Firefighter Interview Tips

One of the most fearsome steps of any hiring process is the interview. It tests everything that you have learned up until that moment and then some. It is done to understand the nature of the applicant and how technically educated they are. It is also a platform for the applicant to get to know the company or institution better before they start spending their days there. As scared as people are of this process, there are a few tricks to ace certain interviews, every time. Here are a few tips to excel in your firefighter interview or oral board.

Arrive On Time

In a dangerous profession like firefighting, the difference of one second can make all the difference. It can decide the whole outcome of the rescue operation. Thus, show your interviewers that you are a punctual and a dependable person. Some people would suggest arriving 30 minutes prior to the interview to do any last-minute preparations while others suggest that you should arrive only 10 minutes early to show that your time is just as valuable as theirs. Either way, be there on time and make sure you don’t have to reschedule the meeting.

Groom Yourself

In jobs like these, it is extremely important that the applicant is disciplined. Your discipline may be shown in many ways like when you arrive for the interview, the way you greet others and even the way you are dressed. While dressing yourself for the interview, remember to wear something formal and to groom yourself properly. For men, they should be cleanly shaven with combed hair and tidy clothes. Women should put their hair up and avoid too much makeup while wearing clean formal clothes. This will help your first impression be the best one.

Remain Calm

Many interviews are meant to rattle you. They start off with simple questions to get you comfortable but soon turn up the heat to see how you react under pressure. Take a moment to think about their questions and remain calm. As a firefighter, you must make a lot of decisions at the last second and people’s lives might depend on it. At such times, it is essential that you remain calm and analytically come up with the best answers or get your point across clearly. Arriving at the location early and getting accustomed to the new location might help you calm down and think clearly during the interview.

Meet The Requirements

Every department has a different type of personality that they are currently searching for. The easiest way to ace an interview is to be “that guy”. You can apply to the correct department by doing some research on every fire department and what kind of guys they normally hire. At a base level, you will need to be physical fit, educated about fire science and selfless. If you can meet these three basic criteria, then chances of you getting hired are already high enough. Remember to cite examples that display these characteristics of yours.

Know The Answers

The title might be a bit misleading, but an easy solution to not panicking in the last moment is to know the answers to questions that might be asked. There are going to be a few questions to judge your character. There is no correct answer to these ones. All you can do is have a clear idea about them by practicing them beforehand. Then there are the technical questions to test how much you know about the field and how much they’ll have to invest in you. Here are a few examples of both these types –

  • “Why did you choose firefighting?”
  • “What according to you are the responsibilities of the fire department?”
  • “Would you rather save Mr. X or Mrs. Y given the following circumstances. Why?”
  • “Have you ever put yourself at risk while saving a life?”
  • “How would you extinguish different types of fires?”
  • “Name some easy ways to prevent fires in public and commercial buildings”

You can find a more detailed list of questions and answers here.

By now you have understood how tough a firefighter interview can be. But if you are really great at your job and extremely passionate about it, then no one can stop you from succeeding at such interviews. With these tips in mind, check out the career outlook for firemen in the coming years.