Does it turn you on?
☛ 6. How often does your job sexually excite you?
☛ 7. What would you do if someone you arrested came on to you, and there was just you and her in a remote area?
☛ 8. Are you married?
☛ 9. Does your wife know what you're really like?
☛ 10. If someone you're arresting really pisses you off, are you above being extra violent with them?
☛ 11. Would you take me on a ride along?
☛ 12. What would you do if I was behind you in a line up at a doughnut shop and I tried to take your gun out of the holster?
☛ 13. What would you do if I were behind you in a lineup at a McDonald's and I elbowed you sharply in the back but made it look like an accident?
☛ 14. Did you become a cop because you want to help people or because you like being in an authoritive, powerful position?
☛ 15. Did you answer my questions honeslty?

36. New 15 Common Questions To Ask A Cop:

☛ 1. What made you decide to be a cop?
☛ 2. Do you find your work interesting?
☛ 3. How long have you been a cop?
☛ 4. How long have you been working in this town?
☛ 5. What has been the most satisfying arrest you have made so far?
☛ 6. Are their any calls to duty that you dread getting?
☛ 7. What kind of hours do you generally work?
☛ 8. Is anyone else in your family a cop?
☛ 9. Have you ever been seriously hurt on the job?
☛ 10. Have you ever worked with a K-9 dog?
☛ 11. Does your family worry about you when you're on the job?
☛ 12. If yes to #11, who do you think worries the most?
☛ 13. What do you think about the criminals having more powerful guns than you do?
☛ 14. What would be your choice of weapon to carry while on duty?
☛ 15. Do you feel cops are on duty 24/7?

37. There is a need for an officer to respond as an emergency vehicle, lights and siren, and exceeding the speed limit. What type of situation would warrant this emergency response?

Officer needs assistance radio call
Armed robbery in progress/pursuit
Shooting
Multiple vehicle accident with fatalities, or serious injuries
Attempting to stop a speeder or drunk driver

Emergency response means a life-threatening situation-and common sense dictates that this means lights, siren and exceeding speed limits.

38. What can you tell us about this position?

This is where your research of the position and the department will make the difference. The answer seems obvious, rattle off the stated qualifications of the posted position. But if you do that, you'll miss a huge opportunity to impress the interviewer with your determination to know the entire picture.

Present your research trail on discovering information on the position and the department. Stress that you wanted to know about the community this position would serve, so you extended your search to include the city website, a visit to city hall, etc. If you're already a resident of the area, use that fact to show that your personal history is tied to the community and serving it as an officer would be your honor.

39. How would you see your future, say, 5 years from now?

In order to show that you have a life plan that extends beyond your interview, you need to have an answer to this question that leaves no shadow of doubt as to your commitment to your new, hoped-for profession and the department that would give you your start as an officer.

Your answer needs to be succinct and address your anticipation of professional growth through your continued pursuit of escalated responsibilities and your successful achievements within those expanded duties. You foresee your future as a solid rise to more responsibility by accepting responsibilities and performing beyond expectations.

40. How to Answer: "What is your greatest weakness?"

A question that can sink you unless you're careful. Obviously, "I work too hard" is not the answer.

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41. How many days a week do you work? How many hours?

I work 5 days a week, 8 hours per day.

42. How to Answer: "Why are you looking for a new opportunity now?"

The question that can either put your interviewer at ease or raise serious red flags.

43. Ever been in a police chopper?

No. The opportunity never presented itself.

44. How to Answer: "Tell Me About Yourself"?

Your elevator pitch that gives the interviewer a quick idea of who your are - for better or worse.

45. If you weren't a police officer what would you be?

I would be in financial services. I presently have a life insurance license and I would like to get a securities license and segway into that arena before I retire.

46. What is your greatest strength/ greatest weakness?

You have many strengths, but pick the one they need help with the most. Is it your expertise in a particular skill? Is it your ability to turn low-performing teams into high performers? Share something that makes them think they need to hire you…right now.

I hate the "greatest weakness" question. Everyone knows it's a trap, and everyone knows the candidate is going to say something trite (popular example: "I'm a perfectionist"). When you give a real answer, you are being genuine. You are admitting you have some growth opportunities and are not perfect. But you can include that you already have a plan to overcome this weakness through training or practice.

Some people even insert a little humor in their answer-"I wish I was better at tennis." You can, too, if you feel like the interviewer has a sense of humor. But, be sure to quickly follow with a serious answer. Showing you have a lighter side is usually a good thing.

47. Do you feel cops are on duty 24/7?

Absolutely. We were taught that from day one.

48. What was the worst call you ever had to respond to?

Any call involving a child being violated either sexually or physically. There's no rationale or justification for touching a child.

49. What makes you the best person for this job?

This is the 'why do you want to be a police officer' question-and your chance to make your case for you, the best candidate they'll meet.

Your preparation for this question should begin by identifying when you decided police work was your dream, and what created that desire. Your opening sentence should define that dream, when it happened and why.

"I always wanted to be a police officer, my dad and his dad were officers and I've always wanted to follow in their footsteps."

No matter what your reasons, make them rock solid in your mind and heart, so when you begin your answer your passion for the choice is clear.

From there show the interviewer what you've done to prepare yourself for becoming an officer. This can be done by noting specific job-related events-schooling, security jobs, volunteer work with a police department-or by noting elements of certain jobs that relate to police work and how your interest in these elements reaffirmed your decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. This last part can take some thought, but is worth it. You want to convince the interviewer that a career as a police officer is a goal you are committed to at every level of your beliefs.

50. So, Tell us about yourself?

This isn't a question at all-this is your second 'first impression'.

If you did well with the initial meet at the opening of the interview, this is your chance to nail that great start firmly into place. And if you haven't prepared a rock-solid answer, you'll be in for a long, uphill battle for the rest of the interview.

To set things straight, the interviewer does not want to know your favorite color, music or food groups. The interviewer wants to know about the "you" that wants to be on their police department. The professional you.

Your answer must showcase the attributes you possess that relate to police work: your education and intelligence, your confident enthusiasm and dedication to goals, your perseverance and reliability.

Keep your answer brief (90-120 seconds), well-defined (make your point and move on) and easy to follow (say it so they hear it, and remember it).