If you’re applying for a role as a police officer, then you are almost certain to be asked the question: ‘Why do you want to become a Police Officer?’ The answer to this question will tell the interviewers an enormous amount about you, your motivations for applying, and whether you are the right fit for the job. So, with this in mind, you need to make sure you get your answer spot on!
In this blog, we’ll provide you with some fantastic tips on how to answer the question ‘Why do you want to become a Police Officer?’, and show the interviewers that you are the best candidate.
How To Look At This Question
When answering any interview question, it’s always a good idea to try and put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes, especially if they ask you ‘Why do you want to become a police officer?’
Think about what makes a good police officer, and think about what doesn’t. Using this, we can briefly brainstorm a list:
A good police officer:
- Cares about the general public.
- Cares about making a difference to the community.
- Wants to help others.
- Wants to work as part of a reputable and efficient team.
- Wants to grow and improve themselves.
A bad police officer:
- Is only applying because they want to catch criminals.
- Wants to ride around in a police car with the lights flashing.
- Wants to meat out physical punishment to wrongdoers.
- Wants the status and admiration that comes from working as a police officer.
- Wants to earn lots of money.
While not all of the above are particularly incendiary on their own, it goes without saying that if you used the above answers in your response, then it would harm your prospects of getting the job.
Why do YOU want to become a Police Officer?
Think about your own reasons for applying. Really think about them, and note down the reasons why YOU want to become a police officer. What does the police force represent to you, and what type of things come to mind when you visualise a police officer? If you can narrow down your list to two or three things, then that’s perfect. This should give you more than enough material to form a succinct and concise response.
Now, let’s look at a sample response!
“I’ve worked in my current role now for a number of years. I have an excellent employer and I enjoy working for them but, unfortunately, I no longer find my job challenging. I understand that the role of a police officer is both demanding and rewarding and I believe I have the qualities to thrive in such an environment. I love working under pressure, working as part of a team that is diverse in nature, and also helping people in difficult situations. The public expectations of the police are very high, and I believe I have the right qualities to help the police deliver the right service to the community. I have studied the police core competencies and I believe that I have the skills to match them and deliver what they require.”
- Do not be negative about your current or previous employer, that will come across in a poor way. Be positive about your previous or current employer, even if you didn’t get on with them!
- Be positive/enthusiastic in your response, and make reference to the core competencies where possible.
Now, let’s take a look at the second sample response to this police officer interview question.
“In my local area, the police have made a positive impact through the work they have been doing to reduce crime and the impact of crime. I have actually noticed a difference in the area I live, and I would like to be part of the police team that strives to improve the community. I understand there are many facets to the role of a police officer, and having studied the job description and the competencies in detail, I strongly believe I have what it takes to become a competent and professional police officer. For example, I am disciplined, organised, professional and observant and have the life experience to become a positive role model for the police force. I am now at the stage in my life where I am looking for a greater challenge and I believe that challenge will come, if I am fortunate enough, by working as a police officer within your force. I understand what I am getting into, and I also understand there is a huge responsibility that comes with this role – having studied your mission, priorities and the values I feel I would be able to make a positive contribution to your organisation.”
There’s a couple of things to note from the above response:
-Firstly, if you’re tell the interviewer that you are, ‘I am disciplined, organized and professional’, then they might ask you to give a specific example of when you’ve been disciplined, organised and professional. You can find out more about these particular qualities, by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
-Secondly, you might have noted that our sample response states, ‘I understand what I’m getting into.’ Well, naturally this leads into the question: ‘Describe what a police officer will do on a daily basis?’ Essentially, if you tell the assessor that you know what you’re getting into, then they’ll expect you to qualify that statement, so be ready to back up the things you’re saying with established facts.
-Finally, you’ll also have noted that the response states, ‘Having studied your mission and priorities…’. This is something that is highly recommended – don’t just say it but actually go out there and do it. You need to be able to back up your answer to this question if you want to become a police officer, and the assessors will expect you to have researched thoroughly before applying.
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