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Paramedic Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 22nd, 2018 | 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 was your schedule at your last position? Are you okay adjusting to a new shift?
View Answer
How to Answer
Be flexible! Since you have most likely been working as an EMT for a while to prepare you to get to this point, you understand that your schedule can be a little crazy. Here's an example of a response:

"Do you have specific shifts you need covered right now? I understand I will need to be on-call at times and longer hours may be needed and I'm happy to work. I can do 24-hour shifts and I understand things can change week to week."

With scheduling questions it's typically a good idea to ask them what they need and be clear on expectations. If you list your needs before you know what's even available, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. If they expect you to work 24-hour shifts, don't ask for 12 hour shifts. Above all, be flexible and enthusiastic. Usually it's difficult to get your ideal schedule when you are new to the team, so try not to be too picky. And understand that your schedule may be as unpredictable as the emergency calls you get on the job.
30 Paramedic Interview Questions
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  1. What was your schedule at your last position? Are you okay adjusting to a new shift?
  2. What are a few traits you think a paramedic needs to have?
  3. How would you handle working with a teammate with less experience that caused you to carry the workload?
  4. What can you bring to the job that exceeds what other candidates can bring?
  5. What motivates you?
  6. Tell me how you remain calm, in detail, during a crisis?
  7. How do you handle death?
  8. How do you build relationships when you join a new team?
  9. How would you intervene with a frantic relative who is grieving over the injury of a child?
  10. Have you ever suggested a improvement that was put into practice in the paramedic field?
  11. How do you resolve conflict with co-workers?
  12. 24/7 operations are like relay races where you take the baton, run with it and then pass it on smoothly. How do you make seamless transitions on shift changes?
  13. What gives you the greatest joy as a Paramedic?
  14. What drew you to emergency medicine?
  15. Tell me about a mistake you made at work. How did you handle it?
  16. Tell me about yourself.
  17. What is your greatest achievement so far?
  18. What part of your duties as a Paramedic do you dislike the most?
  19. Tell me about your experience working in teams.
  20. If you are the first on scene and notice 3 almost fatal injuries, how do you react to each patient before help arrives?
  21. Why do you want to work for our organization?
  22. What are your career goals?
  23. How do you handle situations that could cause you to be tardy or absent?
  24. How do you fill downtime?
  25. Have you ever lost a patient en route to the hospital? What happened?
  26. How would you handle a situation where a patient has expired, and you have to cover their body and wheel them into the vehicle while a crowd of people watch.
  27. How would you handle a shift when four emergency calls are made all within a two hour time.
  28. What would your previous co-workers say about your work performance?
  29. How would you rate your skills at creating a patient care report?
  30. Tell me about your previous boss.
15 Paramedic Answer Examples
1.
What was your schedule at your last position? Are you okay adjusting to a new shift?
Be flexible! Since you have most likely been working as an EMT for a while to prepare you to get to this point, you understand that your schedule can be a little crazy. Here's an example of a response:

"Do you have specific shifts you need covered right now? I understand I will need to be on-call at times and longer hours may be needed and I'm happy to work. I can do 24-hour shifts and I understand things can change week to week."

With scheduling questions it's typically a good idea to ask them what they need and be clear on expectations. If you list your needs before you know what's even available, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. If they expect you to work 24-hour shifts, don't ask for 12 hour shifts. Above all, be flexible and enthusiastic. Usually it's difficult to get your ideal schedule when you are new to the team, so try not to be too picky. And understand that your schedule may be as unpredictable as the emergency calls you get on the job.
Rachelle's Answer
"Do you have specific shifts you need covered right now? I understand I will need to be on-call at times and longer hours may be needed and I'm happy to work. I can do 24-hour shifts and I understand things can change week to week."
2.
What are a few traits you think a paramedic needs to have?
In thinking about the nature of the job, try to focus on the key qualities that make a good paramedic. Sound judgement, passion for medicine and a love for helping people are all important qualities. Dedication, reliability and intelligence are also highly important. As you prepare for this interview, create a list of qualities that correspond to the responsibilities of the job description. For example, filling out patient care reports requires a person to be detail oriented and consistent. Assessing patients and identifying next steps requires knowledge and good judgement. What do you think are the most important traits from your experience?
3.
How would you handle working with a teammate with less experience that caused you to carry the workload?
It's likely that this situation will occur, especially considering the differing levels of experience between EMT's and Paramedics. You will have more varying types of responsibilities as a Paramedic and may be partnered with an EMT with much less experience. How will you handle it? How have you handled this type of scenario in the past? You'll be spending quite a bit of time with your partners on the job, so strategy will be important if you're faced with this type of challenge. You may want to see this as a teaching opportunity. If your partner is interested in learning more, perhaps you can help them advance in their knowledge. Communication will be vital. If your teammate is receptive, perhaps you can tell them what you observe to be happening and see how the two of you can remedy the situation.

Your interviewer wants to know that you are a team player, even if your teammate is dragging you down. So put on your thinking cap! How can you communicate effectively with your teammate to boost that relationship to build a power team?
4.
What can you bring to the job that exceeds what other candidates can bring?
What makes you stand out? You may have shown your knowledge and expertise through answering some tough questions about the types of scenarios you might anticipate. Now's the time to talk about your strengths, accomplishments and how you will do an outstanding job above the rest. The average paramedic might meet the responsibilities and basic qualifications, but you have more to offer than that! Talk about how you trained your partner on a new routine procedure or how you implemented a new system that improved the transport process, ultimately saving time and lives! You may have more meager accomplishments but even the little things like having a great attitude can make a huge difference.
5.
What motivates you?
At the end of the day after you have seen car accidents, suicide attempts, and the most depressing sides of human nature, how do you keep yourself going? Many paramedics burn out or quit after experiencing the volume of trauma day after day. Tell the interviewer if you are you motivated by saving lives or working towards going to school to become a physician's assistant.

Rachelle's Answer
"My experiences in this field have been invaluable. I have learned so many skills that I will be able to use when I work as a nurse in the ER. My goal is to complete nursing school in the next three years."
6.
Tell me how you remain calm, in detail, during a crisis?
If you have already gotten this far in the field of emergency healthcare, you have experienced stress. Think back on the training, testing and traumatic situations you have already faced. How did you handle it? By now it may have become second nature, because you're so focused on the procedures you need to do to get through it. A good example of how to respond to this question would be something along these lines:

"In the face of stress on the job, I stay focused and stay in communication with my partner. Following the routine checks and moving quickly help me to stay present and use my energy effectively. If there is massive blood loss, I focus on stopping the bleeding, pressure points, and patient care. There is no time to be anxious or frantic."
Rachelle's Answer
"In the face of stress on the job, I stay focused and stay in communication with my partner. Following the routine checks and moving quickly help me to stay present and use my energy effectively. If there is massive blood loss, I focus on stopping the bleeding, pressure points, and patient care. There is no time to be anxious or frantic."
7.
How do you handle death?
Death can be common in your line of work. When answering this question, remain calm and collected. You're still human, so the interviewer doesn't expect you to behave like a robot. The important thing to keep in mind is that your behavior affects others, your team, and relatives of the patient. If you can find a way to share a silver lining or a lesson learned, those are great things to share.

Rachelle's Answer
"It is extremely frustrating when I have done everything in my power to keep a patient alive. Those are the toughest times on the job, but you have to push through it and learn from it."
8.
How do you build relationships when you join a new team?
In an office environment many get away with being antisocial or having superficial relationships with co-workers. In emergency medicine, you don't have that option. You'll get a crash course on each of the individuals you work with and by necessity, you'll learn how to work with them. Your interviewer wants to know that you're the type of person who will make the first move to build and mend relationships on the job. There can be miscommunication and confusion on the job in the midst of handling crisis situations. What do you do in order to ensure optimal cooperation and teamwork?

Rachelle's Answer
"I think a great way to build professional relationships is to understand that everyone has something to learn from one another."
9.
How would you intervene with a frantic relative who is grieving over the injury of a child?
You need to tend to the injured child, but you have a relative in shock that may interfere with your ability to stabilize the child. What do you do? Think back on some of your experiences working with multiple individuals in a traumatic situation. What have you learned that helped? What didn't help? Your interviewer is testing your skills to see how you can balance your role of being compassionate and also taking action. They also want to learn how you communicate under pressure. You might not be able to calm the relative, but you could certainly explain what you need from them so that you can effectively do your job to keep the child alive.
10.
Have you ever suggested a improvement that was put into practice in the paramedic field?
If you haven't made a suggestion that was implemented, maybe you started doing things in a different way or with a different attitude. This questions is inquiring about problem solving and leadership. Some people notice issues and complain about them. Others think about ways to improve them. And leaders will make suggestions and seek out ways to put them into action. The types of problems you want to think about are those that may decrease efficiency or accuracy. It could be a standard way of completing a report that you have found a better way to do. Or maybe you have noticed the way your team interacts with patients that you feel could be more careful and compassionate. Take it to the next level: How are you proactive in setting the standard for excellence on your shift?
11.
How do you resolve conflict with co-workers?
Working so closely with your team, it's inevitable that you will have moments where you're not getting along swimmingly. As issues arise, what will you do? The best thing you can do in answering this question is show your interviewer how you are consistent. Just as you follow rules and regulations, offer patient care and a great attitude, you prioritize your relationships with your co-workers. How does one do this, especially in the heat of those intense moments? Listen. Don't take anything personally. Communicate. Think about those small yet significant ways you maintain those work relationships.
12.
24/7 operations are like relay races where you take the baton, run with it and then pass it on smoothly. How do you make seamless transitions on shift changes?
"I am consistent in completing my reports, communicating with the hospital staff and ensuring I have done ever test and procedure before passing off a patient. In the same way, I make sure the truck is prepared for the next person to take over my shift so that they have everything they will need."

Explain to the interviewer that you are consistent and follow through. These qualities are essential. Listing off your routine tasks before and after shifts will also reassure your interviewer that you are familiar and comfortable with these transitions.
Rachelle's Answer
"I am consistent in completing my reports, communicating with the hospital staff and ensuring I have done ever test and procedure before passing off a patient. In the same way, I make sure the truck is prepared for the next person to take over my shift so that they have everything they will need."
13.
What gives you the greatest joy as a Paramedic?
Hopefully your first response to this is SAVING LIVES! Everyone has different motivations for working in emergency healthcare, but the most thrilling moments for many are when they're able to come to the rescue and keep their patients alive. Think about your favorite aspects of the job.

"It's an amazing feeling when you are able to revive a patient just in the nick of time. The rush of assessing the patient as quickly as possible to keep them alive and identify what needs to happen when we get to the hospital is one of the things I love about the job."

The nature of the job itself may be the very thing you like most about it. Giving an example of a time you worked with a patient is always the way to go. If you are fairly new to the field, you can share an observation from a time you worked with a Paramedic and how that motivated you to continue your training to become one.
Rachelle's Answer
"It's an amazing feeling when you are able to revive a patient just in the nick of time. The rush of assessing the patient as quickly as possible to keep them alive and identify what needs to happen when we get to the hospital is one of the things I love about the job."
14.
What drew you to emergency medicine?
Is it the adrenaline rush? Is it saving lives? Why do you do what you do? The interviewer is looking for your motivation and wants to get to know you a little bit. Personal experiences and classes you took are great examples to share that give the interviewer more insight into how you chose your profession. So share a brief intro about how you got to where you are now.

"I have been interested in healthcare for a long time, and when I was in college I started took an anatomy and physiology class. It fascinated me, so I continued to learn as much as possible about how the body works. When my brother was hospitalized after a car accident I was with him every step of the way. My experience riding in the ambulance changed my perspective and I knew that was what I wanted to do."
Rachelle's Answer
"I have been interested in healthcare for a long time, and when I was in college I started took an anatomy and physiology class. It fascinated me, so I continued to learn as much as possible about how the body works. When my brother was hospitalized after a car accident I was with him every step of the way. My experience riding in the ambulance changed my perspective and I knew that was what I wanted to do."
15.
Tell me about a mistake you made at work. How did you handle it?
Making a mistake when working in emergency medicine can be lethal. When you think back on your work history, can you think of a time you made a mistake with lesser consequences? Talk about the mistake briefly, and then explain what you did once you realized you did something wrong. Show you took initiative in handling it. If the consequences were greater than frustrating your boss or having to apologize, show you handled it by being humble and calm. Next talk about what you learned from it and the actions you will take to make sure it never happens again.

Rachelle's Answer
"I sent an email at work without proofing it and then later realized that there were two people copied who were not supposed to know the information I shared. As soon as I noticed, I spoke to my boss and asked what I needed to do to resolve the situation. At that point, all I could do was apologize and learn from my mistake. Ever since then I am extremely careful to double check everything, whether it is an email, report or the status of a patient in critical care."
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