1. Why do you want to work in this industry?
Bad answer: “I like firefighting. I think it’s really cool.”
Don’t just say you like it, anyone can make that claim. Focus instead on your history with the industry, and if you can, tell a story about it.
Good answer: “I have always appreciated and admired those who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. My interest piqued in firefighting after I witnessed a post-crash rescue. I heard the calling as I watched the first response team pull civilians to safety. It was then I knew that this is what I was meant to do.”
2. Tell us about yourself.
Bad answer: “I graduated four years ago from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology – but I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. I switched gears and got my first job working in a fire department. Then I went on to work in another department and started participating in training courses. After that, I took a few months off to travel. Finally, I came back to start working again. And now, here I am, looking for a more challenging fire and rescue role.”
Instead of giving a chronological work history, focus on your strengths and how they pertain to the role. If possible, illustrate with examples.
Good answer: “I’m a very energetic and well-rounded person who can follow instructions. I am a good communicator and quite a team player. At the last department I was with I initiated medic classes for the firefighters who were interested in learning first-aid techniques. Because it was such a success, the entire department is in the process of getting certifications for all members in different areas of response medical aid.”