Federal Bureau of Prisons Hiring Process: Job Application, Interviews, and Employment

By | July 15, 2023
Federal Bureau of Prisons Hiring Process
The Federal Bureau of Prisons hiring process consists of an interview session where you would discuss your past experience, skills, and qualifications. Image source: ABC News.

This post highlights what to expect in the Federal Bureau of Prisons hiring process, including the job application and interviews that candidates need to complete to be offered employment by the agency.

If you are seeking employment with the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, you will be expected to successfully go through the agency’s hiring process, which is designed to help the agency to recruit the best candidates into various positions.

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The Federal Bureau of Prisons Hiring Process

The hiring process at the Federal Bureau of Prisons consists of various stages, including:

Federal Bureau of Prisons Job Application Process

To apply for a position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you must first fill out an online application form on the agency’s website.

This website allows applicants to upload their resume and cover letter as well as answer questions about themselves.

Once your information has been submitted, it is then reviewed by BOP recruiters. If your application is selected for further review, you will be contacted by email or phone.

Available Jobs at Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal bureau of prisons employs over 36,000 employees in different capacities.

They are divided into several categories, such as: correctional officers, medical staff, food service workers, maintenance workers, administrative support staff, etc.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Interview Process

If your application has been considered for possible recruitment, you will be scheduled for an interview.

During the interview, the interviewer will ask you questions regarding your past experience and any skills or qualifications you possess.

They will also give you a chance to discuss your career goals.

After the interview, if all goes well, you will receive a conditional offer of employment.

At this point, you will need to sign a contract agreeing to work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Tips for Passing the Federal Bureau of Prisons Interview

Here are valuable tips you can apply in passing the Federal Bureau of Prisons job interview:

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Before the interview, think about what you know about yourself and how you would respond to certain questions.

For example, if you are asked why you want to work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you should be able to come up with a good response.

  • Prepare answers to common interview questions.

It’s not enough just to show up for the interview; you must prepare answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

  • Dress appropriately.

Make sure you dress professionally but casually. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or makeup.

  • Be prepared for difficult questions.

Some of the questions you might be asked during the interview could be challenging. Try to remain calm and remember that there are people watching you.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Interview Questions and Answers

Here are samples of most frequently asked questions during interviews with the Federal bureau of prisons (and sample answers):

  1. Why would you like to work for us?

I want to work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons because I have always wanted to work in corrections.

It is my belief that working for them will allow me to learn more about myself and my future.

2. What are your greatest strengths?

My greatest strength is that I am very organized and detail oriented. I prefer to keep things tidy and clean.

3. How long have you worked in corrections?

I have worked in corrections for three years now. My career started off as a correctional officer at a state prison.

Then I transferred to a county jail where I was a correctional counselor.

The next year I moved to another county jail and became a correctional counselor again.

Finally, I decided to transfer to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

4. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a dangerous situation.

One day while on duty, I got called out to assist a prisoner who was being assaulted by his cellmate.

When I arrived, the inmate was already lying on the floor bleeding from his head.

He told me that he was going to kill himself if I didn’t get him medical attention right away.

Luckily, we were able to stop the bleeding before it caused permanent damage.

How Long Does Federal Bureau of Prisons Hiring Process Take?

After you have been offered a job, you may be contacted via email or telephone to let you know you have been selected for the position.

This can take up to two weeks. If you are chosen for the position, then you will receive an offer letter detailing all the information about starting employment with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

You will also receive details about the start date of your new job. 

Federal Bureau of Prisons Careers and Jobs

Here are major careers and jobs you can explore at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

  • Correctional Officer (CO)

Description: The correctional officer works under the direction of a shift supervisor to provide security for inmates, staff, visitors, and property within assigned areas.

They ensure that the facility is safe and secure, and they respond to emergencies.

  • Custodial Worker (CW)

Description: Custodians perform duties such as cleaning, maintaining, and repairing facilities.

They also help maintain order and safety inside the facility.

  • Food Service Worker (FSW)

Description: Food service workers prepare food and beverages for meals served in the dining hall.

They must follow strict sanitation procedures to prevent contamination of food products.

  • Health Services Worker (HSW)

Description: Healthcare professionals provide health services to inmates.

They include nurses, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and other healthcare specialists.

  • Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)

Description: Medical laboratory technicians test blood samples, urine samples, and other specimens collected from patients.

Their work involves collecting samples, testing them, and reporting results.

What to Expect Working at Federal Bureau of Prisons

Federal Bureau of Prisons offers benefits like paid holidays, vacation days, sick leave, retirement plans, life insurance, and more.

In addition, employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement programs, which cover up to 100% of the cost of attending school full-time.

Employees also have access to free legal assistance through the Office of Legal Counsel.

What some Employees Dislike about Working at Federal Bureau of Prisons

Some employees report that they don’t like their co-workers because of the different cultures that exist among employees.

They also complain that they don’t feel valued by management.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Company Profile

Before the BOP, the federal prison system had been in operation for more than 30 years.

The Superintendent of Prisons, a Department of Justice official in Washington, was nominally in charge of federal prisons beginning with the passage of the “Three Prisons Act” in 1891, which authorized the first three federal penitentiaries: USP Leavenworth, USP Atlanta, and USP McNeil Island with limited supervision by the Department of Justice.

Until 1907, the Justice Department General Agent was in charge of jail operations, as well as Justice Department accounts, internal operations control, and some criminal investigations.

The General Agent was abolished in 1907, and its functions were divided among three new offices: the Division of Accounts (which evolved into the Justice Management Division); the Office of the Chief Examiner (which evolved into the Bureau of Investigation in 1908, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the early 1920s); and the Office of the Superintendent of Prisons and Prisoners, later known as the Superintendent of Prisons (which evolved in 1930 into the Bureau of Prisons).

On May 14, 1930, the United States Congress established the Bureau of Prisons inside the Department of Justice, with the mission of “managing and regulating all Federal penal and penitentiary facilities.”

This included the management of the 11 federal prisons that were open at the time. By the end of 1930, the system had grown to 14 facilities with 13,000 inmates, and by 1940, it had grown to 24 institutions with 24,360 inmates.

The state of Alaska took over prisons on January 3, 1959, with the establishment of the Alaska Department of Corrections; before to statehood, the BOP held correctional jurisdiction over Alaska.

More Federal Bureau of Prisons Company Profile

In the 1980s and 1990s, the federal inmate population more than quadrupled as a result of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and subsequent legislation that pushed for longer terms, less judicial discretion, and harsher sentencing for drug-related offenses.

The population growth rate slowed in the early 2000s, although it continued to rise until 2014.

BOP assumed responsibility for adult criminals convicted of breaching District of Columbia statutes under the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997.


The Bureau of Prisons is an important part of our justice system. It has many responsibilities, including housing federal prisoners, providing medical care, and maintaining safety within the prisons.

This post has discussed how the Bureau of Prisons conducts its hiring process, what the agency looks for in candidates, and tips to getting employed.