1. #1
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    Default The Best Oral Board Tool

    Voice Recorder — The Miracle Oral Board Tool

    I can’t believe how many candidates I talk to in person and on the phone that don’t know how they sound to others. They’re soft spoken, monotone like they’re giving a patient assessment, with no enthusiasm or inflection with a lot of pause fillers. Many are not using a simple tool that could tilt things in their favor.

    A recent candidate had such a monotone voice that I asked if he knew. He said, “Yea, but that's just my voice”. I told him I didn't believe that for a second. What can I do about it? I've been testing where I can for four years, going to school and work as a federal firefighter.
    Trying to get on his turf, I asked him what do you do with your time off? What is your interest, hobbies? What really rings your bell? Nothing seemed to work to break his monotone voice.
    That was until a few days later I get a call from an energized candidate. I didn't recognize the voice.

    Yes, it was Mr. Monotone. He told me he didn't realize how bad it was until he listened to the recording of our conversation. He said, "Man I sounded retarded. I can't believe how much stuff I left out. How many times I said "What Ever" and other stupid pause fillers I didn't know I was using."
    The mystery of why this super qualified candidate could not get hired was solved by listening to a voice recording of what the panel had been hearing for four years.

    So, what tools can you use to practice and rehearse your oral board answers? A video camera? Sure. You need to see how you look in action. But you are trapped with a video camera. A Mirror? Sure standing in front of a mirror is good. But you are missing the most valuable tool of all. A hand-held voice recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go. The closest distance between you and the badge is picking up a voice recorder and hearing what's coming out of your mouth like Mr. Monotone!

    Few candidates have a script that they have been religiously practicing with a voice recorder. Ninety-nine percent of the candidates I ask aren’t. I asked a college program recently how many had been practicing with a voice recorder daily? No hands. How about weekly then? Nope. None. O.K. how about monthly? Finally three hands went up out of a total of 40. Then, like Mr. Monotone don’t be confused by why you’re not getting high enough on the list to get a call back to play the part of a firefighter. The mystery has been solved.

    Many applicants want this job so bad they will do almost anything ethically and morally to get it. I guess that doesn’t include using a voice recorder to get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the uh’s and other pause fillers, or to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck. You need to get married to your hand-held voice recorder. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. It’s narrows the distance between you and the badge you’re looking for!

    This is usually a guy thing. Guys think about their answers in their head and write them down. Then they think their answers are going to come out of their mouths like magic in the oral. Trust me, they don’t! The brain and mouth don’t work that way.

    Try this. Take 3X5 cards and write down your oral board questions. Practice your answers with a hand-held voice recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go. 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.

    Let me tell you how critical this really is. If you’re not using a voice recorder to practice, practice, practice, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and over learn your material until it becomes second nature to you, you might as well not show up for the interview. You are wasting the oral board’s time and your time! Seek out another career. Understand you still have to interview there too. The above candidate has already lost some great opportunities. Had he been faithfully using a voice recorder to prepare for his oral boards, he probably could have had a badge already.

    Some will say, “Well, if I practice it too much it will sound canned.” NO it won’t! It sure will be planned though. Practice makes permanent. “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” One practice session with a voice recorder is worth 10 speaking outlouds. After practicing, you will get to a point where your answers will get into your subconscious. That’s where the magic begins. You can’t be fooled.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I was already thinking of doing this but now I am for sure going to!

    I have two upcoming interviews one is in two weeks the other is in four weeks, do you think this is enough time to prepare? I really want to make sure I am prepared so I can score great, well I mean who doesn't. But how many hours a day would you advice me to practice leading up to?

    Thanks

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KennedyNL View Post
    But how many hours a day would you advice me to practice leading up to?
    Everyone is different. You will know when you first hear your voice played back. This is what the panel will hear out of your mouth.

    Take the voice recorder everywhere your car keys go. As you put in the time, you will start to notice the difference. It will become second nature to you. Conversational like at the coffee table. Not rigid like a robot.

    Good luck.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default The Best Oral Board tool

    Listen up Gents..
    Ive been at em all and seen them all. I got all the books , memos , written questions , websites..you name them , i paid them. The only help i really got .. the ONLY real insight i got came from Captain Bob over at EatStress.com Im in Miami florida where the competition down here is Huge and just that.. competitive. We got more paramedics down here than we know what to do with. Everybody is a FireFighter/ Paramedic and every other week theres more coming into the fold.. more competion means that you need to be sharper on your game and need to be that more sharper than any other candidate.. Only Captains Bob program helped me do that.. . I got a golden story thats actullay pretty long so i won throw it all on here.. its on how Captain Bob helped me secure my Firefighter position down here in South Florida.. Ill post it all soon in detail , but to say the least.. I called Captain Bob 3 days ( 3 freaking days) before my oral board and he spent not only hours on the phone with me.. but his very own Valentines Day vacation with his wife..taking "bathroom" breaks to give me a call and run scenarios to make sure i was solid. His program is SOLID ..I can go on and on about this great man.. Needless to say.. i got the job. Not only did i get the job , but i placed FIRST on the list.. Not only did i place first on the list.. but i was invited to speak on my experiences continue on how its molded me to be a great firefighter..No tricks or trades.. no lieing or bullcrap clone answers.. this guy teaches you how to Correctly answer the questions using YOUR own words.. you tap into your stories , your emotions and you project them to the oral board. Ive had tears come out of civilians when i told them my personal story.. send me a message and ill send you my story. Id walk to california for this guy just to shake his hand for helping not only my dream.. but my families dream . Its Worth EVERY DAMN CENT!
    Message me for any details.. id stand up to anyone for this guys program!

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    Default

    As you can see this kind of technique works even for someone that only has a few days. The reason is because you are your own best or worst critic. If you hear yourself, you can hear what you like and what you don’t. I have had a lot of people tell me, “I wouldn’t have hired me the way I sounded”.

    I have to say that, along with using a tape player to hear how you sound, you should also videotape record yourself a few times to see how you look. If you could have seen the video Capt. Bob made of me. The first time I was slouching, scratching my back, looking around, not making eye contact, in general I didn’t look professional. Less than 20 minutes later I made another go at it and you wouldn’t have know it was the same person.

    You see, if you hear or see yourself do something you don’t like, you just don’t ever do it again. If you can go into an interview and know the last 50 times you responded to a question you are going to be asked you sounded just the way you wanted. You know you are going to sound just like that when they ask you that question in your interview. Well, you can go into the interview and have the confidence that you are going to say just what you want, sound just the way you want, and that allows you to be yourself. Not nervous guy number 127, but you, the person they will see in the academy, for the year of probation and for the years to come. That my friend is half of the battle. If you decided to test for a department you didn’t want to work for they would probably give you a badge. The problem is that you test for departments you care about and the nerves come into play. This technique allows you to move past the nerves and be you, get the best score you can get with what you have, and who could ask for anything more.

    Good Luck, Capt. Rob

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    Default Ffmedicmiami

    Wow.. I read FFMedicMiami's post from Jan for the first time today complaining of how he couldn't get a job and then I just happened upon this one... BIG CHANGE! Nice job!

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    This is GREAT info CaptBob and really appreciated! I have my first interview ever in the FD industry coming up May 14th. It is going to be a group interview with HR I am being told. Then the top recruits will move on to the chief interview.

    I would like to practice this voice recorder method you are talking about but I don't have much clue of the questions that I may be asked. Do you or anyone else reading this thread have any insite to the types of questions they will be asking?

    Any info would be great.

    Thanks,

    Patio.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patio_furniture View Post
    This is GREAT info CaptBob and really appreciated! I have my first interview ever in the FD industry coming up May 14th. It is going to be a group interview with HR I am being told. Then the top recruits will move on to the chief interview.

    I would like to practice this voice recorder method you are talking about but I don't have much clue of the questions that I may be asked. Do you or anyone else reading this thread have any insite to the types of questions they will be asking?

    Any info would be great.

    Thanks,

    Patio.
    Check out this link it will give you an idea of some of the basic questions you could be asked. Good luck!
    http://www.eatstress.com/thirty22.htm

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    Default Group Interviews

    I refer to this type of interviewing as the “Needless” group discussion. In this exercise, several, if not all, the candidates are placed in a room and given a topic to try and solve. Many candidates are of the impression all you have to do is force your way in taking control of the group and keep it. This is not true because the purpose of the exercise is to see how you interact with others as you would as an in service firefighter in this environment with problem solving.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default

    Born to dance

    Can you dance? Many a guy at his wedding reception sweats out the
    moment he has to step on the dance floor with his new bride. Yea, I
    know you’ve got some moves. How many different dance steps do you know?
    How really good are those moves? Are you like Elaine on the TV series
    Seinfeld when she does that jerky dance at the party thinking she’s got
    it? If you were all of a sudden in a dance contest and the judges were
    coming around and eliminating the contestants, as much as you were doing
    your best stuff, really kicking it, could you make the cut? Too many
    candidates think the same thing in their orals until the scores come
    out.

    It’s the same thing with the oral board where up to 100% of the score to get
    hired. The panel plays the music. You dance. Can you make the cut
    without being eliminated? It’s Showtime! The panel asks a question.
    You break into a fast dance step. You think you’ve got it.

    The next one was just made for you. Your confidence builds as you work
    your magic. You can’t tell how the panel is scoring it. They just sit
    there without any expression. What’s up with that?

    The next step is a slow waltz. You don’t have an answer to this
    question (waltz). These are old people dance steps. You struggle
    stepping all over the question (your partners feet). As one candidate
    wrote: I completed my first sentence...and went completely blank!! I
    mean BLANK!! I actually felt a tumbleweed roll through my head! You
    knew you were going to the dance contest and didn’t think you needed to
    learn this one. The judges (panel members) are staring at you.

    The next dance is your favorite. You’ve got this one. You drop on your
    back spinning on the floor. But as much as you try, you’re best dance
    steps aren’t cutting it. You get caught flat-footed. You mouth goes dry.
    Sweat breaks out on your forehead.

    Next is a Latin Cha Cha. You try to fake it. You end up doing a
    version of the Hookie Pookie. The panel knows the difference.

    You want them to play more of the music for your best stuff. They’ve
    already done that and moved on to the twist. The twist. Oh, man I look
    like a dork doing the twist. But you try it anyway. And sure enough,
    you look and feel like a dork.

    What about me? Today is my Birthday. Yea, it really is on this mother's day. I was born to dance. I learned how to do the twist a long time ago.
    When we were on a cruise to Alaska in August to celebrate our 40th
    wedding anniversary (that tells you how long ago I learned how to
    twist), they held a dance contest. After two dances we were in the
    finals. The band struck up the next tune. It was the twist. Although
    it had been awhile my wife and I hit it. Round and round, up and down,
    round and around we’ll go. Some of the younger couples tried but didn’t
    have the deep in your soul moves to compete. The judges were working
    their way through eliminating couples. That’s when I started upping the
    “Nugget” dance moves. I saved one of my best twist moves circling my
    right arm over my head like spinning a lariat, not missing a beat. I
    knew no one could touch that. The audience stood up, applauded and
    cheered. Yea, we won. We were celebrities the rest of the cruise. We
    made the cut. From that point on people on deck or across the dining
    room would put their hand over their heads doing the lariat.

    You can learn how to do the twist and place yourself in a position to
    win the prize in your oral board. Once you learn the necessary steps
    you will never, ever forget just like we proved winning the dance
    contest.

    The point here is that it pays to learn a lot of dance steps (how to
    take an oral) so when the music starts up (the questions) you can pick
    up the beat, catch the rhythm with the panel and step it out to make the
    cut. You can have GPS for you to get your J-O-B!
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default

    So after 6 long years it finally happened, I got by badge! I will be starting the fire academy at a local fire station very soon!

    Let me tell everyone here that the advice that CaptBob and CaptRob here on the forums and in their video could not be spot on. After watching it and buying a tape recorder I was able to craft "one of the most impressive candidates that the city has ever seen," according to one of the civil service members.

    The tools are all in your arsenal, you just need to find it inside of you. I would highly recommend reading all you can here, on eatstress.com and checking out getting their videos. I know without it I would have walked into the oral board completely unprepared, and would not have this incredible job that I have here today!

    Thanks again CaptBob and CaptRob

    Cyrus

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    Default Stories Get Badges!

    I was having lunch the other day at Chipotle’s I noticed a group wearing T-shirts from the near by American Health Education where they were going through the EMT program. All wanted to be firefighters. After I introduced myself I asked a few of the candidates why they wanted to be firefighters? I heard public service, helping people, giving back, not the same thing every day, blah blah blah. They were surprised that what they thought was unique answer was just a “clone” answer of everyone else in the group.

    If you used these “clone answers in your oral board the magic that you needed to hook up with the oral board has passed and you didn’t hook them into listening to your stuff. You have just scored yourself. Trust me. You can see the glaze come over the raters’ eyes. It’s like a deer caught in the headlights. They are gone and they won’t come back.

    It’s not that you can’t use clone answers. You can. But first you need to deliver a signature story about you. Not a clone answer of anyone else. I haven’t met a candidate yet that couldn’t come up with signature stories. Here’s how:

    Don Hewitt, one of the pioneers of television news and the creator of CBS's "60 Minutes" said, “The key to my success is four words that every child in the world knows. Tell me a story. Learn how to tell a story and you will be a success.” It's the same with getting a firefighter badge!

    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. Not a profile robot “clone” of everyone else.

    If you have all the education, experience and the burning desire to get that badge, you’re not getting hired, having to cool your heels in another position waiting for that next opportunity (not a bad ideal), you have be asking yourself why?

    Why some candidates getting hired and others are wasting opportunities? Those getting hired simply got positive results by putting simple techniques into action. The big difference is they figured out how to maximize the points in their oral boards, are now riding big red and taking home a pay check.

    Here’s how they did it. Since oral board scores are calculated in hundredths of points (82.15, 87.63, 90.87, etc), the goal is to keep building on a few hundredths of points here on this question, a few hundredths there on that answer, gaining a few more hundredths with their signature personalized life experience stories at the appropriate time, delivering the all powerful “Nugget” answers that no one else can tell, and pulling away from the parrot salvo dropping clones.

    Before the clone candidates realize what has happened, these candidates have added on extra points to their score placing them in a position to be invited to the chief’s interview where they get a real shot at the badge. Just being 1 to 2 points out of the running can decide whether you will go forward in the hiring process or not.

    The toughest thing for candidates to do in an oral is to be themselves on purpose. Your stories establish a natural bridge between you and the panel. When you're yourself, you become conversational because you are on your own turf. This alone can lower the stress and the butterflies. Every one has butterflies. The trick is to get all the butterflies to all fly in the same formation than can make the difference.

    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 a hand held 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.

    I was talking to a candidate one day who was giving me those clone answers why he wanted to be a firefighter. I stopped him and had him rewind the videotape of his life to where he first got the spark to be a firefighter. He said, “Oh, I’m from South America. When I was growing up, we lived with my grandfather who was the fire chief of the city. I got to go with him and be exposed to the whole department.”

    I asked if he had ever told that story in any of his oral board interviews? He said, “No”. Why not? I will bet you big money you are a clone candidate right now. But, I bet you also have some personal signature stories that could instantly change your interview scores.

    Some say, how can you prepare for your orals without turning into a clone?” Good question. Simple answer. The real reason is nobody else can tell your story! Nobody! So the point here is not the question, but the answer. Start establishing your personalized stories. When you start lacing your answers with your personalized experiences is where you start to shorten that gap between you and that infamous badge.

    “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”

    The proof is in the badges!
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  13. #13
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    Default

    The best oral board tool for any reasonably bright candidate would be to ignore charlatans and snake oil salesmen who make their money preying on naive applicants.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Default Snake Oil????

    DeputyMarshal....Nobody is twisting their arms to buy the info that is offered from your so called snake oil salesmen. I have to say that those who would like their help ask for it and they do so to further their chances. If I had two candidates in front of me who one did it himself/herself and one who used the methods of Captain Bob and FFRob plus a few others who are out there i.e. Paul Lepore and Mcnea (sp) I'd bet the one who had used a mentor would score higher. It's easy to sit back and make wild comments and not back them up....I have used them to help others and to me it works. I've had first hand knowledge of the willingness of those who want to help..help. Those who want to make wild accusations and don't back them up do so.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

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