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Thread: Interview Questions HELP!

  1. #21
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    Say what you want about it being spam but Capt Bob went WAY out of his way to help me at 11pm the night before my interview and I firmly believe he is the reason for me getting hire. I didn't realize how unprepared for the quesitons I was until I went over them with him over the phone and got a recording of it.
    FFII/EMT-P


  2. #22
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Captain Bob

    I'm with all of us who has benefited from what Captain Bob, Captain Rob and Chief Lepore has to offer. Spam is define as unwanted information and "WE" do not see it that way. I for one had mentioned that I was in the running for Fire Chief and Captain Bob went far and beyond to help out in my endeavor.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffbam24 View Post
    The only "secret" to it all, is finding what your personal experience is to make your answers your own. That's "the nugget". That's why you're not going to hear how he would answer most of these questions. Because each person has their own story.
    ffbam24 is right on!

    Stories Get Badges!

    [I]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.”[/I]

    We encourage candidates to lace their answers with stories of their 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. In a recent fire academy all but two recruits were candidates who learned how to tell their life experience stories. You couldn’t tell one from the other in the oral board because they were using their own stuff. Not a profile robot “clone” of everyone else.

    If you have all the education, experience and the burning desire to get that badge and 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?

    You can talk all you want about what we do, how you want it or think it should be, but the candidates you are reading about in our postings are a lot like you. They 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 paycheck.

    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 (your stories) that no one else can tell, and pulling away from the parrot salvo -dropping clones.

    What's a "Nugget?" A "Nugget" is an answer to an oral board question that will get you your best score (highest possible) on that question, satisfy the board, and cause them to go on to the next question. You will get bonus points by personalizing your answer.

    The "Nugget Principle" enables applicants to personalize their presentations to separate them from the "clone" candidates. No one else can tell your story. Once you start lacing answers with your personal life experiences, no matter if they aren't fire department related, is where you start creating the magic.

    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.

    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 with 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.

    Another Example: Ted was telling me a story about being a federal firefighter in Yellowstone when it burned. The story was not too exciting the way he was telling it. I had to stop and ask, “It sounds like you were trapped?” He was. Now he tells that story and the hairs start standing up on the back of your neck. You’re trapped with him. You can smell the smoke and see the embers dropping around you. Does this story make a difference? Please say yes.

    Case in point. I talked to a candidate who was dumping only clone answers on the question “Why do you want to be a firefighter?” Then he realized he could begin his answer with a signature story. He remembered a story he could use about a prank being played on him when he did a ride along with his brother. He couldn’t believe the difference when he used this personalized signature story at his next oral board.

    The story brought smiles and laughter from the panel members. Along with the calls they went on by the end of the day he knew this was the job that blended all his needs. He followed this story with his standard landmark clone answers. This was the first question on his oral. His answer made everyone more comfortable and the interview flowed a lot smoother than before.

    “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-16-2010 at 05:59 PM.
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  4. #24
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    Default Captain Bob

    Boys , i tell it like it is.
    Ill be the first one to say that Captain Bob got me my first badge.. Hands down. His program is no magic show, its not a magic pill sprinkled with fairy dust..you buying the cd doesn't mean your getting hired.. you listening to what Capt Bob says and then applying it does.
    The guy has developed a clear road , pot hole free method of preparing you for your interview.. A lot of guys cant handle the pressure of even preparing for an interview..i couldn't. Plus we all know a million idiots that got hired that are automatic experts..I personally got advice from every firefighter i knew and at the end of the day my answers were all over the place.. i needed somebody to pick me up , dust me off and put me in line. He did.
    I reached out to the guy and he offered me the program that at the present time.. i couldn't afford. I couldn't even afford the damn shipping!! He picked up the tab on both and had it sent OVERNIGHT to me ($40-60) so i could have his program for ONE DAY before my interview and pay him back when i could.. " Your interview is more important to me than a payment.."
    That alone says Who he is and what hes about..The guy in my book is a damn saint.
    Deep down , Its a well put, well designed , well written essential piece of information for the firefighter that wants to get hired.. Period.
    My dream came true because Captain Bob helped me.
    And to the rest of the clowns here dogging my boy.. those who think there experts .. why don't they have any material out? Either there not skilled instructors , educated , a sharp word-smith or prob just to prideful to help somebody out. What kind of an ******* tells somebody to quit there dream and go flip burgers or fries or whatever..
    Either way..
    Keep on hating.. Captain Bob loves it

    FFMedicMiami.
    Over and out

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I'm with all of us who has benefited from what Captain Bob, Captain Rob and Chief Lepore has to offer. Spam is define as unwanted information and "WE" do not see it that way. I for one had mentioned that I was in the running for Fire Chief and Captain Bob went far and beyond to help out in my endeavor.
    Jay, what rank were you holding when you tested for Fire Chief? Was it with the dept you retired from?

  6. #26
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFMedicMiami View Post
    Ill be the first one to say that Captain Bob got me my first badge.. Hands down.
    You got your first badge. Nobody else can get it for you and, if they did, you wouldn't deserve it.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  7. #27
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    OK, the guy's an angel, he's a saint...

    I don't care if he's GOD Himself. The forum rules are black and white:

    Forum Rules & Guidelines

    Not Permitted or Tolerated:
    ē Advertising and/or links of commercial, for-profit websites, products, and/or services is not permitted. If you have a need to advertise on Firehouse.com please contact sales@firehouse.com

    {etc.}
    What's good for one spammer is good for all. Others have been banned for posting commercial links (that they had no monetary interest in), just as informative posts. Yet this clown (Sorry, ST. Clown) has 2000+ posts and puts HIS commercial website on each one, with no punishment? WTF?
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  8. #28
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    Default Forum Guidelines for Signatures

    Received 9/9/2010 from Firehouse Web Manager

    CaptBob,

    It has been determined that url's can be present in a signature as long as they are not presented as an active url. Many times, the users on this forum do have items to be shared via another site. In the past, we did not allow this but in the cases of signatures, it is not really advertising. If it is within a post this is against our rules and guidelines.

    We realize that this is a change to what was previously relayed and do apologize but we also want this forum to be a place of learning and knowledge.

    Again, your continued support of Firehouse.com is appreciated.

    Firehouse Web Manager

  9. #29
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    Default Incredible

    Im pretty shocked at what ive been reading about Capt. Bob. Ill keep this short and sweet. Capt. Bob, thank you for helping me "earn that badge" as you say. Back in '01 and '02 I was testing for a small town fire dept. in south tex. and I came across your webpage. Long story short I bought the audio and video tapes. Guess what? I got hired and to this day I believe it was because of how well I performed in the Oral board interview. Now I work for a big city fire dept. in texas!

    You da man!

  10. #30
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    Default Donít be A Clone Candidate!

    A candidate was taking his oral with a big city department recently. One of the panel member stopped him and said, ďI donít want an answer out of one of those books.! Iíve heard these same book answers from candidates all week long.Ē Do you want us to give you the same score we gave them or give it another try with your answers?

    Itís not the interview questions that are the problem, itís the answers! Unfortunately many candidates become clones and give clone answers. And the bigger problem is they donít know it. I hate to say, but often they are cloned in fire colleges , academies, books, and CD/DVDís. Clone answers can doom your oral board.

    One of our officers was on an oral board for a big city. Several boards interviewed 965 candidates. His board interviewed candidates over a period of 10 days. Imagine you were this officer and it is the fifth day of interviewing. You have just come back from lunch where the city has wined and dined you. Youíre tired and you know you have another five days of interviews ahead of you.

    The next candidate is called in. The first question you ask is, ďWhat sparked your interest and why do you want to be a firefighter?Ē He proceeds to give you the same clone answers you have heard from almost every candidate for five days. Public service, helping people, not the same thing every day, blah blah blah. The magic that you needed to hook up with the oral board has passed and you didnít hook them into listening to your stuff. You have just scored yourself. Trust me. You can see the glaze come over the ratersí eyes. Itís like a deer caught in the headlights. They are gone and they wonít come back.

    Itís not that you canít use clone answers. You can. But first you need to deliver a signature story about you. Not a clone answer of anyone else. I havenít met a candidate yet that couldnít come up with signature stories. Signature stories demonstrate experience (see above posting Stories Get Badges). They also tell that you not only know the answer to a question, youíve lived it. Firefighters love firefighter stories. If you open up with a signature story, you instantly separate yourself from the other clone candidates. Stories show the oral board who you really are. You capture the board and take them on a journey with a story they have never heard. Is this making sense?

    The toughest thing for candidates to do in an oral is being themselves on purpose. When you are yourself, you become conversational because you are on your own turf. This alone can lower the stress and the butterflies.
    An oral board member told me they had a candidate who didnít answer all the questions the way they wanted him to do, but he had such great personal life experience in his answers (stories), they hired him anyway. This is human nature. Stories help bridge that gap. Clone answers and clone candidates donít have a chance here.

    Example:
    A candidate was telling a story about being a federal firefighter in Yellowstone when it burned. The story was not too exciting the way he was telling it. I had to stop and ask, ďIt sounds like you were trapped?Ē He was. Now he tells that story and the hairs start standing up on the back of your neck. Youíre trapped with him. You can smell the smoke and see the embers dropping around you. Does this story make a difference? Please say yes.
    So the point here is not the question, but the answer. Start establishing your personalized stories.

    Instant ďClonesĒ

    Recently I had the opportunity to participate in mock orals with one of my instructors who happens to be really great when it comes interviewing. In our class that comprises mostly of people starting fire tech classes, nobody did very well. It was a great lesson about how we need to start preparing and getting to familiarize ourselves with the testing process. However, 2 guys who were friends with our instructor participated in our mock orals, and put the rest of us to shame. They obviously have spent countless hours practicing orals with our instructor.

    They really knew their stuff and not having any oral experience myself, I was very impressed, along with the rest of my class. My question is that these guys were so well rehearsed and knew each question and answers like the back of their hand, they sounded like actors in a playóanybody could tell that everything down to expressions, and hand motions had been practiced over and over to perfection. Is this what interviewers want when they interview you? Do they really want to see rehearsed answers? Donít get me wrong, the answers were very good, but seemed so artificial. Please let me know if itís better to answer questions to the best of your knowledge, or just to memorize good answers. Thanks, any input would be great.


    Reply: What you saw was a perfect example of turning candidates into Clones. Itís impressive at first. But if you felt it was too rehearsed, so will the oral board panel. When you see it over and over again it gets old and puts the panel into a daze. We could tell who the instructors were on many of the clone candidates by the second question. This will stick out in an interview. One thing about clone candidates; they will end up with a score that will put them in the clone pack.
    ______________________________ _______________

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    One of the panel member stopped him and said, ďI donít want an answer out of one of those books.! Iíve heard these same book answers from candidates all week long.Ē
    Nor do we want cut-and-paste postings from other websites.

    One of our officers was on an oral board for a big city. Several boards interviewed 965 candidates. His board interviewed 135 candidates over a period of 10 days. Imagine you were this officer and it is the fifth day of interviewing. You have just come back from lunch where the city has wined and dined you. Youíre tired and you know you have another five days of interviews ahead of you.

    http://www.thefirefighterexam.com/interview.html
    One of our officers was on an oral board for a big city. Several boards interviewed a total of 965 candidates. His board interviewed 350 candidates over 10 days. Imagine you were this officer and it is the fifth day of interviewing. You have just come back from lunch where the city has wined and dined you. You're tired and you know you have another five days of interviews ahead of you.

    http://www.fireprep.com/don_t_be_a_c...idate__fi.html
    One of our officers was on an oral board for a big city. Several boards interviewed 965 candidates. His board interviewed 135 candidates over a period of 10 days. Imagine you were this officer and it is the fifth day of interviewing. You have just come back from lunch where the city has wined and dined you. Youíre tired and you know you have another five days of interviews ahead of you.

    http://www.eatstress.com/bestarticle.htm
    One of our officers was on an oral board for a big city. Several boards interviewed 965 candidates. His board interviewed candidates over a period of 10 days. Imagine you were this officer and it is the fifth day of interviewing. You have just come back from lunch where the city has wined and dined you. You're tired and you know you have another five days of interviews ahead of you.

    http://www.firehouse.com/topic/caree...nique-or-clone
    And there are more...

    If you're going to insist on spamming the forum, could you at least come up with some new material instead of regurgitating the same drek, word for word, over and over again?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  12. #32
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Problem???

    DeputyMarshal.... I think what Captain Bob does is not against firehouse.coms web site rules. As stated previously by the web master of this site he does not break any rules......you however are at least consistent.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  13. #33
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I think what Captain Bob does is not against firehouse.coms web site rules.
    It's called spam. For whatever reason, the rules just don't seem to apply to CaptSpam or CaptSpam Jr. Bribes? Kneepads? Both? Who knows.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  14. #34
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Spam???

    One man's spam is another man's savior....I think you need to just let it go.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    One man's spam is another man's savior....I think you need to just let it go.
    Couldnt have said it better myself

    Deputymarshall its not working, turn the page already

  16. #36
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    Dang Fire Marshall chill out man. Sounds to me like he is within the regs. I guess you have forgotten how hard it is to get this job, and a lot of the people on this site (especially this thread) are volunteers wanting to go paid (myself), students, and other hopeful canidates. I take all the advice I can get. When I get home and start preparing to ETS from the army, I plan on buying Capt. Bob's product, as that is the time I will be exploring the options and opportunities of trying to get onto a paid department. Bottom line: Don't hate the player, hate the game man.

    Capt. Bob, thanks for your advice on this thread. Keep it coming.

  17. #37
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    Default Why Do You Want to be a Firefighter?

    Again, a quick check in this forum and you will see that agencies are hiring again. You certainly don’t want to waste any opportunities if you’re selected to participate in a testing and hiring process.

    Why Do You Want to be a Firefighter?

    This is one of the toughest questions to answer without sounding like a Clone.

    There was a point in your pursuit that sparked your interest. It might have been during a class, ride along or a life experience where your mind went click; that’s it. This is what I want to do in life. My life is not going to be the same until I get that badge. When did this happen? That’s your “Nugget” signature story no one else can tell. Once you have the board hooked into listening to you, you can use those other “Clone” answers to caboose your answer.

    I don’t have any courses or certifications to become a firefighter. Can I still find a personal nugget story that could be relevant and interesting to the oral board without sounding like a clone? H. Barrow

    Yes. Use your personal life and job experiences, i.e. customer service, sports, responsibility, working as a team, commitment, challenges, a degree where you learned how to learn, etc. and relate them the job of a firefighter.

    I asked a candidate who was testing for Oakland one day why he wanted to be a firefighter. He gave me the typical “Clone” answer, “It’s giving back to the community, public service, helping others, blah, blah, zzzzzzzzzzzz.”

    I stopped him and asked, “What really got you interested in being a firefighter?” He said, “Oh, well I grew up in Oakland, but moved to Shasta during high school. After graduation I went to hotel management school in Reno. That didn’t work out, so I moved back to Oakland and started going to Chabot College. I met an old friend who was in the fire science program. We ended up over at his house. His father was a captain for Oakland. They got me all fired up, I signed up in fire science, got my firefighter 1, became a medic and I’m currently a federal firefighter.”

    I just sat there amazed. I asked him if he had ever used this (his signature) story before? He said no. You gave me the “Clone” answer and you had this beauty sitting here? He polished up the story and practiced it with a voice recorder. He works proudly for the City of Alameda.

    Another candidate remembered he had the Gage and Desoto dish and cup set from the TV series Emergency. His mom had a picture of him in front of the TV as a kid eating off it when the show came on. He took that picture to his orals. Did it work as part of why he wanted to be a FF? He works for San Jose Fire.

    After a written test I asked a group of six candidates why they wanted to be firefighters. They were amazed that what they thought was unique was only a “Clone”. After I worked with one in the group with his signature story of why he wanted to be a firefighter, the rest of the group used the formula to put together their own too.

    I have yet to find a candidate who doesn’t have signature stories. The problem is they don’t know how to use them. You might not know yours today. But, after reading this, you will have some aha’s in the next few days.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-29-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    You got your first badge. Nobody else can get it for you and, if they did, you wouldn't deserve it.
    And so you got your badge without the help of anyone?? You never inquired with anyone about the how, the when, the who, the what, the where and the why of getting hired?? You just walked in off the street, filled out an application and took an interview and got hired...right?? It's apparent that ALL who've posted here, are sick of your drivel, and would appreciate it much if you would just leave! As some great poet once said: "...You don't have to go home, but you got to get the HELL OUTTA HERE!!"

    If you have a personal problem with CaptBob, why don't you PM him, instead of attempting to impugn his passion for helping people (something I've NOT seen you do!!) in the public theater of this web site, where you're obviously are begging for an audience! You won't get many here to co-sign on your hate and discontent. You don't help others with your rants against CaptBob, you only confuse those that are diligently and ardently pursuing the answers, that are numerous, but don't always pass the litmus test. I know he charges for some of his material. But how is he different from anyone who has taken the time to package information and sell it. Duh!! It's the same principle used by many that have built this great capitalist society: IT'S CALLED BUILDING A BUSINESS!!

    Why don't you turn over a new leaf, if you're so inclined? Why don't you do what CaptBob is doing but do it better?? Help more people! Hell...generate some income of your own by marketing your experience and knowledge of getting hired, if that's possible. But stop poisoning the process with your negativity! In the eyes of potential new firefighters, you give all firefighters a black eye!
    Worse than that you come across as one of the lowest forms of mankind: A HATER. And I know you're a better man than that!

    "The Axeman"
    ____________
    "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

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    Default

    I used Capt Bob's program and Captain Rob's coaching and scored a 99% on my first interview. Thank you to both of you.

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    Openings

    How long do you think you have once you walk into the oral board to hook them into listening to your stuff? Many guess 2, 3 and 6 minutes. You have 32seconds. In that first 32 seconds of your oral board you come in with what’s called the “halo” effect.

    In the blink of an eye in that first 32 seconds the board is checking your appearance (the strongest nonverbal statement you can make is what you wear), choice of words, inflection, voice, eye contact and body language. If you open with a clone answer, you’re dead meat. There are six other areas in the oral board where you can recover, but don’t count on that happening. Once you see the glaze come over the oral board’s eyes, you’ve lost them and they won’t come back. Trust me. Please open using a signature story about yourself (see Stories Get Badges posting in this thread).

    Candidates have about a 20-minute opportunity for a 25+-year career. The ultimate goal is to have the least amount of distractions in your oral board. Everyone has his or her opinions. It seems once a person gets hired, they quickly forget how hard it really was to nail that badge.

    As well-meaning as some people are, I don’t believe anyone wants to be responsible for a candidate not being able to complete their pursuit for a badge. What might have worked for one candidate doesn’t mean it will automatically work for others. As our son Captain Rob says, “They’re going to tell you how to do it they are you. They’re not you!”

    Since oral board scores are calculated in hundredths of points (82.15, 87.63, 90.87, etc), bad or incorrect information can place a candidate less than one point out of the running and put them out of the process. I have seen this all too often.

    Question:

    I just had an oral where I was asked to tell them about myself, my training and education. I proceeded to “dump the whole load”. Two questions later I was asked “What have you done to prepare yourself for the position of firefighter.” I was stumped. I had just told them every¨thing and now had nothing to say without reiterating. My question is: How do I differentiate the two questions especially because I don’t know what I will be asked.

    Reply: One of the worst things you want to do is reiterate in the body or closing of your oral board. Sometimes the raters make errors in asking or combining more than one question at a time.

    This might help: The dilemma is, “Shall I have a short or long answer for the typical opening question ‘Tell us a little about yourself’?” Remember “a little”. This is just an ice breaker question to get you comfortable in the chair. A one-minute or less answer about you and your hobbies is all that is needed here.

    What’s real important to understand here is your opening answer is usually not scored! Either is the closing statement. That’s right; there is generally not a box to score the answer for an opening or closing statement.


    They don’t need your name (they already have it) and NEVER tell them your age. A “Nugget” here: If they look baffled after your short answer, ask if they want more. They usually won’t.

    Most candidates make a big error on this opening question by dumping the whole load on why they want to be a firefighter, what they have done to prepare, why this city and on and on. That’s not what this question is about. It’s only to get you comfortable in the chair. Then, when the panel starts asking why you want to be a firefighter, what have you done to prepare and the other standard 30 possible oral board questions (see sample question list above) you have to reiterate what you have already said. You lose valuable time and points here.

    When some candidates start talking in an oral, it’s like going on a journey. There may be no final destination. Most panel members aren’t packed for the trip. I asked a candidate to tell me a little about himself one day. I stopped him 12 minutes later somewhere in Montana. I said you have just used up 12 minutes of a 20-minute oral. What do you think we have time for now?
    Last edited by CaptBob; 11-06-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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