According to the 2021 data available on the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, there are around 326,100 firefighters working in the country. BLS has predicted a 4% growth in the field between 2021 – 2031, with the projected employment of 340,000 employees by 2031. Firefighters have a very challenging job that takes a lot of endurance, physical strength, and commitment to take on dangerous situations.

Firefighter Hiring Process

To become a firefighter, individuals have to go through rigorous training program that comes after obtaining a postsecondary degree. If you are looking to start a career in firefighting, then it is important to know what to expect in the hiring process. Before anything else, make sure you research the profession thoroughly and know what the job entails. Here’s a brief rundown of the requirements to become a firefighter.

Be a Right Fit

Ensure that you have what it takes to become a firefighter. Working as a firefighter is a tough job and some of the basic skills required are mental and physical fitness, courage, adaptability, and problem solving.

Completion of Minimum Education Requirement

Obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree in firefighting related field.

Joining Firefighting Training Academy

It takes four to six months to complete training at the firefighting academy, during which candidates go through a rigorous training process.

Clear the Written Test

Once you have completed your training, the next step in hiring process is to clear the written test.

Firefighter Interview

After a candidate has cleared physical and written tests, the next step is to appear in front of an oral board and be a part of the interview process.

Frequently Asked Firefighter Interview Questions

Firefighter interview is the final step in the process to become a serving firefighter. During the interview the panel which mostly includes three to seven officers, will gauge your qualities, and ensure that you have the skills that are required to carry out the job. Make sure head into the interview fully prepared, having read and practiced all the possible questions that you could be asked. We have created a list of fire dept interview questions that will help you get started.

  • What made you choose the field of firefighting?
  • What are your greatest strengths that make you the right fit for this job?
  • What are some of your weaknesses that you would like to overcome?
  • What is the primary role of a firefighter and fire department as a whole?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important quality of a firefighter?
  • How good are you in taking direct orders? If need arises, will you be willing to disobey a direct order?
  • How would you deal in a situation where you have to take two conflicting orders on scene?
  • How would you deal with a tough situation involving an angry citizen?
  • What is the purpose of a secondary search?
  • What contributions can you make to the fire department?

These questions will help you with firefighter interview preparations and give an idea on what else to expect. When answering questions, it is important to incorporate your training, education, and relevant experience. Go beyond the surface and avoid giving obvious answers. Prioritize the valuable traits of a firefighter, highlighting both soft and hard skills. Understand the scope and importance of a fire department, demonstrating your interest in the growth of the department.

The Chief’s Interview Questions

A follow-up interview by the chief of fire department determines whether or not you will be hired for the position. There is a mix of Assistant Fire Chief interview questions along with the firefighter interview scenario questions by the Chief. Below are some of the frequently asked questions.

  • How would you rate your mechanical ability?
  • Can you define pride and loyalty, and what makes them important to a firefighter?
  • How will you manage your firefighter schedule, balancing it with your family life?
  • How do you think the career of a firefighter will evolve in the next five years?
  • What kind of mindset and strategies are required to excel as a firefighter?

Situational Interview Questions

  • Imagine that you are required to evacuate a building but one of the residents panics and wants to go back inside. How would you respond?
  • How would you take care of an unconscious person during fire?
  • What if you find out during a call that a fellow firefighter is deliberately trying to avoid danger and not performing duty to his full ability. What will you do?
  • If you receive two orders, one from your captain and another from the battalion chief, what will you do?
  • How would you respond in a situation where you are stuck in fire yourself?

Tips for Answering Firefighter Interview Questions

If you are heading for an interview, then here are some fire department interview tips that will help steer you through the process.

  • Share your passion for firefighting by passionately answering all questions. Make sure to mention what inspired you to become a firefighter.
  • Share your previous work experience if any and try to give examples of situations that allowed you display your skills that are required to become a firefighter.
  • Structure your answers properly. Don’t immediately jump to answer a question, instead, take your time, tell how it relates to the service of a fireperson, and share how you handled something similar before.
  • When answering a situational question, get all the facts from the interviewer. This will show that you are paying attention and not assuming things.
  • Make sure that you do not get comfortable during the interview and rest your back against the chair. Sit straight and look alert all the time.
  • Ask questions. Once the interviewer is finished asking questions, take the opportunity to ask some of your own.

Now that you have some top firefighter interview questions, practice them at home before you head over for the final phase. Search for fire department promotional interview questions if that is what you are being interviewed for but always go in fully prepared.