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

How do you prepare for the most important interview of your life?  Fire Captain interview questions are not easy.  They are designed to test your skills, knowledge, and ability to think under stress.  You will also be tested on your ability to handle personnel issues.  Here are some tips on prepping for a fire officer interview.

  • Start by reviewing the actual fire officer interview questions in our ebook.  There are TONS of real interview questions there and they will prepare you for most of your interview.
  • Start early.  Nothing is worse than cramming, it increases stress, test anxiety, and does not fully prepare you.
  • Memorize your SOPs.  This isn’t just about an interview, its about getting ready for the position.  You need to know standard operating procedures and how they apply to different situations.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  Put on your shirt/tie/jacket and stand in front of a mirror practicing answering questions.  It may seem dumb, but it gives you a chance to work out the “rough spots” in your answers before you’re sitting in front of an interview panel.
  • Eat normal, sleep normal. Don’t change your day to day routine.  We are creatures of habit, and we recall information when our bodies are comfortable in their surroundings.  Stick with your normal daily routine, but set aside enough study time each day to prepare you.
  • Make variations of questions.  Our fire officer interview ebook has over 80 interview questions that were used in actual captain and lieutenant’s interviews.  Take our questions and expand on them.  Customize them to fit your department’s operations and procedures.

By starting your preparation early, studying our interview questions, and knowing your SOPs, you will walk into your interview confident and prepared for anything.

Here are 2 new Fire Lieutenant interview questions that we just added to our e-book.

1.       Describe the levels of progressive discipline that a lieutenant can administer within our department.  Where will you begin the discipline process?

2.       Have you ever spoken negatively about anything relating to our fire department?

These are great fire lieutenant or even fire captain interview questions.  They force the candidate to demonstrate knowledge of SOPs/SOGs and they make him show that different offences will have different levels of discipline.  They also make his attitude very apparent regarding the department.  Fire officers are leaders.  They set the tone for their crew, station, and even influence their entire shift.   You can find over 80 fire officer interview questions here.

Lots of fire Captain applicants ask us what type of questions will be on their interview.   Good fire captain interview questions will test your job knowledge, but also you ability to think on your feet.  Expect questions that reference your SOPs.  Expect scenario questions that force you to recall standard procedures and generally acceptable tactics used by your department. Here is an example of a good fire captain interview question from our e-book (link on right side of site).

As a newly promoted fire Captain you notice one of your crew-members using wine as an ingredient in the dinner he is making.  What actions do you take if any?

This is a great question because it forces you recall the exact policy on alcohol and shows how you will handle personnel issues in the station.  Similar questions to this involve cigarette smoking inside the station, or a crewmember carrying a concealed weapon, with a permit.  These types of questions test your knowledge of department SOPs, and give you an opportunity to show how you will enforce these rules.

What s the best strategy to get hired as a firefighter?  I was asked this by a prospective firefighter today.  He asked if it would be more beneficial to pursue his EMT – intermediate or go to a fire academy and get his firefighter 1 and other basic certifications.  I listened as he explained the pros and cons of each, and then explained that if he wanted to get hired soon, he should go for the intermediate.  There are 2 reasons for this.  MANY departments will put new firefighters through their own academy.  Secondly, having the intermediate makes you an advanced life support provider.  This makes you extremely marketable.  In the last 10 years many departments have moved to mostly ALS units.  The natural turnover and specialized education of intermediates and paramedics usually means high demand for als provides.  So if you’re looking for a great way to get a job as a firefighter, go get your emt intermediate, or go big and get your paramedic.

When I was a new fire lieutenants the best piece of advice given to me was to “keep your head”.  What on earth does that mean?  It means you’re going to encounter situations in which you’re not sure what to do.  Keeping your head means understanding your role.  As a fire lieutenant your job is to bring a sense of calm to a chaotic situation.  If you panic, your crew will panic, the bystanders will panic, the next in company will panic, so on and so forth.  In some cases just making a decision is half the battle.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect decision.  The fact that you are doing something vs standing outside panicking, is going to go a long way.

Daren, recently purchased our fire officer interview questions e-book in preparation for his lieutenant oral board.  After his interview he emailed us telling us our guide had 7 of his 10 questions in it.  This was one that was not in our guide, but is now.  Its a great question and allows the panel to gain insight into a candidates thought process on risk/reward and safety.

You arrive to a single story single family residential home with light smoke showing from basement windows.  The basement windows have metal security bars over them.  The fire appears to be in the incipient stage and there is not an exterior stairwell.  What will you do?

This is a great interview question that has to be answered carefully.  It presents a picture of a small fire in the basement that should be easy to handle.  The point of this question isn’t to see if the candidate has his strategy and tactics down, but rather his view of safety.  If he makes an offensive attack, will he have a secondary means of egress?  Is this allowed within your department’s SOPs?  The panel will watch for a risk/benefit analysis, a careful size-up, and a plan to operate safely.  A defensive attack is acceptable in this case as long as no life hazard can be confirmed.  However, the most appropriate answer is to have a RIT in place, and a truck crew working on removing the bars when the attack begins.  Either way, as long as the candidate mentions the security bars as his concern the panel will most likely be happy.  Yes, this question has been added to our Fire Officer interview questions e-book.

We have updated the firefighter job listing.  We added 5 new departments for California.

Updated website

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Welcome to the updated We have converted our site into a blog. All of your favorite pages are still available. The firefighter job listing is by far our most popular page, and can be found on the right side of your screen. We will continue to update the listing as often as possible. Our goal is to prepare you for the firefighter entrance exam, and future promotions. Feel free to look around and provide your feedback.