Not everyone likes police officers, but without a doubt everyone has to agree that role of police in our life has only intensified over the last decade. Violent protests, and all sorts of crimes–though often driven by poverty and hopeless situation of people who commit them, cannot and shouldn’t be tolerated. Police is recruiting ever more officers, in almost every country of the world. In order to succeed and get the job, you’ll have to pass a couple of tests, such as a police written exam, or a physical ability test, and, of course, a face to face interview. And while they may ask you a variety of questions, one question you certainly won’t avoid: Why do you want to be a police officer? You may actually have to write a short essay on this topic before you even get a chance to interview for a job.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include on my list a variety of options, including both conventional and unconventional answers. Try to pick one which resonates with you, and with the message you try to convey in your police officer interview. Below the list of answers you will find some additional notes and hints on how to get it right, and convince them of your honest intention to do a good service for fellow citizens–or at least a good service for yourself…
7 sample answers to “Why do you want to be a police officer?” interview question
- I’ve always felt a calling to the service to be honest. I’ve been raised in a way to respect the rules and laws, to behave, to treat people the way I’d like them to treat me. What is more, I am physically fit, mentally tough, and I feel to have the right personality for a work of a police officer. To sum it up, considering my strengths, personality, and preferences, I find a job of a police office an excellent match.
- I just want to help restore the order in this country. Sure enough, I cannot become a politician or a law maker with my education. But I still believe I can have some impact on society, making sure that criminals do not ruin lives of other people, at least in this city. Honestly I realize how bad it is here, all the challenges you face with drug dealing, home violence, and other issues. I would love to help address them. That’s the reason no. 1 of my career choice.
- I want to be a police woman because I feel it is my duty to do something for the local community. Without a doubt, one can help in various ways–working as a nurse, case manager, social worker, or even being a good citizen, adhering to the rules, respecting the laws and fellow human beings. But with my education and skills, I feel the right role for me in the society is a role of a police officer. Being out there in the streets, helping to prevent crime, or minimize the damage once we cannot prevent it, making sure that the offenders get punished, and simply making sure that people aren’t afraid to walk on the streets. I see a meaningful purpose in the job of a police officer, and it motivates me to apply with you.
* Do not forget to check: 15 most common interview questions and answers.
- I’ve had this dream since I was a kid. My uncle was a police officer, and I’ve always looked up to him, and wondered if I, one day, could possibly have the same job. Years have passed since then, and I’ve been through a lot in my life, but my desire to work for police hasn’t changed. On the contrary, I did what I could to get ready for the job. I got my license, practiced hard to get in shape for the physical ability test, and talked a lot to my uncle, trying to understand the ins and outs of the recruitment process, and also of the job. Glad to be here today with you, and I hope for a good outcome.
- Actually my final goal is work in intelligence. I have strong analytical skills, can read body language perfectly, and my attention to detail stands out. I believe that I can work in the service, helping to bust gangs, uncover human trafficking groups and drug dealers, and help the country to mitigate these elements which are, regretfully, ever more prevalent. Obviously I realize I have to start from somewhere, and that’s why I am here with you today. Getting into the police force is the first step on my career journey. If I manage to do so, I have no doubt I will eventually reach my final goal.
- I see a job of a police officer as a steady and safe employment, with plenty of benefits. And that’s the reason no. 1 for my application. As you for sure know, police officer belongs to the best paid professions in this country. I see no reason why I would not try my luck here, considering that I am physically and mentally strong, a team player, and overall consider myself a good candidate for the job in the service. Sure enough, I also understand the risks, especially in this country where we have so many problems, and gangs rule a big part of the capital, but I am not afraid to risk my skin for fellow team members, and for our citizens. We have to bring justice and peace back to the streets.
- Speaking honestly, everyone know how corrupt police is in the country. And I want to enjoy my fraction of the pie. Why would I pay bribes to policemen just to pass the checkpoints, or to let me go somewhere, when I can be the one who can go anywhere, with a weapon, and take bribes from the others? It is just a no brainer for me. Life isn’t fair in this country. You have a few winners and many losers. Just like everyone else, I want to stand on the right side of the barricade. There isn’t an easier way to do so here than becoming a police officer, and participating on the corruption.
Show them your strengths and what you can contribute as a police officer, especially when writing a short essay on the subject
In a very best answer to the question, you should actually refer to two things. First one is the reason why you want to work in police. It can be the meaningful purpose of the job, your desire to serve the city or country (the way in which you want to contribute to better society as a policeman or policewoman), or a desire to help end the organized crime, or anything else–even having a steady job and getting a good paycheck at the end of each month.
Second thing you should refer to is the reason why they should recruit you. Talk about your great shape, mental resilience, attention to detail, sense for order, teamwork ability, or about any other skills and personality traits that make from you a good candidate (at least in your eyes). This applies to both an interview answer and a short essay you may have to write as a part of your application process.
* May also interest you: Police officer interview: what are your strengths and weaknesses?
Brutal honesty can sometimes do the trick
You have for sure noticed that the last two answers on my list are rather unconventional. In the penultimate one, the applicant claims straight away that before anything else, they want to work as a police officer because of the salary, and benefits. It is not a typical answer, and probably not something many other people will say, but in some cases your best bet is to be honest and try to stand out.
The last job applicant goes even one step further (or a couple of steps actually), accusing the police of taking bribes, and claiming it as the main reason for his application. He also wants to get his fraction of the pie, and instead of having to pay the bribes to the police forces, he prefers to take them.
Needless to say, this answer may sound completely ridiculous to someone in the US. But if you apply for a job of a policeman in Sudan, Somalia, or Guatemala (just a few examples, there are many more of course), it is the daily reality of the police officers. And the leading officer (who happens to interview you) may prefer to hire someone who doesn’t want to spoil the party, and will participate on the organized corruption of the authorities. In such cases, this answer may win you the job…
* Disclaimer: Author of this article does not support any corruption in police, or other dubious activities. Our goal here is to simply show different interview answers that may help people get hired to the police force, in different interview scenarios, and across different countries of the world–including those that experience extreme instability and immense corruption in police. You should take the advice as such–nothing more, and nothing less.
Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions you may face in your police officer interview:
- Police officer interview – Why should we hire you?
- Police officer – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma?