There was nothing about my last job that I hated, but I guess there were some things I liked less than others. My previous role involved traveling at least twice a month. While I do love to travel, twice a month was a little exhausting – I didn't like spending quite so much time out of the department. I'm happy to see that this role involves a lot less travel.
My last boss taught me the importance of time management – he didn't pull any punches, and was extremely driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet goals I never even thought were possible.
I've learned a lot from my current role, but now I'm looking for a new challenge to broaden my horizons and to gain new skill-sets – all of which, I see the potential for in this job.
I have always appreciated and admired those who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. My interest piqued in firefighting after I witnessed a post-crash rescue. I heard the calling as I watched the first response team pull civilians to safety. It was then I knew that this is what I was meant to do.
I'm more interested in the role itself than the pay. That said, I'd expect to be paid the appropriate range for this role, based on my five years of experience. I also think a fair salary would bear in mind the high cost of living here in New York City.
There isn't a right or wrong answer to this question. This question reveals your ability to think critically. Take a moment to think about how you will respond.
One way to answer the question is: 'I would describe the taste of an apple as refreshing because of how juicy they are. While a person may not be able to taste, they can probably feel the juice as they bite into the apple. When I think about apples, I imagine the fresh, juicy sensation that comes with taking my first bite.'
Even if your answer isn't the same as the rest of candidates interviewing, it shows your ability to think on your toes. Your interviewer will appreciate whatever answer you give as long as you provide a reason for why you chose the description you used.
I've never been very comfortable with public speaking, which as you know, can be a hindrance. Realizing this was a problem, I asked my previous department if I could enroll in a speech workshop. I took the class, and was able to overcome my lifelong fear. Since then, I've given a lot of safety presentations to school children across the county. I still don't love it, but no one else can tell!
I've been a firefighter for the past five years – my boss has said time and time again that without me, the department wouldn't function as well. I've also taken the time to educate myself on some of the non-standard techniques used in first response. I can react quickly in hectic situations, and handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. What's good enough for most people is never really good enough for me.
The interviewer wants to know that you have clearly thought through your decision to leave your current job, and that you know what you want out of your next role.
Never use this question as an excuse to complain about your current or previous employer, as it will make you sound unprofessional! Instead, take the opportunity to explain areas in which you'd like to be more challenged, projects you haven't had the opportunity to work on, or simply elaborate on why this move is right for you at this time. Focus on the positive aspects of what else you have to offer professionally and how it fits within the role you're applying for.
It is illegal for an interviewer to ask you about your religion, age, marital status, if you're a parent, or your sexual orientation. Employers use these questions to discriminate against applicants in the hiring process.
Don't assume your interviewer is intentionally asking illegal questions. One in five interviewers unknowingly asks an illegal interview question based on CareerBuilder's April survey.
There are three ways you can answer this question.
If you feel comfortable answering the question, just answer it.
Or, instead of responding to the original question, try answering the question you think the interviewer is trying to ask. Interviewers asking what holidays you participate in religiously could be their way of finding out if you will be unable to work on specific days of the year.
Finally, if you feel the question is too personal, you can refuse to answer it. Decline to answer respectfully and let the interviewer know the answer will not impact your work ethic. However, refusing to answer might result in another candidate receiving the job offer.