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  1. #1
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    Default psychologica lnterview

    I've got my psychological interview coming up ,it is for the pension and disability board.Does anyone have any advice?


  2. #2
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    ya .. i got some advice.. even though i hate the polygraph:
    Don't lie

  3. #3
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    Its not a polygraph ,just a psych interview.

  4. #4
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    oh crap.. and here i thought i was being smart
    same advice though.. don't lie

  5. #5
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    Default You have to pass the psych test first time out!

    You have to pass the psych test first time out!
    This is a previous article from the career article section here on Firehouse.com http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...me-Out/8$51941

    Most candidates are more than surprised when I tell them up to 40% fail the psychological test given by many departments.

    I received one phone call and two e-mails from relatives of a firefighter/medic candidate who failed a psych test before the candidate called asking "What can I do now?" He had been testing for 5 years and this was the first job offer. I asked him if he knew who we were? Yes. Did you know we had a preparation program for the psych? Yes. Why didn't you get it? I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard this, "Things were going so great I didn't think I needed it."

    Imagine after all the education, experience and time preparing to get this job like the above candidate . . . and you're eliminated. Then no one will talk to you to find out what happened. I've talked to too many candidates who were devastated and didn't know what to do next. This is a critical part of the testing process you need to prepare for and pass the first time out.

    You've jumped through all the flaming hoops and made it through the background check. Then, you're conditionally offered the job pending the medical, which includes a psychological test. You take the test, no big deal right? Then the phone stops ringing.

    You are out of the hiring process. You are told that you didn't meet the profile. What profile?

    What do you mean I didn't meet the profile? I've got training, experience, education, every degree, certificate, merit badge, and a paramedic certification. I've been a volunteer, paid member of another department for 10years, and lived and breathed this job. And, I don't meet the profile?

    What's included in the psych test? There is a written test that sets up a profile of you. Then, there is an evaluation by a psychologist.

    Written Test: The most common written portion of the psychological evaluation is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory interview test of up to 1000 questions. The aim here is not to pass the test but to go into the job fully prepared. Put your pride and natural defensiveness aside. They ask a few questions in several different ways. You want to answer questions "strongly for" or "strongly against" instead of being in the middle undecided. Answer questions to present yourself as a more social, interactive, team playing type of person, i.e., you would rather be in a conversation with others than reading a book alone.

    You can get some insight on how the written test is scored HERE
    http://www.bigdeadplace.com/psyche_eval.html

    Some written tests include an Ink Blot Test. You can find out more about this test HERE http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.php

    The Evaluation: This is where the wheels start coming off the wagon for too many candidates.

    Before the interview, the psychologist will often have you take a separate personality test, fill out a personal family history, a biography and additional information forms.

    The biggest error candidates make during the psychological evaluation is thinking there is a patient/doctor confidentiality even when the doctor has them sign a release that there is not. This is not your family doctor. Guess who's paying the bill?

    What gets candidates in trouble here is they want this job so bad that they will say and do almost anything to get it.

    Although I don't encourage candidates to be less than truthful, those candidates who are honest to a fault diminish their chances of passing the psychological interview! That's right. You folks want this job so bad you will tell the psychologist anything they want to know. Even stuff they didn't ask you. Once you start down this road of total honesty, creating trails where you don't have to, tossing out more information than was asked for thinking this guy is your friend is where you get into big trouble. Especially when the psychologist says, "Everyone has skeletons in their closet, this interview is not designed to eliminate you from the process", or "you don't want to be too squeaky clean." So you open up. Then the phone stops ringing and no one will talk to you. You are out of the process Mcfly. And, you don't know why.

    So what should you do?

    Only answer the question you're being asked. Before you volunteer information, think before you speak. If they want to know more they will ask. Don't appear to be closed but warm and cordial. Present your ideas clearly. Don't ramble or chat. Be articulate. This is how you're going to be in the field. Believe it or not this is part of the job interview. You are making an impression of who you are going to be as a firefighter.

    Make sure you dress up and don't slouch. Be prepared to audition for the part of being a firefighter. Know your strong points. Be prepared to demonstrate you are a team player.


    This from a new firefighter:

    I want to comment on your psych test information and report. I had to take one for two departments. I tried to answer the questions as honestly as I could, while presenting myself as a very positive social person. Some of the "experts" out there say that you should be brutally honest on the test. Well 3 good guys I know did just that, and they did not pass either test. We lost 10 out of 25 guys on one test! In all honesty I might not have passed either if I hadn't read this article. I feel that is a very dangerous test, and some of the advice these people are giving out is costing great candidates a job. Steve.

    This from an in service firefighter: During the last hiring process 2 years ago the psychologist passed 10 people. Of those 10, 2 have quit, 2 have been fired, and 1 committed suicide. I wonder if he is worth what the city pays him to evaluate prospects? Have a nice weekend.

    More on the psych here: http://www.eatstress.com/psych.htm
    Last edited by CaptBob; 09-21-2008 at 12:00 PM.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member BearTech's Avatar
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    For anyone going into a "Psych" test. Remember that evaluations of your psychological fitness (or lack there of!) is a medical evaluation. If a department fails you on a psychological you should always demand a second opinion. Too many times departments try to bully candidates into thinking they have no rights during the process. I know that this comes from years of candidates suing over just about any part of the process they didn't like. But that doesn't change the fact that all medical opinions are usually subject to a request for a second opinion. I am not a lawyer, so don't ask me to quote state or federal statue, but her a two real life example I can give. The first was a candidate for the department I worked for (Spokane Valley WA) he "failed" the psych exam. He contested it and was given a revue by another doctor and "passed" with flying colors. Doctors are human, and psychology is a tenuous "science" at best. After passing he was then hired and turned out to be a great firefighter and the type of candidate that fire departments dream of. He also happened to fly blackhawks for the air guard. The lesson being that the shrinks that fire departments hire are not perfect.
    Case 2 was a co-worker who was testing for Seattle and some other departments in the Puget Sound area. He scored very well and was going through his physical with Seattle. The doctors gave him a body fat percentage test using calipers. Possibly the most error prone way to do it. They told him he was 26% body fat and that was 1% too much. At the time I had a scale that you would stand on in your bare feet and it used electrical resistance coupled with your height and weight to calculate your body fat %. It told him he was 19%. Seattle told him to come back in a week and try again. He did and the result was the same. He then went to the local hospital and did a buoyancy test (the only TRUE test of body fat %) and they told him he was 19% (imagine that!). He had the hospital results forwarded to Seattle and they took a week to consider it. They then called him back and offered him the job. He informed them that he'd already been offered a job in the mean time, by Tukwila. So thanks but no thanks. Good for him!
    It's a fine line to walk between not "offending" the department you are trying to convince to hire you, and remembering that they are public agencies who's ultimate responsibility is to run a fair recruitment. They are human and the process is not perfect. Occasionally it is OK to question what they try to pass off as fact.

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