What to Expect in an Emergency Services Interview
When the call is made and help is needed, emergency services personnel have to be up to the task, providing assistance under high stress conditions. Because providing emergency services can mean life or death in some situations, interview questions will focus on your abilities under pressure as well as your personal experience in the field.
Emergency services personnel not only deal with emergencies in the field, but also paperwork and managing calls on a daily basis. Your interviewer will be asking many questions related to your ability to handle all required tasks successfully, including questions about how you see your own behavior under pressure and how you generally handle stress. You will also be asked if you can take constructive criticism or straightforward direction. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and be confident in your personal success in high-stress situations.
Tips to Remember
It is important to dress professionally, make eye contact with your interviewer, and give a firm handshake. There are also things you need to remember to take with you into the interview that will make you stand out from other interviewees.
· Come with a list of examples where you were able to think on your feet in a stressful situation, making the outcome better than it would have been.
· Review emergency procedures for the specific position and be able to relate this to your own experiences.
· Make sure to mention any suggestions you made in the past to change emergency procedures that were successfully implemented and helpful overall.
· Be confident in your abilities and experiences without coming across as arrogant. Show you can lead while also listening.
Also, be prepared to answer standard interview questions that you can research beforehand, and have all of your answers handy.
General Skills to Highlight
Whether you are interviewing for a 9-1-1 dispatch job or an emergency management position, there are general skills that you should emphasize during your interview. These skills show that you can handle emergency situations under pressure, work through last-minute plan changes, and be successful under time constraints.
- Time management – You’ll need to juggle paperwork and other tasks when not in the field.
- Confidence – Be able to stand by your decisions and abilities without being arrogant.
- Flexibility – Hours can be long and can change significantly for some positions.
- Decision making – Hard decisions may need to be made at the last moment.
- Multitasking – You may need to keep track of various calls and emergency situations on a daily basis.
In an emergency services interview, you’ll want to highlight these skills in relation to your work experience in stressful conditions. Doing so will make your interview successful.