Why You Need to Research Yourself: Part Three

we start from why sticky note

Knowing “why” you’re doing something is the most important motivation and most relevant reason as to why we do anything. We eat because we’re hungry. We drink because we’re thirsty. It’s simple…So why are you trying to get this Fire job?…Seriously, why are you trying to get this fire job?


When that time comes during your interview, when the panel asks, “So why do you want to be a Firefighter?”, don’t give them the generic, “because I want to serve my community” answer that they hear over and over. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to improve your community by becoming a firefighter. You should. But there has to be more to that answer. You have to give them the “why” behind it. Everything we do in life has a “why” behind it. That “why” is the key to your success in the firefighter interview. 


Figuring out your “why” is simple, but it may not be easy. You need to reflect on your past and think of experiences that fueled your “why”. Once you have a few experiences in mind, you’ll turn them into stories you can talk about during the interview, in order to illustrate to the panel that your “why” is real. The panel can easily tell the difference between someone who tells them an embellished story, versus someone who describes a very genuine and heart-felt experience. 


Why do you want this job? If you’re feeling like you aren’t sure where to start, try one of these categories and start reflecting:


Motivated by Family

Many of us are motivated by our family. We love our families and we want to make them proud. One way of doing that is to find success and happiness in an occupation that we can be proud of. Think back on someone in your life that has taught you about hard work and dedication. 


Fits Your Values

Back in Part One of this blog, we recommended that you take the time to complete a personality assessment. In doing so, you’ll discover exactly what your personal values are, and what drives your decision making on a daily basis. Take those values and cross-reference them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed on the fire department’s job posting. Then you can accurately describe to the interview panel “why” your personal values will make you a good fit for the job.


Life Experience

We have all had different experiences throughout our lives. Good or bad, those experiences shape who we become. Have you had an impactful experience that directly influenced you to start down the path of becoming a firefighter?


The Takeaway

This is where we connect the dots from Part One and Part Two; piecing together how to formulate a complete interview answer out of who you are today and who you are aspiring to be as a probationary firefighter. Follow these steps so you can understand your “why”. Understanding your “why” is one of the most important parts of feeling confident in your upcoming firefighter interview.