17 Emergency Management Coordinator Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an emergency management coordinator, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Emergency management coordinators are the first responders to any type of emergency, from fires to floods to hazardous material spills. They work with the public and private sectors to develop emergency response plans and protocols, and they also work with the media to ensure that the public is kept up to date on the latest emergency information.

If you want to work as an emergency management coordinator, you’ll need to be able to answer a range of questions during your job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve listed some of the most common interview questions and answers for this profession.

Are you familiar with the area in which you’ll be working?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have any local connections that could be beneficial to the position. If you are not familiar with the area, it’s important to show your willingness to learn and adapt.

Example: “I am from a small town in Texas, but I moved to New York City for college. After graduating, I worked as an emergency management coordinator in my hometown, so I am very familiar with the surrounding areas. I also spent some time living in Los Angeles, which helped me understand how different parts of the country operate.”

What are some of the most important skills for an emergency management coordinator to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to be successful in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to emergency management coordination.

Example: “I believe that an emergency management coordinator needs to be organized, detail-oriented and able to multitask. These skills are important because I would need to coordinate many different aspects of an emergency response, including managing staff members, communicating with other departments and ensuring all necessary supplies were available for use. Another skill that is beneficial is communication. This skill helps me relay information to my team and others involved in the emergency response.”

How would you handle a disagreement between two team members?

As an emergency management coordinator, you may need to resolve conflicts between team members. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the conflict resolution skills necessary for the job. In your answer, explain how you would approach the situation and what steps you would take to help everyone come to a compromise or agreement.

Example: “I would first try to understand both sides of the disagreement. I would then schedule a meeting with all involved parties so we could discuss the issue in person. During the meeting, I would encourage everyone to be respectful while also making it clear that I expect professionalism from my team. After hearing each party’s concerns, I would work with them to find a solution that works for everyone.”

What is your process for prioritizing the needs of different stakeholders during an emergency?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you make decisions that affect the safety of many people. Use your answer to highlight your ability to analyze information and use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions quickly.

Example: “I have a process for determining which stakeholders need my attention first during an emergency. First, I assess the needs of those who are most vulnerable or at risk. For example, in one situation where there was a hurricane approaching, I made sure we had enough shelters open to accommodate all families with young children. Next, I focus on the needs of local businesses so they can reopen as soon as possible after an emergency. Finally, I address any concerns from state officials.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to manage a large amount of resources and personnel.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you might manage a large team of employees and resources during an emergency. Use examples from your experience to highlight your ability to work with others, delegate tasks and prioritize important information.

Example: “In my last role as an emergency management coordinator, I had to oversee several different projects at once. One project involved creating a plan for evacuating residents in case of a hurricane. Another project was developing a communication strategy that would inform residents about evacuation routes and other important details. I worked with a large team of people on these two projects, delegating tasks and making sure everyone stayed on schedule.”

If you had to develop an emergency response plan for a new company, what steps would you take?

This question can help interviewers understand your experience with developing emergency response plans and how you would approach the task of creating a plan for an unfamiliar company. Use examples from previous experiences to explain what steps you would take when starting a new emergency response plan, including researching the company’s needs, identifying potential risks and determining the best ways to respond to emergencies.

Example: “I would first research the company to learn more about its operations and determine any areas that could be at risk for emergencies. I would then meet with key members of the company to discuss their concerns and develop a list of priorities for the emergency response plan. After this, I would create a timeline for implementing the plan and train employees on the procedures.”

What would you do if you noticed a team member was stressed or overwhelmed?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle stressful situations and whether you’re willing to help your team members. In your answer, try to show that you care about your colleagues’ well-being and want them to succeed.

Example: “I would first ask my colleague if they needed any help or support. If they said yes, I would offer to take on some of their responsibilities so they could focus on what was most important. If they said no, I would encourage them to take a short break and come back when they felt ready to continue working. Either way, I would make sure they knew I cared about them and wanted to see them do well.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

This question can help the interviewer determine how well you perform in high-pressure situations. Since emergency management coordinators often work under tight deadlines, it’s important to show that you’re able to handle pressure and complete tasks efficiently. In your answer, explain a time when you performed well under pressure and what steps you took to ensure success.

Example: “In my previous role as an emergency management coordinator, I was responsible for managing multiple projects at once. One day, one of our team members called out sick, leaving me with only two other employees to complete all of our tasks. We had a lot of work to do, but we managed to get everything done on time. It was stressful, but I think working under pressure helped us develop better time management skills.”

Do you have any experience with risk management?

Risk management is an important part of emergency management. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with risk management and how it can help their department. In your answer, explain what risk management is and give examples of how you used it in previous roles.

Example: “Risk management is a process that involves identifying risks and determining the best ways to prevent them from happening. I’ve worked on several projects where we had to use risk management to determine which areas were at risk for natural disasters. We then created plans to mitigate those risks. For example, when working on a project in Florida, we determined that hurricanes were a major threat. So, we developed evacuation plans for residents who lived in low-lying areas.”

When is it appropriate to evacuate a building?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of emergency procedures and how you apply them in the workplace. In your answer, describe a situation where you helped evacuate a building or area and what factors contributed to that decision.

Example: “In my last role as an emergency management coordinator, I had to decide when it was appropriate to evacuate a building during a flood. We were monitoring the weather conditions for several days before the storm hit, so we knew there would be flooding. When deciding whether to evacuate, I considered the severity of the flooding, the location of the building and if anyone inside could get out safely on their own. Ultimately, I decided to have everyone stay inside until the water reached a certain level.”

We want to improve our communication with employees during emergencies. What is the best way to do this?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you plan to improve their organization’s emergency management processes. Use your answer to highlight your communication skills and ability to implement new strategies that benefit an organization.

Example: “I think it is important for organizations to have a clear chain of command during emergencies so employees know who they should contact with questions or concerns. I would suggest creating a list of primary contacts within each department, as well as secondary contacts in case the first person is unavailable. This way, everyone knows whom to reach out to if they need assistance.”

Describe your experience with GIS systems.

GIS, or geographic information systems, are computer programs that allow users to store and analyze data related to a specific location. Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience using GIS in your previous roles. In your answer, try to describe how you used the system to complete tasks.

Example: “In my last role as an emergency management coordinator, I used GIS software to create maps of areas where we needed to respond to emergencies. For example, when there was a flood, I would use the GIS program to map out which roads were closed due to flooding. This allowed me to communicate with first responders about what they could expect when responding to calls.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight the skills that make you a good fit for the role. You may also want to mention any unique or transferable skills that relate to the position.

Example: “I have several years of experience working in emergency management, which makes me an excellent candidate for this role. I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which allows me to manage multiple projects at once. My communication skills are strong, so I’m able to work with others to solve problems and find solutions. These skills make me someone who is well-suited for this role.”

Which emergency management certifications do you plan on pursuing in the next few years?

Employers may ask this question to see if you are committed to continuing your education and training. They want someone who is willing to learn new skills, take on challenges and continue their professional development. In your answer, explain which certifications you have already earned and which ones you plan on earning in the future.

Example: “I am currently a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers. I also plan on pursuing my Professional Certification for Emergency Management through the American Academy of Emergency Management by 2020. This certification requires me to complete 100 hours of continuing education credits every two years, so I will be sure to stay up-to-date with any relevant information.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of emergency management?

This question can help the interviewer determine your priorities and how you would approach this role. Your answer should show that you understand what’s important in emergency management, but it can also be a chance to highlight any skills or experiences that relate to this position.

Example: “I think communication is the most important aspect of emergency management because it allows everyone involved to know what’s happening and when they need to take action. I’ve worked with several organizations that have had issues with communication during emergencies, so I’m committed to making sure all stakeholders are informed about what’s going on at all times. This helps me ensure that we’re taking care of our employees and other people who may be affected by an emergency.”

How often should emergency plans be updated?

The interviewer may ask you this question to gauge your knowledge of the process for updating emergency plans. Your answer should include a specific time frame and reference an example of when you updated a plan in the past.

Example: “I think it’s important to update emergency plans at least once per year, but I’ve seen some organizations that do so every six months. In my last role, we did annual updates because our organization didn’t have any major changes during the year. However, if there were significant changes to personnel or locations, we would have done a mid-year review.”

There is a new technology that could help you respond to an emergency more efficiently. How would you decide whether or not to incorporate it into your plans?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to adapt and incorporate new technologies into emergency management. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific technology you have used in the past or explain how you would research different technologies to determine which ones are most beneficial for your department.

Example: “I think that any new technology that could help us respond more efficiently to emergencies should definitely be considered. I would first look at what other departments in my area are using the technology for and see if they’ve had success with it. If so, I would try to implement it into our own plans as well. It’s important to always be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.”


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