Careers
Companies
Topics
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Firefighter Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 30

Two company officers give you conflicting orders on the scene of a structure fire. How would you respond?

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.

Firefighter Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Two company officers give you conflicting orders on the scene of a structure fire. How would you respond?

      Communication is key on the fireground. If you have orders to perform a specific task and are given different orders, you need to let the officer know what orders you were first issued. Usually, they will assign another firefighter the job. If they do not, communicate to the first officer your new assignment and have them decide which needs to be done first.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I was in the middle of performing a job the first officer gave me, and I was asked to do something different, I would tell the second officer what my assignment was. If they don't assign that task to someone else, I will let the first officer know that I had a new assignment and ask what they want me to do. The most important thing is to communicate with both officers."

  2. 2.

    Why did you want to become a firefighter?

      Interviewers are looking for something personal, not the typical answer that you want to help people. Most individuals wishing to become firefighters want to help people. Think about a specific time in your life when you discovered you wanted to be a firefighter. It could be that you want to be part of a team, or you witnessed an accident and admired the way the firefighters worked under pressure. Or, you might have a personal experience where a firefighter helped you or a family member.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I want to become a firefighter because I witnessed a horrible motorcycle accident in front of my house when I was sixteen years old. Two people died, and I had never witnessed anything like that. The fire department showed up and I admired how professional they were in making the scene safe so no one else would get hurt. They were very comforting and supportive and wanted to make sure I was not physically injured. I remember that was the day I decided I wanted to work as a firefighter."

  3. 3.

    What have you done to prepare for a career in the fire service?

      This is a common question, as the interviewer wants to see what steps you have taken to prepare for this position. Highlight all the steps you have taken succinctly. Think of this answer as bullet points, starting with the first steps you have taken to the most recent. If you have not done much to prepare, explain what you have done and what you plan to do.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am a volunteer with my local fire department and participate in their weekly drills. In the year that I have been a volunteer, I have been a firefighter on three structure fires and multiple vehicle accidents and medical calls. I received my EMT certification two months ago, and have been working as an EMT for AMR since then. I have enrolled in a Hazardous Materials course, which I start next week. Also, I work out three to four times a week, concentrating on strength and endurance activities."

  4. 4.

    What can you tell me about our fire department's ALS program?

      Before interviewing for a firefighter position, it is imperative to research the department where you have applied . Interviewers want to see how serious you are about working for their department and what you have learned about their operations. For this particular question, describe as much as you can about their ALS program, including how many ambulances they have, how many ALS engine and truck companies, how many paramedics, when the program was implemented, how many EMS captains and chiefs, how many medical calls they run per year, etc.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Your ALS program was implemented in 1995 when there was a housing boom. The Fire Chief decided more stations had to be built to serve the growing community and that ALS services were needed. The department currently has 15 ambulances with at least one paramedic and one EMT staffing each, and a grant was written for two additional units to be purchased. Twenty engine companies and three truck companies are ALS, with medical emergencies making up 70% of all calls. Your department has three EMS captains, a registered nurse in charge of quality assurance, and one Deputy Chief in charge of EMS operations."

  5. 5.

    What are your personal hobbies?

      This question gives the interviewer insight into how you like to spend your time off. Firefighting is a stressful career, and it is good for employees to have a way to debrief. Describe three or four things you like to participate in when not at work.

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I am not working, I enjoy many activities in the outdoors. I love kayaking, mountain biking, and camping with my family. Also, I realized I needed some type of creative outlet and have recently started painting with acrylics."

  6. 6.

    What do you consider the least appealing part of being a firefighter? Besides the risk of death.

      When you answer this question, be sure to describe the least appealing part of being a firefighter and end on a positive note. If you cannot think of the least appealing part of this career, think of something that might create a hardship, such as being away from your family for extended periods. Then, turn that around to why you can make it work for you as a firefighter.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think the least appealing part of being a firefighter is missing certain holidays and celebrations with my family. I have discussed this with my family, and we decided if I am working on a holiday or birthday, we will celebrate the day before. That way, we can all be together."

  7. 7.

    How do you resolve a conflict with a coworker or supervisor?

      Conflict-resolution and communication are fundamental skills to have as a firefighter. Describe to the interviewer how you can be a team player and solve disputes within the workplace. There is a chain of command in the fire service, so interviewers will want to see an attempt to resolve any conflicts with coworkers before going to a supervisor.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I resolve any conflicts with a coworker by speaking directly with them. I ask if I can speak with them privately and explain the problem in a non-confrontational manner. I ask them if they understand where I'm coming from and if they agree there is a problem. I then ask how we can fix the issue and try to come to a mutual agreement."

  8. 8.

    What makes you passionate about being a firefighter?

      Pick one or two reasons you are passionate about being a firefighter. It could be that you had an experience with a firefighter that inspired you to become one. Or, you might be passionate about becoming the Fire Chief one day. When you answer this question, be sure your passion is evident to the interviewers. They want to see what drives and motivates you.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am passionate about becoming a firefighter because I had an experience when I was ten years old where my school bus was involved in an accident. The front of the bus caught on fire, and we had to evacuate through the roof. The driver was badly injured, and the kids were crying and screaming. The fire department came and put out the fire while helping thirty of us safely escape. The firefighters were calm and worked together as a team to help us. They were professional and did a great job of making the situation less scary. Ever since then, I have wanted to become a part of that team and help others in an emergency."

  9. 9.

    If you saw a coworker taking advantage of the fire department, stealing, etc., what would you do?

      Firefighters protect life and property and are held to high standards. One of the traits of being a firefighter is to be honest. If a coworker is stealing or somehow taking advantage of the fire department in another way, that person cannot be trusted with the public and their property. An interviewer wants to see if you have the integrity to stand up to a coworker and help the department maintain its professional standards.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I saw a coworker stealing something from the department, I would approach them and ask them what they are doing and give them a chance to explain. If I felt as if they were not truthful in their response, I would report them to my immediate supervisor."

  10. 10.

    What can you contribute to this fire department?

      Describe some of your positive attributes that will benefit the department. Interviewers are looking for firefighters who are team players with desirable traits who will become valuable assets to the department. Highlight special skills or knowledge that could enhance the fire department if you are hired.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I can contribute my extensive emergency medical knowledge after working as a paramedic for the past seven years. I have also worked as an EMT and Paramedic Instructor and would like to teach continuing education classes to the department. My other interests are to hold community CPR and AED classes to educate the citizens about the importance of early and effective CPR."

  11. 11.

    If you are asked to perform a task that you are unfamiliar with, how do you respond?

      There are many things a firefighter may be asked to do that they are not familiar or comfortable with. The interviewer wants to know if you are willing to ask for help. Becoming a great firefighter requires constantly learning new skills, and with learning comes questions. If a firefighter performs a task they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with, it could put the firefighter, the crew, and the public in danger.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I am unfamiliar or uncomfortable performing a task, I let the person know. I would tell them that I will find a crew member to teach me how to perform that task safely. I would then train on that task until I felt confident in performing it. I am not afraid to ask for help because if I do something incorrectly, it could hurt me, my crew, or a member of the community."

  12. 12.

    Have you, or anyone you know, lost their home in a fire?

      As with all interview questions, be honest. The interviewer is looking to see if you have direct experience with a loss or show empathy for someone else's loss. A lot of emotions can show on your face and in your voice when asked this question.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have never lost a home in a fire. Unfortunately, my grandparents lost part of their home when their attic caught on fire. But, the firefighters did an incredible job of containing the fire and were able to salvage most of my grandparent's family heirlooms. I was fifteen when it happened. I remember my grandparents living with us for a month while they rebuilt their home, and my grandma was very sad. It was after they were able to move back into their house was my grandma happy again."

  13. 13.

    What is the most important trait a firefighter must possess?

      The answer to this question will show the interviewer what qualities you find the most important in a firefighter. Pick one trait that is important to you and expand on it. The traits that interviewers are looking for in a firefighter are honesty, integrity, morals, ethics, teamwork, and compassion. There is no wrong answer. Just be sure to explain why this particular trait is important to you.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe the most important trait a firefighter must possess is honesty. The public puts their trust in firefighters. They enter people's homes for medical emergencies, are close to patients and their valuables in vehicle accidents, and are responsible for individuals' personal property after a house fire. And, they work closely with their crew, living at the fire station while on duty. Everyone needs to be able to trust who they are working and living with."

  14. 14.

    How well do you get along with other people?

      This question highlights your people skills and personality. In the fire service, it is crucial to get along with your coworkers and the community you serve. Interviewers want to see that you are a pleasant, friendly person and will not be a problem employee. Explain how you work well with others, how others view your personality, and any awards or recommendations you have received for working well with others.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I get along with other people very well. In my current position as the manager of Starbucks, it is my job to get along with my employees and the customers. If there is an issue with either one, I am able to diffuse the situation and make sure the customer and employee are happy. All of my employee reviews from my supervisor have been exemplary, and I have received four awards for being recognized as employee of the month in the two years working for Starbucks."

  15. 15.

    What would make you a great firefighter?

      By asking this question, the interviewer can see what qualities you think makes someone a great firefighter. You can identify certain traits, experiences, and education. Pick one or two topics you think make a great firefighter and expand on them.

      Ryan's Answer

      "There are many aspects to firefighting that make someone great in their field. I think continuing education and training will consistently improve my skills as a firefighter. I think it is important to constantly strive to be better. I also strongly believe what makes me a great firefighter is my empathy and compassion towards others."

  16. 16.

    Do you enjoy working with other people?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Would you be willing to raise money, outside of work, for the fire department?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    In what areas could you improve as a firefighter?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    What was the biggest mistake you made at your previous employment? What did you learn from it?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Where do you see yourself in five years with this department?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Do you consider yourself a team player?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    How would you handle a citizen that criticized the fire department to you?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    What would you do if you witnessed a coworker treating another coworker poorly?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Why do you want to work for this city's fire department?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Knowing the area you serve is very important. Would you inspect newly constructed buildings (to know the layout), on your own time?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    What type of person would you find it most difficult to work with?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Besides the fire, what other risks are there when fighting a fully-involved, residential structure fire?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Being a firefighter is more than just facing risks, you have to be cautious and smart. Do you consider yourself cautious and smart? when dealing with an intense situation?

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    Tell me a little bit about your firefighter training.

      View All 30 Firefighter 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.

    How have you prepared yourself to remain calm and react effectively at emergency scenes?

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