Although the process of recruitment does now vary across the UK, many fire and rescue services will use the National Firefighter Selection Process and the interview will be used to assess your experience in relation to your Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQAs).
Areas likely to be assessed
- Working with Others
- Commitment to Diversity and Integrity
- Commitment to Excellence
- Commitment to Development
- Effective Communication.
Some interviews may start with an ice-breaker question, which is not marked, but should allow you to relax, if that is possible, along the lines of “why do you want to be a firefighter? ” or “what do you know about the particular fire and rescue service?” Others may go straight into the process, but this will be explained at the time.
The interview will then follow the format of asking a number of main questions, followed by supplementary questions, to allow you to show how you meet the relevant PQA.
Examples of possible questions:
- Give me an example of when you have worked as part of a team
- Give me an example of when you have helped someone who needed assistance
- Describe a time when you have helped support diversity
- When have you been aware of a person who was behaving in a way, which was contrary to the values of the team or organisation
- When have you tried to learn something new
- When have you changed your behaviour following comments from another person
- When have you had to follow strict guidelines to complete a task
- When have you tried to improve the way you do something
- When have you made a mistake that affected others
- Have you helped someone in distress as part of a team
- Give an example of a time when you have been required to achieve a higher standard in your work than that which is normally expected of you
- When you have been in a stressful situation what do you do to relieve the pressure or do you allow it to build up inside of you
- Give an example of a time when you have encountered different groups of people and tell us how you approached treating everyone as equals
- You have identified a development need of your own, what actions would you take
- You are applying for a job in which your lifestyle will change. Will this be a problem for you
- Is it important for all members of a team to work effectively with each other
- If you were a manager and one of your team was not performing, what would you do
- Have you ever had to mediate between two people who have had a disagreement
- Describe a time when you have had to work outside of excepted guidelines in order to solve a problem
- Can you tell me about a time when you have acted on feedback.
Remember that anything you mention in your answer may be subjected to a follow up question, so well prepared honest answers are the key to success.