How to Stand Out and Succeed In The Interview

firefighter interview tips


How to Stand Out and Succeed In The Firefighter Interview

Hi there!

Brent C here from Fire Recruitment and what I’m going to share with you today can literally save you 12 months or more of your life. What I’m talking about today is the interview process within the fire service and why it is so important that you do the best job that you can at this point of the recruitment process. I’m going to show you through a sort of — few points, of why this is so important and where people sit in in this sort of process and components of interviewing and how those who get jobs do get jobs and how those who miss out, miss out and why that’s important.

The reason fo my timing of this video is because over the last couple of weeks, I have spoken to three different people in three different fire services in the country that took multiple times to get jobs because when they got to interview they weren’t where they were needed to be. [So this is] we’re talking about years of people’s lives just because they didn’t do the right prep and understand how important it is to work on that skill and get to a point where you can beat other people and get the job. I’m just going to run through a few points with you and try and give some context on why this is so important.

The first one is about controlling the outcome of things that you can throughout the process. On this timeline that I’ve got up here, you’ve got your application, your cognitive or your aptitude, your PAT test — your sort of fitness stuff, your profiling will be in there somewhere (this obviously changes depending on what service you’re applying to) then right at the end here we’ve got the interview right? And the reason why it’s so bloody important is because it’s at this end of the process so who wants to get this far down the process and drop it and have to start back right back at the start when the job offer is just here. So, I would encourage you to control the outcome of the interview as much as you can because if you do that then we’re over here where we want to be — getting a job offer. You’re as close as you’re ever going to be but if you don’t prepare, you’re also extremely far away.

I have another story of a guy that I met. Unfortunately, after he failed the interview process in New South Wales and he was struggling to get back to that point. He actually ended up giving up and getting a job in patient transport or something much less desirable for him but this is the impact that it can have on your life so I just want to stress how bloody important it is to get as good as you can at interview so that you can demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job. That’s the first point— we want to control what we can and thus, we can control our skills within the interview environment, okay?

The second thing is this is your biggest opportunity to beat other people and get the job because by the time we get to interview, we’v knocked out bunches of people — hundreds and thousands sometimes of people, to get to here and a lot of these people that are sitting in the same position as you are lucky enough to go to interview. They don’t know what they don’t know sometimes and you know, they don’t prepare properly or they think they’ve prepared properly but they haven’t they’e not competitive. And the thing is, at this point, you don’t have to be the best you’ve just got to be better than the rest so it’s your biggest opportunity t be better than the rest and by the time you get to this point, you might only have to be better than 10 or 20 other people which is easier than you think because people don’t know how to prepare properly for the interview so you want to be in the top sort of — inch of people, so you get the job offer. Alright? Cool.

The next thing I’m going to run you through.. ah you might have seen this before — I call it the Interview Competence Pyramid. It’s something that I came up with because people fall into one of sort of five categories in interview competence. The idea of this is to give you an idea where you might be sitting currently so you can get an idea of sort of your chances of getting a position alright? So, I’m just going to draw a bit of a picture up here for you. I’m a real artist (laughs). So down the bottom here in the first position is where most people are. We’ve got the people that have no idea. Okay, so this is where I was 10 or 11 years ago when I firs applied for a job at the fire service. I really have no experience interviewing. I wasn’t confident talking about myself or communicating my skills etcetera to other people particularly in the environment of the interview so that’s where most people are starting off — not much, but there’s a lot of people in that area. In the next level, these people got a rough idea of how it works and the structure of an interview. So you might have had an idea before. You’ve got a bit of an idea in you, you know how they’re going to ask you etcetera hmm yeah but that’s pretty far so unfortunately, if you fall in one of these two spots you are not getting a job in the fire service. It’s as simple as that. My suggestion is that there’s about 10% of people right down the bottom in the next one I reckon, 35% fall into this category. The thing about these guys is that they really don’t know what they don’t know section so they don’t understand even what it is that they need to be working on to improve themselves alright? Since we’ve got a look at them, you want to make sure we’re not in that part of the pyramid.

The next section is, you got the structure, you can understand what’s going on, you got the structure down pat and you can deliver and answer. So this is like someone that’s have a bit of a look around. They understand they’re going to have an interview with the fire service and they’ve looked up something on the internet and like keys to staffing and they’ve come up with a few answers and you know, done a bit of practice or whatever so that’s the sort of the next area and I think this is where a lot of people fall into this area and sort of stay there and think that they are prepared so I reckon we’ve got about uhh 30% in there. This sort of area, you may be able to get a job in a less competitive fire service during a period of high intake so you may be able to sort of get through if you’re lucky. I’d prefer to know that I’m going to get the job and that’s what I work on with my guys so to get to the next category or uhh set.

So here’s the next one: structured, we got that covered. And you can deliver. You can deliver an answer and you make them a bit interesting so you’re not wanting them to fall asleep and all that sort of stuff. Not a bad spot to be in because you’re structured, you know what’s going on, you can tell a story, you can relate to them and be a bit more interesting alright. So I reckon probably 20% of people that are a bit switched on in this environment would be sitting in here and once again can get a job in a you know, maybe, a bit less competitive environment or what have you.

The area that I work on people to aim for is the top sort of 5%. That way we know we’re getting the job basically. When you’re in this area, you know the structure, you got your interesting story so they’re actually listening to you, you know all of the points so you nail — you can listen to the question and understand it so that your response nails all of the points in that question and you standout. Alright, so you standout. After you’ve left the interview, they’re like ‘that guy was fantastic’ or ‘that girl was fantastic’. So this is the bit where we get the trophy of the job. This is the aim. So with people that I’ve worked with, that’s what we’re aiming to do as far as the interview goes an the thing about this is you can absolutely control this like it is crazy to me that you would get this far into a process and not control something that you are able to so I’ve found that people who follow absolutely every step of what I asked them to do, they just get jobs so it baffles me that people can control this and they don’t so hopefully, if I’ve given you one thing today out of this video is you understand the importance of the interview and how competitive the interview is so that you can go and make sure you’re in the top 5% and then getting a job offer okay?

So if you want to work on this with me, get on my website and it’s Jump on the phone and we can have a bit of a chat about the best way we can help you and we can go forward from there.

I’m Brent C. This is Make sure to give us a thumbs up if you found this helpful. Also, remember, subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss out on any updates and training and stuff like. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next time!


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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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