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  1. #1
    Forum Member Surtur's Avatar
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    Default Honesty & Integrity

    This is something I want to say at a Chief's Oral Interview in response to how I've showed honesty and integrity in my work history. I've changed the names of the companies and the people involved. Is this a good answer? Is it too long?

    A way that I showed honesty and integrity was through a negative work experience that I turned into a positive one. I used to be a courier for ABC Shipping Company, and there was a night in 2001 when I came back to the ABC station after doing my route and the overhead door was closed. I hastily got out of my truck to open the overhead door and my truck rolled back into another ABC vehicle waiting about 10 feet behind me because I put the transmission in neutral and forgot to set the parking brake. I was in a hurry and didnít make sure to take all the steps to properly secure my vehicle before getting out. The other courier said he wouldnít tell anyone because no obvious damage was done to either of our vehicles and he didnít want to get me in trouble, but I chose to be upfront and honest about what I did anyway. The station manager just wrote me up for the accident, but ABC upper management reviewed what happened and decided that I should lose my job because ďrollawayĒ accidents can be potentially very serious. Even though that consequence hurt me a lot, it marked a turning point in my life and Iím grateful that I learned, without injuring anyone, never to compromise my safety or othersí by being careless when Iím in a rush. It was a hard lesson to learn, but by being honest, Iím much wiser from that experience and have become much more careful since then. Now, I never let pressure cause me to overlook details that could put someone in danger.

    In 2006, after explaining how Iíve changed my mentality, I was given another chance by ABC Shipping Company to work for them as a forklift operator in their freight division. When I finally left ABC to become a bus driver for City Bus Service, it was on very good terms. In fact, prior to leaving, my former ABC manager, Mary Smith, told me I could always use her as a reference in the future, so I put her down as one of my personal references for this job. In addition to driving for City Bus Company, I also drive the engines and the ambulance for the local volunteer fire department and Iíve never had any accidents with either of these organizations, nor have I broken any of their regulations, safety or otherwise, because I have the integrity to always abide by the policies and procedures of any organization where I work or volunteer. If given the opportunity to work for your Career Fire Department, I would continue to be the precautious person that I am now and would always maintain the high standards of safety expected from a career firefighter.


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    Honesty and integrity. hmmm. The bobby boys won't be commenting on this one.

    Surtur, honesty and integrity deal with issues that occur when no one else would know. You handled this incident appropriately. IMO, no one was ever punished for telling the truth. There may be consequences for the action, but not for telling the truth. You showed that.

    If the question of honesty and integrty comes up in an interview, this would be a great response.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I agree with George

    the only thing i found helpful during my interviews (and i am by no means an expert and im not telling you what to do) was that i went in there prepared for each question with a detailed response, i gave a good story for my opening question (the hook) and from that point on, i didnt really need a story for anything else, i was just able to answer the questions, throw in a little something extra on each one. only time i really had to elaborate on anything was when they asked me something about my app.

    stories are awesome, and they work, but for me (like i said, no expert at this at all) i didnt want to tell too many because i didnt want it to seem like my mouth wouldnt stop, making them tired of listening.

    and when they asked me about 'traits of a FF' or 'why you?' i did use honesty and integrity, but i listed 5 or six others and threw them in the middle, for me, just listing those two felt kind of like a clone response, i came up with some other unique ones.

    again, no expert, i can only tell you what i did, not how to do it.

    mike

    and i dont know if im one of the 'Bobby's Boys' or not.
    Last edited by 9secfirebird; 08-24-2008 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Surtur's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Honesty and integrity. hmmm. The bobby boys won't be commenting on this one.

    Surtur, honesty and integrity deal with issues that occur when no one else would know. You handled this incident appropriately. IMO, no one was ever punished for telling the truth. There may be consequences for the action, but not for telling the truth. You showed that.

    If the question of honesty and integrty comes up in an interview, this would be a great response.
    Thanks George. Actually, it did come up at my last interview, but this wasn't the response I gave. I wanted to be prepared with a better response for next time because I didn't get hired this last time. I guess my big question is, would highly respected career department ever look past my having been fired from a job with the response like I posted above when they have so many other applicants with clean records?

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    Default You must have something better

    Surtur

    I would never bring up being fired in an interview. Suggesting that you do so is poor advise, and could very well keep you from getting a job offer.

    I am by no means suggesting that you lie or be deceitful in any part of the hiring process, but to bring it up when not asked specifically about it could be a deal breaker. There is a place on your application where you list jobs and why you left, and you will have plenty of space to describe it in your background investigation. But, I am sure you can come up with a better example of being honest and intergras.

    My department, as well as a lot of others, has an on going problem with vehicle accidents. While most cannot be prevented, the low speed backing and failing to actuate the parking break are never supposed to happen.

    Now imagine you are in your chiefís interview. This is the chief that has been dealing with an on going problem of minor vehicle damage, maybe some even not reported. Here you come answering a question about honesty by telling a story where you didnít report an accident that was wholly your fault. But in the seven years since then you have learned better.

    Say there are 20-30 people going into the chiefís hoping for a job. I will suggest to you that very few of them have been fired from a job, and less have an at fault accident on their work record. Why should he hire you?

    In an interview you are basically selling a product. The product is you. You will never hear a salesperson say anything negative about their product. If you have ever been to the fair and seen the guy selling the Ginsu knives it is something to behold. They are great knives. But you know if you buy them you arenít going to go home and cut up a tin can and then make a flower out of a tomato. He is just showing his product in the best light. I am in no way saying to exaggerate or be deceitful in your interview, but to bring up all of the good stuff about you. Being fired and not reporting an accident is not good stuff. At that same fair you wouldnít see a guy selling a vacuum and have him tell you itís great but the electrical cord is too short.

    If you fail to properly and honestly describe that firing, and the reason why, on your application and in you background packet you will be out of the process, or fired even years later if they find it. And they will. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. There are no secrets in the fire service.

    But this is a job interview where you sell yourself, not a confessional with a priest. I wouldnít bring up anything negative about yourself, unless asked about it, only positive things.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
    www.myfireinterview.com
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    Default

    As mike wrote above there are more you can select and use to fit you i.e. loyalty, dependable, reliable, etc.

    Like Captain Rob referred to above, why would you give the panel an overly too serious long drawn out answer with way too many details and dates that could give just one panel member doubts about you continuing on in the hiring process?

    Too many candidates try to give a blue print when we just need a sketch. Try to give us a dump truck when we just need a trailer.

    Youíre looking for a seamless no surprises interview. Keep it simple.

    This question is number 11 on our sample possible oral board questions: http://www.eatstress.com/thirty22.htm

    11. What are the attributes of a firefighter? What is the most important one to you?

    You can often find these qualities, attributes, etc. in the description of the job announcement.

    This question can be asked in several different ways. What are the attributes, qualities, etc of a firefighter? These can also be your strengths/weaknesses. What oneís do you possess? Give us an example of how you used them?

    Itís having your personalized prepared answers, that no one else can tell, practiced with a hand held recorder before you walk into the room that can make the biggest difference. Otherwise you may waste an opportunity and still be the bridesmaid. Never the bride.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    Forum Member SCSmith's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FFighterRob View Post
    Here you come answering a question about honesty by telling a story where you didnít report an accident that was wholly your fault. But in the seven years since then you have learned better.
    It's hard to take advise from someone who doesn't even read your post. Surtur explained how he WAS "honest and upfront" about what he did right away. If you put it down on your application, then it's going to come up at an interview with the chief, trust me.

    Now I know what George Wendt means about the "bobby boys". This FFighterRob guys says, "I'm not telling you to be dishonest, just don't tell the truth" -- WTF?!
    Until you've been on a Harley-Davidson, you haven't been on a motorcycle

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    Default

    maybe everyone just has a bad taste in their mouths, but i think that Robs comment was fine. he is not telling anyone to lie, but think about it...why would you say something in a job interview that could put doubt in the panels heads? as stated, its your time to shine.

    just need to be ready thats all. i practiced so much that i actually slept the night before my interview because i was confident i would do ok.

    though george is right about:
    Surtur, honesty and integrity deal with issues that occur when no one else would know. You handled this incident appropriately. IMO, no one was ever punished for telling the truth. There may be consequences for the action, but not for telling the truth. You showed that.

    my personal opinion, if i had to pick between that story and another (which im sure you have, if your honest and full of integra then you should have alot of these) i might consider another, something where you come out a hero in the end.

    again, im not a pro at this stuff, just tryin to help...

    Mike

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    Default Oops

    You are absolutely right I did misread his post. But regardless of if he was fired for not reporting the incident or for just making a bonehead mistake I still wouldnít bring it up in an interview. We all make mistakes, I just proved I do. But, to bring them up in an interview where you are competing for a very limited number of jobs is not a good idea.

    You have so little time to convince them to give you a chance, why waste it talking about poor decisions you have made. Instead talk about smart positive things you have done, that is what your competition will be doing.

    Surtur, I apologize for misunderstanding your post. But I hope you get the point.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    It's hard to take advise from someone who doesn't even read your post. Surtur explained how he WAS "honest and upfront" about what he did right away. If you put it down on your application, then it's going to come up at an interview with the chief, trust me.

    Now I know what George Wendt means about the "bobby boys". This FFighterRob guys says, "I'm not telling you to be dishonest, just don't tell the truth" -- WTF?!
    I was fired from a job back in 2002 and it is rarely brought up in interviews. I always put it on my application and explain what happened. If the panel asks, I just tell them I messed up and got what I deserved. If they don't mention it, I wont bring it up. It is on my app where it says "have you ever been discharged or forced to resign". I believe that if you are honest on the app and provide a detailed explanation, the panel has no reason to ask about it.

    If you try to go around it with a cover up, then you are probably toast.

    Stay safe,

    Kev

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    Forum Member Surtur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arff42 View Post
    I was fired from a job back in 2002 and it is rarely brought up in interviews. I always put it on my application and explain what happened. If the panel asks, I just tell them I messed up and got what I deserved. If they don't mention it, I wont bring it up. It is on my app where it says "have you ever been discharged or forced to resign". I believe that if you are honest on the app and provide a detailed explanation, the panel has no reason to ask about it.

    If you try to go around it with a cover up, then you are probably toast.

    Stay safe,

    Kev
    Thanks for your personal input, Kev. I really appreciate it. The thing is that I provided a detailed letter about what happened with my app, but I was still asked about it at the end of my Chief's Oral Interview. They asked at the end of the interview if there was anything in my background I would like to explain, but I didn't bring up having been fired because I figured they already had the letter. They brought it up anyway. I thought it made me look bad for not saying something until I was essentially forced to. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. It may not have been just because of that, but I don't think it helped. I'm not ready to give up, but that certainly was discouraging.

    Stu

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFighterRob View Post
    You are absolutely right I did misread his post. But regardless of if he was fired for not reporting the incident or for just making a bonehead mistake I still wouldnít bring it up in an interview. We all make mistakes, I just proved I do. But, to bring them up in an interview where you are competing for a very limited number of jobs is not a good idea.

    You have so little time to convince them to give you a chance, why waste it talking about poor decisions you have made. Instead talk about smart positive things you have done, that is what your competition will be doing.

    Surtur, I apologize for misunderstanding your post. But I hope you get the point.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
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    I get the point. The point is that you and daddy continue to advocate deceit for these guys, all in the name of "getting the badge".

    If I was sitting on that panel, and a man came in there, wanting that job as bad as any of the others, and told us that story, I would have a tremendous amount of respect for him. For he demonstrated to me that he had honesty, integrity, humility and contrition. Far more honesty and integrity than two people who recommend trying to beat the polygraph, lying on a background investigation, trying to beat an eye exam and all the other utter BS that these two have brought to these forums.

    All other things being equal, I would recommend w/o question that he get the position.

    Young people, before you spend a nickle on snake oil, read this thread over and over. Ask yourself if you really need the advice of two people who advocate deceit in order to get the job. And remember, thousands upon thousands of people before you have "gotten the badge" w/o their help.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Far more honesty and integrity than two people who recommend trying to beat the polygraph, lying on a background investigation, trying to beat an eye exam and all the other utter BS that these two have brought to these forums.
    George- You have mentioned these points several times in the past. Just for reference, is there anyway you can post an example of this? I just havent seen it in my travels here.

    If its on the mark, fine. Please enlighten me.

    Thanks

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    George

    If Iím not mistaken you also recommended that if someone stole you would take them out back and beat them up. If someone came in drunk, you would just drive them home, not wanting to bother the supervisors. Both are absolutely the wrong answer to use with an oral board. Both would get a zero score.

    Maybe someone on the panel would agree with you, I feel most would not. If there are three people on your panel and one thinks you arenít the right guy, you arenít getting the job offer. So why encourage someone to take the chance? I think most people testing live an honest and honorable life. I am sure that Surtur has many examples of being honest and having integrity. Why use one that could count against you instead of a positive one that doesnít include a mistake you made and getting fired from a job? It just doesnít make since and is poor advice.

    Could you get hired if you use it? I am sure you could. Could it keep you from getting a job, very likely.

    I would rather hear someone say they are honest and when they get back too much change they give it back, than they were negligent, caused an accident got fired, but reported it. But neither you nor I are going to be sitting on his panel.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    George- You have mentioned these points several times in the past. Just for reference, is there anyway you can post an example of this? I just havent seen it in my travels here.

    If its on the mark, fine. Please enlighten me.

    Thanks
    I've posted them and highlighted them many, many times in the past, as have others. You will have to look harder. They are there. I'm not playing your game.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I've posted them and highlighted them many, many times in the past, as have others. You will have to look harder. They are there. I'm not playing your game.

    No game brother, just asking. I will go look harder.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surtur View Post
    Thanks for your personal input, Kev. I really appreciate it. The thing is that I provided a detailed letter about what happened with my app, but I was still asked about it at the end of my Chief's Oral Interview. They asked at the end of the interview if there was anything in my background I would like to explain, but I didn't bring up having been fired because I figured they already had the letter. They brought it up anyway. I thought it made me look bad for not saying something until I was essentially forced to. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. It may not have been just because of that, but I don't think it helped. I'm not ready to give up, but that certainly was discouraging.

    Stu
    Are you sure not bringing up your terminatiion is the reason for not getting the job? This is a sketchy topic because the letter explained what happened in detail. Thus, I believe you were never hiding anything. Sure you did not mention it verbally, but you did mention it in writing. They brought it up, but did they actually accuse you of hiding it? If that were the case you never would have composed a letter admitting what happened.

    Please jump in everyone because I was fired from a job. If I need to mention it on top of the written explanation provided on my app, I want to know.

    Thanks,

    Kev

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    Quote Originally Posted by arff42 View Post
    Are you sure not bringing up your terminatiion is the reason for not getting the job? This is a sketchy topic because the letter explained what happened in detail. Thus, I believe you were never hiding anything. Sure you did not mention it verbally, but you did mention it in writing. They brought it up, but did they actually accuse you of hiding it? If that were the case you never would have composed a letter admitting what happened.

    Please jump in everyone because I was fired from a job. If I need to mention it on top of the written explanation provided on my app, I want to know.

    Thanks,

    Kev
    This particular story is not "sketchy". It details a very specifc incident that shows how the poster exhibited honesty and integrity in that specific situation.

    How you deal with your firing in an interview would largely depend on why you were fired and what type of job you were fired from. You have to assume that your termination will show up on your background. The honest thing to do is to disclose it. If you are asked about it, you have to assume they already know about it. Lying about it can only get you into trouble.

    As far as you using the situation you were involved in as an example of your honesty and integrity is up to you, based on the circumstances.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I've posted them and highlighted them many, many times in the past, as have others. You will have to look harder. They are there. I'm not playing your game.
    everytime i look for something all i see are J-O comments made by you to someone seeking their help or to them. might not want to tell people too look too hard because you might only be discrediting yourself (if that hasnt happened already).

    you do have alot of panel opinions, which is cool, but i never hear you list exp. actually sitting on a panel, or even going to an interview. are you currently on a career department (not that anything is wrong with volly, i am one too)? if so, how did you answer these questions? and the other thing that i see all the time is that you are the first person to jump on a thread and hijack it. someone asks for help, doesnt make a refrence to bob or rob, and ya gotta throw a dig in there (that you know is gonna instigate BS) and then call them thread-jackers....hm...who started the battle?
    alot of great info can be had on these boards, and to my point in a previous post, these useless babblings about lying and cheating keep showing up more and more and more, making alot of people not want to even read posts once they see this stuff going on. babbling loses interest. its funny because i know i cought myself reading a post, yesterday actually and i saw a comment that you made and i rolled my eyes..and im sitting at home in my work room, with a half dumb fish in a tank staring at me, prob laughing. i cant imagine what it must be like to go out to a local dive for a drink and have to hear that all night. (i dont plan on driving through flanders before i leave NJ either)
    i think its great that you have to put in your 3 cents (adj. for inflation (stolen quote from the boards)) but its hardly constructive.

    its time...put up or shut up. post fifteen examples of where they flat out said 'just lie to the panel' or 'look at your partners test if you dont finish in time' and i personally will email both of them and tell them to 'kiss off! by the way i want my money back'....ah wait...scratch that last part, i was given the program because i couldnt afford it when i needed it, but Bob was nice enough to help me out, which did lead to a badge on the first try. maybe he beat up a handicapped kid, took his money, lied to the kids parents, stole the cds used to make them, and paid to have them copied with dirty drug money...not likely. all im saying is that he was good enough to help me out in my time of need (which is what real brothers do) and made my life because of it. i never once go on forcing people to buy his stuff, and i dont go around ALL the time talking about how great he is...call me Bobby's Boy, call me what you will, all i know is im listening to the guy who has helped over 2500 people get badges, alot in worse situations than myself, and im not gonna listen to the guy who discredits himself, tells me to go beat people up and rarely says something positive.

    its ok, just make sure the guy infront of you doesnt stop too short or ya might smell something funny.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by arff42 View Post
    Are you sure not bringing up your terminatiion is the reason for not getting the job? This is a sketchy topic because the letter explained what happened in detail. Thus, I believe you were never hiding anything. Sure you did not mention it verbally, but you did mention it in writing. They brought it up, but did they actually accuse you of hiding it? If that were the case you never would have composed a letter admitting what happened.

    Please jump in everyone because I was fired from a job. If I need to mention it on top of the written explanation provided on my app, I want to know.

    Thanks,

    Kev
    What happened, Kev, was that they asked me about how I've displayed honesty and integrity in my work history, so I told them a story from when I was a camp counselor. Then, they asked me if there was anything from my past I would like explain before they did a background check, so I told them about two minor traffic violations from over five years ago and an underage drinking ticket I got over 10 years ago from when I was still an immature high school kid trying to be popular. I said that was all. I figured that since I turned in the letter about loosing a job 2001 with my app, I wouldn't be expected to talk about it, but I was wrong. The chief took out my letter and asked me, in front of the panel, to elaborate on what happened. I think the chief expected me to address the issue first and had wanted me to verbalize what happened and not not treat it like it was just something on a piece of paper. I wasn't prepared to talk about it, and when I finally did, I wasn't very articulate. That was the end of the interview, so I felt like it ended on a sour note. Even though I had done well throughout the rest of the interview and talked about a lot of other really positive things that I've done, I felt like the negative things at the end overshadowed everything else. I figured that, next time, I would bring up loosing my job earlier in order to get it out of the way and talked about before the end of the interview since it's the thing I'm most regretful about.
    Last edited by Surtur; 08-25-2008 at 08:52 AM.

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