17 Major Incident Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a major incident manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A major incident can be a devastating event for a business. The aftermath of a major incident can include financial losses, decreased productivity, and negative publicity. That’s why it’s critical for businesses to have a major incident manager in place to handle these types of emergencies.

If you’re interviewing for a major incident manager job, you’ll likely be asked questions about your experience dealing with crises. You’ll also need to have a strong understanding of business continuity planning and disaster recovery. To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve gathered some common questions and answers that major incident managers may be asked.

Are you comfortable working in a stressful environment?

Major incident management can be a stressful job, especially when you’re managing multiple incidents at once. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the emotional intelligence and stress management skills necessary for the role. In your answer, explain that you are comfortable working in high-pressure situations. Explain how you plan to manage your emotions during these times.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a stressful environment. I find that my best work comes when I’m under pressure. When there’s a lot of chaos around me, I feel motivated to get things done as quickly as possible. I also use my stress as motivation to stay organized and on top of my tasks. This helps me keep my emotions in check while I’m working.”

What are some of the most important skills for a major incident manager to have?

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

Example: “I believe that communication is one of the most important skills for a major incident manager to have. It’s essential to keep everyone involved with the situation informed about what’s happening so they know what to expect. Another skill I think is important is problem-solving because there are often many obstacles to overcome during these types of situations. Finally, I think leadership is an important skill as well. As a major incident manager, you need to be able to lead others through challenging situations.”

How would you manage a situation where your team is not getting along?

When working in a team environment, it’s likely that you’ll encounter some conflict. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to resolve conflicts among your team members and get them back on track. In your answer, explain how you would handle the situation and what steps you would take to help your team work together again.

Example: “I’ve encountered this situation before at my current job. When I noticed there was tension between two of my colleagues, I scheduled a meeting with all three of us. During our meeting, we talked about why they were having issues with each other. After talking through their differences, they realized they had more in common than they thought. They are now good friends and continue to work well together.”

What is your process for managing risk when sending your team into a dangerous area?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to understand how you approach risk management and your decision-making process. Your answer should include an example of how you assessed the risks involved in a major incident and made decisions that helped keep your team safe.

Example: “When I was working as a firefighter, we responded to a call where there were reports of a house fire with people trapped inside. When we arrived on scene, we saw smoke coming from the windows and heard screams for help. We entered the building quickly to rescue the victims, but unfortunately, two people died in the fire.

Afterward, our department held a debriefing session to discuss what happened and learn from it. During the meeting, I learned that my team had taken all necessary precautions before entering the home. However, when we got inside, we realized that the situation was more dangerous than we initially thought. The lesson I took away from this experience is that no matter how much research we do ahead of time, sometimes things change during the response.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision during an emergency situation. What was the result of your decision?

Major incident managers often have to make difficult decisions during an emergency situation. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your decision-making skills and how you handle pressure. In your answer, try to describe a specific example of a time when you made a tough call and the results that followed.

Example: “In my previous role as major incident manager, I had to decide whether or not to evacuate a hospital due to a hurricane. The hospital was already running low on supplies, so we would need to send patients elsewhere if we evacuated. However, evacuating could also put our staff at risk since they would be driving in dangerous weather conditions. Ultimately, I decided to stay open for business. We were able to get through the storm without any injuries.”

If your team was struggling to find resources, how would you go about acquiring them?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you would handle a challenging situation. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to lead others in finding solutions.

Example: “If my team was struggling to find resources, I would first assess what we have available at our disposal. If there are any additional resources that we need, I would reach out to other departments or organizations for assistance. For example, if we were short on medical supplies, I would contact local hospitals to see if they had any extra supplies we could borrow. This is also an opportunity to collaborate with other teams and build relationships.”

What would you do if you felt like your team was not making any progress on the situation at hand?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle challenges and setbacks. Showcase your problem-solving skills by describing a time when you overcame obstacles to achieve success.

Example: “If I felt like my team was not making any progress, I would first try to understand why we weren’t making progress. If it’s because of a lack of resources or support from management, I would make sure that our team had everything we needed to succeed. If there is no way for me to overcome this obstacle, I would ask to be reassigned to another project where I could better use my talents.”

How well do you work under pressure?

Major incident managers often work under pressure. Employers ask this question to learn more about your ability to handle stress and make decisions quickly. In your answer, share a time when you worked under pressure and how you handled it. Explain what steps you took to manage the situation successfully.

Example: “I have experience working under pressure during my last job as a major incident manager. One night, I received a call that there was an explosion at a local restaurant. When I arrived on scene, I saw that the building had significant damage. There were many people who needed medical attention, including some with serious injuries.

I immediately got to work assessing the situation. I made sure all of the injured individuals were transported to the hospital. Then, I organized teams to start cleaning up the debris. We also started interviewing witnesses to find out what happened. By working together as a team, we were able to get everything done in a timely manner.”

Do you have any experience working with government agencies?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working with different types of organizations. If you have worked with government agencies in the past, share a story about how you collaborated with them and helped solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Example: “In my current role as major incident manager, I work closely with local law enforcement and fire departments. These relationships are important because they help me understand what resources these agencies need from us during emergencies. For example, when we had an issue with our communication system last year, I was able to call on the police department for extra radios. This allowed us to communicate effectively while handling the emergency.”

When is it appropriate to call in outside resources for assistance?

This question can help the interviewer determine your decision-making skills and how you handle stressful situations. Use examples from your experience to show that you know when it’s appropriate to ask for help and when you’re able to manage a situation on your own.

Example: “In my last role, I was responsible for managing all major incidents in our district. However, if an incident became too much for me to handle alone, I would call in outside resources for assistance. For example, one time we had a large fire at a local school. The fire department arrived first and put out the fire before any students were injured. However, there was smoke damage throughout the building, so I called in a team of restoration specialists to clean up the mess.”

We want to ensure that all of our responders are well-fed and rested. How would you go about doing this?

Major incident managers need to ensure that their team members are well-fed and rested. This is because they may be working long hours in stressful situations, so it’s important for them to have the energy needed to perform their duties. A hiring manager may ask this question to see if you understand how to take care of your team members. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to make sure all responders were cared for during a major incident.

Example: “I believe that taking care of my team members is one of the most important parts of being a major incident manager. I would do everything I could to make sure everyone had plenty of food and rest before starting work each day. For example, I might order extra meals from local restaurants or bring in catering trucks. I would also encourage my team members to get as much sleep as possible at night.”

Describe your process for delegating tasks to your team members.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership style and how you interact with others on the team. Your answer should include a specific example of when you delegated tasks to your team members, who you chose to delegate to and why you made that choice.

Example: “I typically choose my team members based on their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I once had a team member who was very organized but not as experienced in crisis management. In this situation, I asked her to take notes during our meetings so we could refer back to them later. This helped me focus on delegating other important tasks like communicating with family members and managing media relations.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications for the role. Before you answer, think about what makes you a good fit for this position. Consider highlighting any skills or experience that make you an ideal candidate.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others and providing excellent customer service. I have worked in many different roles throughout my career, including as a nurse, so I understand how important it is to provide care to those who need it most. I also feel like I would be a great major incident manager because of my ability to remain calm under pressure. I can use my communication skills to help everyone involved in the situation feel safe and comfortable.”

Which disaster response teams have you worked with in the past?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience working with other teams and how you collaborate. Your answer should include a list of specific teams you’ve worked with in the past, along with examples of how you helped them achieve their goals.

Example: “In my previous role as major incident manager for City Hall, I regularly collaborated with the fire department’s emergency response team to ensure we were all on the same page when it came to our disaster plans. We also met weekly to discuss any changes or updates that needed to be made to our current strategies. This allowed us to work together more efficiently and ensured everyone was aware of what was going on.”

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when managing a large-scale emergency or disaster?

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your leadership skills and how you prioritize tasks during an emergency. Your answer should highlight your ability to work under pressure, communicate clearly with others and make quick decisions.

Example: “The most important thing for me is to remain calm in stressful situations. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious, it’s easy to forget things or lose my train of thought. During my last major incident management role, I had to remind myself to take deep breaths when I felt stressed. This helped me focus on what was happening around me and made sure that I communicated clearly with my team members.”

How often do you update your emergency response plan?

Major incident managers need to be able to adapt quickly to changing situations. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re willing to update your plan as needed and that you have the ability to do so effectively. In your answer, explain how often you would update your emergency response plan and what factors would influence your decision.

Example: “I would update my emergency response plan at least once a year. I think it’s important to review our plans regularly to ensure we haven’t missed any changes or updates. For example, if there was a new piece of equipment in the facility, I would want to include instructions for its use in the plan. If I noticed that certain protocols weren’t being followed, I would also update the plan to address those issues.”

There is a lack of communication between different emergency response teams. How would you address this?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you would handle a challenging situation. Major incidents often involve multiple emergency response teams, so it’s important to show that you have experience working with other professionals and developing relationships with them.

Example: “I’ve worked in several different areas of emergency response, including firefighting and search and rescue. In each position, I’ve had to work with many different people from various backgrounds. I believe communication is one of the most important aspects of teamwork, so I always make sure to communicate clearly and openly with my team members. This helps ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities during an incident.”


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