A firefighter does more than put out fires. That’s just one of many things that a firefighter does. Because as well as extinguishing flames and saving people from danger, a firefighter also helps with hazardous materials, road traffic incidents, medical emergencies, floods, and even rescues cats in trees (yes, really). And to stop things like this from happening in the first place, our crews also carry out work with the local community, from fitting smoke alarms, supporting businesses with fire prevention, and working with the police to keep our roads collision-free. 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.
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Firefighter Interview Questions and Answers Guide.
Question – 1:
What are Fire suppression systems?
Ans: Fire suppression systems have a proven record for controlling and extinguishing unwanted fires. Many fire officials recommend that every building, including residences, have fire sprinkler systems.
Question – 2:
What is Prevention in Firefighter?
Ans: Prevention attempts to ensure that no place simultaneously has sufficient heat, fuel, and air to allow ignition and combustion. Most prevention programs are directed at controlling the energy of activation.
Question – 3:
Who is Firefighter?
Ans: A firefighter (also known as a fireman) is a rescuer extensively trained in firefighting, primarily to extinguish hazardous fires that threaten property and civilian or natural populations, and to rescue people from dangerous situations, like collapsed or burning buildings or crashed vehicles.
Question – 4:
Tell me why do you think you would do well in this firefighter job?
- I am a person that learns quickly and performs better under pressure, am a very good team player that motivates others in other to achieve the company’s common goals
- Will do well in this job because I already have previous experience in a similar field. so I will use my previous experience in this job I am interested in learning new things and enhancing my skills.
- I believe I will do well in this job because I have the relevant skills and experience. I also have the drive, interest, and determination to make a real success of this role.
Question – 5:
What makes you unique for firefighter post?
Ans: This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills, and traits. Summarize concisely:
I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.
Question – 6:
Explain the experience that you have for this firefighter job.
Ans: For this question, you first need to read and understand the job specification, as this will tell you what experience the interviewer is looking for. Your answer should relate your experience and achievements to that of the job role. Often interviewees will talk about experiences that are not relevant to the job role, this will only lead to the employer becoming uninterested in them. Answer sample: I have over 4 years of experience as in that time I have gained.
I understand the importance of and. and use my creative skills to organize activities to do while keeping entertained. Recently I also won an award for employee of the year.
Question – 7:
Tell me what have you done to improve your firefighter knowledge in the last year?
Ans: Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
- Employers look for applicants who are goal-oriented. Show a desire for continuous learning by listing hobbies non-work related. Regardless of what hobbies you choose to showcase, remember that the goal is to prove self-sufficiency, time management, and motivation. Answer samples
- Everyone should learn from their mistake. I always try to consult my mistakes with my kith and kin, especially with an older and experienced person.
- I enrolled myself in a course useful for the next version of our current project. I attended seminars on personal development and managerial skills improvement.
Question – 8:
Tell me what have you learned from mistakes on the firefighter job?
Ans: Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it a small, well-intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.
Everyone makes mistakes, of course, but some companies are more willing to learn from them than punish those involved. You’ve learned that when you do make mistakes, someone is usually disappointed in the choice you made, but you have to figure it out for yourself, they might help you decide what s right and what’s wrong, but you’ll be the decider on which you choose. You’ve learned that people do care about you, and to not do it again if you don’t want to. Answer samples Everyone makes mistakes but only a few people can realize their mistakes and they don’t want to repeat those mistakes again. I am one in those few people, I don’t want to repeat the mistakes which had done by me in my job/work.
Question – 9:
Explain the role of fire department?
Ans: As mentioned above, a firefighter should and have to know his important role to people”s lives, and safety as well as in the protection and maintenance of properties as much as possible when a fire happens. A firefighter should remember that keeping human lives is the most important duty. In some cases when doing his job, a firefighter has to decide between lives and valuables. If this is the case, remember that human lives are always prioritized and more important than anything else.
Question – 10:
Explain the job responsibilities of a firefighter?
Ans: In an interview, please bear in your mind that a firefighter’s responsibilities are different from other jobs. And this is crucial because this social job will ensure the safety of everyone and the community. If an unfortunate fire happens, a firefighter is not only the savior but also the person who is responsible for the safety and even the lives of other persons and properties on the site.
Question – 11:
Tell me which education or training have you undertaken that makes you fit for this profession.
Ans: To become a firefighter, your profile shall be checked carefully if you have got trained qualifications and skills in firefighting. Working in a group and in case you haven’t been trained before, you can influence other people as well as expose others to risks. Therefore, it is important to answer properly and honestly about your previous training and education courses in the interview. And you also need to have relevant documents or certificates. They can be used to prove that you have been trained before; however, it is not necessary to show them in a short- time interview and if the interviewers don’t ask.
Question – 12:
Tell me which education or training have you undertaken that makes you fit for this post.
Ans: This is an important point when employers look at your CV before an interview as they can have a general evaluation of your abilities. They will assess whether your previous training courses or education are suitable for the job they offer or not. Therefore, training or education can become a critical element in the recruitment process, and in the same case, it is the element that decides whether you pass the first round of interviews or not.
Question – 13:
Tell me if you have any allergies or medical conditions that would hamper your job as a firefighter.
Ans: Even people who answer this question positively can still be part of the firefighting force, as there are education programs, and desk jobs. Discuss your limitations with the interviewer.
Question – 14:
Explain the most important aspect of being a firefighter?
Ans: Saving human life is the primary goal. A firefighter must stay fit – firefighters exercise daily. The ability to work with a team, follow orders without fail, bravery, quick thinking, and acting, calmness in emergency are all essential qualities.
Question – 15:
Explain the role of the fire department.
Ans: The fire department is one of the most important institutions in society. With the fire department in place, fires can be prevented, minimized, and lives can be saved.
Question – 16:
Explain the main job responsibilities of a firefighter?
Ans: Fire prevention, education programs in schools and for groups, and of course rescue of people, pets, and household goods are the main thrust of the firefighter’s tasks.
Question – 17:
Tell me why do you want to become a firefighter?
Ans: Do not be overly dramatic or emotional in your response, although a bit of excitement is in line. Give your honest reasons. For example, speak about your desire to help others and keep the community safe. If some experience with firefighters or some article or story inspired you, relate it briefly. Of course, for many it is the dream of their childhood; this should be mentioned in passing.
Question – 18:
Tell me what education or training have you had that makes you fit for Firefighter?
Ans: This would be the first question asked in any interview. Therefore, it is important that you give a proper reply to the question regarding your education. You should have all the documents and certificates pertaining to your education and/or training, although time may not allow the interviewer to review all of them.
Question – 19:
What motivates you for passing scores?
Ans: I’ve always been motivated by the challenge – in my last role, I was responsible for training our new recruits and having a 100% success rate in passing scores. I know that this job is very fast-paced and I’m more than up for the challenge. In fact, I thrive on it.
Question – 20:
What is your greatest failure except for firefighting, and what did you learn from it?
Ans: When I was in college, I took an art class to supplement my curriculum. I didn’t take it very seriously and assumed that, compared to my Engineering classes, it would be a walk in the park. My failing grades at midterm showed me otherwise. I’d even jeopardized my scholarship status. I knew I had to get my act together. I spent the rest of the semester making up for it, and ended up getting a decent grade in the class. I learned that no matter what I’m doing, I should strive to do it to the best of my ability. Otherwise, it’s not worth doing at all.
Question – 21:
Why should I hire you as Firefighter?
Ans: I’ve been a firefighter for the past five years – my boss has said time and time again that without me, the department wouldn’t function so well. I’ve also taken the time to educate myself on some of the non-standard techniques used in the first response. I can react quickly in hectic situations and can handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. What’s good enough for most people is never really good enough for me.
Question – 22:
Where do you see yourself in seven years?
Ans: In seven years, I’d like to have an even better understanding of fire and rescue. Also, I really enjoy being the first to a scene. I work very well under pressure. Ultimately, I’d like to be in a commander-type position, where I can use my organizational skills and industry knowledge to benefit the people working with me, and those who are there to help.
Question – 23:
Tell me why are you leaving your current role?
Ans: I’ve learned a lot from my current role, but now I’m looking for a new challenge, to broaden my horizons and to gain new skill sets – all of which, I see the potential for in this job.
Question – 24:
What do you think of your previous boss?
Ans: My last boss taught me the importance of time management – he didn’t pull any punches, and was extremely driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder and to meet goals I never even thought were possible.
Question – 25:
Tell us about yourself and your qualities.
Ans: I’m a very energetic and well-rounded person who can follow instructions well. I am a good communicator and quite a team player. At the last department, I was with I initiated medic classes for the firefighters who were interested in learning first-aid techniques. Because it was such a success, the entire department is in the process of getting certifications for all members in different areas of response medical aid.
Question – 26:
Why do you want to work in the firefighting department?
I have always appreciated and admired those who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. My interest really piqued in firefighting however after I witnessed a post-crash rescue. I heard the calling as I watched the first response team pull the civilians to safety and out of harm’s way. It was then I knew that this is what I was meant to do.
Question – 27:
Is there a lot of personal drama or bad blood between firefighters, or are you all good friends? And if there’s drama, does it all disappear the instant you get called to a fire?
Ans: Lol, yes it can be a lot of drama. Our headquarters station is crowded with 10 guys and they gossip, prank, and get ticked off over small things. But yes as soon as the tones drop everything else stops. We watch each other’s backs.
2-Toughest firefighter interview questions
Question – 01:
Why do you want to work in this industry?
Bad answer: “I like firefighting. I think it’s really cool.”
Don’t just say you like it; anyone can make that claim. Focus instead on your history with the industry, and if you can, tell a story about it.
Good answer: “I have always appreciated and admired those who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. My interest was piqued in firefighting after I witnessed a postcrash rescue. I heard the calling as I watched the first response team pull civilians to safety. It was then I knew that this is what I was meant to do.”
Question – 02:
Tell us about yourself.
Bad answer: “I graduated four years ago from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology – but I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. I switched gears and got my first job working in a fire department. Then I went on to work in another department and started participating in training courses. After that, I took a few months off to travel. Finally, I came back to start working again. And now, here I am, looking for a more challenging fire and rescue role.”
Instead of giving a chronological work history, focus on your strengths and how they pertain to the role. If possible, illustrate with examples.
Good answer: “I’m a very energetic and wellrounded person who can follow instructions. I am a good communicator and quite a team player. At the last department, I was with I initiated medic classes for the firefighters who were interested in learning first aid techniques. Because it was such a success, the entire department is in the process of getting certifications for all members in different areas of response medical aid.”
Question – 03:
What do you think of your previous boss?
Bad answer: “He was completely incompetent, and a nightmare to work with, which is why I’ve moved on.”
Remember: if you get the job, the person interviewing you will someday be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who they know is going to badmouth them some day. Instead of trashing your former employer, stay positive, and focus on what you learned from them (no matter how awful they might have been).
Good answer: “My last boss taught me the importance of time management – he didn’t pull any punches and was extremely driven. His nononsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet goals I never even thought was possible.”
Question – 04:
Why are you leaving your current role?
Bad answer: “I can’t stand my boss or the work I’m doing.”
Again, stay away from badmouthing your job or employer. Focus on the positive.
Good answer: “I’ve learned a lot from my current role, but now I’m looking for a new challenge to broaden my horizons and to gain new skillsets – all of which, I see the potential for in this job.”
Question – 05:
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Bad answer: “Relaxing on a beach in Maui,” or “Doing your job.”
There’s really no right answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to know that you’re ambitious, career-oriented, and committed to a future with the company. So instead of sharing your dream for early retirement, or trying to be funny, give them an answer that illustrates your drive and commitment.
Good answer: “In five years I’d like to have an even better understanding of fire and rescue. Also, I really enjoy being the first to a scene. I work very well under pressure. Ultimately, I’d like to be in a commander-type position, where I can use my organizational skills and industry knowledge to benefit the people working with me, and those we are there to help.”
Question – 06:
What’s your greatest weakness?
Bad answer: “I work too hard,” or for the comedian, “Blondes.”
This question is a great opportunity to put a positive spin on something negative, but you don’t want your answer to be cliché – joking or not. Instead, try to use a real example of a weakness you have learned to overcome.
Good answer: “I’ve never been very comfortable with public speaking, which as you know, can be a hindrance. Realizing this was a problem, I asked my previous department if I could enroll in a speech workshop. I took the class and was able to overcome my lifelong fear.
Since then, I’ve given a lot of safety presentations to schoolchildren across the county. I still don’t love it, but no one else can tell!”
Question – 07:
What salary are you looking for?
Bad answer: “In my last job I earned $35,000 – so, now I’m looking for $40,000.”
If you can avoid it, don’t give an exact number. The first person to name a price in a salary negotiation loses. Instead, reiterate your commitment to the job itself. If you have to, give a broad range based on the research you’ve conducted on that particular role, in your particular city.
Good answer: “I’m more interested in the role itself than the pay. That said, I’d expect to be paid the appropriate range for this role, based on my five years of experience. I also think a fair salary would bear in mind the high cost of living here in New York City.”
Question – 08:
Why should I hire you?
Bad answer: “I’m the best candidate for the role.”
A good answer will reiterate your qualifications and will highlight what makes you unique.
Good answer: “I’ve been a firefighter for the past five years – my boss has said time and time again that without me, the department wouldn’t function as well. I’ve also taken the time to educate myself on some of the nonstandard techniques used in the first response. I can react quickly in hectic situations, and handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. What’s good enough for most people is never really good enough for me.”
Question – 09:
What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Bad answer: I never finished law school – and everything that has happened since then has taught me that giving up, just because the going gets tough, is a huge mistake.”
You don’t want to actually highlight a major regret – especially one that exposes an overall dissatisfaction with your life. Instead, focus on a smaller, but significant, mishap, and how it has made you a better professional.
Good answer: “When I was in college, I took an art class to supplement my curriculum. I didn’t take it very seriously and assumed that, compared to my Engineering classes, it would be a walk in the park. My failing grades at midterm showed me otherwise. I’d even jeopardized my scholarship status. I knew I had to get my act together. I spent the rest of the semester making up for it, and ended up getting a decent grade in the class. I learned that no matter what I’m doing, I should strive to do it to the best of my ability. Otherwise, it’s not worth doing at all.”
Question – 10:
How do you explain your gap in employment?
Bad answer: “I was so tired of working, and I needed a break,” or “I just can’t find a job.” Employment gaps are always tough to explain. You don’t want to come across as lazy or unhireable. Find a way to make your extended unemployment seem like a choice you made, based on the right reasons.
Good answer: “My work is important to me, so I won’t be satisfied with any old job. Instead of rushing to accept the first thing that comes my way, I’m taking my time and being selective to make sure my next role is the right one.”
Question – 11:
When were you most satisfied with your job?
Bad answer: “I was most satisfied when I did well and got praised for my work.”
Don’t give vague answers. Instead, think about something you did well and enjoy that will be relevant at this new job. This is an opportunity for you to share your interests, prove that you’re a great fit for the job, and showcase your enthusiasm.
Good answer: “I’m a people person. I was always happiest and most satisfied when I was interacting with community residents, making sure I was able to meet their needs and giving them the best possible comfort in a tough situation. It was my favorite part of the job, and it showed. Part of the reason I’m interested in this job is that I know I’d have even more interaction with the public, on an even more critical level.”
Question – 12:
What did you like least about your last job?
Bad answer: “A lack of stability. I felt like the place could collapse around me at any time.” Try and stay away from anything that draws on the politics, culture, or financial health of your previous employer. No matter how true it might be, comments like these will be construed as too negative. Also, you don’t want to focus on a function that might be your responsibility in the next role. So think of something you disliked in your last job, but that you know for sure won’t be part of this new role.
Good answer: “There was nothing about my last job that I hated, but I guess there were some things I liked less than others. My previous role involved traveling at least twice a month. While I do love to travel, twice a month was a little exhausting – I didn’t like spending quite so much time out of the department. I’m happy to see that this role involves a lot less travel.”
Question – 13:
Describe a time when you did not get along with your coworker.
Bad answer: “I’m easy to get along with, so I’ve never had any kind of discord with another coworker.”
Interviewers don’t like these types of “easy out” answers. And besides, they know you are probably not telling the truth. Think of a relatively benign (but significant) instance, and spin it to be a positive learning experience.
Good answer: “I used to lock heads with a fellow EMT. We disagreed over a lot of things – from the care of civilians to who got what shifts to how to speak with a victim’s family. Our personalities just didn’t mesh. After three months of arguing, I pulled her aside and asked her to lunch. At lunch, we talked about our differences and why we weren’t getting along. It turns out, it was all about communication. We communicated differently and once we knew that, we began to work well together. I really believe that talking a problem through with someone can help solve any issue.”
Question – 14:
What motivates you?
Bad answer: “Doing a good job and being rewarded for it.”
It’s not that this answer is wrong — it’s just that it wastes an opportunity. This question is practically begging you to highlight your positive attributes. So don’t give a vague, generic response — it tells them very little about you. Instead, try and use this question as an opportunity to give the interviewer some insight into your character, and use examples where possible.
Good answer: “I’ve always been motivated by the challenge – in my last role, I was responsible for training our new recruits and having a 100% success rate in passing scores. I know that this job is very fastpaced and I’m more than up for the challenge. In fact, I thrive on it.”
Question – 15:
How would your friends describe you?
Bad answer: “I’m a really good listener.”
While being a good listener is a great personality trait, your employer probably doesn’t care all that much. It’s unlikely that they’re hiring you to be a shoulder to cry on. You’ll want to keep your answer relevant to the job you’re interviewing for, and as specific as possible. If you can, insert an example.
Good answer: “My friends would probably say that I’m extremely persistent – I’ve never been afraid to keep going back until I get what I want. When I worked as a program developer, recruiting keynote speakers for a major tech conference, I got one rejection after another – this was just the nature of the job. But I really wanted the big players – so I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I kept going back to them every time there was a new company on board or some new value proposition. Eventually, many of them actually said “yes” – the program turned out to be so great that we doubled our attendees from the year before. A lot of people might have given up after the first rejection, but it’s just not in my nature. If I know something is possible, I have to keep trying until I get it.”
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3- Common & Expected Interview Questions for a Firefighter
- Why have you decided on a career as a firefighter?
- Is anyone from your family working in this position?
- Have you ever done a job of a firefighter before?
- Tell me something more about your previous experience.
- What characterizes a great firefighter in your view?
- How fast can you run 100 meters, 400 meters, and one kilometer?
- Are you afraid of heights?
- Can you swim? How well? What is your time on 1000 meters?
- Do you do any sports?
- Have you ever caught fire?
- Have you ever participated in saving someone’s life?
- Have you ever been seriously injured? How do you feel about getting injured on your job?
- Are there any diseases or illnesses that will hinder you in your job as a firefighter?
- If the house were on fire and you knew that there were some people inside, would you?
- go and try to save someone, risking your own life?
- Have you ever given first aid to someone? Tell me more about the situation.
- How long do you want to work as a firefighter?
- Describe a situation when you felt pressure at work.
- Describe a conflict you had with one of your colleagues.
- How would your best friend describe you as a person?
- Give me an example of when you have worked as part of a team.
- Give me an example of when you have helped someone who needed assistance.
- Describe a time when you have helped support diversity.
- When have you been aware of a person who was behaving in a way, which was contrary to the values of the team or organization?
- When have you tried to learn something new?
- When have you changed your behavior following comments from another person?
- When have you had to follow strict guidelines to complete a task?
- When have you tried to improve the way you do something?
- When have you made a mistake that affected others?
- Have you helped someone in distress as part of a team.
- Give an example of a time when you have been required to achieve a higher standard in your work than that which is normally expected of you.
- When you have been in a stressful situation what do you do to relieve the pressure or do you allow it to build up inside of you.
- Give an example of a time when you have encountered different groups of people and tell us how you approached treating everyone as equals.
- You have identified a development need of your own, what actions would you take.
- You are applying for a job in which your lifestyle will change. Will this be a problem for you.
- Is it important for all members of a team to work effectively with each other.
- If you were a manager and one of your team was not performing, what would you do.
- Have you ever had to mediate between two people who have had a disagreement.
- Describe a time when you had to work outside of accepted guidelines in order to solve a problem.
- Can you tell me about a time when you have acted on feedback?
Download Common Firefighter Job Interview Questions and Answers
- 68 HSE Interview Questions
- Safety interview Questions and Answers Part 1
- Safety interview Questions and Answers Part 2
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