There are many certified firefighters, EMT's, and paramedics, however, not so many jobs. Out of the several hundred applicants that are filed, only a handful will make it through the hiring process to the final oral board or interview. The ones who fail to make it through this stage typically fail due to lack of preparation and confidence.
Here are 5 steps that will prepare you to go into the oral interview with confidence and exit with a job offer.
- Know your resume - be familiar with how your resume is laid out, know what you included or did not include, it is always good practice to bring copies of your resume for yourself and each of the interviewers.
- Know the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the position - you should practically have these memorized from the job posting, be specific; do not assume that every firefighter position is the same; being intimately familiar with this information will enable you to frame your interview questions around the job requirements and your capabilities.
- Know the department and community - spend significant amounts of time on the department and communities website; Google search the community; keep up with the local news; you should be familiar with fire department staff and community leaders, and have an idea as to the size and make-up of the community you will be serving.
- Be prepared to present yourself effectively - know what you have done, and what you can do; know what uniquely differentiates you from all the other applicants. Get a good nights rest before the interview. Wear your best suit and tie.
- Practice - visualize the interview, and yourself answering the questions; answer questions out-loud, this help you to know how to best word responses so as not to get tongue-tied.