MockQuestions

Fire Inspector Interview
Questions

34 Questions and Answers by
| Krista has been on thousands of interview panels hiring EMS professionals and firefighters. With over 30 years of experience as an EMS Educator, she has developed curriculum and training materials to assist those interviewing for these positions.

Question 1 of 34

What is your greatest career-related failure, and what did you learn from it?

1000s of Interview Questions

Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Fire Inspector Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What is your greatest career-related failure, and what did you learn from it?

      The interviewer is looking for an inspector who can admit they have experienced failure in their career and learned something from that experience. Describe a career-related failure, and turn it into a positive experience with the lessons that you learned. Explain how that failure changed your perspective and how it improved you as a person.

      Krista's Answer

      "My greatest career-related failure was not passing a fire technology course the first time I took it. I had become complacent and thought my experience as a firefighter would guarantee that I would pass the course. I did not study as hard as I should have, and I failed. I learned that I should never become complacent in a profession and that I need to be constantly learning. I studied very hard before retaking the course, and I received a 98% grade. That was the last course I needed to pass before receiving my associate's degree."

  2. 2.

    When were you most satisfied in your job?

      The interviewer is looking to see what makes you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your answer shows a lot about your personality and what is important to you. Think back to an experience where you helped someone with a positive outcome.

      Krista's Answer

      "I felt most satisfied in my job when I helped deliver a baby during a fire inspection. I was inspecting a restaurant, and one of the servers rushed back into the kitchen where I was inspecting extinguishers and said a lady was in the restroom having a baby, and she needed help. I called dispatch, requested an ambulance, and asked the server to bring me some clean towels and tablecloths. When I went into the restroom, a lady was on the ground, and the baby was crowning. I placed a tablecloth under the mother's hips, and after a few pushes, the baby was in my hands. I dried the baby off, and she started crying. That was the most satisfying sound I have ever heard."

  3. 3.

    Do you work better independently or as part of a team?

      A fire inspector can work independently or as part of a team. It is good to be flexible and show that you are a team player. Explain to the interviewer how you can work by yourself and with others. It shows you are well-rounded and easy to work with.

      Krista's Answer

      "Being in the fire service, I have learned the importance of working as a team to get a job done. But, there are situations, especially as an inspector, where I work independently. Each situation varies, but I believe I work well by myself and as part of a team. I enjoy the different aspects that each offers."

  4. 4.

    Have you ever been a volunteer firefighter?

      Many fire inspectors started as volunteer firefighters to gain experience and knowledge and see if a fire service career is for them. However, not every jurisdiction has volunteer departments, so not everyone is afforded the opportunity. There is no correct answer to this question; the interviewer is only looking at your past experience.

      Krista's Answer

      "I did work as a volunteer firefighter when first starting my career. I had graduated from the fire academy, but it took five years of testing all over the state to get hired by a paid department. In the meantime, I worked as a volunteer to gain experience and improve my skills. After I got hired by a department, I continued as a volunteer for two more years to assist with their training."

  5. 5.

    What is the most bizarre case you have ever inspected?

      The interviewer wants to hear what you consider bizarre and how you handled the case. When working on an unusual case, you need critical-thinking skills and need to work well under pressure. Describe the bizarre case and what resulted from it.

      Krista's Answer

      "The most bizarre case I have ever inspected was an apartment building that had a new sprinkler system put in. The building inspector called me to assist with the inspection of the system before the occupants could return. While inspecting one of the apartments, I heard a noise coming from behind a cabinet in the kitchen. It was strange because all of the occupants were out of the building. I opened the cupboard and saw a piece of wood that looked like it had been cut out of the back of the cabinet but wasn't placed in the hole correctly. I pulled the wood out and saw a face staring back at me. Apparently, there was a secret room behind the cupboard where a person was living. She had access from outside of the building and used the hole in the cupboard to enter the occupant's kitchen and eat their food."

  6. 6.

    Walk me through your resume, highlighting all of your inspection-related experience.

      This is a great time to sell yourself, based on your experience and knowledge. Start with inspector-related jobs you had before becoming an inspector, such as firefighting, arson investigation, or workplace safety officer. If you do not have experience as a fire inspector, highlight training you have completed and certifications you have received. List any volunteer experience if applicable.

      Krista's Answer

      "I worked for 15 years as a firefighter doing monthly building inspections as part of my job description. I have worked as a fire inspector for the past three years and am also an instructor at the Fire Academy teaching fire inspection procedures. I have been teaching for the past two years at the academy and have implemented a program where recruits can shadow me on inspection calls."

  7. 7.

    How knowledgeable are you in building fire code regulations?

      Being knowledgeable in building fire code regulations is a key part of a fire inspector's job. While inspectors are not expected to remember every code word for word, they need to know where to reference the code. Describe your experience with fire code regulations and where you would reference the codes if needed.

      Krista's Answer

      "During the past five years working as an inspector, I have become quite familiar with the fire codes. It is impossible to remember every obscure regulation, so I carry several books in my car that cover the NFPA fire codes, the local building codes, and the fire codes that my state enforces. Most of the normal, everyday codes I have memorized, but I also have an app on my computer that I can show the customer what the code reads if there is a question."

  8. 8.

    What are the biggest lessons you have learned as a fire inspector so far?

      There are many lessons to be learned in fire inspection. One example is how people will be dishonest with inspectors to save money on doing something correctly, or they are concerned with getting a fine. Other examples are improved technology, increased prevention measures and public awareness, and enhanced sprinkler systems. Give two or three examples.

      Krista's Answer

      "One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a fire inspector is that not everyone is truthful. They might be trying to avoid a fine or save money by doing something that is not up to code. I feel that it is my job to educate the public and put them at ease when I arrive for an inspection. I explain why I do my job and that my only concern is for them, their business, and the rest of the public. I try to educate rather than enforce, even though I do that when necessary. Another lesson I have learned is that technology is advancing quickly in the fire service. I subscribe to magazines and attend conferences to keep up with the latest advancements."

  9. 9.

    If given the choice, would you rather work on the insurance side or investigatory side of fire inspection?

      Different departments will have either an insurance side, investigatory side, or both. Explain which appeals to you most and why. A good answer is to incorporate both sides of fire inspection, so it shows that you are willing to handle any given assignment.

      Krista's Answer

      "If given a choice, I prefer the investigatory side of fire inspecting most. I find it more appealing and intriguing than insurance claims. But, I have worked on both sides in the past and will certainly continue working claims if they assigned to me."

  10. 10.

    Do you have a current certification from the National Fire Protection Association?

      Each department or agency has different requirements regarding its fire inspector's certification. Usually, the NFPA certification is an advanced level of training and is not always required by an agency or department unless the fire inspector is advancing to a higher level. The interviewer is looking at your credentials and how much professional development you have done through your career. If you do have your NFPA certification, they want to see that you have maintained current certification and renewals.

      Krista's Answer

      "I do have a current certification from the National Fire Protection Association. I have had the certification for four years and renewed it last year. I also have the annual fee deducted from my account automatically."

  11. 11.

    Have you ever led a team or investigation? Tell me about that experience.

      The interviewer is looking at your leadership skills. Describe an investigation or a time you lead a team and how it made you feel. It might be that you were a fire captain and had to lead your crew at a structure fire or vehicle accident, or it could be that you led an arson investigation. If you have never led a team or investigation before, say that you have not. But, use an example from the past where you supervised employees or were the captain of a sports team.

      Krista's Answer

      "I have led many teams during my time as a fire captain. I was in charge of how any medical call, vehicle accident, or structure fire went, and I relied on my crew to do the best job they could. We did a lot of training at the station, so my crew knew beforehand what was expected at every call. Since they knew their jobs so well, it was easy to lead them and know they would do a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a fire captain."

  12. 12.

    If you could have changed anything about your last inspection position, what would that have been?

      To answer this question, avoid using examples like you wish the pay was higher or you disagreed with your supervisor. Some examples could be that the commute was too long, the department was small and you wanted to work for a larger department, or there were staffing issues. Try to keep a positive note when answering this question.

      Krista's Answer

      "I really enjoyed my last inspector position, but if I could change anything, it would have been to have more inspectors to share the workload. The department I worked for had a small budget and could not afford more inspectors. This created a challenge, as we were backlogged for months trying to keep up with inspections. I felt being understaffed was detrimental to the safety of the community."

  13. 13.

    Being a fire inspector requires strong documentation skills. How would you rate yourself?

      Having strong documentation skills is essential as a fire inspector. Every detail needs to be documented for future reference if you end up in court. Without proper documentation, you cannot prove that something was said or done. Describe to the interviewer how you rate your documentation skills and why you gave yourself that rating. If you feel you have poor documentation skills, you do not necessarily want to tell that to the interviewer, but you should have a plan to improve your skills.

      Krista's Answer

      "I feel that my documentation skills have improved over the years of being an inspector. I would rate my skills a 10 out of 10 now, partly due to advanced technology and the ease of using inspection apps to document my inspections. I understand the importance of keeping excellent records and documenting everything that I do and say. I have never had to go to court over a case, but I want to be prepared if I get called in. "

  14. 14.

    Would you be comfortable training others in fire prevention techniques?

      A large part of a fire inspector's job is to help educate the public in fire prevention techniques. When an interviewer asks this question, they want to see that you will be the right person for the position. An inspector needs to have leadership and teaching skills to be successful at their job. Explain how you feel comfortable training others in fire prevention techniques and give a few examples of what you like most. Describe any past or present instructor positions you have held, if any.

      Krista's Answer

      "I feel very comfortable training others in fire prevention techniques. I am confident in my training and skills and like sharing my fire prevention knowledge with others. Besides training business and homeowners fire prevention techniques as an inspector, I also work part-time as an adjunct instructor at the fire academy, training new fire recruits. I get called in when they want me to teach inspection techniques, including fire extinguishers, kitchen fire suppression systems, and sprinkler systems."

  15. 15.

    As a fire inspector, attention to detail is incredibly important. How do you ensure that your attention is kept on the job?

      Fire inspectors need to remain focused, so no detail is overlooked. Many inspectors have a good, methodical process for each inspection they do, so nothing is overlooked. Explain how you perform your inspections to ensure that you will not be distracted and miss an important detail.

      Krista's Answer

      "I pride myself on my attention to detail. I have a methodical process I follow for each inspection to ensure no details are overlooked. I use software that outlines each item I am looking for in an inspection, and if there is something unique about the place I am inspecting, I take notes and add it to my report."

  16. 16.

    What are your salary expectations?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  17. 17.

    Tell me about an assignment that was too difficult for you as a fire inspector. How did you resolve the issue?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  18. 18.

    Why do you think you are the best fire inspector for us?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  19. 19.

    Do you have any formal training from a fire academy?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  20. 20.

    Do you have experience working with insurance claims?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  21. 21.

    Many of your inspections will require you to read a building blueprint. How well versed are you in reading blueprints?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  22. 22.

    Are you experienced in testing fire safety equipment?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  23. 23.

    Do you feel that it is important to wear proper PPE on the job?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  24. 24.

    What programs and systems are you most experienced in?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  25. 25.

    Why did you choose to pursue a career as a fire inspector?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  26. 26.

    Have you ever had an issue with a manager or supervisor? How did you resolve the situation?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  27. 27.

    If you could not be a fire inspector, what career path would you choose?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  28. 28.

    Tell me about your post-secondary education.

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  29. 29.

    What motivates you to do a great job as a fire inspector?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  30. 30.

    Describe a time when you did not get along with a coworker.

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  31. 31.

    In your opinion, what are three strengths a good fire inspector must have?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  32. 32.

    What is your biggest area for improvement? What are you doing to work on that?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  33. 33.

    What are your short-term goals as a fire inspector?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  34. 34.

    Why are you leaving your current role?

      View All 34 Fire Inspector Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.