OPE Career Edge | SC Highway Patrol

PatchIn an attempt to help military job seekers transition to a meaningful civilian career, we’ve asked several South Carolina hiring managers to share what makes an ideal candidate.

We’re kicking off what we hope will be a regular feature with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a certified Palmetto Military Employer. Thanks to Corporal Michael Zang with SC Highway Patrol Employment and Recruiting for taking time to answer our questions!


Q: As an HR professional, what’s the number one soft skill you’re looking for and why?

Communication. In law enforcement, being able to speak with and listen to people out in the real world can help make a tense situation much easier to control. Being able to listen and answer a suspect, victim, coworker or supervisor can go a long way.

Q: What do you wish potential candidates understood about the hiring process?

Candidates need to understand that it takes time to examine one’s history. The process is not going to happen overnight. In today’s world of instant gratification, people sometimes forget that hiring processes must be diligent to ensure we make good hiring decisions. Most problems with employees can be eliminated before they start if the hiring process is successful.

With a proud history since 1930 and such recognizable characteristics as the wing and campaign hat, we’ve established a very recognizable brand. Each person is attracted to us individually, and it’s up to us to make sure that our agency is a good fit for that person.

Q: Why are military hires important to you, and what value do they bring to the workplace?

The military structure is similar to ours in law enforcement. They are used to the chain of command, being assigned a duty and carrying it out — it’s very much the same in law enforcement (LE). It’s a great transition from the military life to the LE life. Military experience also demonstrates a person’s ability to honor their commitments to an organization.

Q: What positions are you hiring for right now, and where?

We have 46 counties in South Carolina, and we currently have positions throughout the entire state. Please visit our website for career opportunities, including salary and benefits.

Q: What are your favorite interview questions, and what type of answers are you looking for?

What does a Trooper do? This lets us know if they have researched the position or have any firsthand knowledge of what the duties entail.

Why do you want to be a South Carolina State Trooper? This gives us a chance to hear what motivates or inspires a person, in their own words.

# # #

To nominate a South Carolina employer for an OPE Career Edge feature, please call (803) 299-4019.