How to Answer Questions in a Correctional Officer Interview

By J. Johnson
Correctional officers can work in jails with all age groups.

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A correctional officer can be a challenging career choice, and as a correctional officer, you'll have a very important job to do. Basically, you will be in charge of overseeing people who are in jail. With that position comes the responsibility of watching potentially dangerous prisoners and knowing how to deal with any problems that arise. But before you can work as a correctional officer, you'll need to impress the supervisor of a jail, penitentiary or reformatory during an interview and prove that you have what it takes to do the job well.

Prepare an answer for when the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself. This is commonly one of the first questions in the interview. Try not to talk about obvious credentials that the employer can see on your resume. Instead, talk about why you got into law enforcement in the first place and why you feel passionately about working as a correctional officer.

Speak positively about your past employers and highlight your relevant experience in law enforcement. Interviewers will commonly ask you to talk about your past positions. This gives you the opportunity to describe your career path and your qualifications for the correctional officer position, such as how long you've been working in law enforcement or your military experience.

Tell the employer that you plan to continue working as a correctional officer within a jail, penitentiary or reformatory, depending on where you're interviewing, when asked about your future career goals. The employer needs to see that you're serious about your career as a correctional officer and that you're not just looking for any law enforcement job.

Talk about a relevant, but not necessary, job skill when asked about weaknesses. For example, you might talk about how you plan to continue getting into better physical shape or how you'd like to receive additional training in certain types of weaponry, such as using high-grade Mace or a certain type of firearm. Make it clear that you're perfectly capable, but that you feel additional training can only help your job performance.

Don't be afraid to brag a little when asked about your strengths or how others might describe you. A career as a correctional officer requires the ability to think and act fast in potentially dangerous situations, as well as good judgment and health. List your positive attributes and try to give an example that demonstrates them, such as a situation in the past where you had to think quickly to solve a problem.

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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