One of the most important phases of an oral interview is the closing statement. The closing statement, if you are provided the opportunity to do one, is your last chance for you to sell yourself and the best chance for the oral board to remember you in a positive and unique way. In some oral...
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One of the most important phases of an oral interview is the closing statement. The closing statement, if you are provided the opportunity to do one, is your last chance for you to sell yourself and the best chance for the oral board to remember you in a positive and unique way.
In some oral boards, it is not uncommon for interviews to occur for one week or more, and for hundreds of candidates to be interviewed by the same oral board panel. A firefighter candidate is getting rated during their interview and immediately after their interview concludes. Another thing that may occur after all of the candidates have been interviewed and ranked (based on their oral board scores), is that all candidates are then re-ranked, based on what the oral board can remember about each of them and based on the needs of the department. If the oral board is re-ranking candidates after the interviews have ended (and your interview occurred on the first of ten days of interviews), it is critical that you leave the oral board on a high note and with a good taste in their mouth.
Most of the candidates being interviewed have very similar backgrounds and experiences: EMT and/or paramedic training, certifications such as firefighter 1, education such as a two-year degree in fire technology and having completed a firefighter academy, volunteer experience, etc. The list goes on-and-on, and this can make it tough for candidates to stick out and be remembered after the last interview is concluded. That is why having a strong closing statement that the oral board members can correlate to you after the interviews have ended is so important.
Here is a typical closing statement question:
There are three ways you can answer a closing statement:
2. You can just ramble on, repeat things you've already said, and sound disorganized and unprepared (most candidates utilize this method).
3. You can have a strong, powerful, jaw-dropping closing statement that has been prepared and rehearsed (very few candidates utilize this method).
How long should a closing statement be? In a perfect world, it should be anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. Any more than that and you're going to bore them to death and have them contemplate reducing your overall score you have tried so hard to do your best at.
What information should your closing statement contain? Your closing statement is not, I repeat not, an opportunity to repeat everything you have said in your opening statement and in your interview. While it can be true that people learn through repetition, and also remember things through repetition, the goals of your closing statement are to:
2. Let the oral board know that you really want the position you are applying for (surprisingly enough, many candidates fail to let the oral panel know that they really want the position they are applying for and that they really want to work for the agency they are applying for.
3. Leave the oral board wanting to hear more about you (as opposed to the opposite - their wanting you to leave the room as fast as you humanly possible).
Does every agency allow candidates to have a closing statement? No; but it is better prepared to have one than not have one. If they don't allow you the opportunity to make a closing statement, you better hope you were able to cover all of the bases in your previous questions. Since some departments do not permit closing statements, this is why I feel it is important to state all of your key accomplishments, your pertinent knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as your desire and motivation to become a member of that agency you are applying for in your opening statement and in your other questions you are answering.