What is the best advice on how to prepare for a firefighter interview? This question can be answered by almost anyone but can be answered best following some simple guidelines. Interviewing for a job in the fire service in most cases will be stressful but being prepared is essential to your success. Many people explain a job interview as an opportunity to “sell” yourself to the employer.
We will be covering some of the most common interview questions which will help you answer the question, how to prepare for a firefighter interview. Your stress level needs to be controlled in order to show confidence in your knowledge and personality. Firefighters need to be able to lead while carefully listening to patients or other firefighters at the same time. How to prepare for a firefighter interview well is a skill and with ample practice, can be perfected. Mastering this stressful subject is a key part to starting your career in the fire service. Presentation is everything, without presenting yourself in a professional manner, obtaining the position will be more difficult. Applying to as many departments as possible is the best way to refine your skills and presentation. Having a well edited, professional resume is the first part in getting hired.
Take a look at our Build a Resume section for tips and techniques to create a professional resume, acceptable for any fire department job opening. Here are a few reasons to interview as much as possible.
● Practice: Most recruits are fully integrated into their current working position and have not had a firefighter interview in quite some time. Refining your communication and story telling skills are a must. Interviewing with real employers is the best practice, so it is recommended to apply to every fire service position available to you.
● Refine: Get out of your house and go apply locally as a volunteer or for a part-time position. The practice will give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and will give you an advantage over other applicants because you will learn what techniques work and what don’t work best for you in a oral firefighter interview.
● Network: Speaking with fellow applicants applying for similar positions or interviewers from departments which you apply for, will give you the chance to learn a few things that others have experienced in other fire department interviews.
● Opportunities: Possessing excellent personal skills that impress an employer may carry a good amount of weight within the department and if things don’t work out, they may still refer you to another job opening in a different city or area.
● Passion: Interviewing may teach you what you really are passionate about. The fire service is not for everyone, so applying and taking as many oral firefighter interviews as possible may open up a whole new world for you.
● Path: Interviewing with a fire department requires the applicant to reflect on their career path. Recruits need to be asking themselves how they got to where they are and how they can improve in all aspects of their life.
Developing your story is the easy part, translating your story in a clear and concise manner aloud to others is the next step when preparing for a oral firefighter interview.. Having an intriguing personal narrative without being able to communicate it clearly is setting yourself up for failure.
Reciting your introduction into a recorder and playing it back will help you correct any mistakes and will allow your story to come out more clearly and precise. Practice your introduction to the point that allows you to recite it at the drop of a hat without any hesitation. Becoming comfortable doing this will enable you to communicate it in a high stress situation and will help you in the interview that can change your life. Tailoring your story to relate to the fire service is recommended. Showing how your experiences, both good and bad, will help you become a positive member of the department and is a great way to show the employer that you can be the firefighter they are searching for.
Applicants often ask how to prepare for a firefighter interview with a department. Allowing yourself time to do research on the fire department you are applying for will put you ahead of most of the other applicants right away. Showing the employer that you have been dedicated from the get go shows them a responsible, mature adult that knows how to manage their time well. Being prepared will accelerate your success and is one of the main points on how to prepare for a firefighter interview. Being prepared will translate to a better outcome of your interview and will show your employer how truly passionate you are about the obtaining the position. Developing your story is not the easiest portion of the interview, for this part requires you to think about different events in your life that have changed and created the person you are today. Fire departments are generally looking at three main areas in a firefighter interview. First, they look at your education, next your fire related experience and lastly but not least, your personality traits. When developing your story you should seek to integrate these three key areas to present yourself as an exemplary candidate.
A good story needs to be genuine and not superfluous. If you are having trouble getting started it never hurts to ask a friend or family member and see what they have to say about your presentation. Their response may spark a memory in your life that can be related to the fire service and may propel you to communicate an emotional, positive experience that the fire department interviewer can relate to. Although nobody likes stress, tests have shown that certain levels of stress will be beneficial when performing under pressure, however if the stress becomes overpowering, it may prevent you from communicating clearly, especially during an oral firefighter interview. Reading tranquil passages and learning how to calm your mind is vital for managing your stress level. Being prepared for stress and knowing how to quickly relieve your mind is the key for how to prepare for a firefighter interview in a stressful situation.
Here are a couple firefighter interview preparation tips. First off, the easiest way of becoming ready is practicing which may be done by enlisting a group of peers to ask you questions that you are not ready for. In addition, be sure to maintain eye contact, for this is vital to communicating well in a firefighter interview. Secondly, doing your own research and gathering information about the specific fire department is highly recommended. How to interview the right way is not exclusively about speaking and oral communication, but also about being dressed professionally and being punctual which will help avoid any unnecessary stress and will help raise your oral firefighter interview score. Informing your references before going in for a firefighter interview is strongly recommended. Speaking with your references is an important part so they may be ready for a potential employer to contact them and ask questions about their relationship and experience with you. Always have reliable professional and personal references. Another important piece on how to prepare for a firefighter interview well with a department is being prepared and asking questions to intrigue the interviewers. Showing the Firefighter(s) and/or Captain(s) that you are prepared and have developed your own personal questions about their department is a way to show your reciprocal interest and passion for the job position. They are taking an interest in you, take an interest in them and your future fire department. By the end of the interview you should have shown the interviewers exactly what you can offer them if you are hired into the position and how you will make the department more professional and respected within the community.
Being able to relate to your interviewer is a big part of how to interview well. Employers are looking for a candidate who is personable and can relate to others in the fire house as well as out in the field when dealing with patients or other authorities. Emotional intelligence is highly sought after for an employer and will show your maturity and your professionalism in dire situations. Being able to recognize your own state of mind and emotional level is important to allow and engage other people, including patients. Developing an on-the-spot relationship with a patient is important to allow them to become comfortable in your presence enabling you to perform the best care possible.
Relating with your interviewer is a great technique on how to interview well and will boost your firefighter interview score. Having common ground on which you can connect to your interviewer will keep their attention and will propel you to the top of their roster. Most interviewers would prefer to listen to someone who is speaking about subjects they are comfortable and experienced with to keep their interest throughout the firefighter interview. Doing your own research on your interviewers can give you an edge on the other applicants. Fire departments generally do not inform you of the personnel that will be holding the interviews, but by networking with other applicants you may gain knowledge and information that will help you succeed. One of the most important aspects on how to prepare for a firefighter interview is let the interview take place naturally and without any forced conversation. Eye contact and calmness are vital to communicating well and creating a natural atmosphere in a fire service interview. One of the most important areas a fire department is looking for in an oral firefighter interview is genuineness because the department is going to be investing their time and money into making sure you have a long and safe career in the fire service.