22 Correctional Officer Interview Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of CORRECTIONAL OFFICER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Q1. Why do you want to be a Correctional Officer?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“I want to be a Correctional Officer for three reasons. The first reason, and perhaps the most important one is that I am at a stage in my life where I want a new challenge that allows me to utilize the skills and qualities I have built up over the years. I have excellent judgment and leadership skills, I am a very strong team player, I am comfortable making difficult decisions and I can be trusted to follow rules and procedures correctly. Finally, I genuinely want to work in a rehabilitative environment where I can influence people to lead better lives and make better choices. Having studied the job description of a Correctional Officer carefully, I believe I will be a good addition to your already-established team.”

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“The role is extremely varied, and you have to carry out all of your responsibilities with diligence and professionalism whilst following strict rules and procedures. Included within the role is a requirement to monitor and supervise inmates, maintain order, escort inmates around the prison to job sites or for medical assessments for example, and regularly check inmate numbers for accuracy. You must also respond to difficult situations quickly and calmly whilst following procedures; de-escalate confrontational situations; look after your Correctional Officer partners; keep and maintain accurate records; conduct regular inspections to find contraband or unauthorized goods and also aid in the rehabilitation and counseling of offenders.”

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Correctional Officer Job Description, Duties & Responsibilities


The role of a Correctional Officer is to monitor and supervise prisoners and inmates whilst assisting in the rehabilitative and counseling process. It is a job that requires a unique set of skills, resilience, confidence and the ability to defuse difficult and confrontational situations.

Typical duties of a Correctional Officer include:

  • Ensure rules and procedures are maintained at all times;
  • Monitor and supervise the activities and movements of prisoners and inmates;
  • Conduct regular searches of prisoners and cells for unauthorized goods and contraband;
  • Maintain accurate inmate records and reports;
  • Report on prisoner conduct;
  • Assist during the rehabilitation of offenders;
  • Ensure prisoners are accounted for in each wing;
  • Maintain integrity and professionalism at all times;
  • Utilize effective skills to defuse potentially confrontational situations;
  • Respond to emergency situations as and when required;
  • Maintain competence in the role and keep up to date with prison and correctional facility operational procedures.

CORRECTIONAL OFFICER INTERVIEW TIPS

Below, we have provided you with four very important tips for passing your Correctional Officer interview. We strongly recommend you read tips and follow them during the preparation phase of your interview.

CO INTERVIEW TIP NUMBER 1A large portion of the Correctional Officer interview questions will be situational-based. You will need to provide the interviewer with specific situations you have been in that are relevant to the quality or skill being assessed. In the build-up to your interview, we recommend you think of occasions when you have been in the following situations:

  • Working as part of a team;
  • Remaining calm under pressure;
  • Following rules and procedures;
  • Demonstrating integrity and honesty;
  • Supporting work colleagues;
  • De-escalating conflict or volatile situations.

CO INTERVIEW TIP NUMBER 2Honesty and integrity are crucial to the role of a Correctional Officer. Therefore, it is vital you are able to provide specific examples of where you have demonstrated these important qualities in a previous work-related situation. You should also have an understanding of what ‘integrity’ means. Put simply, integrity in the workplace is doing what’s right.

CO INTERVIEW TIP NUMBER 3Think carefully why you want to work in correction. What is it that attracts you to the role? Good reasons to give include a desire to work in a rehabilitative environment where you have the opportunity to help people turn their lives around; put your skills and experience to good use and also work in an environment that is challenging and rewarding and where no two days are ever the same. 

CO INTERVIEW TIP NUMBER 4Two of the easiest ways to prepare for your Correctional Officer interview are to (1) read the job description carefully and make sure you have experience in all of the assessable areas, and (2) prepare answers to all of the interview questions featured on this page. The 22 interview questions are the ones that feature often during Correctional Officer interviews, so make sure you prepare answers to all of them!

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