During a firefighter’s job interview, the recruiting team identifies the most qualified candidate by testing several areas. This article provides commonly asked interview questions and their sample answers.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
The interviewer asks this question to find out why you want to work at their organization. Your response to this question helps the interviewer to understand your motivation behind applying for this job. Make the interviewer understand your interests.
“I have always admired the first responders who put their lives in front to help people who are in emergencies. My interests began when I witnessed how the firefighters responded in post-crash rescue. When I saw the rescue team pull a person who was trapped inside, I felt it in my heart that this is what I want to do in life. I made a personal goal to give my service to the community and becoming a firefighter is one of the best ways I can meet that goal.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Firefighter?
The hiring manager asks this question to know if you are aware of your duties should you be hired. In your response, describe the responsibilities of a firefighter as you connect to the job you are being interviewed on.
“The firefighter roles include extinguishing fires, protecting citizens from danger during fire emergencies, as well as offering first aid to the victims of the fire. They are also responsible for reducing damage caused by fire to the property and its surrounding. Firefighters also respond to a vehicle accident to prevent to help turn off fires and help at accident’s site that involves hazardous materials. When they are not responding to fire emergencies, firefighters maintain equipment as well as learning more rescue techniques.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Firefighter Need To Be Successful?
This question helps the hiring team to know whether you understand the qualities of a good firefighter. A good strategy for answering this question is to highlight some of the qualities and traits of a firefighter as you match them with the company’s needs.
“Every firefighter needs to be dedicated to supporting their team, serve other people, take care of their well- being and be able to offer the best possible results for every situation. Additionally, a firefighter must have good physical health, courage, problem-solving skills, desire for service, and integrity.”
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4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The hiring manager asks this question to find out your abilities to deal with challenges. In your response highlight your problem-solving skills as you narrate what happened.
“My main challenge was a time when we didn’t get along with one of the co-workers. We disagreed on almost everything including caring for the public, shift schedules, and many other scenarios. This made my job boring until when I decided to ask him for a lunch out. We discussed our issues and found that the problem was communication. We discovered that we communicated differently. From that time, we understood each other and began to get along. This made me know that talking about a problem can solve any issue.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Firefighter?
Your response to this question brings out how you prioritize your work. The best way to answer this question is to portray that you are a good manager of time. Describe your daily tasks as per the need of the company.
“I begin my day by reporting to my boss to check if there are any tasks assigned to me. If there is no emergency to respond to, I begin my daily duties which include equipment maintenance, writing reports, learning more rescues tactics, analyzing previous fire rescue missions, training the public among other duties.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
This question helps your interviewer to know whether your background relates to the needs of the company. Having in mind what the company wants, impressively summarize your job history.
“I have worked as a firefighter for 3 years now. The work has been exciting and most rewarding. I have enjoyed giving my services to the public in my effort of saving lives in times of fire emergencies. My roles were turning off fires, protecting the members of the public from dangers, maintaining fire equipment, and offering first aids to the victims of the fire. Over these years, I have gained a lot of skills in this industry and I look forward to applying those skills in this role should I be hired.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
The interviewer is seeking to know whether you have the mindset needed for this role. Show the interviewer that you have the kind of mindset the employer is looking for.
“Being a person of integrity, a firefighter needs to know that the most important role he or she has is to protect the members of the public from fires. He or she needs to be dedicated to working under pressure in responding to emergencies, turning off fires, and rescuing people in danger. Every firefighter needs to keep training so as to update his skills while undertaking this role. He must always be ready to offer first aid to those who get hurt in the process of extinguishing the fire.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This question is asked to test your preparedness to deal with potential challenges. In your response, demonstrate that you are well aware of what is taking place in this industry. Showcase your ability to deal with potential challenges.
“I have been following the latest trends in the firefighting industry. One of the things that have captured my attention, is that the budgets that cater to fire services keep being reduced. This means that the firefighters have to do a lot of work with fewer resources. As a result, this could affect the service we offer. To deal with the challenge, I think we need to give our views through the fire association and inform the lawmakers of the danger that lies ahead. I believe once this is done, they will make an informed decision on how to fund the fire service department.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
The interviewer asks this question to determine your interests and values as you perform the tasks assigned to you. In your response, highlight your interests and values that drive your morale for work.
” I feel motivated by challenges and the opportunity to interact with the community members. It is satisfying to meet the needs of the public and being able to offer them comfort while they are in tough situations. I am also motivated when I get a chance to train new recruits and other community members on fire safety. This job makes me excited since It will provide me with an opportunity to interact more with the public at a more critical level.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
The interviewer wants to know if you admit your mistakes. In your response, own mistakes to your actions and pick a few lessons you learned from the situation.
“One day as we were sent to respond to a fire that had occurred at a nearby residential estate. We quickly took our fire equipment and ran to the scene. Among us was a new co-worker who had just joined our team. As we were busy turning off the fire, he took some of the valuable items and hid them in his apron. This angered me that I started confronting him immediately and I lost my focus in putting off the fire. Upon realizing this, the fire had spread further. Luckily enough other co-workers noted our state and joined in putting off the fire on our side. After a few minutes, we managed to put the fire off. I learned that despite what happens on the ground, the focus should be on extinguishing the fire and protecting the public. If anything arises, it is better solved after our mission is completed.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
The interviewer wants to know if you are the best fit for the job. While answering this question, highlight your best skills, traits, education, experience, and relevant accomplishments.
“I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology. I also hold a first aid certification and CPR. I have also received basic EMT training and extensive firefighting training. I have worked as a firefighter for the last six years. My duties included extinguishing fires, protecting citizens from danger during fire emergencies, as well as offering first aid to the victims of the fire among others. I can respond quickly in emergencies as well as handling leadership roles. I am eager to use all the skills I have gained to make this job a success.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
The recruiting team wants to know your past job performance. This question allows you to brag about yourself and share what you’re truly proud of professionally.
“My greatest achievement is being able to help people in their tough situations. I take pride in saving the lives of a countless number of people together with their properties. I have also participated in training new recruits on many occasions. Helping them become better in responding to fire is one of my most satisfying moments.”
13. What Developments Do You Foresee In Firefighting Over The Next Several Years?
The interviewer wants to find out what you do to improve your competency in firefighting. Demonstrate more interest in learning about firefighting techniques.
“In the coming years, I foresee the emergence of many new techniques of firefighting. I anticipate that technology will evolve and become a significant tool that firefighters could use to respond to fire. I believe that one day we won’t have to get into a burning building to put off the fire. The robots will directly put off the fire as well as rescue any trapped occupant.”
14. Can You Disobey A Direct Order? Explain Your Answer?
The hiring manager wants to know whether you recognize the scenarios when you can disobey an order. Describe some of the situations that are appropriate to disobey orders.
“In the course of turning off the fire, I am aware that safety depends on being able to follow the orders. I also know that the team captain heads the operation. However, if the captain orders me to do a thing that is illegal such as stealing, I am justified to disobey that order.”
15. What Is The Purpose Of Performing A Secondary Search Of A Fire Scene After The Flames Were Extinguished, Even When The Primary Search Did Not Reveal Any Victims Still In The Building?
The interviewer asks this question to find out if you are knowledgeable about situational risks. Demonstrate that you are familiar with all parts of firefighting not only the primary response and rescue.
“The secondary search is vital in ascertaining that every person who was trapped inside has been pulled out safely. It also helps in eliminating potential hazards. When conducting a secondary search, you can identify where the fire ignited from.”
16. Explain To Me How Would You Respond To An Angry Crowd At The Scene Of A Fire?
The interviewer asks this question to understand how you would react to a situation that is not common to a firefighter. Demonstrate that you possess problem-solving techniques.
“I would first focus on ensuring that people are safe as I call the police to control the crowd. When the police arrive and control is established, we can resume fighting the fire. Even if we are working to prevent anyone from dying, we have a responsibility to minimize the damage the fire can cause to properties.”
17. How Would Your Friends Describe You?
The hiring manager will ask this question to know your personality.In your response, explain some of your personality and remain relevant to the role you are seeking.
“My friends would describe me as a persistent person. I have not a person who gives up easily. I keep pursuing until I receive what I want. I rarely take no for an answer. I believe that everything is possible and that is why I keep on trying something out until I get results. This has helped especially when conducting a secondary evaluation after every rescue mission.”
18. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Role?
The interviewer wants to find out the reasons you want to leave your current employer for their company. Keep off criticizing your previous employer or the job. Stay positive as you give your response.
“I have gained a lot of skills and expertise from my current role. However, I am seeking a new and more challenging role to broaden my horizons. I believe that I can acquire more skillset in this job and grow more in my career as a firefighter.”
19. In Five Years -Time, Where Do You See Yourself?
The interviewer wants to know your career goals, ambitions, and commitments. The best strategy of answering this question is to demonstrate that you are committed to growing with the company should you be hired and illustrate your drives to working there.
“In five years- time, I would like to be a firefighter with more understanding on how to perform a rescue task and fighting the fire. I would also want to be in a higher position such as a commander in your company. This will allow me to exercise my knowledge and organizational skills to benefit my coworkers and the community at large. I also look forward to training more in first aid methods to enhance my skills when administering first aids to victims of fire”
20. What is your salary expectation for this role?
The hiring manager may ask this question to find out whether your salary expectation matches the budget of the company. Avoid giving an exact figure and if possible provide a range based on the research you may have conducted for a similar role in your city.
I think a good salary is considered having in mind the cost of living of the area and the experience of the candidate. However, having done the research, I found that a person with the same education level and experience working in this city is earning a salary of 120,000 – 130,000 dollars annually. I would be happy to receive a similar range.
When answering every question, be confident and give a complete answer. That way, the interviewer will be impressed with you, and you will have high chances of being hired. Always wear an outfit that suits an interview and be sure to arrive early.