Firefighter Interview Questions and Tips for Answering

Fireman Gazing Over his Shoulder
Cavan Images/Iconica/Getty Images

For firefighter job interviews, you can anticipate targeted questions to determine if you have the interests, personal qualities, and skills that match the specific job requirements. In addition to knowing why you want the job, the interviewer will assess your qualifications to determine if you're a match for what the employer is seeking in the candidates they hire.

You will also be asked general questions about your strengths, weaknesses, communication, and interpersonal skills to assess whether you would fit in with other members of the squad.

Interview Practice and Preparation

Preparation is the key to any successful interview. Review the list of frequently asked interview questions for firefighters below and practice delivering answers with a friend, counselor, or to the mirror.

Think of concrete examples demonstrating how you have applied the related skills/personal qualities to your advantage in academic, volunteer, and work roles, and be prepared to share them with the interviewer.

See below for a list of interview questions and a list of skills required to be hired as a firefighter.

Firefighter Interview Questions

Why are you interested in working as a firefighter?

You have seen the job description. Which of the firefighting responsibilities would be most challenging for you?

Describe any examples of your presentations to groups? Have you given any fire safety talks?

What are the keys to preventing fires in public buildings?

How would you describe your mechanical abilities?

Give me some examples of when you have fixed things.

Do you have experience as a volunteer firefighter? If so, how did this experience prepare you for this position?

What do you believe are essential qualities in a firefighter?

Describe a time when you had to solve a problem as a group. How did working with a group help you solve the problem?

Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision in a very short amount of time. How did you handle the situation?

Tell me about a time when you used your communication skills to make a difference during a situation.

Describe a time when you had to persuade a reluctant person to take a particular course of action.

Tell me about a time that you worked outside of your job profile to solve a problem.

Tell me about a time that you served as a leader of a group.

Give me an example of a situation when you saw someone in distress and helped him.

Tell me about the most stressful job you ever held. How did you handle the stress?

Have you ever been in an emergency situation? What did you do?

Tell me about a time when you helped handle a conflict between two of your colleagues.

What is your routine for maintaining physical fitness?

What are you currently doing to improve your knowledge and skills for firefighting?

What would you do if a superior asked you to carry out an order which was outside departmental protocols?

EMT and Firefighter Skills List

Here's a list of EMT (emergency medical technician) and Firefighter skills for resumes, cover letters, and job interviews. Skills will vary based on the position for which you're applying.

A - C

  • Active Listening
  • Adaptability
  • Advanced Life Support
  • Advising
  • Ambulance Operations
  • Analytical Judgment
  • Assessing Code Violations
  • Assessing Emergency Patients
  • Attention to Detail
  • Basic Life Support
  • Basic Trauma Care
  • Carrying Weight in Excess of 100 lbs
  • Check Vehicles
  • Cleaning
  • Climbing and Balancing
  • Communication
  • Completing Reports
  • Conducting Tours
  • Controlling Bleeding
  • Critical Thinking
  • Customer Service

D - M

  • Decision Making
  • Driver Safety
  • Driving Fire and Emergency Rescue Vehicles
  • Emergency and Pre-Hospital Medical Care
  • Emergency Response
  • Entering Blazing Buildings Safely
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Extracting Accident Victims
  • Fill Fire Extinguishers
  • Firefighting Operations
  • Following Instructions
  • Follow State and Local Protocols
  • Frequent Lifting
  • Good Judgment
  • Handling Hazardous Materials
  • Identifying Stages of Fire Development
  • Immobilizing Patients
  • Inspecting Equipment
  • Investigative
  • Maintain a Safe Environment
  • Managing Cardiac Arrest
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Monitoring

O - R

  • Ongoing Learning
  • Opening Patient Airways
  • Operating Pumps, Hoses, and Extinguishers
  • Organizational
  • Planning
  • Presentation
  • Pre-Hospital Care
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Record Keeping
  • Reliability
  • Repairing Equipment
  • Reporting
  • Rescue Operations
  • Respond to Emergency Calls
  • Responding Calmly to Emergencies

S - W

  • Safeguarding Property
  • Speaking 
  • Strenuous Physical Exertion
  • Teaching Fire Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Testing Equipment
  • Training
  • Utilizing Breathing Apparatus
  • Verbal Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Writing

General Job Interview Questions and Best Answers
In addition to job-specific interview questions, you will also be asked more general questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans. Here's a list of the most common interview questions and examples of answers.

Related Articles: Firefighter Salaries 

Read More: How to Prepare for an Interview | What to Wear to a Job Interview | Top 10 Job Interview Tips | Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid