Most candidates make a big error on this "Tell us a little about yourself" question by dumping the whole load on why they want to be a firefighter, what they have done to prepare, why this city and on and on. Many are surprised when they find out there's not a box on the rating sheet to score this, "Tell us a little about yourself" answer? So why would you want to dump the whole load when the question is not scored? That's not what this question is about. It's only to get you comfortable in the chair. Then, when the panel starts asking why you want to be a firefighter, what have you done to prepare and the other standard 30 possible oral board questions (you can get a copy of the 30 questions Here), you have to reiterate what you have already said. You lose valuable time and points here.
When you get into the body of your oral board please use signature stories about yourself. More on signature stories Here.
When some candidates start talking in an oral, it's like going on a journey. There could be no final destination. Most panel members aren't packed for the trip. I asked a candidate to tell me a little about himself during private coaching one day. I stopped him 12 minutes later somewhere in Montana. I said you have just used up 12 minutes of a 20-minute oral. What do you think we have time for now?
This just in: ...your materials helped me feel confident about my answers and kept them on target so I didn't brain dump on the first question.
Hello Captain Bob,
Just wanted to take a minute to say thank you. I ordered your materials earlier this year as I was testing around the Northern Virginia area for the first time. I was actively working to becoming physically fit for the CPAT, I was taking practice tests for the written exams, and I was totally stumped on how to practice for the oral interviews. Passing the first two I figured I had better "train" for the interviews and your materials helped me nail the both the initial interview and the Chief's interview for the municipality that was my first choice. I knew I could speak clearly and present myself but I was having a hard time deciding what to emphasize and how much to say and your materials helped me feel confident about my answers and kept them on target so I didn't brain dump on the first question. Thanks again for putting together an effective tool that works. I graduated from the academy last week and proud to say I earned a badge and my dream job.
Thanks again, Wells Wilson
PS. the tape recorder worked wonders!
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Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards, and It's Your Turn in the Hot Seat!