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Free Careers Advice from How2Become

There are many websites out there that promise to provide you with great careers guidance information. But do they really provide you with the information that you need? In the articles that follow, Richard McMunn will explain how you can increase your chances of success when applying for various jobs, completing application forms and preparing for interviews.

You will find links to further articles at the bottom of this page.

How To Become A Firefighter

This is one of those jobs that many young men and women wish to aspire to. However, times have changed and the selection process for this type of career is very different to what it used to be. For example, you no longer have to be under 30 in order to get a job as a Firefighter; which is great nes for many! It is also a job that doesn’t just require a high level of physical fitness. It requires a knowledge of your community and an ability to work towards making society a safer place to live.

In order to assess a potential candidate’s ability to become a firefighter the Fire Service will use a multi-tier selection process. This consists of a firefighter application form, a series of firefighter tests and finally the competency based firefighter interview. All of these are centred on the firefighter personal qualities and attributes. It is of vital importance that any aspiring firefighter focuses his or her preparation on this important competencies; after all, this is how they will be assessed.

Firefighter careers

Let me give you an example of how the firefighter peersonal qualities and attributes can be used to great effect during the selection process. The following sample question is often used on the Firefighter Application Form:

Q. Describe a situation where you have had to work on your own in accordance with guidelines.

Having the ability to work unsupervised, following strict procedural guidance, is an essential element of the firefighter’s role.

During operational incidents you will be under the authority of a supervisory manager. However, there will often be times when you have to work on your own unsupervised, and the Fire Service needs people who are capable of carrying out such tasks.

When answering this question, try to think of an occasion when you have worked on your own following specific guidelines. Once again, ensure that you are specific about a particular situation and avoid being too generic.

The following is a sample response to this question which makes great use of the assessable Firefighter Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQA’s).

Q. Describe a situation where you have had to work on your own in accordance with guidelines.


“Whilst working in my current role as a gas engineer I was tasked with fitting a new boiler to a domestic property in a safe and effective manner. I carried out this work unsupervised and was relied upon to follow strict procedural and safety guidelines.”


“If I did not follow the procedural guidance that I received during my training then I would be putting lives at risk. I must ensure that I carry out my work responsibly and follow all safety procedures to ensure that my work is carried out in accordance with my company’s policies.”


“The boiler was fitted to the required standard in accordance with the relevant British Standard and all safety procedures were followed. The customer was satisfied with my work and I was happy that I carried out my duties responsibly and in a competent manner.”

When you apply to become a Firefighter make sure that you focus the vast amount of your preparation time to learning, understanding and applying the PQA’s. If you follow this tip then your chances of success will greatly increase.

Richard McMunn


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