Criminal Justice Interviews: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re interested in criminal justice jobs – and the sector can make for a stimulating and rewarding career – then there’s one stumbling block between you and what you’ve been dreaming about. Not work experience, not getting the qualifications you need, not even the heated and uncomfortable interactions you might have to face with the people in the system who are resistant to what you have to do. No, I’m talking about that universal human experience that can strike fear into the bravest of us: the job interview.

Today we’re taking a look at Criminal Justice job interviews, to help you approach them with confidence and leave them with success.


The most important thing you can do for any job interview is prepare. Walking into the room feeling like you don’t know anything about the job, the institution or the people asking you questions completely undermines your confidence so even if you do have some great answers for them it’s hard to express them.

Make sure you spend time in preparation immediately before the interview: reread the job description and pick out the key skills and qualifications it’s looking for, and compare them to your own CV so you can pick out exactly what it is you need to bring out in your interview.

Think about your career to date and the different ways its relevant and applicable to the job in front of you: you’ll need relevant examples of what you’ve done in your studies, placements, work experience and previous jobs to illustrate how you’re right for this one.

You’ll also want to look at the institution you’re applying to. Look at their stated aims, philosophy and any published reports from the Inspectorate or Prisons or Prison Reform trust. This will give you an idea of any challenges the prison or service may be facing, and help you articulate how you can help face that challenge or some intelligent questions to ask, which always helps to show you in a better light.

The Day Itself

The morning of a job interview is a prime time for nerves to strike. Make sure you know how you’re getting to the interview location – tripping up on this easy part of the challenge sets a bad first impression and can wildly undermine your confidence.

When you’re on you way, keep nerves at bay by reminding yourself of the different, specific ways you’re suited to this job. As well as keeping you calm and confident, it’s a great way to get in some last minute interview revision!

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