999 Control Interview!(31 Posts)
Hello all, named changed for this as I don't want anyone to know about my interview/assessment for this role for now, avoiding any jinxing
Have assessments coming up for fire control 999 operator, anyone have any hints or tips they can offer? I know I have to do a phone assessment first then attend an assessment day which I assume will include typing tests etc. and role play.
Any tips greatly received; if you do the job already how do you find it? Bricking it already
My advice is to go on the internet and read up on it.
Do a little research and that particular fire service. Average calls, nature of the calls and so on.
You need to try and come across as a calm and confident person.
I know that, joining the police, they ask if you have been in a certain situation and what did you do, how did you resolve the issue. Don't know if that is what they do for call takers.
It is probably a little different with fire but I do the police ones. The assessments centre will probably have some exercises involving multi tasking, listening and abstracting information etc. The interview will probably be structured on the behaviours in the role profile. If you don't say it they can't mark it so don't say something and assume that they will infer a quality, so if you give an example say something like this shows I have integrity or whatever.
As village says read up on it. Do they have a mission statement for example? I expect they will. Our one is to make a safer place to live work and visit. Try and get that in somewhere. You don't have to read it out verbatim but in an answer say how you want to help your community live in a safe environment or something, also look at their priorities and get in how public safety is important etc.
Great suggestions there - thank you so much.
Perfectly I assume you do shifts? If so how have you adjusted to nights just out of interest.
As well as fast accurate typing skills the most important things they will want to see/hear is that you are able to stay calm, very quickly build a rapport with the caller, that you will be able to manage the call, getting the required info out of someone who is in the middle of a crisis and that you can cope with the potential nature of the calls and be ready to take the next call regardless of the previous one. A lot of that will be covered in the training but they are also looking for certain existing traits such as warmth, confidence, calmness, clear speaking voice etc.
You have done very well to get to this stage so congratulations and fingers crossed for you op!
Thanks, a nice surprise after lots of rejections of late. Not a job I thought I would be up for, popped up in my job alerts and turned out lots of my skills applied so fingers crossed.
All great suggestions, mind has gone a bit blank so grateful for these. First assessment is a 30 minute call which is also some kind of assessment, with a task to be given apparently.
Remember in the case of a fire the advice is to get out and stay out. You need to be calm with the caller and reiterating that point. Providing assurance that help is on it's away even though their pet/family member/friend may be stuck.
Look up call stats for the service. Most calls to fire service are false alarms (automated, good intent or hoax) they will want to see you asking questions and establishing that the incident is genuine.
Remember a lot of calls they'll receive will be rescues (animals, road traffic incidents, trapped). Don't assume it will a fire.
Fire engines are called pumps. The ones with the big ladders are ALPs.
Learn the phonetic alphabet. They love it and radio messages will use it a lot.
Yes I do shifts, actually just about to get ready for a night shift - which today is a struggle as didn't sleep well.
I have done shift work for 22 years so for me it is normal. With night shifts different people cope differently. The most I do is 3 in a row, although many years ago I used to do 7 in a row so 3 isn't too bad! to prepare for the first night shift I sometimes get up as normal in the morning then go back to bed in he afternoon, the trouble is you can't always sleep. Other times I stay up as late as possible the night before. Often into the early hours and sleep late. Getting over them can be tough. Sometimes I try and stay up, if I have slept well the day before, and then go to bed early. Although as I didn't sleep well today I will get a few hours sleep when I get home then force myself to get up and move around so I go to bed at a decent hour.
Ultimately you just need to try different things and find what works for you.
I actually find the early shift a lot harder, I am not a morning person so having to be at work at 0630 is a killer for me.
Also diversity and equality will be a big thing I would imagine. It is for our local fire service. If you don't know hem google the 9 protects characteristics and look at the fire service equality information
When I had a telephone interview I prepared by googling interview questions and textbook answers. I then wrote the question on a notepad with my version of the textbook answer.
Eg:give an example of a time you stayed calm in a crisis.
When I was a first aider I called an ambulance and performed CPR on a customer having a heart attack. The great news is they survived.
I could then expand if needed.
As the interviewer asked me questions I found the nearest on my pad and was able to give a calm, smooth interview.
Right busy day preparing tomorrow then (phone thing on Thurs morning),
Little that is amazing, I'm the first aider at work now but the worst thing I've dealt with was a cut knee when a lady's heel fell off and she went over spectacularly!
You may be assessed on how you deal with emerging issues too - so being drip fed information as the nature of the emergency changes. You will need to.come across as confident and reassuring. Good luck!
Sound confident and clear . At work our radio mantra for anyone who uses one , be it dispatcher , call handler or officer , is Accuracy , Brevity , Clarity, and it translates well as the qualities needed to be a really good operator .It means getting the important info right , like locations , and confirming it to make sure . Spellings need to be accurate . Just be calm , clearly spoken , reassuring , and patient , and you should be fine. Training will help you with the rest .
Thanks. It was all a bit surreal at the time. I was very glad when the paramedics arrived.
Think about the qualities that they will be looking for (the jobs section of the service website might help with this) and how you can talk about situations that will demonstrate that you have them; not just the call-handling side of things, but organisation/preparation skills, ability to learn new computer systems, working as part of a team, etc.
Thank you so much everyone, reading and making notes frantically - so touched by all these responses.
Well I didn't get it but found out there were 400 apps and I was in the 40 that were assessed, so pleased about that. The assessment day was interesting and I actually enjoyed it - gutted as I really wanted it but hey ho back to the drawing board.
Thank you all for your help, appreciated it all so much
Ah sorry to hear that OP. In my area the police have just advertised for a similar post - is it worth looking at your local forces if it's now something you're keen to do?
I sound unbearably calm there about being unemployed don't I! Cripes
Well done for being shortlisted. You can always apply again plus have a look a similar roles as you will now have an insight to what they are looking for. Maybe a civi role in the police? If you got that far you must have lots of transferable skills
Thanks wish, I would defo try again - the whole organisation seemed great, I would really like to work for them so will keep an eye out.
Where are you based? Now you have the assessment experience under your belt you could look for similar roles in other emergency services. I know my local police are recruiting call handlers.
Sounds like you did really well - 400 applicants is extreme!
Merseyside but can do west lancs/lancashire at a push, will be checking all the forces etc.
Ah, sorry you didn't get it but definitely worth trying another force or service. Good luck!
Lancashire police are currently recruiting for call takers
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