Interviewing for a job is always stressful, but interviewing for a firefighting position can be especially nerve-wracking. In addition to the challenges of acing a job interview, you’ll also need to prove that you’re physically fit and ready to handle some dangerous situations. Since every hiring manager has different priorities, it’s difficult to prepare for what exactly they might ask. However, here are six tips that can help make your next firefighter interview successful:
Do Your Firefighter Research Before the Big Day
We all know there are plenty of resources online where we can find information about virtually any topic imaginable–emails, phone numbers, social media profiles…you name it! Why not use these resources ahead of time so you have more time to prepare? Obtaining the contact information of the hiring manager before your interview is a great place to start. You can then follow them on social media or sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on any important news and announcements related to the department. This way, when it’s time for your interview, you’ll immediately feel like more of an insider and be prepared with insightful questions and comments about recent developments within the department.
Don’t Skip Your Firefighting Fitness Test
The next firefighter in line may get offered a job before you if he/she can lift a ladder over his/her head while standing on one leg…and not only do it once but twice! While we all know that physical ability plays an important role in the job, it may be surprising how many candidates fail to prepare for their physical exams. This is not only incredibly frustrating for veteran firefighters who are more than qualified for the position, but also extremely dangerous if someone can’t handle some basic tasks while on duty! To make sure you’ll pass your test, get plenty of rest nights before (at least 8 hours), eat a healthy breakfast and hit the gym about 30 minutes prior to your exam with some cardio and weights. Skip the caffeine! It won’t help you maintain balance or strength.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Although this firefighter interview tips piece contains 6 tips that work every time, there are just too many variables when trying to rank these tips by importance. When facing challenges in the firefighting profession, you will need to make sure your eye is always on the prize–in this case, it’s a firefighter job! Whatever might happen during your interview, whether good or bad, make sure you don’t get distracted from your ultimate goal. You can still be friendly and professional to everyone who takes part in the process without letting them see how it impacts you mentally and emotionally. Don’t forget to take lots of notes about advice they’re giving you along the way that could help improve your portfolio before your next interview!
Connect With Other Firefighters
The best practice for acing a firefighter interview is not by yourself but with other firefighters. If possible, seek out candidates who have been through the application process recently so you can learn about their experiences and any advice they may have for you. While it’s always good to go in with an open mind, you can also make some connections beforehand that may even help you land your dream job! Just like when interviewing for any other job, the more people you know within the company (and even outside of it), the easier it’ll be to get where you want to be.
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Don’t Oversell Yourself
Some interview tips articles will tell you that confident candidates are often more successful during hiring processes; however, there is a fine line between being confident and being cocky or arrogant. Don’t try too hard to sell yourself by bragging about your personal achievements or making things up on-the-spot just so you have more to talk about. Not only is this bad practice for an interview, but you will also come across as insincere and not trustworthy. Instead, focus on what you can bring to the table based off of your past experiences and continue to showcase those traits during the interview so they align with the department’s values.
Don’t Forget About Your Resume
A resume is one of the most important tools for getting your foot in the door and transitioning from candidate to employee. Although it’s likely that you’ll still get asked about items listed on it during your interview, don’t assume that everyone involved in the process will thoroughly read through it before asking you questions. This means the quality of your resume is even more significant than usual because it can make or break your chances of getting called back! Pay close attention to grammar, spelling and organization so you can avoid any red flags if someone does skim over it.
Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, use this firefighter interview tips article as inspiration to get brainstorming about all the areas in which you can improve. From your resume, to the answers you give during the interview, to your overall presence and attitude–practice is key! Even if you think you’re a pro, try practicing with a friend or family member who can help keep you accountable. Once that’s all done and dusted, be sure to find someone new for one final check and critique so you can start fresh and ready to ace the real thing!