Once the promotional list is established, there could be another interview with the fire chief and/or his staff. They want to know if you are going to be one of the horses in the team that is going to pull the department in the direction to fit the chief's culture and future plans. Know his direction. Do you have the ability to solve problems? Have you established a reputation of providing solutions and not problems? Are they going to have the confidence in handing you a command? Giving you a station, battalion or higher position is like giving you a 7 Eleven franchise. Are you going to be part of the solution in keeping your franchise together, or part of the problem of not keeping it productive? You had better have a plan thought out before you show up for this part of the interview process.
Many candidates go into this interview thinking they have to do repair work for something that happened during their career. Leave it alone. It is buried in cement. Unless they bring up the situation, remain silent. They probably never will bring it up. Focus on your assets to the team and the organization.
Abraham Lincoln said; if you want to check a man's character, give him some authority. Are you the one who turns into the resident Nazi when given some authority, or micro manages everything within your reach? One of the malcontent firefighters that always is bad-mouthing the administration or tearing others apart to try and make themselves look good? A good, healthy, stress-free life can depend on good thoughts and attitude. If you are a born pessimist, constantly negative, and look at everything as black, then this situation feeds on itself and can poison you, your relationships, and any chance you had for a promotion.
No one wants to be stuck working and living with a black negative cartoon. You have been in stations and seen crews that feed off of being negative. They must have forgotten how it was to work a regular job or do not realize that there is an army of people that would take their spot in a heartbeat. These are the folks that back in the cowboy days if they were caught rustling horses and the sheriff was going to hang them, would be complaining because it was not a new rope.
This is a bad habit you can change by your attitude. Attitude is such a small thing that can make such a huge difference. Attitude is your rudder through life. Practice not being negative for five minutes. Then, double the time. Keep doubling it until you break the habit. Do not take the bait if others try to hook you into being negative. If you fail, start over. Once you can do this for twenty-one days, your subconscious will be reprogrammed. You will not die! Water, a drop at a time, will eventually float a whale.
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Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry-level and promotional candidates to get their badge. Over 2,000 candidates have received their badges from this program. He is a retired, 28-year veteran firefighter from Hayward, Calif. Captain Bob is a well-known speaker, author of the audio/video program "Conquer the Job Interview" and the books "Eat Stress For Breakfast" and "Fire Up Your Communication Skills." He is a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. You can book him as a speaker or get a copy of his books and tapes by calling toll free at 888-238-3959. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web site: www.eatstress.com