A strength which plays a pivotal role in one job can be completely insignificant in another role. And weakness that will almost certainly ruin your chances to succeed in certain profession, may be quickly dismissed as unimportant while pursuing another career… This is exactly the main reason why you should not prepare for interview questions without taking your new job into consideration. And job of a police officer is no exception to the rule…
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this tricky interview question, designed particularly for police officers. I tried to include some variety on my list, answers for both experienced and inexperienced people, as well as some unconventional answers. At the end of the day, your attitude to work in the public service matters the most to the interviewers, regardless of the weaknesses you pick for your answer, in the interview, or while doing the pnp neuro exam. I elaborate more on this below the list of sample answers. Make sure to read this article all the way to the end, to avoid making the same mistakes many job applicants make while talking about their strengths and weaknesses in the police officer interview.
7 sample answers to “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” for police officers, interview and neuro exam
- I would definitely pick responsibility as my greatest strengths. My team can rely on me in every situation. When I am on a duty, and I have a task to complete, I will complete it. No excuses, ever. And I honestly believe it is an important quality for any police officer. From my weaknesses I would pick two things: I am impatient at times, which I know is a quality I have to work on, not only because it matters in work. It impacts also the quality of my personal life. Second weakness are my computer skills, and it also something I want to improve on. I plan to start taking private lessons soon.
- Communication skills do probably stand out. At least if I judge it based on my experience from former jobs. I can give clear instructions, I do not struggle to get my message over, and will probably benefit from it in a job of a police office, while interacting with pedestrians and motorists. But I am also a good listener, I can also take orders, and I typically understand quickly what’s going on, the point of the message. On the other hand, I cannot drive, which is definitely a big minus. Having said that, not all police officers drive in their work, and I can always get my driving license if necessary. I want to ensure you that I am ready to work on my skills, and do whatever is needed to become a police officer.
- Let me start with my weaknesses, and the one is probably obvious from my appearance–I am overweight, and logically I lack the desired level of physical abilities. I can life heavy weights, and I have power in both my arms and legs, but I cannot run quickly or far, and I am not as agile as I’d like to. But you should also know that just six months earlier I had twenty pounds more than today, so I am on my way, and definitely want to lose weight. On the other hand, I have excellent organizational and time management skills. Maybe I am not the cop who would catch the burglar running away, but I am the one who can plan and organize the chase….
- Speaking honestly, I see room for improvement in everything. It doesn’t mean that I have low self esteem or don’t think I’d handle this job. On the contrary. But my attitude to life and work is that we should never stop learning and improving, and I am not complacent with any of my abilities. I continue training both my body and mind, and it is important for me to get feedback from my colleagues, to learn what I can improve on. When I think about it now, my attitude is perhaps my greatest strength…
- I haven’t worked as a police office before, or in any similar role, and it is difficult to consider my strengths and weaknesses for the role. I mean, for sure I will excel in some duties and struggle with others, but it is hard to tell what exactly I will struggle with, unless I do the job for a few weeks at least. I am sure about one thing though: if I struggle with something, I will try my best to improve on my ability, because I strive to become the best police officer I can be.
- Experience is my greatest strength. I’ve worked in the public service for fifteen years already, on a variety of positions. And I’ve experienced it all: 24 hours long shifts, mental strain of the job, conflicts with colleagues, seeing some terrible things in the families, and so on. What I try to convey here is that my previous working experience has prepared me mentally and emotionally for the job of a police officer, which I believe is a big strength. But I am not perfect. I still find it hard to bear emotionally with certain things I see in work, such as mistreatment of children. And I know I should be able to handle it better, to keep my professional distance. Well, I definitely want to give it a try, and a job of police officer is a great opportunity to do so.
- To my strengths belong: communication skills, responsibility, attention to detail, obedience to authority. I also believe to have a fitting personality for the job, considering the list of duties and my idea of a typical day at work. And to my weaknesses belong: impatience, being over-friendly with people, lack of experience in the field. I definitely want to work on the first two weaknesses, and the third one will take care of itself, once I start working here.
Desire to improve is your key to success
Perfect employees do not exist, and it doesn’t matter whether we talk about engineers, laborers, scientists, teachers, or police officers. Everyone has some strengths and weaknesses, some goals and priorities. In my opinion, the variety makes the word beautiful, and the interactions with people more interesting. Job interview is no exception.
Show confidence in your ability to handle the job, but admit having some weaknesses. You do not necessarily have to pick something major or something that has an impact on your ability to serve as a police officer. Regardless of the weakness(es) you pick, the key is to show your desire to improve, to become a better police officer and a better person down the road.
As long as they see that you are not complacent with the status quo, and want to work on your abilities–be it in terms of your physical strength and endurance, mental resilience, attitude to work, or even your education, they will be satisfied with your answer.
Experience, or a lack of it, is always a great choice, even for the pnp neuro exam
In every country of the world you will pass a training academy (or other “training camp” with the same purpose), once they hire you for the service. Which means you do not need experience to apply for the job. However, having experience with work in the pubic sector, or even with a job of a security guard or correctional officer, is definitely a plus.
If you had any of these jobs, you can point it out as your greatest strength. Elaborate on your answer though. Explain how the situations you experienced (and the pressure) has prepared you mentally for the job in police. If you compete for the job with people who lack similar experience, you automatically have some advantage.
And if you are the one lacking experience, you can pick it as your weakness. Especially if you cannot come up with anything better. When doing so, however, be sure to show your confidence in your ability to handle the job of a police officer. You can even praise the training program for new hires, or say anything else to convince them of your readiness for the role, regardless of your level of experience…
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions for police officers:
- Why do you want to be a police officer?
- What does integrity mean to you?
- What motivates you the most in work?