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911 Dispatcher Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated December 15th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a 911 dispatcher, so far?
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How to Answer
Accomplishing something, big or small, is a motivating subject. Talk to the interviewer about what your proudest career accomplishment has been so far, and why. Be sure to show excitement and enthusiasm for what you have accomplished so far. If you are new to your dispatch career, discuss an accomplishment you have earned along the way, whether that be from school or a rewarding volunteer opportunity.
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1.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a 911 dispatcher, so far?
Accomplishing something, big or small, is a motivating subject. Talk to the interviewer about what your proudest career accomplishment has been so far, and why. Be sure to show excitement and enthusiasm for what you have accomplished so far. If you are new to your dispatch career, discuss an accomplishment you have earned along the way, whether that be from school or a rewarding volunteer opportunity.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As a seasoned 911 Dispatcher, I have many accomplishments that make me beam with pride. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have in this industry. I could also sum up my accomplishments by how proud I feel, knowing I have helped may children along the way. I have a deep level of compassion for children who are in scary situations, so every time I can assist, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The greatest accomplishment I have had so far is graduating University as an honors student while still working part-time as a volunteer dispatcher. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career and reach the educational goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and earn recognition for my educational dedication."
2.
How would you handle a call from a panicked person who was speaking unintelligibly?
911 Dispatchers are often in communication with people who are having a very stressful time. This stress can cause people to panic and not think or speak clearly. Some examples could include the caller speaking a language you do not know, or a caller suddenly unable to remember important details such as their location. Walk the interviewer through the steps that you would take if you were on a call with someone speaking in a way that you could not understand.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently had a caller who was speaking very quickly in another language that I could not decipher. After asking them a couple of questions in English, it was clear that they were upset and found it easier to speak in their native tongue while in duress. I asked, 'what language?' a straightforward question that was simple for the caller to answer. Once I was able to distinguish the language they were speaking, I was able to transfer to the call to a dispatcher who spoke their language. When a caller is panicked, it is entirely up to me to break down the barriers of communication and get them the assistance they need."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"For the majority of my career, I have worked in a cross-functional environment with a plethora of response teams and emergency professionals. It's a fantastic way to work because we can meet a goal or objective more efficiently while teaching each other new skills."
3.
Proper filing of reports is critical. Talk about your documentation skills and how you keep your records organized.
Depending on where you will be working, you may have a variety of systems and programs to learn, allowing for proper documentation, processing, and filing. When working as a 911 Dispatcher, you must remain organized and accurate in the information that you are sharing. Walk the hiring authority through your process when it comes to keeping your records organized. If you are new to your career, you can discuss the fact that you are careful and organized in general.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As an experienced 911 Dispatcher, I fully understand the repercussions of being disorganized or filing paperwork improperly. I am careful with my documentation, I use accurate wording, and ensure that the job can go on long after my shift is over. In every administrative action that I take, I make sure that my coworkers understand what occurred and what needs doing."
Rachelle's Answer #2
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4.
After each call, how do you evaluate your performance?
As a 911 Dispatcher, being able to look critically at your performance is a critical skill to have. How do you keep yourself in check for strong performance? Perhaps you are open to self-development and improvement, or maybe you ask for feedback from your leader regularly.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I evaluate myself after every emergency call, especially after handling unique situations or high-stress calls. After hanging up, I will check with myself on how I feel about my performance. If there is a situation where I felt rusty or unsure, I will write it down and revisit it at the end of the day. Even after 12 years in this industry, I am open to feedback and will often ask other dispatchers how they would have handled a call differently. In unusual or high-stress calls, it is incredibly important to debrief very soon after the call. This debriefing helps keep me in check and absorb any methods for improvement."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that feedback from more experienced dispatchers is the key to ensuring strong performance every time. After each day for my first 30 days, I will request feedback. I want to learn all that I can to become the best 911 Dispatcher that I can be."
5.
Have you spoken with other 911 Dispatchers regarding what this career is like?
Researching the opportunity, the career overall, and the department you will be joining is a critical first step before going to an interview. Tell the hiring manager the extent of your research, how you feel about the opportunity to work as a 911 Dispatcher, and why you would like to work in this position.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have spoken with one of your other dispatchers about this position, and she had so many wonderful things to say about working here. After researching online and speaking with her, I am even more excited about the opportunity. I would love to have this job and am eager to compete for the role."
Rachelle's Answer #2
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