Starting the Journey: How to Get Your First Firefighter Interview

Getting started in a new career is challenging. You will need perseverance and diligence to make it happen. Becoming a Firefighter is no different. It will take proper planning and hard work to achieve the position. If you’re just starting out on the journey of becoming a Firefighter, here is some guidance on what the next steps look like for you, and how to get your first Firefighter interview. 

Get Focused

Set your sights on the job, and research everything about it. You need to be prepared, if you plan to be successful in your upcoming endeavor. That means knowing about the firefighter job, understanding the differences between specific fire departments, and even reflecting on your own experiences and values in order to predict how you will react to the long road ahead. Luckily for you, the first step is easy. Doing research on the firefighter job, and fire departments is as simple as browsing through some internet search results. Then, take that knowledge and go meet with a real firefighter. Talking to someone who is currently working in the field is the best way to get quality information. After that, take a look at yourself. Be honest. Who are you? What makes you different from everyone else? Ask yourself the hard questions, because having a good understanding of who you are will help you out immensely once you get your first interview. The only way to answer interview questions completely and competently is to know yourself. If you struggle with this step, check out some personality trait tests. These will guide your self reflection.

Decide WHERE You Want To Be

This step is quick, but crucial. Knowing where you want to live is vital if you want to ensure that you are happy once you finally get your job as a firefighter. Maybe you want to stay close to family. Maybe you want to live in the mountains or near the ocean. Maybe you just want to move somewhere different and are open to living anywhere. Those are all great answers. Just know what is right for you and apply with fire departments accordingly.

Knockout the Pre-Requisites and Start Applying

Once you have researched the job, and decided where you want to work (geographically). Start searching for fire departments that are hiring in that area. In doing this, you will need to understand the basic requirements for those departments. Some departments only require that you be 18 years old, have a driver’s license, and have obtained a high school diploma. Other departments will want candidates to have a state firefighter certification, Paramedic licensure, and other various specialized certifications. To figure this out, you will need to thoroughly read each job posting. After finding job postings that you qualify for, take some time and fill out the application.  Make sure your application is complete. There’s nothing worse than being qualified for a job, but getting rejected before you get an interview because your application was not complete. Details matter.

The Takeaway

Stop waiting. Stop making excuses. Start your journey towards becoming a firefighter today. Sit down and do the research. Then find departments that are hiring in places that you want to work, and apply. In all likelihood, you will not get hired for the first job posting you apply for. Don’t be discouraged. Keep applying, and keep interviewing. 

Becoming a firefighter can be a long road, but I guarantee you it is worth the effort.