I decided to interview my father, he has been a firefighter for 27 years and is now a battalion chief for a local city. He regularly recruites and hires new graduates as well as more seasoned firefighters. 

I learned alot about the interviewing process. Even though this didn’t take place particularly in healthcare, I learned alot about what I can do to stand out as a candidate in general. 


  1. How do you usually prepare for an interview with potential employees?

I go through their resumes and remind myself why I decided to interview that particular candidate. This allows me to ask questions that may be more applicable to them. 

  1. How many candidates do you like to interview before making a selection and how much time do you allow for each interview?

I don’t really have a particular number of candidates I try to get. I just choose what I think will be the top applicants– usually this ends up being around 3-5. 

  1. What do you believe are the most important questions to ask or most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate?

Im looking for confidence, honesty and there are many more traits. The thing I find most important is that the person is teachable and a good team player. 

  1. Do you prefer group setting interviews (multiple interviewers and multiple interviewees) or one-on-one interviews?

I prefer one on one interviews. I think that group interviews exclude or mask the capabilities of people who may be more introverted by nature. 

  1. What causes you to pick the candidates you do? (I.e what resumes stand out?)

I like to see experience of some sort and how it is applicable. Even if they don’t have prior experience in the exact field they’ve applied for I like to see that they have learned other basic principles of work flow and ethic from other positions. 

  1. How do you advertise the position? 

We have recruiters that visit schools, our city website. But I think that word of mouth is the biggest contributor so far. 

  1. What characteristics or answers would cause you to cut an interview short?

If they don’t seem teachable. Or if they don’t seem like they would be a good team player. 

  1. Is it important to you to make the applicant at ease? What do you do to make them feel more comfortable?

I think partly yes and partly no. Yes because you want them to give genuine answers without being too nervous. Partly no because it is an interview and we are in a professional setting. I would expect them to be professional at the interview and upon hire throughout their career. 

  1. Do you attempt to establish a rapport with the applicant at the beginning of the interview?

I am friendly and open to questions. But I do not seek to be necessarily friends 

  1. What is your process after an applicant has left your office? 

If I liked them, I will put a star on their resume and highlight their strengths or why I liked them. This allows me to compare candidates after I’ve interviewed all of them. 

  1. Do you prefer a structured interview or unstructured interview format?

I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. Structured gives everyone an equal playing ground. But unstructured allows you better insight into the candidate sometimes. 

  1. Have you ever hired a candidate on the spot? 


  1.  What was their response that made you know they were the best candidate?

The people that I think are the best candidates are usually those I perceive to be the best “well rounded”. 

  1. Do you ever making judgments on candidates based on how the look, how they are dressed or their social media accounts?

Social media can play a large role. Even though social media isn’t really supposed to be on the playing ground it often makes its way there. If the candidate is well dressed and looks punctual, I would hope this would carry over into their career. 

  1. Do you ask each candidate the same set of questions?

I try to ask general questions and then if they would like to expand or if the interview takes another route then I’m ok with it. 

  1. Do you ever offer the candidate feedback after the interview is complete?

Not necessarily. I just tell them the next steps or they can expect to hear from and when.

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