Why would you want to become a Sergeant with this law enforcement agency, when you will undoubtedly take on greater responsibilities and experience greater stress on the job?
Talk about the ways that your role will change as you move from a patrol officer to a supervising Sergeant. What impact might this promotion have upon your peer group relationships - those officers you worked with day-to-day who will not have been promoted?
Give us an example of an ethical dilemma that you faced in the course of policing, and tell us how you handled the situation. (e.g. an arrest situation, offerings of gratuities, lesser of evils, or tough choice among several good options).
Please tell us what experience you've had functioning in a leadership role, and describe your current philosophy and approach to leadership.
What leadership traits and qualities do you possess? What strengths would you bring to your new position as a sergeant?
Where are your relative weaknesses, i.e. developmental areas, in the leadership realm? What have you been doing to strengthen these areas?
Please give us an example of a time that you have faced adversity or failure. How did you deal with the circumstances and move ahead?
Please give us an example of an interpersonal conflict you've experienced with a fellow officer? What was the nature of the disagreement, and how did you resolve the tensions?
Scenario: The command staff has put a new policy in place. They know it to be an unpopular directive and you personally have serious questions about this new guideline. Your job, however, is to train your officers about this new S.O.P. and to motivate them to abide by this new regulation. How do manage your own personal feelings and objections regarding the new policy? What personal reactions would you share with your patrol, and which ones do you keep private - and why?
What is the last thing that you and your immediate supervisor disagreed about? How did you settle your differences?
Tell us about a recent time when you made an excellent decision at work, even though the situation was complex and difficult to read - and you may not have had the benefit of all the facts?
Name 3 weaknesses that you believe may be present in this police agency. What would you do to make improvements?
Tell us why we should pick you for promotion to the rank of sergeant, over all the other officers who are also competing in this process.
Give an example of a time when you took on a leadership role.
Describe a time when a staff member did not meet your expectations, and what you did about it?
Tell me about an occasion when you increased employee morale?
Give an example of a time when your coaching efforts failed?
Describe a time when you provided one-on-one training support?
why did you choose the police officer career?
What qualifications do you have?
Why should you be promoted?
Give us one example of when you didn't loose your cool in spite of the circumstances?
Tell us something about your
What makes a good superior according to you?
What would you term as the
single most quality that makes a good supervisor?
What is the motivation behind a supervisor, what is your motivation?
Tell us something about your interpersonal skills. Do you see the useful in the position you have applied for?
How can the nightly goals be met? Is there anything that you have in mind to motivate your workers? What would be the techniques that you would use?
What is the opinion of the current leadership team?
Do you see any changes that could improve the current position?
What would the people whom you have Supervised said about you?
How would you rate your management skills on a rate of 1 to 10?
What is the work environment in which you have faced the most success?
What are the three factors that are the most important for a team to work effectively?
Was there any time when a reporting employee over performed and exceeded their
What are the three components of the philosophy that you demonstrate your value addition to the culture of your organization and work environment.
What are the factors that are crucial within an organization? Why do you think that these should be present for you to work most effectively?
How have you met the coworkers, supervisors and other reporting staff at your previous company, when you were on your first day as a supervisor?
What is the management style that you follow?
If your team-workers and coworkers are interviewed, what would they say are your strengths and weaknesses?
All new employees have a tough time getting to know people in the office. What is your strategy to make the person welcome in the office?
What is the single most crucial thing that a company should possess to retain their employees?
Have you ever advised another supervisor about an errant employee or process?
Was your suggestion implemented? How successful was your idea? Can we have other
examples where you have suggested other supervisors?
What do you consider the most
important qualities for a supervisor?
Describe your supervisory style.
How do you motivate your employees/team members?
Tell me about a time an employee made a significant mistake. What action did you take?
Describe a time you had to introduce important change in your last job.
Describe a time you had to manage conflict within your department/team/group.
Tell me about a time you had to coach an employee to perform a task.
Tell me about a short term plan you developed for your department/team/group.
When evaluating an employee or team member's performance what factors are most important to you?
What is your leadership background?
You need to be able to pull from your
own experience when describing how you typically lead. Even if your experience
is not in business supervision directly, find something you can use. Teaching,
tutoring and even babysitting are situations in which you need to give
instructions. Give at least one specific example of overcoming a difficult
leadership challenge, such as coaching a struggling student to success.
How do you intend to handle a belligerent employee?
Avoid saying that you would bring the
problem to higher command. The interviewer wants to understand how you might
approach a difficult situation on your own. How you respond to this question
may determine the outcome of your interview, so prepare thoroughly. Most
interviewers hope to hear a balanced response from you. There is no one right
answer, but emphasize that you would use constructive criticism instead of
harsh force or passivity.
Are you a self-starter?
This question is a common challenge
in interviews when a leadership position is on the line. The interviewer wants
to know if you find motivation from within or if you need outside pressure.
Typically, a safe answer includes a nuanced response. Address that you are
self-motivated and give an example of a time when you propelled your life to a
new, positive place without any outside force. On the other hand, also mention
that you thrive in pressure situations since supervisors are forced to make
decisions under pressure on a regular basis.
Do you feel comfortable delegating responsibilities?
A quality supervisor knows both how
to instruct and how to allow employees to take over when necessary. Your
subordinates may know how to tackle certain projects better than you, and you
need to be comfortable giving those responsibilities away for the good of the
company. Your time cannot be spent taking on everyone else's job. Show your
interviewer that you are able to both lead confidently and delegate
and self-awareness need to be on full display in your interview. Great
supervisors are pleasant people who are approachable, not formidable. Be
yourself; do not try to appear overly assertive. Stay positive and open minded
when answering these supervisor interview questions to ensure that you give a
good impression to your interviewer.
"Tell me about a time an employee made a
significant mistake. What action did you take?"
You could answer this question by focusing on your "ability to communicate openly to understand the cause of the mistake."
"By interviewing your team or coworkers,
what would they say about your strengths and weaknesses as a supervisor?"
Pinpoint your management style. When asked to
describe how you manage, Randy Block, and interview coach, suggests that you
describe your leadership style as well. He states that you should "focus
on the concepts of creating and building teams that contributed to growth and
revenue as well as being the key decision maker with the accountability."