60 Lifeguard Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A lifeguard is a professional who promotes safety in public swimming spaces. During lifeguard interviews, hiring managers may ask questions to learn more about your swimming and observation skills. If you are applying for lifeguard positions, learning more about the questions you may answer can help you improve your performance and increase your chance of receiving an offer. In this article, we list general, experience-related and in-depth questions and provide sample questions with answers.

21 General Lifeguard Interview Questions

General lifeguard interview questions help the hiring manager get to know more about who you are and why you are interested in the position. These are 22 general interview questions for a lifeguard:

  1. Do you consider yourself to be punctual?

  2. Do you enjoy working on a team?

  3. Do you have any questions for me?

  4. How did you learn about the position?

  5. How would your colleagues describe you?

  6. Tell me a bit about yourself.

  7. Walk me through your resume quickly.

  8. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

  9. What are your biggest strengths?

  10. What are your biggest weaknesses?

  11. What are your expectations for wages?

  12. What do you do during the off-season?

  13. What do you like to do outside of work?

  14. What do you prefer in a leader?

  15. What kind of working environment do you prefer?

  16. What separates you from the other lifeguard candidates?

  17. What is your biggest achievement?

  18. What is your process for dealing with difficult situations?

  19. Why are you interested in this position?

  20. Why are you leaving your current position?

  21. Why do you want to work at this pool?

Related: How To Prepare for a Walk-in-Interview (Plus 12 Tips)

18 Experience And Background Questions

These are 18 interview questions about experience and background you may answer during a lifeguard interview:

  1. Do you have any experience cleaning pools or swimming equipment?

  2. Do you have any experience teaching swimming lessons?

  3. Do you have any lifeguard or CPR certifications outside the requirements?

  4. Have you ever participated in a swimming competition?

  5. Have you ever worked as a volunteer lifeguard?

  6. How much experience do you have with lifeguarding over swimming areas with mostly children swimming?

  7. Is this your first lifeguarding job?

  8. Tell me about a time a swimmer ignored your safety warnings. What did you do?

  9. Tell me about a time you disagreed with another lifeguard. How did you resolve it?

  10. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond your job duties.

  11. Tell me about your experience being a lifeguard on a beach.

  12. What do you know about pool chemicals and how to know when the pool is safe to swim in?

  13. What kind of reports did you complete in your last position?

  14. What is the biggest emergency you experienced in your last lifeguard position?

  15. What is the longest lifeguarding shift you have ever worked?

  16. What is your process for maintaining your swimming abilities?

  17. When did you learn to swim?

  18. Which of your qualities has helped you be most successful in previous lifeguarding positions?

Related: 8 Common Personality Interview Questions And Answers

17 In-Depth Questions

These are some in-depth interview questions the hiring manager may ask during a lifeguard interview:

  1. A fellow lifeguard goes into the pool to help a swimmer but gets a cramp. What do you do?

  2. A swimmer is showing signs of exhaustion and dehydration. What do you do?

  3. A swimmer is stung by something in the water. How do you approach the situation?

  4. How do you keep kids and other swimmers from breaking safety rules?

  5. How would you describe an ideal day as a lifeguard?

  6. The manager makes a mistake on the schedule and asks you to stay late at the pool. What do you do?

  7. Two swimmers show signs of drowning on opposite sides of the pool. How do you approach the situation?

  8. What are the essential items you are sure to have before your shift begins?

  9. What are the most important qualities for a lifeguard to have?

  10. What's your process for keeping people out of the pool during swimming breaks?

  11. You and another lifeguard are monitoring the pool. What are your methods for communicating who manages which safety issues in the pool?

  12. You notice a child who can not swim well loses their floatation devices in the water. What do you do?

  13. You receive notice that the chemicals in the pool are not safe for swimming. How do you quickly get everyone out of the water?

  14. You try to notify a swimmer that they are behaving in an unsafe way, but you discover your whistle is broken. What do you do?

  15. You are at work and you are having trouble concentrating on the water and swimmers. What do you do?

  16. You are lifeguarding at the beach when you get a notice that a dangerous animal may be in the water. What do you do?

  17. You are working and you are unsure which area of the pool you are meant to be watching. What do you do?

Related: 7 Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Lifeguard Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Hiring managers ask specific questions to learn more about you and how you may react in certain situations. By learning more about why interviewers ask these questions and how to answer them, you can improve your interview performance. The following sample questions and answers can help you prepare for your lifeguard interview:

1. Why do you want to be a lifeguard?

Hiring managers may ask this question to understand what motivated you to apply for the lifeguard role. Showing genuine interest and desire to grow in the position may help persuade the manager to consider hiring you. When answering this question, explain why lifeguarding appeals to you and how your skills and abilities make you a good fit for the position.

Example: "I have been a swimmer all my life. I took years of lessons as a child, and I am now on the swim team at my school. I am passionate about water safety and recently completed CPR certification at my local community centre. I am interested in becoming a lifeguard so that I can help others feel comfortable in the water."

2. Have you ever supervised others in a pool setting?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your experience watching others in the water. It is important for lifeguards to remain calm and alert at their posts. When answering this question, describe your experience and share the strategies you used to keep people safe in and around the water.

Example: "I often supervise my siblings while they swim in our family pool and ensure that they use caution when entering and moving around the pool area. I also use a sweeping gaze to observe swimmers from left to right and back. Additionally, I look at the bottom of the pool with each sweep because I know that water emergencies can sometimes happen quietly. After everyone exits the pool, I walk around the perimeter, scanning the surface and bottom of the water. I remain aware of my responsibilities to ensure that swimmers have a safe and enjoyable time in the pool."

3. How would you address a group of children running around a pool you are guarding?

You may face a situational question like this when you interview for a lifeguard position. By presenting a scenario and asking how you would act, interviewers can assess your communication skills and problem-solving abilities. When answering this question, you can emphasise your commitment to customer service and describe how you would follow company policy to maintain order.

Example: "If I were in charge of a pool and observed guests engaging in unsafe behaviour, I would directly address them in order to maintain a safe swimming environment. I understand that reminding guests about pool rules is part of a lifeguard's role. I would follow the company policy if possible and use my voice or whistle to attract the children's attention. I would issue a brief yet polite directive while keeping my eyes on my water zone. I might say: "Walk, please. It is unsafe to run in the pool area," and I would thank the children once they stopped."

Related: What Are Careers on the Sea? (With Definition and Examples)

4. What are some characteristics of a good lifeguard?

Interviewers may pose this question to evaluate your understanding of the role and responsibilities. It may be helpful to research the position and company before your interview so that you can provide a well-informed answer. When you respond, try to explain how the characteristics you identify could help lifeguards succeed.

Example: "Because lifeguards are responsible for the safety of swimmers and guests, they should be able to maintain composure and situational awareness every day. Lifeguards should be clear communicators, strong swimmers and compassionate representatives of their employers. These characteristics ensure lifeguards are efficient and respectful in their customer interactions from greetings to rescues. Lifeguards should have expert knowledge of approved life-saving techniques, and they should also be comfortable applying their knowledge in challenging situations."

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