101 Top Intriguing Firefighter Interview Questions

The oral interview process will be in the form of pass/fail. The top scorers of the written exam normally move on to the oral exam. One or more of the officers from the department you are applying for will be in the room for the interview process. Make sure you practice your interviewing techniques.  It can be a nerve-wracking time for the applicants. Below is a list of the most asked questions in the oral interview process to help you prepare for that part of the application process. We hope that this will be able to help you out and land your dream job.

1. They will ask you to tell them about yourself.

2. Why do you want to be a firefighter?

3. When did you decide on being a firefighter for a career?

4. What is your job as a firefighter?

5. Do you think you are qualified for the position?

6. What are you strengths and weaknesses?

7. What would you bring to the job?

8. Have you done anything to prepare for the position?

9. Why do you want to work for this department/city?

10. What history do you know about this department/city?

11. What are the attributes of a firefighter?

12. What would the most important attribute be to you?

13. What would previous employers say about you?

14. Have you had a conflict at work in the past with a coworker or supervisor?

15. How did you resolve the above conflict?

16. Did you learn anything from the above conflict?

17. What would you do if that conflict happened again?

18. Tell us a mistake you made in the past and how you learned from it.

19. Prioritize in order of importance: Career, Family and friends.

20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

21. Why would you be a good firefighter?

22. Give an example where you had to work with a team to achieve a common goal.

23. What is the advantage of working in teams?

24. Why is teamwork important to the fire service.

25. How do you and your family feel about working a 24-48 hour shift.

26. What makes you think you would be able to deal with stresses of being a firefighter?

27. Have you prepared yourself to remain calm and work effectively on emergencies?

28. Please give an example when you were faced with an emergency situation.

29. Explain the circumstances and actions during that emergency.

30. What kind of personal conflicts/problems might happen at the firehouse?

31. What could you do to minimize such problems?

32. What personality traits would make you feel you would be a good firefighter?

33. What duties does a firefighter perform?

34. What would you do with your spare time on duty?

35. What is a daily routine in a fire department?

36. What is the most essential duty for a firefighter to perform?

37. Would you ever disobey an order?

38. Why would you disobey that order?

39. Define pride and loyalty and why it is important in the fire service.

40. Define honesty and integrity and why it is important in the fire service.

41. What do you think the future holds for the fire service?

42. What are advantages & disadvantages working in similar or diverse groups?

43. Are you on any other department eligibility list?

44. What would you do if we offered you a raise and another department offered more?

45. We will do an extensive background check, is there anything in the past to explain or discuss to this panel? Describe how you would handle the following situations:

46. Drinking alcohol on the job.

47. Drugs on the job.

48. An irate citizen

49. Conflicts with other employees.

50. Stealing while on the job.

51. Racial issues and problems.

52. Conflicting orders giving on a scene.

53. Sexual harassment

54. Employee crisis at an emergency.

55. Orders that could place you in great danger.

56. Why we should select you over other candidates.

57. When can you start if hired?

58. How far do you want to go in the fire service?

59. How do you handle conflicts?

60. What one word describes you in a positive way?

61. What one word describes you in a negative way?

62. What education and training do you have?

63. Describe three issues facing the fire service today.

64. How would you motivate others?

65. Give an example of your loyalty to the fire department.

66. Describe in your own words, key values of this department.

67. What is the biggest challenge you will face in this position?

68. What leadership style have you adopted?

69. How would you deal with a policy change from management you disagree with?

70. Why do you want to promote?

71. What is “leading by example” mean to you?

72. What would you say when you don’t know an answer to a question?

73. Define common sense.

74. Define diversity.

75. What is the Star of Life?

76. What is the Maltese cross?

77. Define character.

78. Define ethics.

79. Can you explain the fire tetrahedron?

80. What is the fire triangle?

81. Who is the fire chief of our department?

82. Who makes up the chain of command in our department?

83. Define customer service, and how it relates to the fire service.

84. How do you use a fire extinguisher?

85. How are you with working with heights?

86. How would you describe an orange without using the word orange?

87. A paper clip is placed in front of you. Describe as many uses as you can with it.

88. An axe is shown on the table. Describe as many uses as you can think of.

89. How would you describe a hose and its uses?

90. Describe what turnout gear does to you. Situational Questions – What would you do?

91. You & another member are assigned station duties, but you do all the work.

92. You are eating dinner at the station & someone makes an offensive comment to you.

93. During your final exam, you see two other firefighters exchanging answers.

94. You are assigned a task that you feel strongly is unsafe.

95. Captain orders you to get a radio from the engine, and the chief stops you to ask for an axe for the roof crew.

96. While shopping for groceries for the station, a citizen stops & asks why he is paying tax dollars for you to shop.

97. Your captain clearly gives you more work than fellow members who are drinking buddies.

98. For weeks you notice your milk and cereal you bring are being eaten. One morning you walk in and see senior firefighter Bob using it.

99. While on EMS assist you go back to the truck for a piece of equipment. A citizen is yelling at you to move the truck for blocking traffic but you can’t drive it.

100. You suspect a fellow firefighter has a drug problem.

101. Do you have anything else to add to the interview?

Remember everything is made available to background checks such as past employment, school grades, driver’s license, family, friends, and even social media like Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you do not try to hide anything. Honesty is always the best policy. Take as many fire tests as you possibly can.  When entering and exiting make sure you have eye contact and a firm handshake. It is a good idea to address interviewers by name or rank as well. Bringing your resume with you, also with color copies of any certificates would be best, they stand out more from black and white. Most interviews will start with “give an example of a time you _____”. Even if questions do not ask you to give an example, it is always best to do so and include some life or career experience into your response whenever possible. Doing this will give credibility to your answer and to yourself. It is easier to talk about first hand experiences that can give you a more authentic response.  Many interviews will start with “tell us about yourself”, this is common and non-structured interviews. Most of the interviews will end in a way that the employer will ask you to ask any questions or give a closing statement. You can give a brief closing statement but it is not recommended to ask questions.  A closing statement will emphasize your confidence and abilities or willingness to learn.

           We hope the above information will make you more confident going into your oral interview and wish you success. If you have been asked anything other than the above, feel free to contact us and we would love to add it.