Top 20 Police Chief Interview Questions & Answers in 2024

Editorial Team

A police chief oversees the police department they are in. they test, train, and evaluate officers. These 20 questions will help you prepare for a police chief interview.

1.    Why Are You Interested In This Role?

You will never miss this question in an interview. The interviewer wants to know why you applied for the role of police chief.

Tip #1: Do not focus on the material benefits

Tip #2: Your answer should show passion

Sample Answer

I have been in the police force for twenty years now, and I believe that I have what it takes to continue making it and the world a better place. I am also passionate about police work, and this role will give me the perfect opportunity to further explore my passion.

2.    What Are The Roles Of A Police Chief?

Do y0ou know some of the things that are expected from you if you are chosen for the role?

Tip #1: Outline the roles of a police chief

Tip #2: Be precise and clear

Sample Answer

A police chief is in charge of the department that he/ she serves in. He/ she is charged with testing, training, evaluating officers, assigning promotions, and delegating casework. The police chief also conducts several administrative abilities in the department.

3.    What Are The Qualities Of A Police Chief?

This question is simply trying to assess whether you understand what it takes to become a police chief.

Tip #1: mention the qualities of a police chief

Tip#2: Only mention the ones specific to the position at hand

Sample Answer

Given that a police chief heads the entire department, he/ she is a public figure in the community. He/ she should therefore be fair, have high levels of integrity, and carry ou8t himself/ herself in a way that is inspiring. The police chief should also have superb leadership and communication skills owing to the roles expected of him/ her.

4.    What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?

There are a few obstacles that one meets in the course of duty. However, all that matters is how well you solve them. The interviewer is gauging your problem-solving skills.

Tip #1: Show that you can solve problems.

Tip #2: Talk freely. Do not come off as having crammed an answer. However, the challenge should not be as a result of your won doing.

Sample Answer

The biggest challenge I ever had was a supervisor who at times, wanted me to violate department policy. However, being a strong believer in the law, I always pointed out that what he wanted was illegal when he brought it up. I refused to carry out any order that violated policy.

5.    Describe Your Daily Routine As A Police Chief

The interviewer expects that you should have done proper research and known the routine of a police chief.

Tip 1#: Do not include your personal life.

Tip #2: Mention the major occurrences

Sample Answer

As a police chief, I report early to work (After here, you should outline what happens afterward, e.g.  receiving task reports from police officers in the field, attending meetings, reporting to the supervisor)

6.    Describe Briefly About Your Experience

This is a question that must be asked in all interviews. Interviewers want to know whether you are experienced for the task at hand.

Tip #1: Mention experiences that may help land the role

Tip #2: You can talk about some of the places you have worked and the roles you had.

Sample Answer

Upon completion of my training, I became a detective with (mention the police department). I started at level I, in charge of field duties such as performing surveillance and conducting surveillance.  I then rose to detective II which was majorly supervisory and was later promoted to Detective III. I have also worked with private companies all over (mention the place) and obtained vast field experience.

7.    What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Job?

Every job on the planet has certain requirements. This is more of a mental assessment that should be answered wisely.

Tip #1: The strategy and mindset should be role-specific.

Tip #2: Think through your answer

Sample Answer

The police chief should be geared towards solving problems and making the department a conducive place for all. He/ she should strategize on teamwork given the duty at hand.

8.    What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?

You should have done a quick research and noted some of the problems that the department faces that might prove challenging. The interviewer wants to confirm this.

Tip #1: Point out a given challenge. Do not tell the interviewer that you can handle anything.

Tip #2: If possible, give out a potential solution.

Sample Answer

I really admire the job that this department has been doing. However, I have noticed that this area still has certain stubborn gangs that have always caused problems and evaded the officers. It may be quite challenging clearing them quickly, but I believe that with dedication and hard work that will happen pretty fast.

9.    How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?

What keeps you going in your day-to-day activities? The interviewer wants to know where you draw your motivation as you handle your job.

Tip #1: Your motivation should not be money or anything materialistic.

Tip #2: It can be anything personal or a given experience

Sample Answer

I am passionate about what I do. The simple fact that I am putting my life on the line to make society safer for my family and the general public keeps me going.

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10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson That You Learnt.

By admitting that you failed in a given role, you are proving accountability.

Tip #1: Do not give an experience that will criminate you.

Tip #2: Do not shift the blame

Sample Answer

I once rushed to attend a function and delegated some duties. However, I did not stop by the office upon coming back to check on the progress given that it was already late. Some of the work was not done well, which made my supervisor upset. I learnt to always follow up on any delegated work before the closure of the business.

11. What Would You Do If Your Supervisor Gave You A Direct Order That You Know Is Against Department Policy?

This question measures your judgment ability and moral standing. It can be challenging to pick between violating department policy and appearing insubordinate.

Tip #1: Make sure that you come up with an answer that does not throw you under the bus.

Tip #2: Do not follow orders that are against policy.

Sample Answer

I would advise the supervisor that what he is asking for is against policy so that he/ she can clarify further or change the order. However, if he/ she refuses, I will not follow the order.

12. What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment So Far?

This is a question that is asked once in a while and should not, therefore, be overlooked. The interviewer wants to know how you measure success.

Tip #1: Talk about an achievement that will paint you as the right person for the job.

Tip #2: Show that you are passionate.

Sample Answer

While at Hyde’s police post, I was among the team that was charged with lowering crime in the region. We managed to lower the crime level by a staggering 80%, something that I am ever proud of.

13. Suppose You Were In The Field. How Would You React In A Hostage Situation?

Even though your role will mainly be overseeing a police department, you will still be a police officer. Therefore, this is a viable question that you should expect.

Tip #1: You need to show politeness and calmness.

Tip #2: Bring your policing skills into play.

Sample Answer

I will cooperate with the other captors by avoiding drawing attention to myself. I will memorize the physical traits of those present in the place and analyze the situation. I will also look out for the body language of the hostages, without putting any of them in danger.

14. What Would You Do If A Suspect Offered You Money To Stall An Ongoing Investigation?

Corruption is a serious offense in the police department. Therefore, this question only has one answer.

Tip #1: Never tolerate corruption.

Tip #2:  Your answer should also include taking action against the person.

Sample Answer

I cannot tolerate any form of corruption. If such a thing would happen, I will take strict action against the person offering the bribe since it is also an offense punishable by law.

15. Why Did You Join The Police Department?

We all have our own reasons for the jobs we do. The interviewer is trying to find out if you entered the police force for the right purposes.

Tip #1: Do not mention the benefits.

Tip #2: Your reason should be positive and for the greater good.

Sample Answer

I grew up in a society where gangs ruled the streets. I saw people being harassed in their places of businesses and bodies being collected in the streets. Therefore, I decided to join the police force to make the world and our streets a better place and bring down these gangs.

16. How Do You Manage Those Your Work With?

The interviewer is assessing your management style. Remember, as police chief; your job involves the management of personnel and resources.

Tip #1: Do not come out bossy

Tip #2: Show that you can get along with others.

Sample Answer

I believe in being open and friendly to those I am managing. Having worked with several people, I have noticed that the best way to get people to do their duties if to make them feel appreciated. Therefore, while on my managerial duties, I always make sure that I am in good.

17. What’s Your Take On Recruiting Police Officers?

Remember, being a police chief means that you will be testing, training, and evaluating officers. Therefore, you should always be prepared to handle such a question.

Tip #1: you can mention some of your philosophies

Tip #2: you can mention techniques related to recruitment.

Sample Answer

I believe that when recruiting police officers, there are a few select items that should be assessed. I believe in testing for empathy, integrity, honesty, resilience, and decision making. I also believe that an agency should recruit members that will put the community it serves first.

18. What Is Your Experience With Budgets?

As the police chief, one of your greatest roles will be overseeing the budget of the police department. This question is testing your administrative abilities.

Tip #1: You can mention a collective bargain

Tip #2: Talk about how you prepare budgets and some of your considerations while at it.

Sample Answer

While drafting budgets, I always ensure that I prioritize the necessities. I always separate an emergency fund in anticipation of anything that might happen. I also have intensive knowledge of collective bargaining, which covers negotiating salary and benefits for the members of my department.

19. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

The interviewer wants to establish whether you have given your career a thought and whether you are ambitious enough.

Tip #1: You can tailor your answer to fit the organization or department.

Tip #2: You can talk about any other ambition that is in line with your career

Sample Answer

I want to progress in ranks in five years so that I can continue serving our communities at a higher level. I am also hoping that I will be through with my Masters in Criminology, which will put me in a better place for the progression in my career.

20. What Do You Consider Your Greatest Weakness?

This is usually one of the most common questions that interviewers ask. It can be a deal-breaker if not handled well.

Tip #1: Minimize your weakness and emphasize your strength.

Tip #2: Do not touch on personal traits

Sample Answer

  • I happen to be really tough on deadlines, which does not normally sit well with certain workmates who think that I am too pushy. I do not like excuses, especially when work is involved.


We have answered some of the most common questions asked in a police chief interview. Remember to be courageous and articulate. I hope that you will land the job.