Once you have completed the EMT educational requirements and certification, you should always PREPARE for your interview by studying the MOST common EMT interview questions and answers. This is the KEY to your success!
Now, the EMT interview can be tricky if you are NOT prepared for the questions beforehand. In your interview, you will be asked both general and behavioral type questions by the hiring manager. General interview questions focus more on what a candidate might do in a hypothetical situation, and behavioral interview questions probe a candidate’s past behaviors in similar situations. With that said,
To help you get started, we have listed the MOST common EMT interview questions and answers with sample answers. So let’s jump right in!
1) Tell Me About Yourself?
During your EMT job interview, the hiring manager will start with this question as an icebreaker. The interviewer will ask you this question for a few reasons: First, they want to know a little about your passions and work experience. Secondly, they want to hear about the KEY skills and qualifications you possess and how they will be an asset as an EMT. Third, any previous job roles where the experience would be transferrable when working as an emergency medical technician. With that said,
When answering this question, it is crucial not to give your entire life story but to talk about your education, KEY skills, and qualifications related to becoming an EMT. Therefore, it is recommended that your answer is NOT longer than 60-90 seconds.
“I graduated high school/college/university in 2021, and my education focused on business and customer service. I have always loved working hands-on with customers to help them solve some of the common problems they are facing. I decided to become an emergency medical technician because they were the first line of help when my dad suffered a heart attack last year. Because they responded so quickly and efficiently, we could get my dad to the hospital in time to save him. After experiencing this dramatic episode in my life, I can see how this can be an emotional/challenging time for people, and I want to be the person on the scene to get them the help they need. With that said,
I am here today looking to join your team because I am an extremely enthusiastic person who is always looking to challenge myself so I can be better. I believe I have the KEY skills and qualifications required to excel as an EMT.”
2) Why Do You Want to Become an Emergency Medical Technician?
It is essential NOT to confuse this EMT interview question with the one above: “Tell Me About Yourself.” When the hiring manager asks you this specific question, they want to know why you want to become an EMT and expect a more in-depth answer. For example, when answering this question, you can talk about your passion for the industry and the skills you will GAIN from becoming an EMT. You can also talk about the future growth of the healthcare industry and how you want to play a role in changing and improving this industry through constructive feedback that will benefit your entire team. With that said,
When answering this question, it is crucial to always focus on the question at hand and provide the interviewer with just enough information to answer the question. We have found that talking for too long can lead to the candidate saying something that would negatively IMPACT their chance of landing the job.
BONUS TIP: You can look over the job description to find “action words” that you can use in your answer. For example, if the job requires someone who can follow protocols and instructions efficiently, you can use this in your answer as we have done in the sample answer below.
“As an emergency medical technician, I will have the opportunity to help others just like they helped my dad when he suffered a heart attack. In addition, I would also like to be an EMT because I will have the chance to work in an industry that is growing, allowing me to transition into other roles such as an EMT supervisor or team manager. Not to mention, with so many changes in this industry, I would like to be on the front-line providing feedback on how we can improve procedures and safety protocols. As mentioned, I am an individual who is always looking to improve myself, and I believe working as an EMT will allow me to improve on my current skillset. For example, it will make me more aware of my surroundings, give me a chance to work both independently and in a team, and make me better at prioritizing my work. EMTs are also exceptional multitaskers because they are working within a limited time, and this is a KEY skill that I believe I can improve on a bit more and hope to do so as an EMT.”
3) What Is Your Greatest Strength?
With this EMT job interview question, the hiring manager is trying to determine how well your KEY skills match the job requirement. We have a list of the 15 Greatest Strengths you can view to help formulate your answer. Now, it is essential NOT to give common BASIC answers like your most significant strength is that you are a “perfectionist,” “hard-working,” or “punctual.” These answers that hiring managers have heard before and will NOT add value to your character. Also, these BASIC answers DO NOT show how you will add value to the job. Finally, these BASIC answers DO NOT make you stand out compared to every other candidate. With that said,
To help you formulate a well-rounded answer, we recommend choosing a “strength” or requirement from the job description. By skimming through the job requirements section, you can view EXACTLY the type of candidate the company is looking to hire. Here is an example:
In the job requirements section of the job posting, we have highlighted the following “strengths” that the hiring manager is looking for. Now, we can choose one strength and formulate our answer. We have chosen: “attention to details” because this job requires a candidate to recognize medical conditions, remain updated with protocols, and be flexible.
“I would say my greatest strength is my attention to detail. My strength has enabled me to complete multiple tasks efficiently because when given instructions, I don’t need management to repeat them several times, which would lead to delays, etc. My ability to pay close attention to details helps me manage my time more efficiently, increasing my output/productivity. By managing my time more efficiently, I can prioritize what’s most important to the least, so the MOST crucial parts of the project are completed first and are ready to be submitted. I believe this will be an asset in this position because, as an EMT, you are working against the clock and don’t have room to make errors. My superiors will only have to tell me a single time what’s required of me, and I can be trusted to get the job done right the first time. In the end, I want to say that having someone on your team who pays close attention to details means you are getting someone who completes tasks more efficiently and accurately, increasing overall workplace productivity.”
4) Can You Describe Your Greatest Weakness?
This is a tricky EMT interview question to answer because NO candidate wants to shed light on themselves negatively. However, this EMT interview question MUST also be answered and cannot be avoided by saying “that you have NO weakness,” etc. With that said, you can strategically formulate an answer to this question that doesn’t hurt your chances of landing the job but can add value to you as a candidate. Before continuing, it is essential to understand why hiring managers ask this question. From our research, we can conclude that interviewers will ask about your GREATEST weakness to determine if it will hinder your ability to perform the job to your fullest potential. So, the question now is how do you approach this interview question strategically?
First, we recommend choosing a weakness NOT related to the job role. You can do this by skimming over the job description and avoiding any KEY skill that is a requirement for the job. Secondly, always provide examples of how you are improving on your weakness, for example, training, reading, mock role play, etc.
For our sample answer, we will use the following weakness: “That I have trouble saying NO.” Why? Well, it’s NOT directly related to the job and can also communicate a strength simultaneously. For example, stating that I have trouble saying NO to others will make me someone that others can count on and that I can multitask, which is also considered a STRENGTH.
“I would say that my GREATEST weakness is that I have trouble saying NO to my co-workers. My inability to say NO means I end up taking on heavier responsibilities than I can handle, which can sometimes be emotionally draining. Personality, I love the challenge of having several assignments to work on because I believe greatly in my ability to multi-task. However, I have noticed that when I take on more work, I start to feel burnt out, which sometimes affects the quality of work I deliver to my manager and team. To work on this weakness, I have started utilizing two (2) project management apps, Asana and Slack, which help me organize my work and deadlines. By using these apps, I can see how efficiently I am progressing through each project of mine and whether or not I have the capacity to take on more work.”
5) What Motivates You in Life?
Interviewers will ask you this question to determine what drives you to succeed and understand if your motivating factor will FIT into the job role and company culture. For example, candidates who are motivated to succeed will NOT let obstacles come in their way from completing their job. Not to mention, someone who is motivated wants to improve their current skill set so they can transition into other job roles in the company. So, how do you go about answering this type of question? Well…
First, take time to research the company and understand what drives the company. For example, is the company focused on results, and what goals are they trying to achieve? You can also look over the company’s history to see its achievements over the years. Either way, we recommend researching beforehand because coming up with an answer on the spot can be tricky, especially if you do not know the company’s culture and mission. Once you have done all your research, you can align your answer to reflect the company’s goals. For example, if your company and the job role are focused on “results,” then here is a great answer:
“What motivates me is achieving an outcome. I am driven by results and knowing I made a difference in the company. So when I’m given a job to do, I like to understand what’s required of me and then find creative ways to find a robust solution. I understand the bottom line for any company is to achieve an objective, and if we can do this efficiently, then we can increase overall productivity by 2x, which will benefit our team and the clients we represent.
BONUS TIP: In your answer, if you can provide an example from your previous job that demonstrates your motivator, then it is recommended to do so. By talking about an experience from your previous job, you can add more value to your answer and why you stand out compared to other candidates.
6) What Skills Do You Have That Will Make You Great As An Emergency Medical Technician?
One of the MOST common EMT interview questions focused on determining if you are self-aware of the skills required to succeed in this job. The interview also wants to hear if you have what it takes to excel. In short, you may have many skills; however, do you feel you have the RIGHT skills that align perfectly with becoming an emergency medical technician. So, when answering this question, especially if this is your first job, we recommend reviewing the responsibilities of an EMT. Next, review the job requirements because this will outline the primary requirements for this position and give you a breakdown of the MOST sought-after skills. With that said,
We can determine that as an EMT, you must possess the following skills on top of the educational and certification requirements. Someone who is: focused, a quick decision-maker, a team player, great at communicating, pays close attention to details, calm/patient, has physical strength, and is always willing to learn. So,
When formulating your answer, we recommend focusing on a handful of these requirements.
“I believe I have what it takes to be an EMT because I am driven and always focus on the job. I also believe in being a team player so I can help them during critical times. Not to mention, I am extremely calm and patient, which is important because, during tense situations, I can still make clear and focused decisions which are important, especially when time is of the essence. I also understand that following directions and procedures are also integral in any organization, so I have worked tirelessly throughout my life to ensure that paying close attention to details is a skill I continue to build and perfect.”
7) Describe How Do You Keep Calm in Emergency Situations?
As an EMT, you will work in a fast-paced, high-intensity environment. You will be asked this interview question for an EMT position so the hiring manager can understand your strategies to manage stress and stay focused. Before we continue, why is it important to stay calm during tense situations? Well, it’s because stress will affect your body in different ways, sometimes making it difficult to make decisions and even slowing you down. As you can imagine, both of these can negatively affect the outcome in emergencies. Remember that as an EMT, you will be working in a small window of time, so you MUST remain as calm as possible. When answering this type of EMT interview question, it’s essential to talk about the importance of remaining calm during emergencies and some strategies you utilize every day to practice controlling stress and staying focused.
“Remaining calm and focused as an emergency medical technician is extremely important because you are saving someone’s life and time is NOT on your side either. I know from experience that when you get stressed, you start to lose patience and have difficulty making clear decisions. Not only that, but stress can slow down your overall progress also. However, throughout life, I have found that some strategies work well in keeping you calm and focused no matter how intense a situation. For example, constantly visualizing different scenarios can help you prepare ahead of time, and even mock role-playing these same situations will help you manage your emotions. I also think it is essential to keep practicing your skills, so you don’t forget how to perform vital procedures on the job. Regular exercising and meditating have also positively impacted my ability to stay calm/relaxed in highly pressurized situations too.”
8) How Do You Stay Up-To-Date With Your EMT Skills And Knowledge? What Have You Done In The Last Year?
As an EMT, it is vital that you stay up-to-date with your knowledge and skills. This means ensuring that your certifications are up to date and that you have completed any continuing education courses required to renew your license. Each STATE will have different requirements, so please view your STATE’s EMT certification requirements. However, remaining up to date also means ensuring your skills are fine-tuned and that you are also well-aware of any changes in procedures. Interviewers are definitely going to ask you this question during your EMT interview, so it’s crucial that you prepare ahead of time so you know what’s required of you in terms of ensuring your skills always remain sharp. With that said,
Here are some EMT interview tips to answer this question: First, view STATE requirements to understand licensing renewal requirements. Secondly, mention the training you do to keep your skills sharp, for example, taking part in-company training, role-playing scenarios, training with colleagues, and mention research you do on your own time in this industry to ENSURE you are always up-to-date with new policies, etc.
“It is always important to stay up to date with your knowledge and skills for any job. However, as an EMT, it’s even more important because we are directly dealing with emergencies and have to perform our duties in a SHORT window of time. So, to ensure that I’m always up-to-date, I first make sure that my license certification is valid by completing any continuing education units as per STATE requirements. Next, I’m constantly working to improve in areas I feel I can by completing company-endorsed training programs and doing mock role play at home to familiarize myself with different scenarios. I’ve found that by visualizing different scenarios, I know what to expect when put in a situation and can better manage my emotions furthermore, remaining focused on the result. Finally, last year I enrolled in some industry-based podcasts and subscribed to industry-specific magazines, so I am well aware of any changes taking place in the industry that may require my immediate attention.”
9) How Do You Remain Calm in Difficult Situations?
Hiring managers will ask you this EMT interview question to determine how well you perform under pressure, especially in difficult situations. First, when answering this type of interview question, it is ESSENTIAL to keep in mind the two following things:
a) Your role as an EMT and the people you will be working with on the job. And,
b) The KEY skills that are important when faced with difficult situations.
So, with that said,
When answering this EMT interview question, we recommend that you talk about the importance of being a team player and how your team depends on you to get their job done. Also, someone’s life is in your hands, and your ability to perform as quickly as possible is extremely critical. Then you can transition into saying how you meditate daily to increase your ability to focus and block out irrelevant noise from your mind. It also helps to mention the importance of practice in helping you remain calm. For example, the more confident you are at performing your job, the greater your ability to remain calm and focused.
“I understand that my team depends on me to perform my job so they can perform theirs, and I also understand the importance of working as quickly as possible to save someone’s life. Keeping these two (2) important factors in my mind always allows me to take whatever steps I need to ensure I remain calm and perform my best on the job. So, to help me remain calm in difficult situations, I practice my duties every day, so I am 100% sure that I know what is expected of me when we are called in emergencies. I practice them by performing mock-role playing at home and reading over my training material whenever I can. I also ensure that my training is always up-to-date by completing the required continuing education units on time. However, another thing that has helped me greatly throughout life is meditating. By meditating, I can focus better and block out unnecessary thoughts when I need to”
10) Can You Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake at Work? And, How Did You Handle It?
This EMT interview scenario question focuses on your ability to handle and overcome challenges effectively so they do NOT happen again. As you can imagine, a mistake working as an EMT can be devasting. However, interviewers know everyone makes mistakes, and these events should be used as a learning experience to improve yourself. With that said,
When answering this question, DON’T mention anything that can be considered criminal, for example, “I made a mistake and stole money” or “I made a mistake and punched my boss or colleague in the face.” Instead, focus on how you made a mistake that was NOT catastrophic to the company and how you corrected it in time. Finally, you can conclude your answer by stating what measures you have taken to ensure you do NOT make the same mistake again. So, briefly mention the mistake, then what you did to correct it, and finally, how you will ensure it does NOT happen again.
“I understand that mistakes can decrease productivity within an organization and even negatively impact a company’s reputation. I also strongly believe that if you make a mistake when working for a company, you must ensure it does not happen again. For example, while working at my previous job, I was in charge of the shift schedule/rotation. This assignment was to be completed and submitted to management within seven (7) days. Not only that, but the schedule was to be formatted on Microsoft Excel and not Google Sheets. I did complete the assignment and submitted it well before the due date however had to re-due it after learning that I formatted it using the wrong tool. This mistake not only cost me time but also embarrassed me because my management now thought I did not know how to follow instructions.
I understand how asking questions early on can cause a delay in starting an assignment; however, with clarity, I can ensure I get through everything without having to stop mid-way to correct any errors I have made due to lack of clear instructions.”
11) Why Are You Leaving Your Previous Job or Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?
When the hiring manager asks you this EMT interview question, they want to understand your intentions for leaving your previous employer. Now, this can be a tricky question, especially if you were fired from your last job. The key to answering this question is, to be honest and concise. It is ok to be fired from your last job if the reason for your termination wasn’t stealing or fraud. However, if you were fired for any other reason, you can suggest that you and your boss were NOT aligned regarding your future with the company or the projects you were working on together. Either way, state your reason and move the conversation forward. With that said,
If you were not fired from your last job, then you can answer this EMT interview question by saying one of the following: that your growth was limited, you wanted to work in a job where your KEY skillset will be more of use, or this job that you have applied for will allow you to enhance your current skillset.
“I decided to leave my previous job because my growth was limited, and I felt I had greater potential considering my current skillset. I believe that with my years of experience, I can be a greater asset in this position that I have applied for because of the range of skills I bring as an EMT. For example, at my previous job, I was in the back office; however, I am fully certificated as an EMT with a CPR certification. Not only that, but I have taken courses in management and leadership, so I am powerful in multi-tasking and working in a team environment. After reading your job description, I knew that this job would be the perfect fit for me because it will allow me to use my fullest potential and help change your organization and people’s lives.”
12) How Do You Treat Broken Bones? Can You Tell Me The Process?
The interviewer will ask this question to understand your experience and knowledge when treating a patient with a broken/fractured bone. The KEY to answering this question is to study your training material and prepare a step-by-step guide on the EXACT process you would use in this situation. As a certified EMT, you have been trained to assess patients and prepare them for transport to the nearest hospital. With that said,
Before your interview, prepare a sheet with the step-by-step process for treating patients with broken bones. Then, study the material, so you memorize it for your EMT interview. Here are some things you may want to consider when preparing your answer. These are the things the interviewer is looking for in your answer: Knowledge of treatment procedures, the ability to follow established protocol, and Familiarity with immobilization techniques.
13) What Would You Say Are Your Top Three (3) EMT Skills?
When the interviewer asks this EMT job interview question, they want to know two (2) things. First, if you are aware of the necessary skills that an EMT must possess to succeed on the job. Secondly, what skills do you have from those required of an EMT? Now, it is essential to mention that you do not NEED all of the skills required of an EMT because many of them you will learn on the job. To help prepare your answer, you can research the job requirements detailed in the job description, as it will show you the requirements the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate. Next, you can also speak to other EMTs for their help narrowing down the top (3) skills required of an EMT. With that said,
Every candidate may have a different answer to what they believe are the top (3) skills required from an EMT. We recommend you focus on three (3) of the following: teamwork, multi-tasking, communication, patience, following procedures, situational awareness, creativity, physical toughness, etc.
“I believe the top three(3) EMT skills are: your ability to work in a team, multi-tasking, and following procedures. Teamwork is essential because strong dynamics amongst team members lead to efficiency, which is important when working within a deadline. I believe multi-tasking is important because your ability to do more than one thing on the job is great for efficiency and leads to greater productivity. For example, by managing multiple tasks, our team can ensure the patient gets the help they need quickly. Finally, as EMTs, we must follow protocol because by following standardized medical procedures in emergencies, we ensure that patients get the highest level of care. Not only that, but we avoid backlash for NOT following proper governmental protocols in emergency situations.”
14) Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years From Now?
These common EMT interview questions focus on your career plans and if you care about this career path. Interviewers know that the more passionate and focused you are about being an EMT, the better you will perform. Not only that, but a candidate who wants to grow and thrive as an EMT is an excellent investment for the company. For example, companies want to hire someone they can invest in and train for future roles within the company. It saves them resources from having to go out and find people to fill roles every few months. With that said,
If you have invested time into getting your EMT certification and completing school, it is most likely a career path you see yourself in the long term. You can mention this to the interviewer and other progressive job roles you see yourself in a few years from now.
“Becoming an EMT has always been my passion, and I want to remain on this career path in the future. I hope to gain experience and skills to transition into becoming an EMT supervisor or even explore some administrative roles in your company. One of the reasons I chose to apply to your organization is the potential for growth in different healthcare sectors. During my time here, I hope to work alongside and learn as much as I can from more experienced and qualified colleagues to enhance my skill set to transition into other progressive job roles when the time is right.”
Bonus Interview Preparation Tips
1) Keep your answers RELEVANT. First, skim through the job description, especially the job requirements section. Then, use these KEY skills in your answers and mention them during your interview. Remember, interviewers, are looking for a candidate with a specific set of SKILLS, so highlighting the same skills in your answer will help you stand out.
2) Keep your answers short. Each answer should NOT be longer than 90 seconds. Just provide enough information to answer the question. By keeping your answer short and concise, you avoid rambling on and saying anything that may reflect poorly on you.
3) DON’T lie in any of your answers. Interviewers may do a reference check and find out if you were dishonest, which will eliminate you as a candidate.
4) Be confident, sit up straight, and talk like you belong in the room. Confidence is an attractive quality in an employee because it aligns well with the company’s culture and core values.
Search Emergency Medical Technician Jobs
When applying for an Emergency Medical Technician job, research the company to ENSURE it is the RIGHT fit for you. You want to work at a company that aligns with your future career goals. After gaining enough experience as an EMT, you may have the OPPORTUNITY to transition into other progressive job roles within the company. However, once you land the initial interview with a company, we recommend you take time to study our EMT interview questions and answers guide, so you know what to expect when sitting with the hiring manager. Study the questions and prepare answers to demonstrate your experience and robust skillset. Also, highlight why you would be an excellent candidate for them to hire. With that said.
“Preparation for life is so important. Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity. Opportunity is all around us. Are you prepared?” — Earl Nightingale
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