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Prepare for the UFD Interview

I’ve been invited to interview! Now what?

Congratulations! The interview portion is worth 60 percent of your composite score for Urbana Firefighter. You may wish to review the Oral Interview Preparation GuideHere are some additional tips that you may find helpful in preparing as well: 

Ahead of time

  • Review the job description and think about how your education and/or experience have prepared you for this position.

  • Review past projects and experiences you’ve had, such as projects that you are especially proud of or that didn’t turn out as you had planned.  You may be asked about these and what you learned from your experiences.

  • Think of other questions that the interview panel may ask.  Local libraries, the Internet and the Illinois workNet Center (1307 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign) may offer helpful books, flyers and Internet access for further research.

  • Review your resume; if any changes have occurred since you submitted your resume with your application, print out the updated version and bring copies with you to the interview.

  • Review directions to the interview location.   


The Day of the Interview 

  • Print out your interview invitation that provides the address of the interview location, your interview time, and other instructions.

  • Be sure to bring any materials you may need, such as copies of your updated resume or any materials you have been requested to bring (such as copies of licenses or transcripts).

  • Allow yourself extra time to arrive at the interview.

  • Be on time!  We advise arriving for your interview at least 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointment.

  • Parking: interviews take place at the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., unless otherwise specified on your invitation. Metered parking is available in several nearby City parking lots; look for the sign noting "Public Parking" with an arrow. You can download the Downtown Parking Lot map for locations of available spaces. You may also wish to download the Mobile Meter app, which allows you to pay for parking using your smartphone. No coins required!


During the Interview

  • Dress the part. You don’t need to rush out and buy a new suit, but this is a professional interview and showing that you respect the position is a great way to make a positive first impression. Avoid shorts, tank and halter tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants, sneakers and other casual attire.

  • Be prepared to talk about yourself and why you’re interested in becoming a City of Urbana Firefighter. You may want to start reviewing your educational and professional history and accomplishments. Is there anything you’re particularly proud of? How did you handle a difficult situation? Questions like these will be asked in the interview sessions. You may find that talking about yourself is difficult, but the interview panel’s job is to assess the best candidate for the position, and they will not be able to get an insight into your skills, abilities and personality unless you tell them!

  • Listen carefully to the question being asked and try to answer it as best you can. Usually, the best answer isn’t the longest answer, but the most direct and focused one.

  • Want more tips? See our Pinterest boards on Resumes & Cover Letters and Interview Tips for more ideas and suggestions.

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