1. #1
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    Oct 2009

    Default Tips to stand out at oral board

    I am taking my first oral board in a week and was looking for any tips or advice to help better prepare myself. I am a veteran and was able to attend many FF schools in Military. I am willing to take any advice. I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you all

  2. #2
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    ffbam24's Avatar
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    Jan 2004


    I hope you've been preparing for this and a week's notice wasn't all you were waiting on to start.
    Either way, go to these:

    Good luck.
    Last edited by ffbam24; 11-22-2009 at 01:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2009


    Actually the Department is moving very fas was notified friday for something 9 days later

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    The closest distance between you and the badge next week is getting married to a hand-held voice recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. Using a voice recorder helps you get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the an's uh's and other pause fillers and to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck.

    Try this. Take 3X5 cards and write down your oral board questions. You can check out a sample list of possible oral board questions in this previous Firehouse.com article:

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...board+question (questions on oral board???????)

    While Practicing your answers with a vice recorder if you hear something you do not like when you play it back, turn over the 3X5 card and write it down. The next time you go after that question, turn over the card first and see what you don't want to say.

    You can find out more on using a voice recorder in this previous Firehouse.com entry level article:


    We encourage candidates to lace their answers with personal life experiences. Since no one else can tell a candidate's life experience stories they can't be placed in the mold of a profile. They become unique, fresh and convincing. By developing and lacing your answers with stories of your personal life and military experiences you create a natural bridge to the panel members.

    Stories are more than facts. If you can recreate the excitement, emotion, the color and magic to relive the actual event, you will capture the interest and a top score on that question. A big part of getting this job is convincing the oral board that you can do the job before you get it. Stories are convincing and can demonstrate your experience, even if they're not fire related.

    One reason stories work effectively is because they go directly to the brain and entertain. They do not require the mental processing of more formal nonfiction writing. Stories have heart and ring true.

    Collect illustrative stories as you are collecting facts, quotations and other information for your signature stories.

    Practice those stories with your voice recorder. Condense them down to a couple of minutes or less. Don't go on a journey. The oral board is not packed for the trip. You won't have time and it's not appropriate to use a signature story for every answer. Tell the story. Make the point. Move on. Once you answer an oral board with a signature story, you can marry the rest of your answer with those clone answers you have been using. Try it and see the amazing difference.

    "Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light."-Joseph Pulitzer, (1847-1911) American journalist.

    You can find out more on developing your signature stories in this previous Firehouse.com entry level article:

    Last edited by CaptBob; 11-22-2009 at 10:25 PM.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Both websites above are excellent and you're in the red zone now. Read the articles that Capt Bob linked... they will help you. At this point, see if you can find out how the dept conducts their oral boards. I spent many hours doing research and memorizing station addresses, run stats, demographics, etc. and then when I sat before the board there were only 10 questions, all of which were behavioral questions ("what would you do if..."). Luckily I had prepared for those also with the "nuggets" that Capt Bob teaches. Chief Lepore's book (might be available at your local book store) is great since it not only gives you loads of questions and answers, but it gives you reasoning behind the answer. I used that with Capt Bob's program to build my nuggets.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Sep 2002


    Follow up- How did you do?

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