Mistakes are a part of life. Sometimes these mistakes are felonies, which need a person to be prosecuted and put behind the bars, deeming that person to be incapable of co-existing in the society. As a correctional officer, you will be responsible for handling, managing, and supervising the inmates, who have either been convicted or put on trial.
This is an authoritative position that requires you to remain ever vigilant and always be on your toes. With associated prestige, comes respect and also high perks, incentives, and in-hand salaries. Thus, prepare hard for your interview session and read several frequently asked interview questions.
21 Best Interview Questions To Study
1. What Is Your Understanding Of Contrabands and There Ilicit Use By Inmates?
As a correctional officer, you will be required to perform several duties including seizing of contrabands of any kind. This question tests how much you understand your profession.
Sir, “contraband” is a name associated with all types of drugs, such as opium, marijuana, meth, etc. Use of any type of such drugs while being in the jail premises is strictly prohibited. As a correctional officer, it is my duty to look for all such issues and seize any type of prohibited article, which is found either in the possession of the inmates or in their cell.
2. Filing Of Reports Related To Inmates’ Conduct Is A Task Performed By The Other Clerical Staff. Comment On This Statement.
This question evaluates your knowledge in relation to the various tasks to be performed while being in employment as a correctional officer.
Sir, I completely disagree with this statement. Preparing reports on the conduct and behavior of the inmates is the duty and responsibility of the correctional officers, who regularly patrol and check them. The clerical staff is not allowed to have any sort of dealing or conversation with the inmates, and hence, they are not given this task. Further, I have rich experience in preparing such reports with an unmatched ability to produce well-structured drafts that cover each point in detail.
3. How Will You Handle A Situation In Which An Inmate or A Group Of Them Is Not Following The Developed Schedule?
This is a situation handling question in which you are required to react to a particular situation, which might arise while being on duty.
Sir, such situations are common and occur frequently in the jail premises. There are three types of situations, which are:
- Situation I: The inmates are new and are not aware of the developed schedule, hence they are unable to follow it. In such a situation, they can be made aware of the procedures and schedules.
- Situation II: The inmates have some issues with the developed schedule and they find it too tough or stringent to follow. In this case the problems can be amicably addressed and an understanding can be reached.
- Situation III: The inmates just do not follow the schedule intentionally and they try to create a situation of chaos and disarrangement. Strict actions can be taken for such convicts and discipline can be taught with different means.
4. Counselling Of Inmates and Their Education Is An Unnecessary Activity As The Inmates Are People Of A Lower Morale and All Of Them Have Committed Major Crimes. Throw Some Light On This Statement.
Through this question an interviewer presents a depressing view and undermines the relevance of counseling and rehabilitation. As an ideal response, just defend these through logical arguments.
Sir, I believe this is a pessimistic opinion and even violates general ethics. Jails and all the rehabilitation facilities are created with a view to bring the best out of human conscience and prepare inmates with adequate training, counseling, and education so as to make them worthy of living in the outside world in which they contribute and return what they have taken away from the society. Thus, all these activities are crucial and inspired by hope besides humanity.
5. Assume A Situation In Which An Inmate Is Not Following The Rules Developed By The Prison Authority. How Will You Handle This Situation?
This is a situation handling interview questions in which you are required to react according to the situation presented to you by the interviewer. To create an ideal response just follow the U. S. R (Understand, Strategize and React) method.
Sir, this is a messy situation which not only spoils the decorum of prison but also inspires more and more prisoners to simply revolt and overthrow the jail administration and the developed rules. Thus, it is necessary and pivotal to nip all such situations in the very bud, and restore discipline. I always engage in deep conversations with the inmates and try to understand their issues using my active listening skills. If these issues are genuine, I forward the case for a speedy correction, otherwise, I just use different tactics to suppress the unjust demands and revolting voices.
6. How Will You Inspect The Cell Of An Inmate and Conduct Effective Patrolling?
This question tests your practical working knowledge.
Sir, usually, there are established rules and guidelines that every prison maintains for its correctional officers. This booklet contains every minute detail associated with inspection and patrolling. I strictly follow these rules and in addition to it:
- Maintain a timely inspection and never miss any partrolling call
- Ensure a proper checking with every nook nd corner of the cell being inspected
- Perform special search to find all the prohibited materials and gadgets hidden in the cell
7. How Comfortable Are You In Searching Bathrooms and Toilets?
As a correctional officer, you will be required to search and inspect the personal utilities, such as bathrooms and toilets used by the inmates as well. This is a common expectation and you must answer it positively.
Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this question. Being a correctional officer is not a cakewalk, rather, it is a hard duty, wherein you have to compromise with so many things. Inspecting toilets and bathrooms is a tough job and man falters, however, I am a mentally tough bloke and have the ability to perform even the dirtiest of the tasks. Be assured, I will always remain loyal and committed to the demands of my employer.
8. List A Few Gears and Accessories That Are Used By Correctional Officers At The Time Of Discharging Their Duty.
This question tests how much you know about your dress, which you will wear as a correctional officer.
Sure, sir, These are:
- Badges (for authentication purposes)
- Flashlights (for navigation purposes)
- Gun belts, Handcuffs, Tactical eyewear and Personal protective equipment.
9. How Open Are You To Accepting Criticisms and Negative Feedbacks?
This is a common interview question and asks for your viewpoints in relation to criticisms and negative feedback. Answer this question positively.
Sir, sometimes in the career of every person there comes a point in which despite giving the best, one is not able to perform and return the expected performance. What follows next are the criticisms and negative feedbacks, that mention in detail the loopholes and issues contained in the performed job.
When taken positively, this feedbacks can majorly help to improve performance, by taking cognizance of all the weaknesses. Corrective actions and measures can be adopted that can help an employee to return better and stronger. I am very much open to accept criticisms and maintaining a positive attitude in that respect.
10. There Will Always Be Times When You Return A Sub-standard Performance and Fail To Meet The Established Standards. How Do You Manage Your Workplace Failure?
Success is rare and takes a heavy toil to achieve. Not all are able to return consistent performances, which leads to failure. However, instead of focusing on the failure, one must always focus on the solutions and strive to achieve improvements in individual performances. Share a logical answer, wherein you are able to properly address the issues of workplace failure, and how do you manage them.
11. A Jail Is Certainly Synonymous Of Hell and No One Wants To Work Here. What Is Your Dream Job?
This question first draws a stark comparison of jail with hell and after this, asks about your dreams. As an ideal response, you must share the expectations and desires, which you might be having from your employer. For example, You might want to work in a jail, which assigns you with a security guard every time you conduct an inspection of the personal cell of the inmates. It is recommended that you only share those weaknesses, which are realistic and have a fair probability of getting true.
12. Correctional Officers Have To Deal With Several Inmates and Convicts. This Creates A Lot Of Stress and Pressure That Impacts Performance. How Do You Manage Your Stress Levels?
It would have been laughable to say that prison employees don’t feel stress. Instead, these are one of the most stressed employees, as they thrive, work and survive amid constant danger and fear. Hence, an interviewer is interested in knowing the various strategies and techniques, which you have adopted to manage your stress levels. Usually, employees manage stress using deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and positive pep talk.
13. How Do You Prefer To Operate – In A Team Or Individually?
As a correctional officer, you will be working individually in the areas assigned to you for most parts of the day, however, in developing plans, schedules, strategies, and other techniques, you will have to work in a team of several correctional officers. Thus, in an ideal response, you must express your desire to work either way, as per the demand of the situation.
14. When Can You Begin Working With Us?
This a non-technical interview question, which requires you to share an expected date of start, on are after which you can start working for the jail authorities. It is recommended that you share the date of start by keeping a margin of at least two days. Further, this question does not guarantee your selection, and there will be a whole lot of processes, which will be conducted before your selection.
15. The Character Of A Correctional Officer Decides Whether Or Not You Will Be Successful In This Job Profile. Hence, Describe Yourself In One Word.
This is a tricky interview question wherein you are required to summarize your whole personality into a single word. For this, you must analyze yourself and share a corporate-friendly word, which closely relates to your personality. Post this, justify your selected word using real work experiences that you must have faced while working.
16. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses As Correctional Officer?
This is a common interview question, which is asked in almost all the interview sessions held across the world. To prepare a perfect reply, just conduct deep scrutiny of the job description issued to you by the employer, and share those weaknesses, which do not conflict with them and strengths that align with them.
17. We All Need Some Energy and Motivation To Perform and Give Our Best. What Motivates You To Work?
There are always several motivational factors that prompt an individual to work hard at his or her workplace and achieve the goals and objectives in a time-bound manner. These factors are largely associated with the personal conditions, financial situations, and circumstances of an individual. An interviewer is always interested in knowing these factors for a complete personality assessment.
18. As A Correctional Officer, You Will Be Required To Perfom Several Tasks In A Single Day. How Do You Prioritize?
Through this question, an interviewer wants to know about your prioritization technique, using which you are able to order your tasks on the basis of pre-defined criteria, such as difficulty level of the tasks, time consumption, or maybe associated urgency level. You can certainly choose any other technique as well, but in every case, you will be required to explain using a real-life work experience.
19. Working In The Jail With Inmates Has Its Own Challenges and Hiccups. Why You Chose To Work With Us?
Through this question, an interviewer wants to know your level of seriousness and commitment towards the business organization. The official website of the company is the best source to prepare an answer to this question from which you can note all the historical facts, achievements, and accomplishments of the company. Compile the information together and prepare a well-structured response.
20. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
It is common for the interviewers to ask about your salary expectations during the interview session itself. To give an ideal response, research the salaries offered to the other correctional officers and calculate a mean salary. Quote your salary expectations on this basis, with a maximum permissible deviation of 15%.
21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Be it an interview session of a correctional officer or a jail superintendent, this is the last question, which will be asked from you. Through this, an interviewer besides giving you the last opportunity to impress requires you to share all your apprehensions and doubts that you might be having in regards to the job profile, which includes, shift timings, rules to be followed, the ethical culture to be created in the prison, etc. This question marks the end of your big day, hence always attempt this question and ask a few relevant counter questions from your interviewer. Read the model questions mentioned below for a better understanding.
- What are the security rules and procedures, that are followed by the jail authority to ensure a safe employment experience for correctional officers?
- Please list all the incentives and allowances that are offered by the authorities to its correctional officers.
- How is your own experience in this setting? Please share a few pros and cons of working in this setup.
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For Correctional Officer interview):
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