Complete Interview Guide for Security Guards

Security Guard Interview Guide

You created a winning resume (maybe using our guide!), sent it off, and now you’ve been called in for an interview. This Security Guard Interview Guide covers everything you will need to nail that interview!  But first things first.  It’s normal to feel nervous. However, nerves will only cause you problems and reduce your chances of getting the security guard job.

In this guide, you’re going to learn everything you need know about security guard interviews, security guard interview questions, what you should wear, the right attitude, and more. Before any of this, we want to set the record straight of why interviews are important. Often, we lose sight of what interviews are for (ie. they aren’t designed just to get us all sweaty and uncomfortable!).

 What Employers Look for in a Candidate

For many years, the interviewer has been seen as the enemy throughout this process. Today, we want to change this perspective because…well, it isn’t true. Ultimately, in a security guard interview, the company is looking for a new team member. They have no desire to watch you suffer or potentially affect your life for better or worse with one decision. They need to find somebody who can become an asset to their company.

Furthermore, you’ll be interested to know that employers aren’t just going to ask you about your experience and education. Especially for entry-level positions, they’ve seen everything they need to see in this regard on the resume. Instead, they’re meeting you for the first time to look at your:

  • Punctuality
  • Personality
  • Demeanor
  • Attitude
  • Work Ethic

Later, we’re going to offer some common interview questions and how you can impress the employer with your reply. Now, we want to start with some basics of what an employer looks for in a candidate.

Security Guard Interview Guide Must-Haves

Understanding of the Company

If you don’t take the time to research the security company, what they do, and what services they provide, this will be a huge red flag. Rather than somebody who needs a bit of money, they want somebody who actually wants to join the team. Therefore, do some research, show some interest, and even ask some questions.

Your Drive and Ambition

What drives you to work in the security industry? What’s happened in the past and what are you looking for with the future? If you have a career road map in mind, there’s nothing wrong with explaining this to the employer. They might just be impressed that you’ve got a long-term plan.

Attentiveness

Sadly, too many people in a security guard interview think too far ahead. When you overthink, you can miss questions or seem like you aren’t paying attention. Therefore, we recommend focusing on the present and engaging fully with the conversation. Rather than giving a practiced answer to a difficult question (which normally doesn’t even apply), try your best to answer and talk naturally.  Pausing for a few seconds before giving an answer will also help with you appear as though you didn’t rehearse everything in front of a mirror.

Personality

Do you blame past failures on other people? Is it always the other person’s fault? Perhaps you turn every conversation into a negative conversation? In either case, the employer will get frustrated because they don’t want anybody who is not accountable for his or her actions on their team. As we’ve discussed in the past, security guard jobs today require communication skills and a positive personality when talking to customers. If you appear too robotic or overly involved, you will alienate customers.

Confidence

Are you confident in your ability to excel in the role and be an asset to the company? If so, show this in your body language and in the way you talk. These days, confidence is an underrated attribute, but it’s something that’s required in the world of security. While on this note, there’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance, so don’t fall into the second category.

Somebody to Mold

Finally, employers don’t want somebody who thinks they know it all. Instead, they want somebody willing to learn and adapt. If you show this, they know that you’ll be willing to do security guard training and other courses. If they can mold you into the employee they need, you’ll be an attractive candidate.

Adopting a Professional Attitude

Now we know the sort of things that are important to interviewers, let’s consider your attitude in the interview. Before walking into the room, you can be sure that they’ve looked through your resume and cover letter. After liking what they see, they’ve called you in to learn a little more and your professionalism will play a huge role in the next stages. Regardless of whether you’ve never had a job or have been in the military:

Here are three reasons why your professional attitude could get you security guard jobs:

Shows Self-Confidence

As soon as you walk into the room, you can walk with purpose, offer a smile to those sitting down, and say “thank you” when you are offered a seat. Although these three things may not seem important, they will be noticed if they’re MISSING. If you don’t smile, if you slouch, and just sit down without saying a word, the interview will be over before it’s even got started.

If necessary, have a mint before entering the room and make sure your hands are dry before the handshake (nobody likes a wet handshake!). Unless the interviewer tells you to use their name, address them as Mr, Mrs, or Miss and be confident while talking. When mumbling or stumbling over your words, this suggests a lack of self-confidence and this will be detrimental to the security guard interview. You can’t mumble while talking to customers because this will look bad on their company.

Of course, we aren’t saying you should sit back and put your feet on the desk. Instead, try to relax and enter the room with the mentality that you’ve already been hired.

You Can’t Make a Second First Impression

Often, people say ‘how do interviewers get everything they need to know from somebody from one interview?’. The answer? They don’t, it’s impossible. Employers don’t look for every single positive attribute that makes you right for the job. No, they look for one single red flag that makes you wrong for the job. If you don’t provide any red flags, you stand as good a chance as anyone at getting hired. Don’t just walk in and ask for the security guard salary, just stay calm and:

  • Arrive early
  • Dress smartly (more on this in a moment)
  • Have the confidence to make eye contact
  • Talk clearly
  • Sit up straight
  • Engage with the person/persons interviewing you

If you do this, you’re immediately ahead of those that fail these simple steps.

Our Security Guard Interview Guide Helps You to Stand Out

Finally, if you can get through the whole interview with no red flags, you’ll stand out. If faced with two candidates, employers will ALWAYS go for the professional attitude. Why? Because it suggests you’ll carry this with you when wearing their uniform. Also, it shows that you’re willing to take the interview seriously and that the job is important to you.

How to Dress for a Job Interview

“I won’t be wearing a suit as a security guard, so why should I for the interview?” – because you should be aiming for every advantage you can get. Remember, you could be interviewing alongside 30 other people. These days, the security guard and officer markets are competitive ones. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of employers say that clothes and appearance can differentiate one candidate from another.

Unless the job application or their email/phone call says differently, dress smartly. By turning up in formal wear, it immediately tells the employer that you’re serious about the role. With security guard jobs, we recommend smart clothing because it shows intent in a role that requires this same attribute.

Males

As an example, your dress pants should be a solid color and it can be paired with a lighter shirt. With formal shoes, you can then wear a smart office-style jumper or finish it off with a suit jacket. As long as you aren’t walking in with flip-flops as if you’ve just come off the beach, you should be fine. Just as we said before, it’s about limiting the red flags and not giving them a reason to put your application in the bin.

Females

Trousers can be worn, but skirts of a solid color and that reach the knee will also be fine. In our experience, we find it best to stick to closed-toed shoes and with a maximum heel of 2.5 inches. In terms of hair and makeup, go as natural as you can and don’t go over the top with lipstick or mascara. Finally, we also recommend a medium-sized bag that isn’t too noticeable.

Security Guard Interview Guide Top Tips

  • Before we head into the security guard interview questions, we want to offer some general tips for nailing the process.
  • Don’t leave the room with things that are still on your mind and that you want to say. Whether it’s about security guard training or skill you think you can add, say it. There’s nothing worse than walking home while remembering things you “should” have said.
  • Have questions ready for the interviewer. You could have the best interview in the history of all the interviews, but it will be ruined if you don’t ask questions. When they ask if you have one, a response of “not really” suggests that you’re not interested. You could ask the advantages of working in the office, the path of progression, or the most important attribute for a candidate, etc.
  • As you walk into the room, shake the interviewer’s hand and tell them you’ve been looking forward to the “meeting”. Suddenly, you’re just two people talking about a job rather than one being superior to the other.

Additional Security Guard Interview Top Tips

  • Find common ground. If you see a training certificate on the wall and realize you trained at the same location, mention this. Even if you have no experience in security, find something in the office that you can bring up. For example, a picture of a sports team, their calendar, college, or anything else. Instantly, they’ll feel a connection and you’ll get along.
  • Be proactive rather than passive. Just because your fate rests in their hands, don’t sit back and wait for them to do all the work. Like a conversation, engage in the dance and sell yourself (and your skills!).
  • Before you leave, ask them what happens next – don’t walk out of the building without knowing. Again, this shows a proactive approach and suggests you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
  • Finally, have a copy of your resume. If the interviewer has lost theirs, you can pull one out of your bag and already show your usefulness.

With these simple tips, you’ll set yourself up for success and make a great impression.

Security Guard Interview Guide – The Questions

As we’ve been promising, we’re going to finish with some of the most common questions in a security guard interview. As well as the questions themselves, we’ll delve into what the interviewer really wants to hear and how you can answer. Even if you’ve had no experience and are going for an entry-level security guard position, this final section will be brilliant preparation!

Describe a situation in your past that required teamwork to solve a problem?

If you don’t have experience in security, you can still think back to school, college, or life in general for this one. As long as you have a team-based story in mind, you’ll give them what they need. If you were in the military, you only have to tell one story and the interviewer will be putty in your hands.

For entry-level employees, think of school work, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, sports, etc.

Have you ever had to deal with an angry member of the public?

For the employer, they want to know that you can handle anger in a calm and competent manner. If you’ve ever worked in retail, we’re sure you’ve got plenty of stories in this regard. As long as you stayed calm and were able to provide a resolution, this is fine. At the same time, you can suggest the abilities and skills you displayed.

Tell us about a time where you dealt with an assault.

You may not have an example here, and this is exactly why we included it in this list. If you’re faced with a question that has no answer, be honest…DO NOT lie. If you genuinely don’t have an example, don’t assume it will go against you. Instead, ask if they would like a hypothetical situation. If not, simply move on to the next one.

How would you deal with downtime while working?

With most security guard jobs, there will be periods with not much to do. While security guard training courses cover angry customers and threats, they don’t cover this so it’s an interesting question. Ultimately, the employer wants to know that you won’t be distracted by a phone or something else. When asked, just explain that you’ll be prepared just in case your assistance is required.

After looking at these pictures of people, put them down and explain each in turn.

Ah, a question for which you can’t have an answer rehearsed. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t practice the exercise with friends and family. Essentially, the employer wants to know two things;

  1. That your observation skills are good enough.
  2. You don’t make assumptions or biases towards or against people.

Take a good look at the photos, picture them in your mind, and close your eyes while recalling if necessary.

Are you planning to stay with us long-term?

For many, this is one question that trips them up. While we never recommend lying, you also have to be aware that the truth isn’t always what they want to hear. If you want to treat the company as a stepping stone to something greater, they may not be interested. If you want a long career with them, get excited and show your passion.

What would you do if your colleague was sleeping on the job?

This is an interesting question because they want to test your loyalty to both your team and the company. In our opinion, a good answer would cater to both parties. For example, you could say that you would first give your colleague some advice. If it happens again, you would be obligated to report it.

Let’s face it, we all have late nights and difficult days. While one person might be up all night with a new child, others will face their own problems. As long as you don’t report them straight away without trying to help first, this would be an acceptable answer.

What would you do if an authorized person wanted to enter the building without their credentials?

If you have experience in the field, you can consider what you’ve been asked to do in the past. If you don’t have an answer in mind, suggest that you would be aware of the company policy and would follow this. While on the topic, you could ask them about their own policy, and it opens the door for a conversation.

Are you familiar with surveillance systems?

Again, the worst thing you can do in this position is to lie. If you say you’ve been working with systems all your life, what happens when they expect you to get started with no training? You’ll look a bit silly and the employer will be annoyed.

If you’re applying for an entry-level position, you won’t be expected to have lots of experience. Normally, you’ll be provided with security guard training depending on the systems the company uses.

What do you think your responsibilities are as a security guard?

With this question, your research will go a long way. As well as remembering what the company used on the job advertisement or posting, consider other responsibilities you might hold. For example, representing the company every time you wear the uniform.

What are your experiences with first aid training?

For employers, this question warrants a simple “yes” or”‘no” response. Most of the time, they aren’t challenging you. Instead, they’re seeing what training you need if they were to hire you. If you’re currently training towards a certification, mention this and how long you have to go.

Can you work overtime?

Sometimes, security employers ask this just to test your willingness to go above and beyond. If you have a genuine reason for sticking to your work hours, don’t be afraid to explain. For example, you may care for a parent or child. As long as you explain that you’ll always help when possible, you don’t have to be negative and reject it outright.

With these questions, you have an insight into the type of questions you need to prepare for before the big day. Rather than the individual questions, pay attention to the themes and WHY they’re asking them. Furthermore, you’ll find more questions on our website.

Get the Job You Desire Today        Best Interview Guide for Security Guards

We have provided you with the best Security Guard Interview Guide today. Regardless of your experience in the security industry, you CAN excel in an interview and it starts with our advice. If you want more great advice, sign up for Actual Interview Questions or look at another article on this website:  https://experiencedsecurityguardtraininghelpcenter.com/interview-questions-for-security-guards/?preview_id=18242&preview_nonce=e307415f06&_thumbnail_id=16791&preview=true

As long as you do your preparation, you’ll be in a better position than most others who apply for the same job. Our Security Guard Interview Guide just provided you with a ton of information and help aids. With this, you should now know:

  • What employers look for in a candidate
  • The importance of adopting a professional attitude
  • How to dress appropriately for a job interview
  • Interview tips for Security Guards
  • Security guard interview questions

Security Guard Interview Guide Conclusion

Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center, About Us, Security Guard Logo, Logo, Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center Logo

Finally, we want to say Good Luck! We here at Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center wish you the best. Remember, be professional and don’t give the employer an opportunity to put a red flag next to your name. Just like a driving test, the instructor CANNOT fail you if you don’t give them a reason to do so. Don’t be nervous and you’ll take the first step into security soon enough!

6 thoughts on “Security Guard Interview Guide

  1. Stacie J.

    What if the interviewer doesn’t ask ENOUGH questions and you feel you have more to say about yourself that could help you get the job? Should you not say anything extra as not to appear desperate?

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Security guards are always needed. The interviewer will have a set number of questions to ask you. S/he will ask you enough questions unless you do something that terminates the interview. At the end of the interview, you should always be asked if you have any questions. However, if the interviewer forgets to ask, this is when you let the interviewer know you have a few questions to ask. Show confidence, but only answer the questions you are being asked. If you feel you didn’t have a chance to give a complete answer, then when you are asked if you have a question, use this opportunity to complete your thoughts.

      Reply
  2. Colby

    I like the question examples you listed, like the ones to ask them when the interview is done. Do you think each company has something different in mind when it comes to the “most important attribute?” What do you think this answer would likely be for most companies?

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Colby, that is a difficult question to answer because there are so many small and large Security Companies. What we can say is that a few of our contributors and staff members who are now over the age of 40 have been asked this question 6 out of 10 interviews that they had. We here at Experienced Security Guard Training Help Center have given you pertinent information about the type of questions you may be asked. You may not be asked ALL of them, but you will be asked some of them! These companies are looking for a certain type of answer (to the most important attribute) and although we have been forthcoming in answering so many questions here on this website, we will leave this particular answer for those who are truly serious about being a security guard and can wait to find out the answer in our upcoming eBook! Now, we also want you to keep in mind that some questions are asked so the company can gauge your priorities, thought processes, feelings and work ethics. Some questions are not based on right and wrong answers.

      Reply
  3. Rick Merrill

    That’s a great tip about if they ask you about a time you dealt with an assault and if you don’t have an experience, ask if they’d like a hypothetical answer! This is genius. I actually don’t have any experience with this so I will keep this answer in mind.

    Reply
    1. securityguardsplus1 Post author

      Hi Rick
      Having a hypothetical answer shows the Interviewer that even though you haven’t had this experience before, you have thought about it and what you would do. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply

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