Firefighter Interview Tips – Firefighter Recruitment 2021

CFA Interview Tips

Preparation & Guidance is Key

Although this article is about firefighter interview tips,  I encourage you to continue with your own individual preparation which should not just centralise on the firefighter interview component of the recruitment process. Remember final hiring decisions are made on a “whole of application performance” – not just the interview alone, In saying that, let’s get down to business.

Firefighter Interview Tips:

  • It can be difficult to prepare for a behaviour-based interview because of the large number and variety of possible behavioural questions you might be asked.
  • The theme of the questioning will be the applicant’s motivation, understanding of the organisation and the role and how well you can respond to the behavioural based questions you are subject to.
  • I recommended that after every interview you self-evaluate your performance as soon as possible. This for most of us usually occurs once we get in the car after the interview has concluded. If you feel you did not provide the best responses to some questions it is most likely a good indicator that you can do better.
  • The detail you provided for your example may not have reflected enough depth or the example/s you gave may have only partially answered the question. This is usually the case.
  • Most applicants don’t know that their interview performance is sub par until it’s too late or in a lot of cases…. ever! It’s a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.

Preparation Key:

  • Understanding the role and the organisation
    • It is important to utilise your station visits to find out as much as you can about these two topics. The information you obtain via the internet will only give you a base level view. Some candidates make the mistake of using the visits to discuss the recruitment process and likely interview questions; although this is a natural subject to cover it will nor cover the above topic enough to make you competitive amongst other candidates.
  • Understand your motivation and why you want this job
    • This response will vary from individual to individual and it is not one that we will be able to help you with.
  • Know your work skills and attributes
    • You need to be comfortable and capable of talking fluently about your skills and experiences and have detailed specific example based on your work experience to back up your responses.
    • In the first instance have a good understanding of the differences between a “skill” and an attribute or trait”.
    • Have a thorough understanding of your own skill set and attributes, particularly those relevant to the role.
    • Once you have done this it is always a good practice to write them down – including your experiential examples to help embed them in your responses.
    • Arm yourself with a small arsenal of example stories that can be adapted to many behavioral questions.
    • Candidates who tell the panel about particular situations that relate to each question will be far more effective and successful than those who respond in general terms.
    • Vary your example; don’t take them all from just one job experience. If you Volunteer for the Fire Brigade, SES or other organisations these are also an excellent resource for showcasing your skills and abilities but make sure you know how to do this properly..
    • It is preferable that your delivery style at interview is as natural as possible.
    • Actively listen to the question and try to avoid constant probing/rephrasing of the questions by the panel.
    • If you want to use notes during the final interview, it is permitted however if the notes distract you from the flow of the interview and you are simply reading from them, it will put doubt in the midst of the panel that the words are your own.
    • Given the nature of behavioural questioning, it is unlikely that notes will assist you greatly however if you wish to use a “notes page”ensure it in point form so that provide assistance as a “memory jogger”.
    • Panels members are looking for answers that are honest-unrehearsed and natural.This ability usually comes through experience, practice and good guidance or coaching or a combination of all.
    • Remember final decisions are made on the whole application performance – not just the interview alone.
    • As you will have detected during your attendance at each stage of the recruitment process this role attract on high calibre candidate, it is very competitive.
    • The reality is that you can feel you have performed well at interview and still fail to gain selection.
    • Many good people do not make it through to the final stages because of the “competition”. Others may have met the criteria more closely this time.
    • Review your preparation, consider the next appropriate time to re-apply, make sure it suits you strategically.

With all this said my preferred method is to make sure you are the competition that cannot be beat.

Another consideration if you are in the preparation phase:

In the modern world you may at some point be asked to do a zoom interview or some other form of video conferencing software.

Here is an article I wrote on How to prepare for a zoom interview

I have 5 specific zoom interview tips you must know.

Good luck with you preparation and remember if you have any questions I am here to help.



Want to put these firefighter interview tips into practice –

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways we can help you Get The Edge over the competition

1. Get my FREE Training – “How to Become Firefighter without wasting time”

I conduct a free training where I show you the proven roadmap on how to become a firefighter without wasting time and money. – Click Here

2. Join our Firefighter Recruitment Training page

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3. Join our Membership Implementation Program

Get access to all courses and software, LIVE Q&A group, access to the industry’s best aptitude and interview coaches. — Get into the Top 5% of Applicants – Click Here

4. Work with Me and the team, privately

If you’d like to work directly with me and the team to give yourself the best chance for your upcoming recruitment campaign, let us know a little about your situation to see if we are a good fit for each other – Click Here


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Brent C

After becoming a Firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. I've been in the fire service working since 2007 to learn everything about how Fire Services Recruitment works. I've tested and refined proven methods to help people get the edge over the competition. Today, over 300 of my former students are living their Firefighter dream.

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