How to Become a Firefighter: The Firefighter Interview

Have you applied to become a firefighter and expect to have a firefighter interview? Here we go deeper to give you an understanding of what to expect, the type of questions you’ll face, and how to answer them in the best possible way.

The firefighter interview basics

  • Panel interview with 2/3 people.
  • Approximately one hour long.
  • Competency based.
  • Answer in STAR method.
  • Dress smart.

The firefighter interview questions are based on five different personal qualities and attributes. These are:

  1. Working with others: You have to demonstrate the ability to work effectively with many different people.
  2. Commitment to excellence: Being conscientious and proactive whilst maintaining excellent standards.
  3. Commitment to development: Always looking to develop yourself and others.
  4. Commitment to diversity and integrity: You must understand and respect other people’s opinions and treat people fairly and ethically.
  5. Communicating effectively: You must be able to make yourself understood.

Each question in the interview will focus on one of the above qualities, and you will be told at the start of the question which one. For example, the interviewer will say, “This is a question about working with others,” followed by a question.

How to answer Firefighter Interview Questions

When answering the fire service interview questions there are a number of important points to bear in mind. We outline these below:

  • Use the STAR method: This means presenting your answers in a very clear way in the form of a story where you have actually demonstrated this skill in the past. If you are being asked a question on commitment to development you must demonstrate that you are looking to develop yourself as a person and how you have done so in the past. For more information on this method see our dedicated page.
  • Talk in the first person: When answering question you must do so in a way that demonstrates your skills, not the group’s. For example a typical way of answering questions is to say things like: we did this, we saw. This isn’t what they want to hear in a fire service interview. They need to hear things that you did, not what other people have done.
  • Don’t make things up: You must present your answers in the STAR method. This means telling a story of sorts. It is very tempting to try and make the stories up. However these often don’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny and you can be caught out very easily.
  • Concentrate on what you accomplished: The main point of the interview is to find out if you have the skills to perform firefighter duties well. Therefore when answering the questions you should spend most of the time explaining what you did and how it helped or remedied the situation. Spending time weaving a story, however good it is, has no place in this firefighter interview and should best be saved for the canteen.
  • Try to enjoy it: If you have got this far in your firefighter application there is a strong chance that you will get the job. Whilst you need to impress, try not to be overawed by the situation.

Firefighter PQA Interview Questions Examples

Below are some example questions that you can expect in your firefighter interview. Each question is under a different heading so you will know exactly what skill you are being assessed on.

Working with others:

  • Tell me about a time you had to build relationships with new team members in an already settled team.
  • Tell me about a time when you have acted with sensitively to someone’s feelings or well being.

Commitment to Excellence

  • Tell me about a time you completed a task to a high standard.
  • Give me an example of how you have worked proactively to meet objectives.

Commitment to Development

  • Tell me about a time when you have encouraged someone to improve.
  • Give me an example of when your colleagues or team mates have learnt from you.

Commitment to Diversity and Integrity

  • Tell me about a time when you have acted with consideration of someone’s needs that were different to your own, e.g. working with a different age group, ethnicity, religion etc.
  • Give me an example of how you have taken responsibility for your own actions.
  • Give me an example of how you have promoted the values of a group or organisation that you belonged to.

Prepare for the Firefighter Interview

We hope you have enjoyed this article and hope we have answered part of the question: How to become a firefighter? At JobTestPrep we offer a variety of different materials to help you prepare for your firefighter interview. These range from a free PDF guide to a complete interview session with a trained assessor. We look forward to seeing you on board!