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Interview questions

Safety Officer

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What has been your journey so far?

What do you enjoy most about being a Safety Officer?

Why did you want to become a Safety Officer?

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time there was an emergency at work that needed your attention. How did you handle it?

This question gives the candidate a chance to talk you through their way of working in case of an emergency. This shows you how they might operate within your organisation.

Tell me about a time you had to deliver training to the team. How did you prepare for this and what steps did you take?

Delivering health and safety training is an essential part of this role, so you want the candidate to be great at this.

Tell me about a proud moment in your career so far. What happened and why were you so pleased with the outcome?

Here, you give the candidate a chance to really shine. Find out what they’re proud of and what they have achieved in their career.

Soft Skills

  • How do you prioritise your tasks when dealing with a lot of different deadlines?
  • The life of a Safety Officer can be busy and packed with a tight schedule. Find out how the candidate prioritises their time.
  • How do you translate difficult or dull health and safety issues to your colleagues or management in a way that’s understandable and engaging?
  • Presenting information to colleagues is one thing, delivering it in a way that’s both understandable and engaging is another. This question tests the candidate’s presentation skills.
  • How do you respond to receiving pushback from your colleagues or higher management?
  • Getting buy-in from colleagues and management can be difficult. So the Safety Officer has to be great at negotiating and not give up as soon as someone says no.

Hard Skills

  • What are your credentials and certifications as a Safety Officer?
  • A practical question to get to know their background and experience.
  • How do you stay up to date with the latest government regulations on health and safety?
  • Regulations constantly change, and it’s your Safety Officer’s responsibility to keep up to date with any of these changes.
  • How do you ensure you get the necessary corporate budget from management to implement necessary safety measures?
  • As mentioned, getting buy-in can be difficult. Especially since often there simply isn’t enough budget for all recommended safety measures. This means the candidate might have to prioritise measures to at least gain budget for the most important measures.
  • How would you perform a workplace safety audit? Run me through the process.
  • Any Safety Officer should be able to answer this question.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • You notice an employee keeps neglecting a certain safety procedure after you’ve already explained it. What do you do?
  • Some employees simply won’t listen, no matter how often you might explain a measure to them. As the Safety Officer, it’s your obligation to act and potentially escalate the situation to the employee’s manager.
  • You notice the company is failing in terms of a serious health and safety regulation. You flag it to main management, but they tell you there is no budget. What do you do?
  • Do you accept the lack of budget and risk a safety hazard, or do you push harder for management to free up budget either way?
  • You made a mistake regarding the safety procedures and a colleague ends up getting injured. What do you do?
  • Sadly, this can happen when working as a Safety Officer. Find out how the candidate would respond in such a situation.

Safety Officer Interview Questions

A Safety Officer ensures your business complies with (office) health and safety regulations and continuously assesses the safety situation at your workplace. The Safety Officer not only responds to emergency situations when they happen, but actively implements policies and processes to minimise and prevent them from happening in the future.

When interviewing a Safety Officer candidate, you should see if they possess any of the following skills or characteristics:

  • Extremely organised and structured in the way they work. Since the Safety Officer has to follow procedures and processes to the most miniscule detail, these are two of the most important skills for them to have.
  • Great communication and presentation skills as the candidate will have to educate the rest of the team on any health and safety measures that have to be implemented.
  • Ability to remain calm and follow protocols even during hectic, emergency situations.

Interviewing a Safety Officer

So you’ve invited a candidate for an initial interview. Time to question them on their experience and abilities to perform the job. But what should you ask them? What interview questions uncover the most useful answers?

Well, the ones you’ll find in this article, of course. We have created a list of useful Safety Officer interview questions and answers, and you can even download them as a PDF file!

But do bear in mind that these questions are meant to be asked early on in the interview process, ideally during the first interview.

How to open the job interview

We all know job interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking and stressful. This is especially true for the first interview, where the candidate doesn’t know you or your business that well yet. These nerves can really impact how well the candidate responds to questions during the interview, potentially resulting in them giving a bad impression.

To try and prevent this from happing, you should consider starting the conversation with an easy opening question or two. This way, the candidate can slowly settle into the interview, before having to answer tough questions.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What has been your journey so far?

What do you enjoy most about being a Safety Officer?

Why did you want to become a Safety Officer?

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time there was an emergency at work that needed your attention. How did you handle it?

This question gives the candidate a chance to talk you through their way of working in case of an emergency. This shows you how they might operate within your organisation.

Tell me about a time you had to deliver training to the team. How did you prepare for this and what steps did you take?

Delivering health and safety training is an essential part of this role, so you want the candidate to be great at this.

Tell me about a proud moment in your career so far. What happened and why were you so pleased with the outcome?

Here, you give the candidate a chance to really shine. Find out what they’re proud of and what they have achieved in their career.

Soft Skills

  • How do you prioritise your tasks when dealing with a lot of different deadlines?
  • The life of a Safety Officer can be busy and packed with a tight schedule. Find out how the candidate prioritises their time.
  • How do you translate difficult or dull health and safety issues to your colleagues or management in a way that’s understandable and engaging?
  • Presenting information to colleagues is one thing, delivering it in a way that’s both understandable and engaging is another. This question tests the candidate’s presentation skills.
  • How do you respond to receiving pushback from your colleagues or higher management?
  • Getting buy-in from colleagues and management can be difficult. So the Safety Officer has to be great at negotiating and not give up as soon as someone says no.

Hard Skills

  • What are your credentials and certifications as a Safety Officer?
  • A practical question to get to know their background and experience.
  • How do you stay up to date with the latest government regulations on health and safety?
  • Regulations constantly change, and it’s your Safety Officer’s responsibility to keep up to date with any of these changes.
  • How do you ensure you get the necessary corporate budget from management to implement necessary safety measures?
  • As mentioned, getting buy-in can be difficult. Especially since often there simply isn’t enough budget for all recommended safety measures. This means the candidate might have to prioritise measures to at least gain budget for the most important measures.
  • How would you perform a workplace safety audit? Run me through the process.
  • Any Safety Officer should be able to answer this question.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • You notice an employee keeps neglecting a certain safety procedure after you’ve already explained it. What do you do?
  • Some employees simply won’t listen, no matter how often you might explain a measure to them. As the Safety Officer, it’s your obligation to act and potentially escalate the situation to the employee’s manager.
  • You notice the company is failing in terms of a serious health and safety regulation. You flag it to main management, but they tell you there is no budget. What do you do?
  • Do you accept the lack of budget and risk a safety hazard, or do you push harder for management to free up budget either way?
  • You made a mistake regarding the safety procedures and a colleague ends up getting injured. What do you do?
  • Sadly, this can happen when working as a Safety Officer. Find out how the candidate would respond in such a situation.

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