1. #1
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    Default Answer the question

    I had a unique opportunity recently to work as a Paramedic at the Saddleback Church forum between John McCain and Barrack Obama. While I do consider myself to be fairly educated in the political system, I have to be honest and say that I really have not been overly impressed with either candidate. As a result I have really not paid much attention other than the nightly sound bites on CNN.

    I do have to say that one candidate stuck out in my mind as someone who takes a good interview. Now, I want to preface with the each that I am not here to give my opinion, rather to speak in the context of taking an oral interview. For those of you who did not see the debate, I encourage you to Google it of find it on you tube (maybe someone can attach a link to it).

    You will see two completely contrasting interview styles. Obama was very careful in his answers. He beat around the bush and frequently did not answer the question. McCain on the other hand answered each question definitively and decisively. No, I did not necessarily agree with what McCain had to say in many instances, but he certainly answered the questions with conviction.

    I will give an example: The moderator, Rick Warren asked about abortion. The question sought to identify how each candidate stood on the issue. Warren asked when a fetus was considered to be a “life”. Obama beat around the bush and stated that a women gives great thought into getting an abortion and that she consults with her family, her pastor and her friends. When McCain was asked the question he immediately stated that a life is a life at the time of conception. Again, the purpose of this is not to debate each candidate’s position, rather to evaluate it from the perspective of the interview.

    I can tell you that as a person who sits on the other side of the interview table as an evaluator, it’s refreshing when a candidate comes in and ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS. We are looking for someone who comes in and takes a stand on the issues and makes his position clear.

    Most people hit around the edges when they take an interview. It’s safer that way. They are concerned that if they show too much of themselves the panel may not like them. There fore they play it safe and answer the questions in a conservative fashion. The candidate’s score usually reflects this. These scores generally are in the 80% - 85% range. This score indicates that you are on the right page, but you are not any where near the top of the bunch.

    If the interview panel is nice they may ask, “Is there anything you would like to add?” This is the panel telling you that you are leaving points on the table. They are giving you one more chance to gather them up.

    Since we usually interview 12 – 15 candidates each day, frequently the panel will not give the candidate a second chance to redeem him or herself. This is the interview that the candidate walks out of and feels like they nailed. A few weeks later they get their results in the mail and find out they did poorly. What happened is that the panel did not waste time drilling down on his answers.

    This scenario is particularly difficult for a candidate to recover from. He or she simply doesn’t know where to go. Unfortunately, there is no way for the candidate to know the reason for their poor score. It makes it very hard to improve and get better.

    Let me use a baseball analogy to help illustrate my point. A major league pitcher is going to try to strike out a batter. Some pitchers will try to catch the outside corner of the plate by throwing a curveball or a slider. Others will come straight at the batter with a fast ball. Their philosophy is that I am going to show my best stuff without trickery. I am going to come right after you. If you can hit me, you are the better person on this at bat.

    We are looking for the person that throws the fastball right down the middle. If, you are the type who is struggling with interviews, you should evaluate your answers. I encourage you to watch the debate. Write down the questions that Rick Warren asks. Fill in the answers with each candidate’s responses. This will give you a taste of what we go through as raters on the interview. I guarantee that you will get a good appreciation of a candidate that answers the questions.
    Good luck to you,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Exclamation

    Hey, hey..... hold on Chiefs.
    This is what I get for leaving my computer unlocked. I left myself logged in to a couple of message boards and some of my "acquaintances" saw fit to add comments under my username.
    I on the otherhand, would never disrespect good advice. I have always been respectful on these boards, so please accept my apologies.
    Last edited by FFSL8R; 08-22-2008 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFSL8R View Post
    Bravo!!!!
    Very good political sales pitch!

    Give me a F'n break.
    Way to go down the path of another sales person on these boards. Good post on how to feed these kids a bunch of crap.

    What the hell happened to WORK ETHIC and the drive to find it as an employer??????
    HELL NO!!!!! We're too f'n busy trying to sell shi*!!!!
    First of all, Paul is not trying to sell anything. He provided a very valuable lesson based on firsthand experience. That is not a sales pitch. A sales pitch would have been..."Mary is a candidate for a career position who we helped to increase her score by reading our books. She recently wrote to relate her experiences...blah, blah, blah".

    Also, you won't find Paul telling you how to beat the polygraph, cheat on your eye exam or decieve the interview panel by witholding information.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    I had a unique opportunity recently to work as a Paramedic at the Saddleback Church forum between John McCain and Barrack Obama. While I do consider myself to be fairly educated in the political system, I have to be honest and say that I really have not been overly impressed with either candidate. As a result I have really not paid much attention other than the nightly sound bites on CNN.

    I do have to say that one candidate stuck out in my mind as someone who takes a good interview. Now, I want to preface with the each that I am not here to give my opinion, rather to speak in the context of taking an oral interview. For those of you who did not see the debate, I encourage you to Google it of find it on you tube (maybe someone can attach a link to it).

    You will see two completely contrasting interview styles. Obama was very careful in his answers. He beat around the bush and frequently did not answer the question. McCain on the other hand answered each question definitively and decisively. No, I did not necessarily agree with what McCain had to say in many instances, but he certainly answered the questions with conviction.

    I will give an example: The moderator, Rick Warren asked about abortion. The question sought to identify how each candidate stood on the issue. Warren asked when a fetus was considered to be a “life”. Obama beat around the bush and stated that a women gives great thought into getting an abortion and that she consults with her family, her pastor and her friends. When McCain was asked the question he immediately stated that a life is a life at the time of conception. Again, the purpose of this is not to debate each candidate’s position, rather to evaluate it from the perspective of the interview.

    I can tell you that as a person who sits on the other side of the interview table as an evaluator, it’s refreshing when a candidate comes in and ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS. We are looking for someone who comes in and takes a stand on the issues and makes his position clear.

    Most people hit around the edges when they take an interview. It’s safer that way. They are concerned that if they show too much of themselves the panel may not like them. There fore they play it safe and answer the questions in a conservative fashion. The candidate’s score usually reflects this. These scores generally are in the 80% - 85% range. This score indicates that you are on the right page, but you are not any where near the top of the bunch.

    If the interview panel is nice they may ask, “Is there anything you would like to add?” This is the panel telling you that you are leaving points on the table. They are giving you one more chance to gather them up.

    Since we usually interview 12 – 15 candidates each day, frequently the panel will not give the candidate a second chance to redeem him or herself. This is the interview that the candidate walks out of and feels like they nailed. A few weeks later they get their results in the mail and find out they did poorly. What happened is that the panel did not waste time drilling down on his answers.

    This scenario is particularly difficult for a candidate to recover from. He or she simply doesn’t know where to go. Unfortunately, there is no way for the candidate to know the reason for their poor score. It makes it very hard to improve and get better.

    Let me use a baseball analogy to help illustrate my point. A major league pitcher is going to try to strike out a batter. Some pitchers will try to catch the outside corner of the plate by throwing a curveball or a slider. Others will come straight at the batter with a fast ball. Their philosophy is that I am going to show my best stuff without trickery. I am going to come right after you. If you can hit me, you are the better person on this at bat.

    We are looking for the person that throws the fastball right down the middle. If, you are the type who is struggling with interviews, you should evaluate your answers. I encourage you to watch the debate. Write down the questions that Rick Warren asks. Fill in the answers with each candidate’s responses. This will give you a taste of what we go through as raters on the interview. I guarantee that you will get a good appreciation of a candidate that answers the questions.
    Good luck to you,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Excellent piece, Chief.

    You can also use the analogy of a police interviewer/interrogator. I spent alot of time talking to victims, witnesses and suspects. In fact, I have alot of training in interpreting a person's words, actions, body language, etc. when that person is being interviewed. My main focus is determining whether that person is being truthful. One of the ways to get a hint is to look at the manner in which that person answers simple questions.

    Example: "Did you set the fire?"

    Truthful answer: "No." or "Yes".

    Deceptive answer: "Why would I do that"? "I cannot believe you are asking me that question". "Did I set the fire"? "Who would say such a thing"?

    Taking Saddleback one step further, I think eye contact, posture and body language says alot. One candidate did alot of looking at the ground, averting their eyes from the moderator's and shuffling hands and feet prior to answering. Another candidate made direct eye contact, appeared engaged and remained engaged during their answers. The person who remains enhahed is normally telling the truth.

    Thanks again, Chief.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  5. #5
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    Default Nice Try

    FFSL8R...Nice try. When a person like Chief Lepore tries to help on how to do your interview you try to bash him. I've worked with Paul and this man is a very compassionate person who will bend over backwards to help you. To bash him like this is WAY OUT OF LINE PAL!!. You need to try and be a bit more compassionate and open your eyes.
    George has said it all....and you need to quit jumping on a band wagon that you know nothing about.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    FFSL8R...Nice try. When a person like Chief Lepore tries to help on how to do your interview you try to bash him. I've worked with Paul and this man is a very compassionate person who will bend over backwards to help you. To bash him like this is WAY OUT OF LINE PAL!!. You need to try and be a bit more compassionate and open your eyes.
    George has said it all....and you need to quit jumping on a band wagon that you know nothing about.
    See above edited reply.

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    Default Lesson learned

    LOL...You live and learn. I hope there was a lesson in there somewhere.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    LOL...You live and learn. I hope there was a lesson in there somewhere.
    Oh yeah.... they got into some other sensitive things also. Nothing like doing some clean up on forums and emails.
    Not to get too far off track on this thread though. I did enjoy the post. Good info, thx.

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    FFSL8R,
    I appreciate the fact that you left your email open and the “guys” felt compelled to type in a response to my post. Please pass along to them that you will NEVER find a post designed to draw traffic to my website. I do not cut and paste the same old stale stories of how someone used my products and it changed their life forever. I believe that if you check my history you will find this to be true. In fact, I moderate the website of a big competitor to this one. The first rule that I implemented was that no posts designed to draw traffic to your site would be permitted. Additionally, no “stories” about how great anyone’s products would be allowed. I have offered to do the same here, but the forum managers here simply are not interested.

    I am a BC on a major west coast fire department. Whether or not I ever sell another book is not important to me. I got hired very young and will retire in six years.

    For the record, I agree with the person who used your email address. We are looking for people with a great work ethic and those who are mechanically inclined and not afraid to get dirty. It’s really a bummer to see good candidates struggle with the process. If you look back to the intent of my original post, it is simply trying to make an analogy that is current that some who struggles with the interview can relate to.

    I think the difference between me and other people who sell products is the fact that I am still active and will ultimately work side by side with the people of this forum. It’s important to me that we get good people in the fire service. I don’t teach people how to cheat on the polygraph, background, or psych exams. I believe that you are accountable for your actions and your past may preclude you from becoming a firefighter. I don’t want some knucklehead working in one of my stations who should have failed the background investigation. I have been in the fire service for 24 years and have never locked my locker. I don’t want to have to start locking it now.

    If you, your friends, or anyone else ever feels I made some BS post that is designed to sell books please feel free to call me out on it. Go back and check all of my posts. You will find that I try to give solid information that truly helps candidates. When someone has already answered a poster’s question, I usually don’t answer it.
    Stay safe,

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post

    Please pass along to them that you will NEVER find a post designed to draw traffic to my website.

    If you, your friends, or anyone else ever feels I made some BS post that is designed to sell books please feel free to call me out on it. Go back and check all of my posts. You will find that I try to give solid information that truly helps candidates. When someone has already answered a poster’s question, I usually don’t answer it.
    Stay safe,

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Chief,
    This message is delivered with all the respect you are due...

    1st and foremost know that you have sold me a book. And i use it. I have loaned it out, written in it, copied it and spilled coffee in it. It is missing pieces of the back cover and the front has an unsightly crease down half of it due to some prompt insertions into my bag while waiting for rides, buses and flights to name a few.

    But I, for one would love to see you post on topics that already have answers. One more solid answer/perspective is that much more knowledge that is shared to a candidate.

    Lastly, I feel every post you make that includes the above signature when posting in these types of discussions is a post DESIGNED to draw traffic to your website. If it isn't, why put it in your signature (which is, as you know, displayed every time you post).

    Business is business...I understand that. There are different ways to conduct business, I understand that too. While you may employ tact and censorship while posting and when delivering your tactics VS the style of your competition, that does not mean you are not soliciting your product by linking to your website .

    I do not like Capt Bobs posting *style*. I am not one for sweeping dramatics, and I have to censor and sift through the posts for myself (vs you doing that for me in your posts). But there is knowledge in there as well. And like I have said previously in other threads, both his and your products, along with Don McNea products have helped to prepare and bolster my interview and testing skills during my fire service career, which has been blessed with more success' and failures than most at my young age.
    Last edited by MattyS; 08-31-2008 at 07:43 PM. Reason: spelling
    The good thing about this job is that we have done so much, with so little, for so long that we can do everything with nothing...... which is what is wrong with this job.
    KTF | DTRT

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    Matty,
    Yes, you are correct. I do attach a tag line to many of my posts. Yes, you are correct when you say this is a form of advertising. If someone is interested in what I have to say, they have the ability to easily access more information about me.

    I see this as a very discreet way to have my information accessible to those who want it. The first thing I did when I became the moderator of the "other" site was to eliminate any posts that were designed to sell a product. As I mentioned earlier, I have offered the same rules to the FM here. They are not interested. as a result, people are allowed to roam unchecked.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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