Australian Police Interview: 5 Hardest Questions (with answers)

When applying to join any Police agency in Australia, you will have to face at least one (probably more) interview stage. Of course, this means that interview skills are extremely important to getting you a job as a Police Officer! There are many different types of Australian Police interview you may face during the Australian Police Officer selection processes. Often, they also progress in difficulty. Generally speaking, the interviews are conducted by a panel of police officers, recruiters, and members of the community. The number of interviewers on the panel may vary between agencies, as well as their positions within the police service. You should visit the website of the agency you have applied to for specific information on this.

In some respects, these interviews are very much like other pre-employment interview proceedings you may have been through in the past. An Australian Police interview provides you with an opportunity to do more than just show officials why you are a quality candidate. They allow you to verbally explain why you are a good choice for the job.

So, here are 5 of the most difficult interview questions you are likely to face, with sample responses!

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Australian Police Interview Sample Question 1 – Why have you applied to join the Police Service?

This is an extremely basic and common question in an Australian Police interview, which you will need to be prepared to answer. Here are some ways that you might go about structuring your response:

  • What do you know about how the Police Service is working to combat crime?
  • Are there any particular aspects of the Police Service that are particularly appealing?
  • Do the police inspire you in any way?
  • What was it that got you interested in police work?
  • Are there any particular aspects of crime that you feel strongly about tackling?
  • Why do think that you are well-placed to deal with the issues that the police are facing?

Sample Response to this Australian Police Interview Question

I have always been interested in working as a police officer. My interest in the police started from a very early age, as my father was a member and has passed down the values of this agency to me. As such, there are several reasons for my wanting to join.

Firstly, I have huge admiration for the way in which members of the police behave on a day-to-day basis. Police Officers provide a highly professional service to the public, and as such command a huge level of respect in the community. Police Officers are role models in society, and need to set a great example to everyone. The professionalism and code of conduct that the Police operate under is extremely appealing to me. I am someone who tries to behave with moral integrity at all times, and I strongly believe in taking a professional approach to every scenario that I encounter.

Professionalism means being polite, considerate, fair and unbiased to everyone you meet. I believe in treating others as you would wish to be treated, and therefore, professionalism is very important to me. When working in my previous job as a customer service assistant, I was often required to deal with unhappy or disgruntled members of the public. I always made sure that I approached every situation with professionalism and integrity, in order to ensure that I met the demands of the customer. Police Officers must be able to hold themselves to a higher standard than the criminals that they are seeking to detain, and this is a value I hold very close to my heart.

Furthermore, I am someone who feels very strongly about the value of good public service. The number 1 priority of the police is to provide protection and safety to the general public, through the prevention of criminal activities. As such, public service is integral to good police work, and its impact upon the community cannot be overstated. Good public service means that you are someone who is able to interact with different members of the community. Meanwhile, you have to understand the varying needs of different communities. To me, good public service is extremely important. I have worked in customer service for most of my working life, at close proximity with the public. Therefore, I have developed a strong belief in providing the best service that I possibly can.

I feel as if I have put this skill into practice on a countless number of occasions. Particularly, when dealing with unhappy or frustrated customers. Good public service doesn’t just refer to the way in which you deal with the matter at hand. It means reassuring and comforting the person involved. Making them feel appreciated and as if their issue is a matter of urgent priority. Before you deal with the issue itself, you must deal with the person whom it affects. This, in my opinion, is a golden principle of good public service.

Finally, I am extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of working as part of a police unit, or team. One of the most refreshing things I learned from my research prior to application, was the importance of teamwork for the police. I understand that teamwork is absolutely vital for all members of the police. Officers don’t just have to work in unison with members of their field unit, but with staff back at the station too.

The reason I am so enthusiastic about this prospect is because I have a wealth of experience working in a team. On many occasions, I have served as team leader.
As team leader, I have learned a great many lessons. But, all of my experiences have taught me one thing – teamwork is invaluable. By working as a team, we can achieve tasks far quicker and more efficiently than we would solo. This is particularly important in police work, where there are often multiple factors to consider. Policing is not a one-person job. By working as part of a collective unit, we can tackle crime in a fast, efficient and organised manner, and protect the public in the process.

Australian Police Interview Sample Question 2 – What are the things that you believe make a good Police Officer?

This is another very common values and motivations question that you are likely to encounter in an Australian Police interview. When answering this question, make sure you don’t just tell the interviewer what makes a good Police Officer, but that you have these qualities already. Give brief examples to illustrate your point.

Sample Response to this Australian Police Interview Question

There are a number of qualities that make up a great police officer:

Firstly, police officers must have a strong belief in good public service. This is absolutely imperative. The central aim of the Police Service is to work in the interests of public safety and welfare. In order to meet this aim, it is imperative that officers believe in and can provide a high level of service.

Not only is it important to have a strong belief in what we are doing, but to actually deliver upon this! There are a multitude of different facets to delivering a good quality service. For example, organising, planning, and prioritising.

As someone who has worked within management roles in the past, I can tell you that I am highly experienced in delivering a fantastic service to the public. And, in motivating others to do the same.

Good public service means that you are responsible, polite and considerate at all times. By utilising these traits, officers can earn the trust of the public, and enhance the reputation of the Police Service as a whole.

Secondly, I believe it’s really important to be professional at all times. Police officers are role models for the public, and therefore it’s essential that they can act in a professional and responsible manner. Also to act with integrity, in line with police values and ethics. We must be able to recognise and challenge unacceptable behaviour. Also, spread an awareness and understanding of diversity, and promote fairness and equality. I believe this links strongly with another important quality, which is having an openness to change.

As a professional person, it’s essential that you are able to consider other possibilities and options. A professional person is resolute but not stubborn to the point of detriment. Only by considering all possible options, can we take a measured and correct approach to situations. In the same way, a professional person is always trying to improve. Change is simply another word for improvement. This is vital for anyone that wants to succeed in the Police Service. Technology is increasing at a rapid pace, and this gives officers access to a wealth of fantastic tools. Unfortunately, it also means that criminals are updating their methods, and using modern technology to get ahead. As police officers, it is our job to continuously improve and stay up-to-date with modern policing tools. This to provide the best level of service possible.

Finally, I believe strongly in the value of teamwork. This is something which has been extremely prominent throughout my career. I have had large amounts of experience working in teams. I know that working with others is extremely important as a police officer. It takes the collective effort of the entire police force, and justice system, to bring offenders to justice. The better we can work to maintain an efficient approach, the better public service we will provide.

I believe this links strongly with having the ability to make good decisions. Teamwork and leadership go hand in hand, someone has to take charge. Throughout my career I have always tried to take initiative and lead from the front where possible. In order to lead others, you must be able to lead yourself. Leaders must often make difficult decisions.

I am someone who is extremely comfortable in this role, and do not fold under pressure. I understand that difficult decision must be made when working as an officer. I am fantastically placed to do this.

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Australian Police Interview Sample Question 3 – “Tell me about a time when you have contributed to the effective working of a team?”

How to structure your response to this Australian Police interview question:

  • What was the size and purpose of the team?
  • Who else was in the team?
  • What was YOUR role in the team? (Explain your exact role)
  • What did you personally do to help make the team effective?
  • What was the result?

Sample Response to this Australian Police Interview Question

I like to keep fit and healthy and in order to do so, I play football for a local Sunday team. I am the captain of the team, and therefore it is my job to lead both on and off-the pitch.
In our last season, we had worked very hard to get to the cup final. We were playing a very good opposition team who had recently won the league title. The team consisted of 11 players who regularly spend time together during training sessions and at social events. After only ten minutes of play, one of our players was sent off and we conceded a penalty as a result. One goal down, with 80 minutes left to play, we were faced with a mountain to climb.

However, we all remembered our training and worked very hard in order to prevent any more goals being scored. Due to playing with ten players, I immediately decided that I had to switch positions and play as a defender, something that I am not used to. Also, as Captain, my role was to encourage the other players to not give up until the end. All the other players supported each other tremendously and the support of the crowd really pushed us on. The team worked brilliantly to hold off any further opposing goals and after 60 minutes we managed to get an equaliser. The game went to penalties and we managed to win the cup.

Three days after the cup final, I contacted the other members of the team in order to organise a meeting. While we had celebrated on the night, I was determined not to let us rest on our laurels. Winning the cup was a fantastic achievement, but the only way that we could repeat this the following year would be with hard work. I was also determined for us to win the league, which we had underperformed in.

In order to help me do this, I got into contact with someone who had recorded the whole match. After the individual sent me the files free of charge, I sat down at my laptop and watched the entire 90 minutes. Whilst I did this, I took detailed notes in relation to each player and how I felt they could improve/what they did well. I placed all of these notes onto a USB stick. On the day of the meeting, the whole team sat down and we went through what I had observed from the tape.

While they were surprised at the level of detail I had gone to, my teammates were extremely grateful for my input. They took my advice on board. I sent them the USB notes, and we began to work on each individual’s strengths/weaknesses in training. The following year, we won the league and retained the cup. I believe that this was down to our team unity, and my man-management techniques.

Overall, I believe that I am an excellent team player and can always be relied upon to work as an effective team member at all times. I understand that being an effective team member is very important if the Police Service is to provide a high level of service to the community that it serves. Effective teamwork is also essential in order to maintain the high safety standards that are set by the police. Crime cannot be tackled by one person alone, it takes the work of a cohesive unit in order to protect the public.

Australian Police Interview Sample Question 4 – “Tell me about a time when you helped someone who was distressed or in need of support.”

How to structure your response to this Australian Police interview question:

  • What was the situation?
  • Why did you provide the help? (Go for a situation in which you volunteered!)
  • What did you do to support the individual?
  • What specifically did you do or say?
  • What was the result?

Sample Response to this Australian Police Interview Question

One evening I was sat at home watching television when I heard my next-door neighbours smoke alarm sounding. This is not an unusual occurrence as she is always setting off the alarm whilst cooking. There had been at least 3 occasions in the past when she had fallen asleep, setting her kitchen alight in the process. As she is a vulnerable, elderly lady; I always look out for her whenever possible.

When I arrived next door, I peered through the window and noticed my neighbour sat asleep on the chair in the front room. Wisps of smoke were coming from kitchen so I knew that she was in trouble. I immediately ran back into my house and dialled 000 calmly. I asked for the Fire Service and the Ambulance Service and explained that a person was stuck inside the house with a fire burning in the kitchen. I provided the call operator as much information as possible. I included landmarks close to our road to make it easier for the Fire Service to find.

As soon as I got off the phone, I immediately went around the back of my house to climb over the fence. Mrs Watson, my neighbour, usually leaves her back door unlocked until she goes to bed. I climbed over the fence and tried the door handle. Thankfully the door opened. I entered the kitchen and turned off the gas heat which was burning dried up soup. I then ran to the front room, woke up Mrs Watson and carried her carefully through the front door, as this was the nearest exit.

I then sat Mrs Watson down on the pavement outside and placed my coat around her. It wasn’t long before the Fire Service arrived and they took over from there on in. I gave them all of the details relating to the incident. I also informed them of my actions whist in the kitchen.

Since Mrs Watson had no immediate family, I was called the next day by social services. They believed Mrs Watson should be moved to a care home. She appeared to be incapable of living by herself without endangering her safety. I carefully considered my options before giving them my recommendation. Although I knew Mrs Watson quite well, I certainly did not want to be responsible for her being moved against her will. Ultimately, however, I knew that was I dealing with medical professionals and therefore it was best to be truthful and honest.

I informed them that although I did not mind helping out with Mrs Watson, I believed it would be best for her own safety if she was moved to somewhere where professionals could take care of her. Although I was sad to see her go, I knew that this was the right decision. For both her own safety, and the safety of the community.

Australian Police Interview Sample Question 5 – Describe a time when you have helped to support diversity in a team, school, college, or organisation

How to structure your response to this Australian Police interview question:

  • What was the situation?
  • What prompted the situation?
  • What were the diversity issues?
  • What steps did you take to support others from diverse backgrounds?
  • What specifically did you say or do?
  • What was the result?

Sample Response to this Australian Police Interview Question

Whilst working for a construction company we received news that a new group of workers were coming from Poland. They were to spend six months on a project that I was heavily involved in. As soon as I heard the news I went to see my line manager to inform him that I would like to help the group settle in to their new surroundings. I offered to help them understand the requirements of the project. After a short meeting with my manager, he agreed that I could take up this voluntary role.

Before the workers arrived, I sat down and put together an action plan of what I wanted to achieve and how I would do it. The action plan included how I would help the new workers to settle in. I showed them around the construction company, introducing them to key members of staff. Also, I provided them with a point of contact if they ever needed any support during their six-month stay. I felt it was important to create an action plan, as I wanted things to be organised, methodical and to also meet my objectives.

As soon as the workers arrived I contacted the group’s leader and informed him that I would be their main point of contact during their stay with our company. I started to get as much information about the group, speaking to them on first name terms in order to break down any barriers that might be present. As soon as I had established a rapport with the group I then sat down with them to discuss the project.

I communicated with them in a pace that they could understand and established each group member’s strengths and weaknesses. Once I had gathered all of the facts we then commenced an initial two-week familiarisation period that enabled each group member to learn their role within the project and also understand the team’s objectives. Throughout this period, I supported the group and worked closely with them to achieve the project goals.

Once the familiarisation period was complete, we then commenced work on the project. Everyone within the group was clear with regards to the end goal and also, more importantly, the time-frame in which it had to be completed. The result was extremely positive. Not only did we work effectively as a team but we also managed to complete the end goal four weeks ahead of schedule. My manager was so impressed with the work I undertook with the group that he appointed me as company liaison manager for all future overseas visitors who came to the organisation.

Australian Police Interview Conclusion

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So, we hope that this rundown of tough Australian Police interview questions has helped you out. Four much more information on the Australian Police selection process as a whole, please visit our sister site.

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