In this blog, we will discuss the increasing demand in healthcare and how paramedic jobs are rapidly growing after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Just like any other profession, adequate preparation is imperative. Towards the end of your paramedic program, you will likely have the opportunity to complete a clinical placement, before finishing your training.
Apart from acquiring the essential technical and interpersonal skills, students need to make the most of clinical placement drives and land a good job. You’ve worked hard to graduate from an EMT or paramedic school in Canada and have been invited to interview for the job of your dreams. Here are six ways to ensure you’ll impress your potential Canadian employer and leave the interview with a smile on your face and, hopefully, with a job offer in hand.
Here is how you can land your first job as a paramedic:
1) Background Research
Whether applying for a job with a fire department or a private ambulance service, study up on the agency to know such things as its history, management team, the target hazards, e.g. highways, railroad tracks, river in their response zone, receiving hospitals, the call volume and types of calls and in what areas the agency hopes to grow in the future. You can easily obtain this information from the annual report that most reputed agencies publish, which is often available on their website.
During your interview, try to fuse this information in your answers where it is appropriate and you will impress your potential employers with the depth of your preparedness and with your interest in them.
You can also schedule a few ride-along or station visits before your interview to meet the crew and get their perspective.
2) Make an Impression
Equally as valuable as doing your research work, making a good impression as a budding paramedic is what will set you apart from the crowd. Show your interviewer that you’re excited to be there and eager to learn.
Your willingness to help and go the extra mile will show an employer you’re dedicated and hardworking. Never underestimate the power of a smile, paired with the right attitude. The personal impressions you make through this type of involvement are lasting.
3) Self and Body Confidence
Your interviewers must be able to envision you in the role to hire you. Therefore, walk into the interview room and demonstrate the same kind of confidence that you would display on a 911 call. Look everyone in the eye and address each one with a firm handshake. Regarding dress, wear a suit and tie for the interview, but also don’t be afraid to dress the same way you would on an ambulance for a skills test.
4) Be prepared for common questions
Our experts have noticed that many interviewers ask the same basic questions when interviewing prospective paramedics. You’re often asked to start with a quick two-minute introduction about yourself and what goals you have for the future. Following this, be prepared to answer such questions as:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What have you done to prepare?
- Why are you the best candidate?
- What is your greatest strength? One of your weaknesses?
- Describe a time when you handled a difficult situation?
Be prepared with your answers with real examples from your life to show your words in action. Remember to relate each answer to the specific agency and paramedic job for which you’re applying. Try to choose some stories that show other aspects of your life outside of fire and EMS, such as community service involvement, your family or being a member of a team.
Many employers especially value past work experiences which involved manual labour, challenging or austere work conditions or being part of a family business. If you grew up on a farm, led wilderness expeditions, worked in a restaurant kitchen or as a construction labourer make sure to relate the lessons you learned from those physically demanding jobs. If you are a military veteran, make sure to relate those experiences to the job.
- Ask questions
When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to pipe up. Find out what the agency’s hiring timeline is. How many people do they expect to hire? What type of person would their ideal candidate be?
When they tell you specifically what they’re looking for, succinctly restate and remind them of your strengths that address their needs and how you’d be the perfect candidate for the job. The key is to present yourself as a confident and knowledgeable candidate who would be a wonderful addition to their team.
- Follow up
After the interview, send an email to the hiring manager and to everyone with whom you met on the interview board to thank them for their time and consideration. Close the email by restating your interest in the job and your qualifications. If you really want to set yourself apart from the competition, send a handwritten note to each member of the interview committee.