HOW TO SCORE HIGH MARKS DURING THE INTERVIEW
To begin with, it is important to explain that, before you attend the interview, you understand how you will be assessed by the panel. In this type of role you will be assessed against the type of evidence you supply in response to the questions being asked. For example, during the paramedic interview you are likely to be asked to provide an example of where you remained calm whilst working in a difficult and pressurised situation.
When answering this question you must give a previous situation or example of when you have worked in this type of situation. To explain more thoroughly what I mean by this, here is the example question and a response that will not attract high marks:
Q. Please provide an example of where you remained calm whilst working in a difficult and pressurised situation.
An response that won’t score highly:
“I believe I would be able to remain calm in any type of situation that was pressurised. If I was in this type of situation I would first of all be calm, assess the situation carefully, assess the risks and then come up with a plan for working in a methodical manner that would complete the task competently.”
The reason why the above response would not attract high marks is because it tells the panel what they would do in the situation given, as opposed to explaining what they have already done in a previous similar situation. It is crucial that you provide EVIDENCE of a situation you have been in before.
Here is a good response to this interview question:
An response that will score high marks from the panel:
“I was in a situation recently that required me to work carefully and methodically whilst under pressure. Whilst driving along the road I came across a car accident that involved two vehicles. The emergency services were not yet on the scene. I remained calm and parked my car away from the incident in a safe manner.
I then walked towards the scene of the accident whilst on the phone to the emergency services. I informed them of the exact location of the incident and gave them as much detail as possible. I then assessed the scene and noticed that one person was stuck inside the car. They appeared to have serious injuries. I then decided to reach into the car from the verge side in order to stabilize the casualty’s head and neck, so as to avoid any further injury to them whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive. I have limited knowledge of first aid but I understand that it would be dangerous to start rocking the car or climbing inside the vehicle. I also made sure that the casualty was breathing and conscious.
Once the ambulance and police arrived I explained what I had done and they thanked me for my calm approach.”
The above example would attract higher marks because it provides the panel with EVIDENCE of where the candidate has already performed in a situation similar to the questions being asked.
To help you prepare fully for the paramedic interview, try answering the following sample questions using an EVIDENCE based approach to the competency being assessed:
Q. Please provide an example of where you have followed rules and procedures carefully?
Q. Can you give us an example of a situation you have been involved in that involved a requirement to work effectively as part of a team?
Q. Please explain a situation when you have remained calm in a difficult and stressful situation?
Q. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult and aggressive person? If so, what did you do and why?
Q. Please give us an example of when you have had to be flexible?
Q. How would you deal with a drunken and abusive patient as a paramedic?