1. #1
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    Default Oral Board Interview Unique Situation Need Advice

    Have a question and would appreciate feedback from everyone. I am currently participating in a employment process that is at the oral interview portion of that process. The oral board is the final graded step of a three part process to create and eligibilty list for possible future hires later this year.
    I am a five year career paid firefighter who is recently unemployed because I had to relocate with my family because of my wifes job which far provides more income than mine. I have been through several hiring processes with large and small departments. I say this only to let anyone who reads this know I am familiar with hiring processes, how tough they are, and how important character and first impressions are to the hiring authority.

    I recently had an accident in which I tore my ACL and fractured my tibia at the knee. This happened in the middle of this hiring process. I want this position badly. With advice from from my doctor I still went through the agility portion of the hiring process and completed the test even though I was hurt to stay active in the process for a position with the department in question. I have been to my orthapedic specialist for care during this process and finally have surgery schedulued to fix my knee. I am in great shape and my doctor thinks with my healthy condition and drive , my rehab should be shorter than normal and I can be back for active duty quicker than normal. I have no doubt I will be 100% healthy before the actual job offers will be made.

    My problem is I was just notified of the date for my oral board interview with the Civil Service Commision, and it is 1 week after I am schedulued to have my knee repaired. I am worried if I show up for my interview with crutches which I have to use for a couple weeks, it will hurt my chances and give a bad impression to the Civil Service Commision. I need a good interview score so I can be placed as high on the list as possible. What should I do? I would hate to reschedule surgery because it only adds time to my rehab. I don't want to be looked upon as weak or negatively if I show up on crutches either.

    Any advice would be appreciated and thanks for your time for those who read this.

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    I would lay out the details of your situation exactly how you layed it out here for us. Honesty is the best policy, and make sure they know what your Dr said about your recovery. Telling them the reasoning why you chose to have the surgery earlier will also help your cause too. Depending on their questioning, I would make sure that you bring it up if it doesn't come up naturally in their questioning though.

    You can't help what they think, but from just what I read and your story behind it you seem like a very likeable person. That might work to your advantage as the board members might be able to relate to you better.

    I showed up to an oral late (I know... it's a huge no-no and it has never happened again), but I think I did better than I would have done because I leveled with them and they could relate. I called ahead to let them know that I was going to be late. When I got there I found out that they even stayed late and created a slot for me so I got really nervous that I was walking into a board that was upset with me to begin with. But then they started by getting in some shots at my expense which I welcomed cuz I knew at that point that they wern't going to hold it against me.

    Just get it out there for them and put the ball in their court.

    Good luck!!

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    You don't want to create even the slightest doubt in any panel members mind. Reschedule the surgery.

    You don't want to bring this up unless the panel does. If they do, then you can use the reasonable explanation you have outlined here practiced with a hand held recorder until it comes out of your mouth the way you want it to sound.

    Take the poison early. Much has changed with ADA law. If you have the slightest concern for this medical situation, have the leading expert in this field of medicine (no, not just your family doctor) evaluate your condition after your rehab. If they feel you’re fit for duty, have them give you a letter.

    If the situation comes up during your medical, then and only then, produce the letter. The goal is not being DQ’d during the medical and having to fight the doctors later to get back in.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 04-28-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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    yes show up, they more then likely would not reschedule just for one person, and take a doctor's note stating what is wrong and when he thinks you can work.

    as stated above you do still have to pass thier medical


    I guess the question that needs to be answered is how soon do they want to start someone working, whoever they hire?? and can you hit that time frame.

    More then likely if you cannot hit thier start date, they would tell you that they would not hire you.

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    As you mentioned in your posting you're familiar with the hiring process. With that said, the biggest problem I've seen on oral boards with seasoned veterans taking entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nose rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board's skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

    There is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying.

    The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan is in place.

    I think this says it all:
    It was five years ago that I first visited this web site. It was how I found and landed my first job at a small career department, and served for four and a half years. The entire time I wanted to make the lateral move to my hometown dept.--a larger city, more opportunities, Paramedic and tech. rescue opportunities...But I was a bone head. I thought because I was already on the job elsewhere, I could waltz through the process, and to some extent I did--all the way to the Chief's interview twice, but never got the call. Laterals, my advice to you is this: we are our own worst enemies...you think you are a good judge of your interview skills, trust me you're not. Don't be a bonehead like me and go through the process twice before figuring it out I needed to go back and start at square one. Matt
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