Why prepare before the meeting for the possible firefighter interview questions? When we were children, many of us imagined that becoming a firefighter was easy. However, in real life, things are very different.
A firefighter is much more than putting off the fire from a building or saving a cat from a tree, perhaps, sliding down a pole or driving those big red trucks.
A real firefighter dedicates himself to helping his community while risking his life for someone else during an emergency.
Firefighter Interview Tips
First, the firefighter department needs to know you. To do so, they will schedule a meeting to have an interview and ask questions about themselves.
This article will provide ideas for your first interview and show typical questions that a fire chief may ask and how best to respond.
First impression counts
When you arrive at the meeting, you must show personality. For example, don’t be weak when you answer something or feel submissive to others.
On the other hand, if you are calm and sure about your answers, the examiner will see that you have confidence in yourself! That is an excellent start for you!
Do your research on the station you are going.
Be informed about what a firefighter does and be very punctual. Arriving late, even for a couple of minutes, is not acceptable. You won’t get the job.
Walk and act with it. Even if you think no one is watching you, someone is! From the moment you enter the station until you leave the place.
If you don’t have self-confidence, repeat in your head that you are confident, and you will do a great interview.
As well as in any job interview, you must be yourself, don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t.
Put in practice these tips before you show up to the meeting.
Firefighter Interview Questions
It helps to know what to expect when the firefighter interview comes. Especially if you’re interviewing for a job or applying for an upcoming firefighter position, here are the most common and popular interview questions you can come across.
Note that I didn’t want to list every possible firefighter interview questions an interviewer may ask. That will only make you nervous and cause you to fail the interview.
Some questions are specific to the fire service, while others are ice-breakers. It will depend entirely on the personality of the person (usually the fire chief) who interviews you.
The firefighter interview questions will test your personality traits, responsibility, training, and what you expect from the service.
1. Could you tell us about yourself?
It would be best not to focus on academic things. But, sometimes, candidates ramble about how good they were in school or their grades.
Instead, you can show your social skills. For example, you can say that you are a very charismatic person who can adapt to working on a team.
What makes you, well, you?
2. Why do you want to become a firefighter?
It would be best for you to have some reasons to join the fire service. This question is typical, yet the answer can vary.
Some want to serve their community. Others, watching firefighters helping others on the news have given them hope. Consequently, they want to be part of a group that loves to help whenever possible.
Essentially, it’s a way to reflect on what inspires you to become a firefighter. For example, why do you want to work as a fireman or firewoman? Try to include an essential trait in your answer: teamwork and service to your community inspire you.
However, if you are not truthful, a response like this can backfire. Some interviewers can be harsher than others and confront you on the spot.
For example, you might say: “I want to become a firefighter to help people!”. While he might reply: “That’s a cliché, give me a better reason…”.
In these instances, perhaps he wants to throw you off balance. But on the other hand, iOn the other hand, it can mean he has heard the same response to this interview question many times.
If this situation happens to you, be calm. Smile, and come up with a different response. Usually, the fire chief wants to see how you react and handle yourself under stress.
3. Who lives with you?
This question is more of a personal nature; therefore, there is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important because it talks a lot about you and your life.
You can talk a bit about your immediate family. If you have a wife or children, or perhaps you live with your parents or siblings.
If you are responsible for someone, it’s a great moment to express it. So do try to keep it light-hearted.
4. What skills do you have?
Physical skills are essential, but your communication and listening skills complement a great firefighter. You will always learn and must follow every instruction carefully to do a good job.
Taking care of yourself and your teammates will help you reach the place you want to be. But, at the same time, you’ll become an essential part of the team.
5. Have you worked in a team before?
You can give examples of any job or situation where you did something with more people. For example, the fire department wants to see if you have the necessary skill to share ideas with others.
What if you don’t have the experience? Then try to create one beforehand! Ask a friend to help you with a personal project, to learn to interact.
Asking for help is also good because you will reach your goals easier with others. In addition, it denotes that you are willing to learn and not a snob about it.
6. What is your principal weakness?
It is a tricky question because not many people like to share their weak points. However, discussing something you must improve means you are open to receiving advice to enhance your job.
Some weaknesses are best not to share. For example, if your fault is always arriving late to meetings, it’s not something that will earn you points in the interview.
Instead, focus on weaknesses you are working on or can overcome with some dedication.
Now, this doesn’t mean you are to be dishonest. On the contrary, the fire service looks to work with the best, and integrity is essential. However, more profound struggles are not something you usually want to put on the table during a job interview.
7. What do you think of your previous boss?
Here it would be best if you never said terrible things about them. Even if you didn’t get along, it is vital not to criticize a person by the way they work.
Remember that the person interviewing you will become your boss if you get the job. Therefore, he would not like to hire someone that would speak bad things about him if you left.
There would be nothing wrong if you and your boss had some differences. However, you can say that it taught you many things you didn’t have. Perhaps the experience showed you the importance of working hard, making you a better person.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
You can find this question in every job interview. Giving a correct answer will show that you are an ambitious person and that you have goals to reach.
However, your expectations should be realistic. For example, you can’t say you want to be the place’s manager in five years because that takes a lot of time and work.
You can say that you see yourself with more experience in five years than now. Helping many people and improving yourself, and dominating your firefighting skills.
9. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
This one is an ice-breaker question but can have a hidden double intention.
It is preferable to say interesting things like playing an instrument, exercising, or practicing any sport. Volunteering or community service is a plus. However, only say something that you do! Never lie in an interview.
On the other hand, try not to say things that you do something that can affect your physical and mental health. An example would be that you prefer to watch TV all day or eat fast food three times a week.
10. What motivates you to work as a firefighter?
The best answer is that you will wake up daily thinking of the people you will help and the lives you can save. There is no stronger motivation than doing good things for others.
Of course, there are other sources of motivation. Perhaps you are from a firefighting family and want to follow the tradition.
Whatever the reason, understand it first for yourself; why do you aspire to be a firefighter? Then, you’ll respond to this question ideally.
11. What have you done since you finished school?
You can talk about some places you have worked on and learned from experiences. Hopefully, you’ve been working on something that relates to emergency services.
The closest job to a firefighter is being an EMT. They help to stabilize and transport people who need medical help. So, if you had the opportunity to be one, it won’t be a complex adaptation when becoming a firefighter.
If not, then explain what has been going on in your life. I recommend you try to be as open as possible without going into too much detail. However, if the examiner asks for it, go ahead and dig deeper (if you feel comfortable).
12. How do you deal with conflicts that happen in the workplace?
This question helps to show your leadership characteristics. Firefighters must embrace a specific role when they are out in the field. The questioner may want to know how you deal with tense situations.
For example, everyone at any time had a conflict or discussion with someone because they didn’t share the same ideas.
Remember that a great professional and leader doesn’t avoid problems. Instead, he focuses on resolving conflicts and finding fast solutions.
Firefighters dedicate their lives to their job and responding to accidents and emergencies. Therefore, you must be intelligent and an excellent communicator to interact well with people.
Hopefully, these firefighter interview questions will help you increase your chances of winning the position. If you do, take advantage of it and do your best. Every day is an opportunity to help people, and it’s an honor to be part of a fire department team.
To put other people’s lives before yours is heroic. Therefore, you must be fully committed to doing that every day, and soon you will get recognition for your work.
By becoming a firefighter, you will learn the value of life and start appreciating every second.