In most fire departments, the oral interview score usually accounts for 100% of your overall score and ranking on the hiring list. Therefore, it is extremely important and critical that you properly prepare yourself for the oral interview. Many people can just "wing-it" on a written examination or...
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8. Practice answering all of the potential oral interview questions so that you are prepared for anything.
Some people say that they don't want to practice answering questions because they will sound like they are memorized or rehearsed. Duh! Practicing will make you sound more organized, more complete and thorough (because you will minimize leaving important things out of your speech), and like a better communicator. There are not that many different types of oral interview questions that you can be asked. Most departments just want to find out who you are, what your background consists of, how your background will make you a perfect fit for that department, what your ethics or values are, why you want to work for that department, how well you will get along with others and how well you will follow orders and/or directions. Start doing some research on the internet and you can start finding out different types of questions. Also, when you finish an interview, take the time to write out the question when you get back to the car (unless they tell you not to do so) so that you can practice that question for the future. Take the time to build a catalog of oral board questions and your potential answers to the questions. Then you can take them to people that have sat on oral boards before and get their opinions. Be careful though, everyone has an opinion - good, bad, or indifferent!
Taking the time now to prepare for any and all of your upcoming oral interviews should pay off in the long run. Most firefighters and individuals involved with the hiring process will probably agree that the oral interview is the most important phase of the hiring process. They are making a decision whether to hire you based on a 15 or 30 minute interview. Make the most of that time through proper preparation and you should see your scores drastically improve!