Emergency Management Specialists coordinate emergency response services when there is a disaster such as a war, earthquake, hostage situation, and technology issues. They also provide training on disaster preparedness to ensure people can assist themselves in the case of an emergency. You will need a degree in homeland security studies, Emergency management, Public Administration, or in a related field. A master’s degree in emergency management may be a requirement for some organizations.
Below we highlight the top 20 questions and give you a plan on how to formulate your answers. Use this as a guide to ace the interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
This role involves high-stress events and the interviewer is interested in knowing why you want to take it up. Give your motivation for taking up this role. Be sure to show authenticity and enthusiasm.
“I’m interested in this role because I want to make a difference in my community. I understand I will be dealing with disasters and therefore there is some danger involved and I love a good challenge. I am in a position to assess the effect that my work has on the community in general and I feel a sense of fulfillment in helping others when the need arises. I also like the culture of this organization and its overall mission. I want to play a part in realizing this vision.”
2. What Are The Roles Of An Emergency Management Specialist?
The interviewer wants to know if you are aware of the roles you will play in this position. Demonstrate your understanding of the role by outlining the key roles to be played. Use the job description as a guide when answering this question.
“In this role, I expect to answer phone calls both emergency and non-emergency. I will then assemble and dispatch the people and equipment necessary to respond to the emergency. I will be involved in the evacuation of people from the scenes of the emergency and ensuring they have all the basic requirements they need at that point in time. In other cases, I will be involved in teaching organizations or people about disaster preparedness. This is important in ensuring that the people are aware of the strategies to use and can assist in the process.”
3. What Are The Qualities That An Emergency Management Specialist Need To Be Successful?
Explain the features that will make someone successful in this role. If the job description has given the personal attributes, use that as a guide.
“An Emergency Management needs great attention to details. They should be able to pick information from their surrounding areas very fast. They should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. They should be composed and able to stay calm amid disturbing circumstances. They should also be able to make decisions quickly as that will ensure the situation is saved before it becomes worse. You should also be great at managing the stress and pressure that comes with the role. You should have great coordination and organization skills as the role may involve coordinating emergency services.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Didyou Manage Them?
This position has its challenges and your ability to navigate them is what will make you stand out. Share a challenge you have faced in your line of duty and how you managed it. Be sure to be genuine in your answer to this.
“The main challenge that I faced in my previous role is the effect of social media on our work. One time we had a bomb scare and most people posted so much misleading information on social media that caused more panic. Social media is a huge problem when it comes to information dissemination. It is hard to correct the information when everyone has given their own side of the story.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As AnEmergency Management Specialist?
Give an account of how you expect to spend your workday. Ensure that you are occupied all through.
“No two days will be the same in this position. I review the weather reports to check whether there is anything that may require an emergency response. I also review the county’s emergency response plans to see whether there is something that may need changing. When we have our usual refresher training, I go ahead and attend that. I also offer training once a week to community volunteers and schools in the county. Some days we may have to attend meetings to deliberate on the way forward in the different programs we run. On the days we have no emergency to respond to I leave work at 5 pm.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
What skills are you bringing on board? Share the experience relevant to the role and then explain how you will be able to fit in the organization perfectly.
“I have five years of experience in emergency management. I possess a degree in Emergency Management therefore well equipped for this role. In these years, I have developed great attention to detail and great communication skills both verbal and written. I also have good knowledge of all the places in the county and am therefore able to read directions accurately when an emergency is reported. I have also learned to manage stress and can stay calm in depressing situations. I have also worked with community volunteers and can manage a team effectively.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
A specific mindset is required for the role and you need to explain your strategy if you are given the role. Give a strategy of how you expect to handle the position.
“You need the mindset of a fast thinker and someone who will be able to offer assistance amid challenges. You need to think fast on your feet and have great coordination skills as this work involves working in teams. You need to develop trust so that the workflows smoothly. You also need great networking skills as the role may need collaboration with various teams from different agencies.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
Do your research on the challenges you expect to encounter and share the information with the interviewer. Ensure it is something that does not ruin your chances of being selected for the role.
“The biggest challenge I expect to the encounter is pre-disaster early warning infrastructure. The world has dedicated all its efforts to fighting the corona pandemic there is hardly any resource dedicated to other emergencies. This has become challenging in the current times. You can also not approach a situation without being fully observing Covid protocols and therefore the help offered is limited in a way.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
The interviewer is interested in the strategies you use to stay motivated amid challenges. This role will likely provide stressful situations and you need to know how to manage that.
“I like to think of this role as an opportunity to assist people in emergency situations. I understand that I have an important role to save lives and property therefore I work at ensuring that we make it fast to the scene and offer as much help as possible in a short span of time. In this role, time is always of the essence. It motivates me to see the impact that we make. I also do yoga to manage my stress levels. This helps me stay on top of my work.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
What failures have you encountered and what lessons can you share from this experience? Give an example of a failure and the lessons you learned.
“For a time we would prepare for emergencies when the weather reports would give a warning. Over time we realized that the emergencies hardly happened and we relaxed our preparations. However, the next warning led to a real natural disaster and we were not ready to respond. This made me learn that we should not take information for granted in as much as the disasters do not work.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
What makes you the best candidate? Use this chance to sell yourself and ensure that you articulate your strengths.
“I am the best suited for this role because I possess the skills, knowledge, and experience that closely match the role. I have five years of experience and I have developed the personal attributes required for the role in the course of my work. I have great attention to detail, excellent communication and stress management skills. I am also able to concentrate for long periods of time and can ask the right questions to determine the magnitude of the emergency and respond effectively.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Share the highlights in your career or personal life that you are proud of. Relate it well with the role at hand.
“One time after my shift work, I encountered an accident on my way home and everyone was scared of assisting as it was at night. I assessed the scene and made calls to ambulance services to take the injured to the hospital. I also used my paramedic experience to offer first aid as I normally keep a fully equipped first aid box in my car. Due to my background experience, I was able to coordinate them well and waited for help to arrive. I believe I saved lives as a result.”
13. How Do You Describe Your Stress Management Skills?
This role involves a lot of stress and you need to be able to stay in top shape to manage the pressure that comes with the work.
“I am very good at managing stress in my work. I handle a lot of depressing situations and I focus on giving solutions fast rather than stressing myself. To unwind, I do yoga after my workday. This exercise enables me to recharge after a stressful workday. During my workday when I face stress I end to do some breathing exercises to help myself be focused on the issue at hand.”
14. What Shouldwe Expect From You In The First 100 Days If Selected For This Role?
The interviewer is interested in your plan if selected for the role. Share what you hope to accomplish in this period.
“In the first 100 days, I aim to get acquainted with all my colleagues. I will also get to know all the teams I get to interact with. This will assist me to fit in the team fast. I will also learn about the software system that is used here. I will also review the response procedures in place to get acquainted with how things work around here. At the end of the 100 days, I hope to issue a report of the things I enjoy here and suggest improvements on the areas that are not as efficient.”
15. In Three Words How Do People Describe You?
This question tests your self-awareness. Share how your colleagues would describe you.
“In my line of work people mostly describe me as a confident, genuine, and caring professional. Others think I am reliable, passionate, and equitable.”
16. Have You Ever Delivered Difficult Information? Give An Example
This position involves dealing with people with varying issues. You may have to deliver heartbreaking news from time to time. Share how you were able to navigate giving them information and managing the situation.
“In my line of duty, sometimes we have to deliver bad news. One time, we had a kidnapping case that we had to respond to. We had great leads and we hoped that the child would be rescued alive. We had assured the family that she was safe. When the family arrived, it was difficult breaking the news to them because it happened suddenly. The kidnappers panicked and killed the child. I used my background in counseling to calm down the family. When everyone had settled, I shared the news. In the end, the situation was well managed.”
17. Are You Able To Deal Effectively And Calmly In A High-Stress Situation?
This position may entail high levels of pressure. The interviewer wants to establish whether you are able to work under pressure. Explain how you have handled pressure before.
“Yes, I am. In my previous role, I worked on how to manage my stress levels well. These skills have been handy as people expect that we will be calm until the situation is managed. Now I am able to stay calm and concentrate on the work that needs to be done even in dilapidating conditions.”
18. In The Past One Year, What Have You Done To Improve Your Skills As An Intake Specialist?
Growth in every industry is important. Explain what activities you have engaged in or courses that you took that directly impact your career. It could be free or paid courses either offered in class or online.
“In the past year, I have done a refresher course in Paramedics. This has been instrumental in assisting me to help out in emergency situations. I believe these skills will be instrumental in making my work easier here. In addition, I am currently undertaking an online course in crisis management to improve my skills in this area. I work on ensuring I refresh my skills every year to stay current.”
19. What Is Your Greatest Strength?
The interviewer is giving you a chance to sell yourself. Choose a strength that will make you stand among the competition.
“My greatest strength is my ability to make good judgment and make decisions fast. I am also able to concentrate intensely for long periods of time. These attributes have ensured success in my role as I am able to send the right team very fast so that the issue is solved on time. I also have a great passion for helping people and this role offers me an opportunity to make the world a better place in my own little way.”
20. What Do You Foresee As The Challenge In Urban Disaster Response And Management?
The interviewer is interested in your knowledge about future trends in the industry. Give the challenges you to expect to encounter in the future.
“The urban areas are bound to be affected by rising population, hazards coming from technological advancements, climate change, and limited resources. Counties need to be prepared for this and work on measures that will assist in cases of a disaster.”
The interview will assess your ability to stay calm and composed in the interview. Make sure you handle the questions calmly the same way you will do with the calls. Use the above questions to plan your answers and you will ace the interview.