Situational and Role Play Interview Preparation for Canada Border Services


When you apply to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to be hired as a border services officer, you will undergo a rigorous process. The process ensures that you will fulfill the position's needs, keeping Canadians safe.

You are embarking on a journey to become a trusted government employee that facilitates and oversees international travel and trade across the Canadian border. 

To be hired as a CBSA officer, you will have to complete a situational and role-play interview. These types of interviews are intimidating at best but also can be hard to prepare for. 

Prospective border services officers must be tested by these types of interviews because of the seriousness of the position. Border services officers are entrusted to stop weapons, inadmissible people, and drugs from coming into Canada while allowing legal travel and trade to flow. 

There are 1,100 CBSA service spots across Canada. These include airports, highway crossings, marine terminals, and postal facilities. Border services officers are in charge of enforcing laws and regulations that are vast and have many Canadian societal implications. 

While it can be hard to know where to start to prepare for a role play and situational interview, we have some suggestions to help alleviate some of the stress involved. The following are some tips to help you prepare so you can get your dream role.

What is a Role Play Interview?

The first part of preparing yourself for your role play interview is to understand what one is. A role-play interview is a simulation of an actual interview. The reasoning behind a role-play interview is to see how a potential employee will function in the job role. 


This type of interview is used in customer-service type jobs or positions where the employee will be having direct contact with people. 


The hiring manager or recruiter usually acts as a person employees would typically encounter during their daily work. The employee will be faced with different scenarios and must react appropriately. 


You may be asked to respond to a complaint or deescalate a situation. With a CBSA position, you will more than likely be subject to role-plays that centre around the competencies required to become a CBSA officer. 

How Can I Prepare for My Interview?

Although you may not know the questions or scenarios, you will be given in your role play and situational interview, you should prepare ahead of time. Choose some general role-play questions for any type of service role.  

With the CBSA, the following competencies will be evaluated in exam form before your interview:

In addition to these, the competencies you require for your interview are as follows:

The interviewers will be looking to assess your capabilities with these competencies, so it is essential to research these thoroughly. It can help create a list of questions that you can build on and study if you are asked a question for that competency. 

Your Interview

When you get your interview invitation, you will get a good idea about what competencies you will be discussing. However, you will want to begin your preparations before this. 

Once you have an idea of what the interviewers will be looking for, you can begin to streamline your interview preparation. You can get some hints about what is expected of you by doing some digging. Read over the CBSA website for clues about what they are looking for. Try to think about what the interviewers are looking for and consider any real-life situation you have had that you can draw from for your interview. 

At this point, you should try to relax and get focused. When you have adequately prepared for your interview, you will fare well in a role-play and situational interview. Be confident that the skills that brought you to this point in the hiring process and show those to the interviewers. 

Canadian Border Services Officer Interview Coaching

If the prospect of a role-play or situational interviews leave you feeling intimidated, hiring an interview coach is the answer for you. 

An interview coach will not only prepare you for your interview by giving you potential interview questions and scenarios, but they will also teach you how to respond to situational and role-play scenarios.

With the help of a good interview coach, you can reduce your anxiety when interviewing. Police Test Tutor will uncover your strengths and give you tools to overcome challenges you might encounter in your interview.

Police Test Tutor also features an award-winning methodology for structuring your interview answers. An interview coach will take your life or work experiences and shape them into solutions for your interview questions. You will become more effective at articulating your responses. You will feel more prepared to take on even a role-playing interview and land your dream job as a border services officer.  

Why wait any longer? Contact Police Test Tutor today to learn more.