Security jobs in your ZIP code
Before you attend your job interview as a Security Guard or Security Officer please make sure you are prepared using the following guidelines :
- First and foremost, “Dress Up”: Some may not consider the job of a Security Officer as a glamorous job. However during the interview, it is always a great idea to dress appropriately.
During my long years of interviewing and hiring security guards, a lot of men/women will show up for the interview casually dressed. For me this is a huge red flag. The reason is, the interview is a formal event. You should demonstrate the impression that you are coming prepared for the interview.
When I see you coming for the interview in casual clothing, I may not tell you anything, but in my mind I will undervalue your ability to perform your job. You see, a security officer is considered as an authority figure. So I expect you to be dressed sharply. By coming to the interview in a casual manner, you clearly are demonstrating that you are not a suitable candidate for this job. There is no wonder then that you are not hired. If you are a man, please plan to wear at the least a formal neatly ironed dress shirt, tie, and a suit. If you are a women please attend the interview in a profession wardrobe.
- Demeanor and Professionalism: The position of a Security Officer always include interaction with other people. So when attending the interview, make sure you reflect similar attitude with anyone you come across. Make sure any interaction you do with anyone is polite, courteous and professional. This can go a long way in helping to establish your demeanor to the interviewers.
- Answering the interview questions – Using real stories from your past experience: Everyone likes to hear stories. So when specific questions are asked, don’t answer in a generic way.
For example, if the questions was like “How do you do crowd control?”, then don’t start your answer with “Typically crowd control involves ….””. Instead, you start by saying something like this: “While I was working as a security officer for “ABC Security Services” (replace the name with your previous company name), I was involved in managing the crowd for several county level events. My most important experience in crowd control was as a security lead in the county agricultural and craft fair……”.
By telling your direct real experience as a story, you will be able to get the full attention of the interviewer. Additionally, you are now in a position to guide the interviewer to ask questions specific to the areas you are including in your stories.
- Your Resume and References: Even if the job advertisement didn’t ask your to send or carry a resume, please make sure to take with you an up to date professional resume. The key is, by having the resume ready with you, you are demonstrating your ability to plan and prepare in advance and being ready for an event. This is a great quality for a security officer, who should always be ready and prepared for unexpected events.
On your resume, you must include your past experiences that may directly or indirectly contribute to the Security Officer job. For example, if you have worked in the cash register of a store, that job should be included since that experience (customer relations) can be reasonably linked to some of the aspects of a security officer job.
By including relevant experience, you are also helping the interviewer to ask you questions related to those jobs. This will also help to channel the interview questions to those topics where you have direct experience and knowledge.
In addition to including your past relevant experience, your resume should also need to include a few professional references who you trust and whom you have confidence to provide you with good references.
- Salary Negotiation:
Even before the interview, make sure you do your homework regarding the salary. If possible talk to any colleagues or friends who are currently working with the new employer to know what you can expect as a salary. If the level of the possible salary is way below the range that you are expecting, then don’t apply for the job. This is not relevant, if you are jobless and desperately need a job.
Now, if the possible salary is within a reasonable range of your expectation, then see how you can convince the employer to pay you at the higher end of that range. This is where negotiation comes in.
Always remember that, negotiation is a two-way street.
You need to provide higher value to the employer to get paid more. So, identify the higher value tasks you could perform or identify the specific qualities that you are bringing into the job which will justify a higher salary.
For example, in your previous positions, if you have done tasks above and beyond what is generally expected of a regular Security Officer, then you need highlight those to indicate that you can deliver higher value to the company.
These examples can include things such as not taking off time without sufficient notice, or being flexible to fill-in when there are unexpected absences of fellow security officers. It can also include your ability to train junior security officers. If you are able to bring in new clients, accounts or new contracts that would be highly valued by your new employer.
Sometimes, you may not be able to get a higher salary right away just because you negotiate, since there is no way for your new employer to evaluate what you are promising.
In such cases be prepared to be flexible.
In those scenarios, you should try to settle with a gentleman’s agreement with your new employer to reevaluate your salary after reviewing your performance for the next few months. During this period, if you can exceed your employer’s expectations, it may help you to get a higher pay.
Always know your market value and your bottom line.
During the interview, most employers will ask you about your salary expectations and be prepared to provide a clear and straight answer. If you have done your homework, then your will be able to justify your higher salary expectation by highlighting your ability to provide higher value to your employer.
Related Post: How to ask for a raise as a Security Guard.