Top 35 Firefighter Interview Questions (Example Answers Included) (2022)

By Mike Simpson

Today, there are over 1 million career, paid per call, and volunteer firefighters in the United States. If you’ve always dreamed of joining them, then you know that getting there is a journey. Along with completing official firefighter training, you’ll have to pass the CPAT. Plus, you’re going to have to show you have the right stuff when answering firefighter interview questions.

Yes, answering firefighter interview questions probably isn’t as scary as rushing into a burning building. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t intimidating. Luckily, you’re here, and we have your back.

If you want to make sure you can shine during your interview, here’s what you need to know.

How to Answer Firefighter Interview Questions

Now, we get that you’re probably incredibly excited to see the firefighter interview questions. After all, when it comes to how to become a firefighter, getting knowing what they are and how to answer them makes a difference.

The thing is, we need to pause for a second and take a step back. Why? Because whether you’re hoping to go career or want to snag a volunteer firefighter position, nailing your interview requires more than just seeing the questions you might face.

First, it’s essential to understand that there are a lot of potential questions out there. First, there are general job interview questions. That can include fan-favorites like:

    • Why are you a good fit for this job?
    • How do you handle stress?
    • Why are you interested in this position?
    • And many more

Then, there are job-specific interview questions. In this case, these really dig into topics that are relevant to firefighting. You might need to discuss firefighting training experiences, for example, or have to explain how you meet the firefighter requirements.

In the end, you need to do some preparation that goes far beyond simply looking as questions. You also need to know how to answer firefighter interview questions. That way, no matter what you’re asked, you’ll be ready.

So, how do you answer firefighter interview questions? By having a fantastic strategy.

First, it’s time to embrace research. Take a trip back to that firefighter job description and spend time reading every detail. Look at the duties, the firefighter requirements, and anything else to learn more about what the department needs to find.

After that, take a trip to the fire department’s website. Look at its mission and values, as well as any information about the services they provide.

Next, it’s time for social media. See if the department has profiles and if so, give them a solid once over. You can learn a ton about a department’s culture this way. Plus, you’ll usually see some tidbits about recent achievements, and that’s good stuff, too.

(Video) The ULTIMATE Guide To The Firefighter Interview

Once you’ve done all of that, it’s time to focus on your job interview strategy. If you want a rock-solid foundation that can make answering any kind of question easier, take a moment to learn about the Tailoring Method.

With the Tailoring Method, it’s all about ensuring your answers are insanely relevant to the job you want to land. It’s a great option when you need to stand out from the pack, so make it your go-to starting point.

Now, if you’re dealing with behavioral interview questions, the Tailoring Method can help there. But if you want to take your responses to the next level, it’s time for a combination approach.

Mix a healthy dose of the STAR Method in there, and you’ll be in excellent shape. Instead of bland answers, you’ll be able to share details about your firefighter training and relevant skills, traits, and accomplishments through compelling stories.

The Tailoring Method and STAR Method together genuinely take your answers to the next level, making sure the interviewer stays engaged and learns all they need to about what you have to offer.

So, what kind of skills and traits do you need to cover? Well, any skills you acquired during your training are usually a good starting point. The work is very physical, so make sure you discuss accomplishments that put a spotlight on your fitness level.

When it comes to other traits, situational awareness is a biggie. The same goes for decision-making, communication, teamwork, and calm under pressure.

Honesty and integrity are similarly huge. After all, part of your job involves entering other people’s property, and the interviewer needs to know that you’ll act appropriately when you do.

We also wanted to let you know that we created an amazing free cheat sheet that will give you word-for-word answers for some of the toughest interview questions you are going to face in your upcoming interview. After all, hiring managers will often ask you more generalized interview questions along with their firefighter specific ones!

Click below to get your free PDF now:

Get Our Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet!

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Get our "Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet" that gives you "word-word sample answers to the most common job interview questions you'll face at your next interview.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS CHEAT SHEET

(Video) FIREFIGHTER Interview Questions and ANSWERS! (How to PASS a Firefighter Job Interview!)

Top 3 Firefighter Interview Questions

Alright, now it is time for those handy-dandy firefighter interview questions and example answers. By reviewing these samples, you can get an idea of not just want you may be asked, but how to approach your response. That way, you’re fully prepared to put the tips above into action.

So, with that in mind, here are the top three firefighter interview questions and example responses.

1. Why do you want to work as a firefighter?

Okay, while this might seem like an unnecessary question on the surface, it’s actually incredibly important. Why? Because the work is inherently dangerous.

Ultimately, the interviewer needs to understand what motivates you to walk into a situation most people would run from. Plus, they need to make sure your reason is sound. They aren’t looking for adrenaline junkies who are simply after a thrill; they need reliable professionals.

Typically, you want to focus on how firefighters have a positive impact on people’s lives. This can include helping individuals during tragedies, supporting public safety, and anything else along those lines.

MIKE'S TIP: Were you motivated to become a firefighter because a fighter had a big impact on your life? Then talk about it. Many people decide to pursue this profession because firefighters were there for them during their moment of need. It’s a solid reason, as this usually means you want to be that hero for someone else. Plus, there’s usually a compelling story at the heart of that motivation, giving you a solid foundation for a great answer.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“Since I was young, I knew I wanted to have a career that let me help people and my community. Becoming a firefighter was ultimately a natural fit. Firefighters arrive during what can be the worst day of a person’s life, putting themselves on the line to mediate the tragedy. I’ve always respected that and, as I got older, realized that I wanted to be that person for someone else.

In many ways, it feels like a calling. However, over the course of my training, I also learned that it’s something I’m capable of doing reliably. I want to step up for my community. That’s my core motivation from becoming a firefighter.”

(Video) 7 Firefighter Interview Mistakes That Will Keep You From Getting Hired (and how to fix them)

2. What steps do you take to maintain your physical fitness?

While being asked about your exercise routine would be odd for most professions, during a firefighter interview, it’s par for the course. After all, your fitness level plays a significant role in how well you can do your job, so the interviewer wants to know that you have a routine in place for maintaining it.

Now, you don’t have to drill down into too many specifics. Instead, give a solid overview of your approach. You can also touch on how your routine may shift if you’re hired, showcasing that you can keep it up even after a schedule change.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“Currently, I maintain my fitness level by working out four to five days a week. I find that using a high-intensity interval training approach works best, allowing me to develop strength, stamina, burst energy, and more. Plus, I believe that pattern mimics what you experience when fighting a fire, making it particularly relevant.

During part of the year, I also participate in a recreational basketball league. This lets me have some fun while improving my cardio and hand-eye coordination.

If I’m hired, I would also start participating in the department’s fitness program right away. Not only will this help me keep my physical capabilities honed, but it also lets me bond with my new colleagues, something that I consider a win-win.”

3. If you saw a firefighter steal an item from a scene, what would you do?

As mentioned above, integrity is a huge deal for firefighters. When you’re battling a blaze, entering someone else’s home or business is typically part of the equation. This means the team has access to the victim’s property, some of which may be valuable.

Interviewers ask this question to see how you would act if you witnessed a colleague taking property from a scene. It’s an uncomfortable situation, but the interviewer needs to know that you’ll do the right thing.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“If I saw another firefighter remove a person’s property from the scene, I would follow all reporting guidelines set by the department. While I know that teamwork and comradery are crucial to succeeding as a team, we have a responsibility to those we help. Our communities need to trust us, and that ultimately takes precedence.”

32 More Firefighter Interview Questions

Here are 32 more firefighter interview questions you might encounter:

    1. Which of the firefighter requirements do you feel is the most challenging for you?
    2. What part of the firefighter training was the most difficult for you?
    3. Have you ever been personally impacted by a fire?
    4. Which traits do you think are necessary for becoming a successful firefighter?
    5. Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a decision quickly?
    6. Why are you leaving your current department?
    7. If you believed that a fellow firefighter reported to duty under the influence, what would you do?
    8. Why do you want to work for this department?
    9. If you have a conflict with another firefighter, how would you address it?
    10. If you witness bullying or hazing in the workplace, how would you respond?
    11. Ethics and morality play a big role in this job. If you were given an unethical order or one you had a moral objection to, that wasn’t explicitly against protocol, what would you do?
    12. What steps do you take to manage stress, both on the job and on your own time?
    13. Since discussing fire safety is a common part of the role, can you tell me about a time when you had to give a presentation to a group?
    14. Our state has a safe-haven law. If you saw someone leaving an infant, what would you do?
    15. Which of the firefighter daily tasks do you enjoy most? Which do you enjoy least?
    16. If you saw a rookie struggling mentally or emotionally after a fire, how would you react?
    17. If you found drugs or alcohol in another firefighter’s locker, what would you do?
    18. Tell me about a time where you had to step up as a leader during a crisis.
    19. Can you share an example of an incident where you saw someone in distress and stepped up to help?
    20. What is the most stressful moment you’ve had in your life? How did you handle the pressure?
    21. What steps do you take to increase and maintain your firefighting knowledge?
    22. If a superior gave you an order that violated protocol, what would you do?
    23. If a person asked you for tips to help prevent housefires, what would you share?
    24. Tell me about a time that you had to solve a problem as part of a group.
    25. Give me an example of a time that you had a disagreement with a colleague. What happened, and how did you navigate the situation?
    26. If you were given two conflicting orders while on the scene of a fire, how would you proceed?
    27. If a fellow firefighter became trapped by debris within eyesight of you in the burning building, and you received an order to vacate immediately, what would you do?
    28. What is a fire department’s role in its community?
    29. Can you share an example of a time where you had to convince a reluctant person to do something that scared them?
    30. What steps have you taken to ensure you meet the firefighter requirements?
    31. If you weren’t a firefighter, what career would you choose instead?
    32. What part of being a firefighter scares you?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Firefighter Interview

At the end of your firefighter interview, you’ll probably get a chance to ask the interviewer a couple of questions. This can be a great opportunity, letting you learn more about the department’s culture, priorities, and more.

(Video) How to answer: "Tell us about yourself..." | FirefighterNOW

Usually, you want to have at least a few questions at the ready. If you aren’t sure what to ask, here are five good questions for the end of your firefighter interview:

    1. Is there anything about working as a firefighter that initially caught you off guard?
    2. What sort of team-building activities are used to strengthen the department?
    3. Aside from fighting fires, what does the department do to support the local community?
    4. Does the department actively encourage firefighters to further their education? If so, how?
    5. What traits do your best firefighters have in common?

Putting It All Together

Now that you’ve made it this far, you probably know how to tackle firefighter interview questions. Use all of the tips and tidbits above to your advantage. That way, when it comes time to land your next firefighter position, you’ll be ready.

Good luck!

Download our "Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet" that gives you word-for-word sample answers to some of the most common interview questions including:

  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength?
  • Tell Me About Yourself
  • Why Should We Hire You?
  • And more!

Click Here To Get The Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet

Mike Simpson( Co-Founder and CEO )

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.

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FAQs

How do I impress a firefighter interview? ›

Firefighter interview tips
  1. Come dressed in the appropriate attire. ...
  2. Share your passion for firefighting. ...
  3. Provide strong examples of previous experience. ...
  4. Be honest about the challenges you faced. ...
  5. Show your willingness to commit. ...
  6. Talk about integrity and ethics. ...
  7. Practice answering common interview questions.

How do you answer diversity and inclusion Questions? ›

When asked a question about diversity, discuss your direct experiences with people of different cultures. Refrain from saying you don't see color. Instead, explain the value of honoring diverse cultures and learning from others. If you are sincere in your answers to diversity questions, your true character will shine.

What is your strength best answer? ›

You can say that your greatest strength is: Creativity. Originality. Open-mindedness.

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

What motivates you to become a firefighter? ›

Perhaps it's a childhood memory of when the fire department helped your family. Maybe it's a career that you always found admirable. You could even have gotten into firefighting because you wanted a job that is active. By brainstorming your intentions for this career, you can begin to craft your interview response.

What makes a good fire fighter? ›

Clear, intelligent, courteous and open communication is essential within the firehouse, on the fire ground and when interacting with the public. You will need to know how to be an active listener, just like they teach in couple's therapy and live with, work with and get along with a multitude of personality types.

What skills make a good firefighter? ›

9 important firefighter skills
  • Communication. Firefighters use strong communication skills when working with other firefighters during emergency situations. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Social competence. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Spatial awareness. ...
  • Physical fitness. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Mechanical aptitude.
15 Jun 2021

What is the star method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

What can you contribute to the team best answer? ›

The best way to answer questions about your potential contributions to the company is to give examples of what you have accomplished in the past and relate them to what you can achieve in the future.

What can you contribute to the team answer? ›

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering what you can bring to a team, including:
  • Consider your unique attributes or skills. ...
  • Explain how your unique skills apply to the position. ...
  • Explain your experience with similar teams. ...
  • Express your enthusiasm for working in teams. ...
  • Remain humble and provide honest answers.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Taking steps to manage stress
  1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. ...
  2. Develop healthy responses. ...
  3. Establish boundaries. ...
  4. Take time to recharge. ...
  5. Learn how to relax. ...
  6. Talk to your supervisor. ...
  7. Get some support.
1 Jul 2014

What really make you angry? ›

But there are things that make lots of us feel angry, including: being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to do anything about it. feeling threatened or attacked. other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property.

What not to say in a job interview? ›

Photos courtesy of the individual members.
  • Speak Negatively About Yourself.
  • Criticize Your Previous Employer.
  • Act As If You're Not Excited.
  • Be The First To Bring Up Compensation.
  • Ask For Feedback At The End.
  • Discuss Personal Things.
  • Ask Why The Position Is Vacant.
  • Admit You Didn't Do Your Research.
30 Mar 2021

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

How do you answer tell me about yourself firefighter? ›

How to answer: "Tell us about yourself..." | FirefighterNOW - YouTube

How should I dress for a firefighter interview? ›

What to Wear to the Firefighter Job Interview
  1. Men: Do wear a wool suit in dark blue or gray. ...
  2. Don't: Wear casual or novelty watches, too much jewelry, monograms, religious, political, or fraternity affiliation accessories. ...
  3. Women: Do wear a tailored business-like suit or dress with a jacket, not overly feminine.
13 May 2004

Why should we hire you over other candidates firefighter? ›

Here are some carefully selected reasons to hire YOU: You have an extensive, significant and diverse life experience & background to offer. You have a contagious enthusiasm in whatever you are doing or wanting to do. You demonstrate the ability to get along with others.

Why do you want this job? ›

'I see the role as a way of developing my career in a forward-thinking/well-established company/industry as…' 'I feel I will succeed in the role because I have experience in/softs skills that demonstrate/ I've taken this course…' 'I believe my skills are well-suited to this job because…”

What motivate you for this job? ›

Good answers to the question 'what motivates you? '
  • meeting deadlines, targets or goals.
  • mentoring and coaching others.
  • learning new things.
  • coming up with creative ideas to improve something, or make something new.
  • analysing complex data in order to draw clear and simple conclusions.
  • working well as part of a team.

How can I impress interviewer? ›

How can I impress the interviewer with my answers?
  1. Be passionate. Have a positive attitude and be enthusiastic when talking about yourself and your career. ...
  2. Sell yourself. ...
  3. Tell stories. ...
  4. Ask questions. ...
  5. Ask for the job.

How can I introduce myself during interview? ›

Introduce yourself with your full name in a confident voice. When they introduce themselves, respond with, “It's nice to meet you…” and then repeat their name out loud—you'll be more likely to remember it if you repeat it back to them when you first hear it.

How do you answer confidently interview question? ›

So, give a clear, concise and compelling outline of who you are and what you've achieved. Steer clear of personal details. Instead, focus on the skills and experience that you have that are relevant to the job. A good tactic is to discuss your present, your past, and your future.

How do you answer tell me about yourself in a firefighter interview? ›

How to answer: "Tell us about yourself..." | FirefighterNOW - YouTube

What makes a great firefighter? ›

Clear, intelligent, courteous and open communication is essential within the firehouse, on the fire ground and when interacting with the public. You will need to know how to be an active listener, just like they teach in couple's therapy and live with, work with and get along with a multitude of personality types.

What motivates you to be a firefighter? ›

1 reason to be a firefighter is to serve others. Although trained to make wise decisions and prepare for emergencies, firefighters know the risk of injury or even death is present on every call. The willingness to take that risk to save someone else is truly the nature of someone with a servant's heart.

How should I dress for a firefighter interview? ›

What to Wear to the Firefighter Job Interview
  1. Men: Do wear a wool suit in dark blue or gray. ...
  2. Don't: Wear casual or novelty watches, too much jewelry, monograms, religious, political, or fraternity affiliation accessories. ...
  3. Women: Do wear a tailored business-like suit or dress with a jacket, not overly feminine.
13 May 2004

What skills do you need to be a firefighter? ›

9 important firefighter skills
  • Communication. Firefighters use strong communication skills when working with other firefighters during emergency situations. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Social competence. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Spatial awareness. ...
  • Physical fitness. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Mechanical aptitude.
15 Jun 2021

What personality type are firefighters? ›

Firefighters: ESTP, ISTP. Dynamic and action-oriented, ESTPs and ISTPs thrive on work that allows them to see immediate, tangible results for their efforts.

What values should a firefighter have? ›

Instilling Organizational/Personal Core Values
  • Honor.
  • Ethics.
  • Accountability.
  • Responsibility.
  • Trust / Integrity.
28 Jan 2021

Why is teamwork important in the fire service? ›

Effective teamwork, intraoperability and interoperability, is the extent to which organisations can work together coherently as a matter of routine; it enables the consistent delivery of fire and rescue service operational procedures and JESIP policies and procedures.

What are some fun facts about firefighters? ›

A firefighter needs 100 hours of training before legally being allowed to enter the interior of a burning building. How long do you think firefighters have to get dressed? Less than two minutes! This includes all of their gear, which can weigh from eighty to one hundred twenty pounds.

What is the primary goal of the fire department? ›

– The primary goal of fire safety efforts is to protect building occupants from injury and to prevent loss of life.

What have you done to prepare yourself for the position of firefighter? ›

Question #2: What Have You Done to Prepare to Be a Firefighter? Most applicants for firefighter positions have volunteer firefighting experience and CPR, first aid, and EMT certifications. Think about the preparation and commitment you bring to the table: Mention any CPR, EMT, or other certifications.

What motivates you to do well at your job? ›

What motivates you to do a good job? – more example answers
  • Stability or job security.
  • Working to deadlines.
  • Leadership.
  • A sense of achievement or accomplishment.
  • Helping others in my job.
  • Growing my professional network.
  • Learning and development.
  • A great work culture.
21 May 2019

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