Preparing for the Interviews

In just a couple of days I will be doing my interview for the PCP program and for the BC Ambulance Service.  Prepping for interviews is A LOT of work.  Especially if you are like me where I’ve never really had an “official” interview before.  All my other jobs involved casual interviews, or getting hired from volunteering, or from hook-ups = no interviews, or the one time where I just “winged” it and not surprisingly, didn’t get the job.

To prepare, I did some research on the internet and wrote down 65 common questions that are likely to be asked for a paramedic position, I also did research on the organization.  I knew that the interview will be a behavioural or STAR based interview (where I have to use personal experiences to answer the question).  So I started digging into the encyclopedia of my life, only to find that someone had ripped out pages.  I spent a good deal of my time locating those missing pages, picking at my brain.  After several days, I managed to put together a 14 page encyclopedia of stories.  Next step involved rehearsing the stories and to be able to pull them out as if it all happened yesterday.

Okay maybe I’m going overboard with my prep work, but I really want to get into the PCP program and I also want to get into BCAS… and not just get in, but to be ranked near the top.  Another reason for all the prep work was to quench my nervousness, I found that by preparing (similar to what I do for university exams), it gives me confidence.  I am now more excited than nervous and I look forward to seeing what questions they’ll hurl at me.

For those who are interested about the PCP program interview/assessment:

The interview for the PCP program is new.  Our group will be the first lab rats to go through the new selection process.  According to my friend who did her interview yesterday, there are a total of 80 seats available in BC for the PCP program with JIBC, and only 20 seats are available at the New Westminster campus (the campus I want to get into).  Each candidate will be graded on a written and cognitive test, which is worth 40%, and 60% will be based on the interview.  From your marks, you will be ranked out of all of BC.  The people who land at the top of the list will get first choice on their preferred campus.  If you don’t like the choices they give you and your prime choice of campus is taken.  They will allow you to defer (only once) your entry to the next registration.

This all sounds like a good challenge, especially since the number of applicants this year is higher than ever.  Nervous yet?  😉


10 thoughts on “Preparing for the Interviews

  1. I thought I bombed the STAR interview but I still got hired, so don’t stress it too much. I didn’t know the JI is interviewing now, but that’s probably a good thing. Anyway, good luck!

  2. Hey,
    So I am in the same boat as you were ones was. I have my BCAS interview next week as well as the JIBC Candidate Assessment Day for their PCP program. So far what I have done to prepare was the same as you have done. Gather some questions and try to answer them in STAR format. I have also been reviewing my EMR notes for the medical knowledge exam.
    I have a few questions:
    – Where the interview questions tricky and hard to answer or were they pretty straight forward?
    – Any other tips in preparing for the interviews?
    – Other than staying calm during the interview, what other advice can you give to ace the interview?


    1. Hi Aaron,

      The interview questions aren’t tricky. Probably the only tricky part is being able to recall an experience that fits well into the question.

      Other tips would be to use a variety of experiences to show you are well rounded and not continually using the same volunteer or work experience.

      Good luck!

  3. Hi,

    I know this is a really old post, but I was just wondering if you could tell me what some of your 65 questions were, as I am quite nervous about doing a paramedic interview for the first time.


    1. Hi Leah,

      I believe the best for you to do is what I recommended in the article I wrote. If you google STAR based interview questions you will definitely find ones that will be similar to what they will ask you, as they are generally generic questions. Make sure you prepare for your interview and really look into your previous job, volunteer, and life experiences and you’ll do well.


      1. Thanks for that, I will look into it and hopefully get some friends to do a “mock interview” for me.

        I really enjoy reading your blog, please keep posting!

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