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Paramedic Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 30

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?

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Paramedic Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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?

      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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am consistent in completing my reports, communicating with the hospital staff and ensuring I have done every 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."

  2. 2.

    What are a few characteristics 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 judgment, 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 judgment.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think a paramedic needs to have good communication and instructional skills. I've found that when I'm able to communicate clearly with my patients and coworkers it makes the stressful situation flow much better."

  3. 3.

    How would you handle a shift when four emergency calls are made all within a two hour time.

      If you haven't been in this situation before, think about the amount of energy and adrenaline it will take to get through two hours of non-stop patient care. The intensity and unpredictability will generally be your greatest challenges. The interviewer is testing your stamina as a Paramedic.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Before every shift I mentally prepare myself to be alert and engaged for the entire shift. I would stay calm and continue to go through the routine procedures for each patient, giving them my full attention. If I rush through it there is a chance for mistakes, so I stay consistent and double check my reports every time."

  4. 4.

    What are your career goals?

      It's important to think about how the position you are interviewing for will fit into your long term goals even as you apply for jobs. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work and training to become a Paramedic. It is also the type of job that many burn out from early on. If you don't have any future plans beyond that job, you may be more likely to let the constant stress and adrenaline rush get to you. There are many options for you once you have reached the point of being a certified Paramedic. You may want to consider fields like nursing, becoming a physician's assistant or even a doctor. The exposure and experience you get while working in this field will open many doors. Think critically about what you really want for your future and share how this role will benefit you by helping you get to the next step.

      Ryan's Answer

      "My career goals in the next few years is to become even better at my job. This position would give me the opportunity get more experience and possibly become a lead Paramedic."

  5. 5.

    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 don't worry about blowing this answer. Tell the interviewer how you started doing things in a different way or with a different attitude. The interviewer wants to know more about your problem solving and leadership capabilities. Tell the interviewer about the standard way of completing a report and you have found a better way to complete it. Show how you are proactive in setting the standard for excellence on your shift.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Just last month I presented a new way to build the schedule to my boss. My boss appreciated my insight and motivation and implemented my suggestion. We've been working on my new schedule for the past month and it has been going very well."

  6. 6.

    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?

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think a great way to build professional relationships is to understand that everyone has something to learn from one another."

  7. 7.

    Tell me about your experience working in teams.

      The interviewer wants to know that you are a team-player and that you have experience working in team environments. Share an example from work or school that shows you enjoy working with others. Be sure to let the interviewer know if you've been a leader of a team.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have enjoyed my most recent position as a aramedic, because I have a great partner and we communicate well. Everyone on my team is focused on the same mission, to deliver quality care to all of our patients. I enjoy working with others because it is fun and challenging."

  8. 8.

    Are you available to work night shift?

      Don't consider the interview a bust if you can't tell the interviewer that you are ready to start on the night shift. The position you are interviewing for might be for day shift but the interviewer wants to see if covering for other people would be a possibility. If you can flip flop you schedule let the interviewer know. If you are unable to work night shift, be honest, and explain why. Could you pick up a night shift every once in a while?

      Ryan's Answer

      "At this point, I wouldn't be able to work night shift but if you would be able to give me a one weeks notice to re-arrange a few things I could be able to work the night shift."

  9. 9.

    Tell me how you remain calm, in detail, during a crisis?

      As a Paramedic, you have experienced stress. By now it may have become second nature, because you're so focused on the procedures you need to do to get through it. The way that you answer this question will be key- calmly. Walk the interviewer through a recent situation and how you handled the situation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During a stressful situation, I stay focused and communicate with my partner. Following 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."

  10. 10.

    Talk about a time where you had to think on your feet and make a split second decision on your own. What was the situation and what was the outcome?

      Paramedics are often put into unique situations that their training and experience may not have planned them for. The ability to make a critical split second decision that can help save a life is a critical piece to this job. Each patient and each situation you encounter as a paramedic is unique and you need to be ready to handle anything that is thrown your way. Prior to your interview, think of a few situations where you had to rely on quick judgement and use of unique resources to help a patient in need. Your interviewer will be looking for you to provide detail on the situation, what made your actions both critical and necessary and what the final outcome was.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago, we received a call about a hunting accident involving a gun that had accidentally wounded a hunter in a very remote area. The call came through to our dispatch from the hunter's friend who as still deep in the woods and thankfully in cell phone reception. As I was behind the wheel heading to the general area, I asked my partner to have dispatch ask where there vehicle was parked and luckily I was very familiar with the area they were hunting. Knowing the creek that ran through the public property was shallow and thinking that would be the best way to find the hunters, I had our dispatcher let the friend know we would be entering the wooded area by means of the creek on foot and we'd be yelling his name as we walked. When we arrived, my partner and I carried in a stretcher down the shallow creek and ran into the victim and his friend less than a half mile in. Seeing that the gunshot would was in the upper leg and the bleeding appeared to be minimal because of the makeshift tourniquet the friend made, we got the victim on our stretcher and rushed him out and to the hospital where he was treated for a few nights and then released. The key to getting the victim out safely was making a quick plan with the victim's friend on a place to meet up and it was very fortunate that I was familiar with the area."

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my field experience in obtaining my associate's degree, the EMS crew that I worked with was based out of a large metro area hospital with a very busy emergency room. When not out on calls, we helped where we could in the department. One night shift, I was asked by one our physicians to stay with a patient that had come into our ER short of breath. As we were talking, the patient grabbed his chest and hunched over in his chair and went into full cardiac arrest. After hitting the emergency warning button in the room, instinct took over and I began administering CPR immediately to the patient. Soon, a team was in with a defibrillator and the patient began breathing again shortly. Within a short time, he was into surgery. Looking back on this great experience, my CPR training had prepared me to take action almost without me even knowing and I am extremely thankful for that!"

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  11. 11.

    Talk about a time that you had to deal with a difficult person while on the job as a Paramedic. What made the situation difficult and how did you handle it?

      Adding to the day to day stress of being a Paramedic are the difficult people that need to be dealt with from time to time. These hard to handle people can come in the form of patients, witnesses at an accident scene or family members of patients that you are working with. The job as a Paramedic can also put you in sometimes dangerous situations with harmful people. Your interviewer will be looking for you to show that you are able to handle difficult people in a professional and empathetic manner while remaining focused on your task at hand. Try to think of a situation like this for your answer and be specific.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of months ago, we were called to the scene of a bad auto accident and two ambulances were dispatched to the scene based on the reported injuries. As we pulled up to the scene, there were already officers on the scene and I could see two victims laying in the roadway next to a badly smashed up and overturned truck. As I exited and approached, a man exited the other vehicle with a dented up front end and came at me holding his arm in the air. He told me that his arm was likely broken and in pain and he demanded that we take him to the hospital as soon as possible. Seeing that his arm definitely was broken but that he was walking around and talking, I told him that his arm appeared to be broken and that we were there to help but we needed to attend to the other obviously critically injured patients first. I let the man know that another ambulance would arrive shortly with more medics and a third unit was dispatched as well. To clear the scene, I asked him to wait over by his car and keep his arm immobilized and he obliged."

  12. 12.

    If you are the first on scene and notice 3 almost fatal injuries, how do you react to each patient before help arrives?

      The interviewer can see your qualifications on your resume. Be prepared to answer a few scenario questions to give the interviewer an idea of how you respond to stressful situations. Fall back on your training and think about the first thing you need to do when you arrive on the scene. Show the interviewer your thought process as you think critically about how to rescue these three individuals. Here's an example of how you could respond:

      Ryan's Answer

      "First I would check for scene hazards to make sure traffic is controlled so that there are no additional injuries as we stabilize the patients. Next, I would work to immobilize each patient and treat the life-threatening conditions as I am able to either before or during transport."

  13. 13.

    What do you like to do in your spare time?

      The interviewer wants to know something personal about you that isn't necessarily listed on your resume. Share a hobby or something personal during this interview question. Don't make it too personal, you don't want things to get awkward.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I spend my extra time volunteering with my family. My family and I volunteer with a Veterans home in town. I think it's important to give back to the community and have my kids help as well."

  14. 14.

    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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I've found the best way to resolve conflict with co-workers is to work it out directly with them. Asking them to lunch or to join you for a short break to discuss the situation works best for me. It gives us a time to get away from the work and discuss the problem during a bit of downtime."

  15. 15.

    What motivates you personally to be the best that you can be on the job?

      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.

      Ryan'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."

  16. 16.

    How do you handle death in this job?

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  17. 17.

    How would you intervene with a frantic relative who is grieving over the injury of a child?

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  18. 18.

    What drew you to emergency medicine?

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  19. 19.

    Tell me about a mistake you made at work. How did you handle it?

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  20. 20.

    How do you handle situations that could cause you to be tardy or absent?

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  21. 21.

    How do you fill downtime in this job?

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  22. 22.

    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.

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  23. 23.

    How are your administrative skills as they pertain to being a Paramedic?

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  24. 24.

    Have you ever lost a patient en route to the hospital? What happened?

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  25. 25.

    What led you to choose to train as a Paramedic?

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  26. 26.

    Talk about the importance of improving your skills as a Paramedic and how have you done so recently?

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  27. 27.

    How would you treat a broken bone at the scene of an accident?

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  28. 28.

    How would you rate your driving skills in harsh conditions and do you have experience doing so? As well, do you have any driving incidents on your record?

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  29. 29.

    How do you ensure that you stay refreshed and in shape for your next shift, where you will be required to be in peak mental and physical condition?

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  30. 30.

    Talk about a time where your emotions were tested in a work situation and were you able to separate these emotions from your work?

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