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Find a job as a firefighter, ace the firefighter entrance exam, get help with fire officer interview questions

One of the most difficult parts of a Fire Officer Interview are the scenario questions. The candidate has to listen to the scenario, reference SOP/SOGs and formulate a strategy and tactics to effectively mitigate the emergency. Proper size up and accounting for scene safety is critical. Here is a scenario that was given to Fire Captain candidates in California recently.

Scenario: You are called to a smell of gas at a duplex at 1am. The response consists of three engines, one ladder truck, and a heavy rescue unit. You arrive on scene and take command. The resident states she can smell something funny in her unit and things it may be gas. She states that she doesn’t know if her neighbor is home.

Example Answer: This is a very typical call in the fire service. As command the first thing I want to do is ensure the arriving apparatus are positioned correctly. I will instruct my engineer to position our engine two houses down past the address, following our SOP on natural gas leaks inside a residence. I will also instruct my second due pumper to stand by at the hydrant, and the third due company to stage in an appropriate staging area, and prepare to be a RIT team.  I want the ladder truck to stage two houses short of the address, and the rescue to stage in the staging area. I will send my medic and firefighter into the unit with full PPE and a gas detector. I will have the rescue crew evacuate the other unit of the duplex and use a gas detector to check it. If any gas is detected we will immediately shut off the gas supply to the home and lock out the meter. I will notify the gas company, and my battalion chief of a locked out meter. We will then ventilate all affected units either naturally or with PPV depending on how much gas we detected. Once the hazard has been removed I will clear the additional units from the scene. I will also work with the citizen to ensure they have family they can stay with for the night, or a place to go. Our Fire Department Chaplin has the ability to get hotel rooms for displaced families if necessary.

This question has been added to our Fire Officer Interview ebook.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

We have updated this question a little since our last post with some new ideas. Progressive discipline is a question asked in nearly every Fire Officer Interview. It is a crucial component of an officers responsibilities.

We have added a new question to our Fire Officer Interview Questions Ebook. This question comes from David in California who just completed his Fire Captain Interview. David wrote, “Thanks for all your help Jason, some of our email conversations were very helpful. I wanted to let you know about a question that you can address in your book. I had 12 questions that they asked in my interview and 11 of them were covered in the fire officer ebook. Thanks again.” Here is the new addition to our fire officer interview ebook.

Describe our department’s progressive discipline policy.

Key Points: You want to answer this question by walking through your department’s disciplinary process from the first step, up to termination. Talk about the officer’s role in each step. Also speak to how you will support decisions that are made at higher ranks regarding the discipline of a subordinate.

Example Answer: Our department’s progressive discipline policy begins with a verbal warning. This takes place between the officer and his subordinate. The officer should explain the situation, lay out a plan for improvement, and hopefully resolve the issue at that step. The next step is a verbal reprimand, which must also be documented by the officer. The officer is also responsible for notifying the Battalion Chief of the incident. The next step is a written warning. This is done by the officer and Battalion Chief, and presented to the subordinate at a meeting. At this meeting they lay out an improvement plan, and discuss the future steps of discipline if no improvement is made. The next step is docking pay. This is done at our Battalion Chief level. As an officer, my job will be to continue documenting events, and provide support to the Battalion Chief. The final step is termination. The goal of discipline is not to punish, but rather to improve performance. Depending on the severity of the offense, discipline can begin at any level of process.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

We recently sat in on a Fire Captain Oral Board Interview for another department. One of the candidates gave a fantastic answer to this challenging question. His answer really impressed his Chief.

“Describe your view of discipline”

There are two meanings to discipline in the fire service. The first is using discipline as a tool to improve the performance of an individual. Our progressive discipline procedure has this as its primary goal. It ranges from a verbal warning, up to termination. The goal of every step before termination is to improve the performance of an employee. Each step has performance improvement steps and measures.

The second meaning of discipline can be viewed in terms of a disciplined crew. As a newly promoted company officer, I plan on running a disciplined firehouse and crew. To me this means a crew that self starts on tasks, follows all procedures and rules, and is “on the ball”. We will train daily with the goal of being the best that we can be. A disciplined crew is highly efficient and effective.

This is a fantastic answer. Remember, discipline is not a punishment; it is a tool to improve performance. When answering this question, you also may want to discuss your role in the disciplinary process. We have added this question to our Fire Officer Interview Questions guide.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

The Fire Officer Promotional Interview is an extremely challenging event in a firefighter’s career. It is a highly desirable position that can affect a persons income over the course of their career and into retirement. The competition is fierce with candidates that have great education, training, and experience. Our Fire Officer Interview book is designed to give you an edge in this competition. We can help you craft insightful and meaningful answers that will wow the panel. Our book contains interview questions from around the country that have been used in actual fire captain and fire lieutenant promotional interviews. We have conducted countless interviews and provide great insight into the right and wrong way to answer these questions. Below is a sample from our book.

Please describe your view of discipline.

Key Points: Remember, discipline is not a punishment; it is a tool to improve performance. You also may want to discuss your role in the disciplinary process. Some candidates may also talk about discipline in terms of everyday behavior in accordance with rules and regulations.

Example Answer: There are two meanings to discipline in the fire service. The first is using discipline as a tool to improve the performance of an individual. Our progressive discipline procedure has this as its primary goal. It ranges from a verbal warning, up to termination. The goal of every step before termination is to improve the performance of an employee. Each step has performance improvement steps and measures.

The second meaning of discipline can be viewed in terms of a disciplined crew. As a newly promoted company officer, I plan on running a disciplined firehouse and crew. To me this means a crew that self starts on tasks, follows all procedures and rules, and is “on the ball”. We will train daily with the goal of being the best that we can be. A disciplined crew is highly efficient and effective.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

 

I recently conducted a Fire Captain Interview at a neighboring department. We interviewed 9 candidates to fill 3 openings. All 9 of the candidates were very qualified, well prepared, and had similar backgrounds in the fire service. While each had areas where they really shined, it was very difficult to pick the top three. One specific question became the “decision maker” of the interview and decided who got promoted and who would try again next year. It is always amazing to think about how close and how competitive these interviews are. Candidates spend years training, seeking out education, and preparing for a promotion; and it all comes down to one question. Below is the specific question that really made the decision for the panel.

There is nothing special about this question, but rather the quality of their answers. Each candidate answered it satisfactorily however some went above and beyond. This question has been added to our Fire Officer Interview book, along with over 80 others. Below is the question and a paraphrased version of how one candidate answered it.

If you are not selected for this promotion how will you react? What are your future plans at this department?

Sir if I am not selected for this position I will feel like I have not achieved the goal that I set shortly after getting hired. My reaction will be a hardened resolve. I will begin studying for the next test immediately and continue seeking out every education and training opportunity that I can get my hands on. As you can see from my resume and training docket, I have attended many classes outside of our department and brought some great information back. None of that will change, I will continue to be a leader from my position as an Engineer and continue working to be a Captain. If I am not chosen my future plans will be to come out number one on the next test and get promoted then.

Follow up Question: What if you are not selected in the next round of promotions?

Sir I do not want to sound arrogant or cocky so please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. If I am not selected this time I will become even more motivated in my preparation. By next year’s promotions I will have more training, a completed bachelor’s degree, and even more time filling in as Captain. I believe after you see my performance, attitude and new qualifications over the year’s time that you will very much want me in a Captain’s position. If I am wrong, and I am not selected again, you can plan on seeing me again the following year in the number one spot.

Wow did that candidate take a risk with his answer to the follow up question! The reason it worked was his delivery. He looked the Chief straight in the eye and answered very respectfully and confidently. He spoke with such genuine desire and heart that I had no doubt in my mind he would continue scoring number one on the test until he was promoted. If his answer was delivered in any other manner it would have come off cocky, arrogant, and annoying. His risk was rewarded and he by far had the best answer to the question.

This question and over 80 others are in our Fire Officer Interview Book. It is full of insightful answers like this one for fire captain and fire lieutenant interviews.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

Merry Christmas from all of us at myfirejob.com. We hope you’ve all had a great year in the fire service. Take the holiday time to relax and enjoy family. I know quite a few of you have been promoted, congratulations! Looking back at 2014 we added 14 interview questions to our Fire Officer Interview ebook. We added 10 to the Fire Engineer/Driver operator ebook. We added two chapters to our Firefighter Entrance Exam ebook. All in all it was a great year. We look forward to many more.

After a long road of studying and then passing the written exam, it will finally be time for the Fire Officer Oral Board. Most candidates will begin looking for books or searching the internet for Fire Officer oral board questions or fire officer interview questions. There are some generic questions on forums and chat rooms, but you probably already know what those are. If you really want to succeed in your interview you need to be studying the difficult questions. You need to be ready for the questions that will catch the other candidates off guard. The best way to prepare for that is with our fire officer interview book. It consists of over 80 high quality interview questions that were used in real interviews. We have compiled these questions from oral board members, retired chiefs, and interviewees. It is the most comprehensive and complete fire officer interview preparation that exists.

Why we are superior:

  • We provide the most commonly asked questions,
  • then explain the key talking points
  • Finally provide a detailed example answer

Here is an excerpt from our book:

23. Describe our department’s progressive discipline policy.

Key Points: You want to answer this question by walking through your department’s disciplinary process from the first step, up to termination. Talk about the officer’s role in each step. Also speak to how you will support decisions that are made at higher ranks regarding the discipline of a subordinate. If appropriate talk about performance improvement plans

Example Answer: Our department’s progressive discipline policy begins with a verbal warning. This takes place between the officer and his subordinate. The officer should explain the situation, lay out a plan for improvement, and hopefully resolve the issue at that step. The next step is a verbal reprimand, which must also be documented by the officer. The officer is also responsible for notifying the Battalion Chief of the incident. The next step is a written warning and a written performance improvement plan. This is done by the officer and Battalion Chief, and presented to the subordinate at a meeting. At this meeting they lay out an improvement plan, and discuss the future steps of discipline if no improvement is made. This is where all expectations must be crystal clear and proper time frames set. The next step is docking pay. This is done at our Battalion Chief level. As an officer, my job will be to continue documenting events, and provide support to the Battalion Chief. The final step is termination. The goal of discipline is not to punish, but rather to improve performance. Depending on the severity of the offense, discipline can begin at any level of process.

You can follow the link below to purchase our book through paypal and download instantly to any device.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

Here is a new fire officer promotional interview question and answer that was sent to us by a customer who purchased our book and successfully went through an interview. The question is common in both fire captain and fire lieutenant interviews and has been added to our Fire Officer Interview Book. There are several ways to correctly answer it depending on each department’s procedures, however stressing your commitment to ongoing training and education will always help your cause.

How do you plan on improving the level of training and education in our department?

Training and education are vital to continual improvement. I have constantly worked to improve my level of training and education. I hold a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with an associate’s degree in fire science. I recently began taking classes for a master’s degree in public administration. As you can see from my training summary, I have pursued every available training opportunity since I was hired. I have traveled to other departments to listen to guest speakers and taken national fire academy weekend courses on leadership and decision making skills. My goal is to be the best Lieutenant on this job, and to accomplish that I will continue doing what I have been doing, seeking out every available training opportunity there is. I have brought some of these new ideas back to our department. Recently I gave a class that was based on a propane emergencies class that I attended. There were a few things that I learned that I passed onto our firefighters. I will continue to bring outside perspectives and ideas into our department this way.

Fire Officer Interview Questions

What is the best way to prepare for the firefighter entrance exam? This is one of the most common question we are asked, especially from candidates who have never taken a firefighter entrance exam before. We can break this answer down into a few basic principles.

First, begin your preparation early. Firefighter positions are incredibly desireable and therefor very competitive. Many candidates travel great distances to take entry tests for practice. If you have never tested before this places you at a disadvantage right away. Begin your preparations early by refreshing some basic skills you used in high school. These skills are things such as basic math, verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, mechanical aptitude, and reading tables, charts, maps, and graphs. Begin by refreshing your skills in these areas. You can use old textbooks or buy a entrance exam preparation book. We are partial to our firefighter entrance exam preparation ebook because it is so comprehensive.

Second practice taking tests. As we said earlier you can drive to other departments that are testing and take their tests for practice. This is a great tool, but not a cheap option if you have to drive long distances. Another option is to buy a test prep book that includes practice tests, such as ours. These will cover every area that is commonly tested and provide you with an answer key.

Third, be persistent. In this world of instant gratification its hard for many candidates to remain on their journey to be a firefighter if they don’t immediately succeed. Be sure to maintain all of your training and medical certificates during your job search. You never know when positions may open up. Also be sure to keep your resume up to date and accurate.

Below is a link to our Firefighter Entrance Exam Preparation Ebook.

firefighter entrance exam

 

I received an email from a customer who recently purchased our Fire Engineer Interview ebook containing questions used from actual fire engineer interviews. We had a conversation about one question that was not covered in our book and discussed the best way to approach answering it. We have since added the question to our book. Below is an excerpt from his email.

Jason,
Thanks for all of the input with the last emails. My interview was yesterday and consisted of 8 questions and 3 SOG questions. Only one wasn’t covered in your book. I don’t know if I answered it right or not, I would like to hear your thoughts. “As you arrive to work you notice a coworker acting unusual.  You smell alcohol on his breath.  How will you handle this situation?”

Key Points: This is a situation that is not tolerated. You have no way of knowing how much alcohol is in his system and he is not in any condition to work. The firefighter needs to be immediately removed from all apparatus and send for a fit for duty evaluation. Most departments have a procedure for this. After being removed from duty, he will be disciplined.

Example Answer: This situation cannot be tolerated in any fire station because it is a safety hazard. This individual could harm himself, a crew member, or a citizen. I will make sure that he does not respond to any calls and immediately report the situation to my company officer. This firefighter needs to be removed from the apparatus and sent for a fit for duty evaluation. As an engineer I will not let my truck respond to a call with this individual on board.

This information has been added to our Fire Engineer interview Ebook. It contains over 80 interview questions used in actual fire engineer interviews.

fire engineer interview