1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Recommended Book for Oral Board

    Hello all. I have been reading the forums and noticed a lot of questions about preparing for the Oral Board. I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but I wanted to put my two cents in on it. First, let me tell you my background. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business, military experience, and medical experience but no experience in the fire services area. I interview well but was concerned about what to expect with the common questions in a fire oral board.

    I searched the internet and found a few useful sites that provided a glimpse into what to expect. But I finally bought a book that really gave me insight that I don't think I could have achieved without being further involved as a Volunteer or Explorer. That book is "Smoke Your Firefighter Interview" by Paul Lepore. What I really liked about it was that it broke the subject into two main areas: Situational Questions (what would do if you saw your Engineer drinking) and Know the Job of a Firefighter (define customer service). Not only did it give a sample answer, it also gave a reasoning behind the answer. That really helped me understand the thought process of the question so I wouldn't just spit out a canned answer. I felt I was able to answer the question and also provide a foundation on why I answered that way if needed. Also, some of the questions on the Board were almost exactly like the book. I think I would have probably answered the questions more or less correct without the book, but it helped dial in my answers.

    I have only tested once. I started out the process with about 300 other applicants. I ended up first on the list when all was said and done and was recently hired as a recruit to start the academy in about a month. I know I've got the hardest part ahead of me, but this book really helped me prepare myself for the interview.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Agree

    Having worked with Chief Lepore and know the man personally...I have to agree with you on his book. I have used it many times with individuals up here in the Idaho area and there is a ninety percent hire rate off of his books. So it does work. He also has another book...."Aspiring Firefighter's
    Two Year Plan." It works as well also....
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    I have to agree with Jay. I didn't pass the first couple of interviews I took so I gave Chief Lepore's book a shot and passed my first interview in April. Definitely worth the money.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    i have the book also and I like how he gives you his answer and then gives you the reasoning behind it.... but bear in mind, you are not the only candidate who has this book. If you go straight from this book you are gonna be a duplicate of a lot of others trying for the same position.

    I have and do use this book as a guideline for a lot of my answers but I also like Captain bobs approach of using personal life stories and experiences to set yourself apart from the rest of the "clones". I highly recommend Cpt. Bob to anyone who has not looked into his programs.

    Between the two mentioned above I went from never making it out of the first round. I have since made multiple hiring lists. I have made it to the final cut at 2 big departments and just missed getting on at both. I am now confident and relaxed when i walk into the interview room. I know what I have prepared works.

    Use all resources you have and customize your approach.

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