3 Tips to Help You Through The Chief’s Interview

fire chief pointing

The Chief’s Interview is the final stage of your firefighter hiring journey. After the weeks, months, or possibly even years, worth of preparation you’ve put in, it’s finally time to sit down with the Chief and convince them why you are the right fit for the job. If you have been through a Chief’s interview before, then you know that it is usually much different from the panel interview. If you haven’t been through a Chief’s interview before, you can use this blog as a heads up as to what you can expect. Either way, here are three tips you can use to better prepare yourself for your upcoming Chief’s interview.


  1. Sit Back and Relax (But Not Really)


By this point, you have successfully completed all of the other phases of the hiring process for this department. Your application was accepted. You’ve passed the written and physical test. You smoked your panel interview, and now it’s time to sit down with the Chief. Take a second to pat yourself on the back and give yourself some credit for getting this far. The point of doing this isn’t just to fluff your ego before you meet the Chief. It’s to try and help you settle your nerves and promote confidence. Chief’s interviews are notoriously more casual in design than the panel interview. The panel interview is a tool that the department uses to weed out the lesser candidates. The Chief’s interview is used as a way to pick out the candidates whose personalities will best fit with the culture of the department. Because of this, the Chief’s interview will naturally feel more casual and will more closely resemble a conversation as opposed to an interview. So the best approach is to relax and be yourself. Show the Chief your real personality and give them the opportunity to hire you based on who you truly are.


  1. There’s No Polygraph, But Tell The Truth


Obviously, it’s in your best interest to tell the truth throughout the hiring process. This strategy is no less important during the Chief’s interview. While there won’t be a polygraph machine sitting on the Chief’s desk, you better believe that the Chief has enough information about you before you even walk into the room to be able to tell if you’re lying about something during the interview. So be prepared to talk about any mistakes you may have made in your past (fired from another fire department or job, DUI or other misdemeanors, etc…)


  1. Sell Yourself With Confidence


Again, take stock of what you’ve accomplished to get this far, and boost your confidence before you go interview with the Chief. Being able to walk into this final interview calm and collected will undoubtedly give you the best chance of getting offered the job. One of the attributes the Chief will be looking for during the interview is to see whether or not you are comfortable in your own skin. Do you know who you are and who you want to be? This is something that comes along with maturity and emotional intelligence, and it will set you apart from other unprepared candidates. All you really have to do is remind yourself of who you are and why you KNOW you can do this job. Then take that knowledge and calmly sell yourself to the Chief for those same reasons. The Chief has interviewed countless candidates and they will know when you are speaking genuinely. So be confident, be genuine, and go get your job.


The Takeaway

Chief’s interviews are much different from the panel interview. You won’t be asked the same questions as every other candidate and it will likely feel more like a conversation than an interview. However, while the design of the interview is more casual, you still need to carry yourself with professionalism. Use these three tips to prepare yourself for the Chief’s interview. Find the perfect balance of calm and confidence, tell the truth, sell yourself with pride, and go get hired.