Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What to Expect in a Security Guard Job Interview

The security industry is a great career path for the right minded individual. But before you get started you need to research which companies that you would like to work for. Along with your application you will need to send them any applicable licenses or certificates to let them know that you have received the proper security guard training. Then you will undergo an interview process. This is a crucial stage that can make all the difference in the world. Security guards must be able to maintain a high level of professionalism, poise and calmness under pressure. These are all things that your interviewer will be looking for.

Work Experience

Many security employers prefer to hire applicants with military or law enforcement backgrounds. But just because you don't fall into either of those categories does not mean you are out of luck. What is important is that you describe your previous work experience as it relates to being a security guard. Skills such as independence, quick thinking, decision making, observational skills and teamwork are what you want to emphasize here.

Can You Be Trusted?

Being a security guard puts you in an elevated position of trust to your prospective employer. So your level of honesty is of prime importance and you will often be asked questions relating to this during the interview. It is important that you make it clear to the interviewer that you are a highly responsible person. And if you can draw upon past experiences of being entrusted to protect valuable persons or property then that is a bonus.

Problem Solving

Lastly, you may be asked a bunch of questions that relate to your ability to solve a problem or recognize one before it even begins. It is important to remember that there is no perfect answer and usually many different ways of approaching a problem. Be sure to listen very carefully to the scenario outlined by the interviewer and take your time in responding as best as you can to the situation.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Top Five Characteristics of an Outstanding Security Guard

Security guards spend a lot of their time communicating with law enforcement and the public. In an emergency situation every second is crucial so it is imperative that you are able to quickly and effectively describe the situation to a dispatcher. And security guards often act like customer service reps with the public. They get asked questions in person or over the phone. It is highly beneficial to the company you work for that you are able to communicate well with them.

2) Good Memory

Security guards have to perform many small tasks and so being able to remember key details is a big helper. Also, you may be required to testify in court from time to time where you may be asked to describe a past situation. Being able to remember key details of events and people can really help with this.

3) Rapid Thinking

Situations that demand an immediate response can happen at any time. And a good security guard must be able to quickly assess a situation and make good decisions. Training and experience will certainly help with this, but being quick on your feet is an excellent ability to have.

4) Writing Ability

Security guards are expected to keep detailed logs on events. This information may be later used in court, aid law enforcement investigations or be utilized by superiors for decision making and planning. Being able to succinctly and quickly describe events will aid greatly in these regards.

5) Staying Alert

Security guards are often required to work at differing hours, by themselves, as well as with a group or a partner. Being able to stay alert at all times is one of the most important skills that a great security guard can have. There are many types of legal stimulants such as caffeine or energy drinks that one could use. But a balanced diet with regular exercise and good sleeping habits will help most in this regard.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Most Important Pieces of Security Guard Equipment

Security guards have a challenging job that requires attention to detail and constant vigilance. It is imperative that they carry the right equipment for the job. This article will provide a list of some of the top pieces of gear that all security staff must have.

1) Uniform, Badge and Boots

Depending on what jurisdiction or company you work for, some or all of this equipment may be provided for you. A badge and uniform are essential to alert the public of your capacity as a security guard. They also work as a deterrent to would-be criminals. The mere sight of authority will scare many thieves and troublemakers away.

2) Flashlight

A good flashlight is an essential tool for this job. Since security guards often work at night when criminal activity is most prevalent, it is imperative that they are able to see all of the activity in front of them. Even as a daytime officer, you will often find yourself patrolling areas that are not well lit making a flashlight very handy. Although primarily used as a lighting device, most security guards these days carry heavy duty flashlights made of metal or other robust materials. This allows them to be used as a weapon if needed as well.

3) Baton

While altercations are rare in the security guard field they do happen from time to time. A baton serves as a reminder of your authority to criminals. And it can serve as a useful tool in combating unruly people without applying a serious or lethal amount of force. A longtime highly valued tool of the trade for police officers, a baton is an essential piece of equipment for all security guard personnel.

4) Handgun

While not authorized to be carried in all jurisdictions, and often requiring specialized licensing, a gun is the ultimate reminder to the bad guys of your power to stop them. Though rarely used, a firearm is a highly effective deterrent to criminals. In armed security jobs a handgun is almost unanimously the preferred weapon of choice. And in particular the 9mm due to its compactness, effectiveness in close range combat and low recoil.

5) Bullet Proof Vest

If you are an armed security guard you may be required to wear a bullet stopping vest as well. The benefits of this are pretty straight forward. It could save your life! While firearm combat is rare in the security guard industry the piece of mind that comes with wearing a bullet proof vest is well worth the trouble. Most security guard vests are light and highly breathable as they are intended to stop only small arms fire. Officers in highly specialized fields such as amoured car transport will usually be required to wear heavy duty vests with a higher stopping power.

6) Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is another common tool used by security guards to effectively stop a trouble maker temporarily without the use of lethal or serious force. Long a favored tool of police officers, the effectiveness of pepper spray in close quarter altercations is well known. By spraying them in the eyes with a chemical compound that causes irritation and temporary blindness in some cases, the would-be criminal will not issue a threat to your person, or the property around you, for several minutes. This will allow you to properly restrain the suspect and alert the authorities.

7) Cell Phone/Walkie Talkie

Most of your communication will be with other security guards on a local network using a device such as a walk talkie. However, sometimes you may need to call in the police or paramedics for assistance. So it is advisable to have a cell phone prepared with the numbers of local law enforcement and medical staff. Most security guard companies will provide this sort of equipment for you.

8) Digital Camera

A digital camera is a key piece of equipment in collecting evidence or taking note of criminal activities. Sometimes you may be required to testify in court and your ability to collect data to aid law enforcement is a key component of your job. Many cameras these days also come with video capabilities which can further aid in the process of gathering information.

9) Handcuffs

Most security guard companies will issue this valuable piece of equipment to their staff. Highly effective at restraining criminals until the authorities arrive, they are an essential tool for the job. At the same time they act as a highly effective deterrent to would-be criminals like many of the other pieces of equipment mentioned so far.

10) Security Guard Belt

A good security guard belt is an essential tool that every officer must have. There are many different small devices and pieces of equipment that a security guard must carry. And you want to be able to access them as effectively and efficiently as possible. A good security guard belt will allow you to do just that. They will often come withe many different slide-able clips and adjusters to make organizing all of your gear that much easier.