....., and why?
The fewer questions you are asked in an interview, the more points are available for each. There very well may be a different amount given for different questions, but you want to milk each for all you can get.
One of the best ways to get all of the points from your responses is to listen carefully to the question, and then answer it in full. That not only means answering both parts of a two part question, but also giving an example, mentioning how it relates to the fire service, mentioning if you have done that.
An example would be a question asking for the definition of ethnic diversity. Just giving a definition is the right answer, but there could be so many more points here if you look for them. Tell us about the diversity of the community, the diversity of the department, why is it important to recognize, and if you have had experience dealing with different ethnicities.
A question like, “Does a department need to follow up after an EMS call, and why”. Just saying that it is a good idea is only answering the first part, you want to also go into why it is important and if you have ever done something like that yourself.
You need to find a way to mentally dissect a question, isolate the parts and then be sure to answer all. Some departments will combine some questions that can disguise the different parts. One department asked, “What do you know about the city of “Blue” and what prepares you to work here”? I got a call for a guy that was upset because he never got asked “What have you done to prepare for the job?” Another person I talked to gave me the question and you can see it was there, the first guy missed it. They wanted you to combine what you know, and why you want to work there, as well as what you have done to prepare. That would be a lot of stuff.
A couple of things you can do. First, if they will talk to you, you can ask them, “Do you want to know what I know about the city and what I have done to prepare?” They may give you some feed back, or not. But it shows you are thinking.
Second, when you have dissected the question you can say, out loud, “this is a two parter”, “This is about stealing”, “O.K. you want to know what I know about the city, and what I have done to prepare”. Saying it out loud helps you remember and also shows the panel what your thought process is.
It is O.K. to spend a moment after the question is asked to review it in your head, and also O.K. to pause at the end to review if you have answered in full. You just don’t want to leave any points hanging when you walk out the door.