Any questions you were asked during your interview will help me. Thanks a lot.
It really depends on what the department you are applying for looks for and what system they use. Do they use a check box system, modified check box, or a command style interview. The best way to find out is so a ride a long with that department and ask the guys there and network with them.
As for my interview, my department didnt ask a single question about our qualifications or certs. Those are all merely interesting since everyone has them and we will certify you once you are on te job in pretty much anything you can think of.
We were asked the big and always popular ....... What is customer service to you and why is it important to the fire service?......... What is diversity to you and why is it important to the fire service?...... Why do you want to work here?....We we also asked - Name a time you were involved in a dishonest situation and what were your actions?....... You are a probationary FF and see your senior FF loading station supplies into his vehicle, what do you do?..........How will you handle the teamwork and competition of the intern academy? (we take twice as many people as we want to hire to an internship for 5 weeks, all volunteer, before we hire them) We also has to write an answer to What are the role of a FF in the community? (after writing it we read it and elaborated on it if needed). We also had to read an SOP and memorize it in 5 minutes then tell why that SOP is important. I had our SOP on ride a longs.
The best advice i could tell you is that everyone applying had their EMT, or the FF I & II, or HAZMAT, or whatever and if you say all that then the people on your board will have no idea who you are and wont remember you. If you can tell them (and not necesarily in one question but throughout your whole interview) 1. Who you are 2. How you think 3. Why are you sitting in front of them. you will pass every interview. They you do that is through stories and life experiences. It is extremely unlikely that no one will have the exact same story as you. Tell your story pertaining to the question and why it has helped you come to where you are right now. They dont have to agree with you story but just understand why you did what you did. STORIES ARE EVERYTHING IN AN INTERVIEW!
Unless you're going through a consortium, or the AHJ has hired a testing agency that uses standardized questions, AHJ "A" will have slightly different questions than AHJ "B". Factors can include, but (definitely) are not limited to:
Type of department (paid, paid/part time, paid/volly);
if the job is FF or FF/medical (ALS or BLS, transport EMS, response only EMS, no EMS);
type of taxing body (City, county, or District);
reasons why people left or refused the job in the past,
Employee status (sworn/unsworn; civil service, board, or employment at will, union/nonunion)
The first time I interviewed, I had been a volly/part-time for about 3 years, and had just started at the Navy Base FD a few months earlier. My buddy was also testing - he had been a cop with the City for 8 years, and had left to chase $ at the town where we were both VFD's. He quickly discovered going from high speed chases and felony stops to barking dogs and nannies setting off burglar alarms wasn't enough to satisfy him anymore - even if he was making $10k/year more.
The second time, I had been a volly for about 5 years, and had 2 years FT under my belt, in addition to a ream of training paper to add to my resume.
That said, Here's what I've heard / recall from my oral boards: Questions in Bold
(responses below, if they differed, Yellow for 1st try, blue for 2nd)
Why do you want to be a FF for the City?
1st try - I want to help people.
2nd try - It's a good, steady job with a pension and benefits, and a schedule that allows me time to work and be with my family on my off days.
Are you aware that the city has a residency requirement within 18 months of hire?
Are you aware that you have to obtain Licensure as a Paramedic?
Yes. As you can see the supplemental information I included with my application, I am already a National Registry EMT, and have been for several years.
Are you aware that the majority of the calls received by the FD are EMS?
The job of a Firefighter can be stressful, and includes dealing with death, injured people and emotional events. How do you plan on dealing with these stressful situations?
I work out, practice martial arts and meditate.
I've found that your partner, or the other FF's on the call usually want to talk about it too. Sometimes just sitting around the kitchen table and reviewing the incident helps to clear up any questions. And usually, the guys who have been on the job for a while have seen similar events, and can provide a sympathetic ear. In addition, sometimes it's helpful to go out to (neighborhood tavern #1) or (neighborhood tavern #2) with your co-workers, just sit back, have a beer, and talk about the issues that are bothering you.
Why do you think you can fight fires in the City?
I've been a volunteer FF for 3 years, and would like a chance to prove myself here in the City.
Unfortunately I'd just started at the Navy Base FD, and then they countered with 'why I was leaving one FF job for another one with only a few weeks on'. I explained about the schedule (24/24 v. 24/48) but I don't think it touched 'em. I was too nervous in the interview.
The second time: I already do. (shit eating grin)
One Board member shuffled through his papers and muttered to another one <aside>"Is this the entrance exam or the promotional exam?"</aside>"
Board member #2 <aside>""the entrance exam"<aside>"
Board member #3: "Could you explain your response, please?"
Certainly. The Navy Base FD is the City's first-due mutual aid company - that means we come to the City and assist your FD. Sometimes to help out the City FD when they had been working for a while, and other times in place of your FD when they were busy at other incidents. We routinely come here, and sit in your station, and act as the FD for the City when the City FD itself is busy.
So I feel quite comfortable in fighting fires in the City, seeing as how I've been doing it for a while now. I'd just rather be doing it in a City uniform, working a City schedule, and getting a City paycheck for my efforts.
During the course of your duties, you see another FF steal something (not sure now if it was money from a patient, something in the firehouse, or what). How would you handle that situation? Would you go to the Chief, your company officer, the Police, or what?
I would go to my Chief.
I would talk to the FF privately, and give him the chance to remedy the situation on his own. If he refused, I would talk to my company officer, and explain what I observed.
The job of FF for the City can be stressful on families as well as FF's. You and your family are aware that your regular work schedule includes weekends, evenings, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, correct? How do you feel about that?
Yes, I am aware of the schedule requirements of the job. I'm also aware that, while there are ways to try to get certain days off, that there are times I'm going to have to work Christmas or a birthday. My family has learned to understand that.
The first time, I placed just below a guy who later axe murdered his live-in GF in their apartment. While his arrest and conviction did help me move from # 14 to #13/28, I didn't get "the call" the first time.
My buddy? He placed #3, and got hired.
The second time? #3/18, hired three months after the list posted... I was actually an employee by the time I received my "come see the Chief" letter.
Get the training you can while you can. Every $ you've already spent is one less they have to spend on you to get you up to speed.
Prove your training and abilities. Include all your class certificates and atta-boys with your application - even if it says you don't need to.
Don't be a Pollyanna. They've heard all the goody two shoes BS before. Give 'em answers from a working guys (girl's) point of view. In any economy, bennies and a pension are strong selling points. And unless you're testing for your hometown, don't tell them that you "want to give something back to the community". If you're not from there, you can't. (saw it tried- he failed miserably)
Relax. Everybody who's on the job today was once in that chair. We nmade it... you can too.
Good luck. Let us know how you place.
Whatever they ask you just tell them the truth...do not lie about anything. Remember, you can spend a few seconds thinking about the answer.
+1 I have learned that is the big thing with applications and poly's ecspecially for LE work, its not what you have done, its if you are willing to tell the truth about it.
In summary be honest and good luck
I have heard the pen question before, also if your Captain tells you to go do something and on the way another Capt. tells you to do something else what do you do?