Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 104
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Interview Questions HELP!

  1. #41
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Scenario Questions

    Do you think you have what it takes to answer all situation questions correctly? . . . answer this (in less that an hour)?

    What would you do as a rookie firefighter? Your captain asks you to come in his office to review your final evaluation of probation. You notice a smell of alcohol on his breath. How would you reply?

    This is a perfect example how you can be fooled on a scenario question. Again I believe there are only 30 oral board questions. They can be disguised in hundreds of different ways. This is one of the disguises for drinking on the job, which is number 12 on our 30 plus list in this posting.

    Here is a simple way to break a disguised question down. Dissect the question down to its simplest term, one word, of what the question is really about (i.e. stealing, drugs, drinking, etc.). Once you have removed the disguise, you can place it in one of the 30 plus oral board questions you already have answers for.

    One way to help you do this is picture a piece of paper in your mind with a line drawn down the center. On the left of the line are issues dealing with ethics, such as stealing, drugs, or drinking. With ethical issues, you ask appropriate questions to determine what you suspect.

    If true, you donít deviate . . . you go straight up to a supervisor. On the right side of the line is anything to do with getting along with others; you will go to great lengths to work it out before going to a supervisor. If you can decide what side of the line the question belongs, you have a better chance of knowing how to answer the question.

    So take off the disguise that this is your captain. Dissect the question down to its simplest form; one word. What is this about? Right, drinking. What side of the line is this on? Right or left. If itís on the left side of the line what do we do? Drinking is not tolerated. Right again. Ask questions to determine if your suspicions are correct (are you drinking?). If so, you go straight up (why donít we go to our supervisor) no matter who or what rank is on the other side of the table; and stick to your answer no matter what. YOU WILL NEVER BE WRONG! TRUST ME!

    Hereís another way this question can be disguised:

    You go in the locker room and see a fellow firefighter drinking something that looks like alcohol. What do you do? The clone, soap opera answer would be: I would try to get him into the day room, play cards and try to smell his breath; or I would have him go home sick, or have another firefighter come into relieve him.

    These are all soap opera answers. Unfortunately they are taught in fire academies, books with suggested answers and fire technology programs. They will make you a Clone candidate. Donít go on this journey. They are insulting to the oral board. You will loose valuable points here. We are intelligent beings on the other side of the table. Give us credit for that. Donít start a soap opera. Ask a question that would verify your suspicions and give a direct answer; not a soap opera.

    Understand that if the oral board fires up a question that sounds like drinking on the job, itís going to be about drinking on the job. If itís a question that sounds like taking drugs on the job, itís going to be about taking drugs on the job; Itís not going to be aspirin. If the question sounds like itís about stealing on the job, itís going to be about stealing on the job. If they fire up a question that sounds like sexual harassment, thatís what itís going to be about or they wouldnít bring it up.

    If they fire-up these questions, take off the disguise ask questions to verify what you suspect, decide what side of the line it belongs on and then take action in fantasyland. Donít be like so many candidates by starting a soap opera.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com


  2. #42
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Strengths and Weaknesses

    I was going over some questions for interviews, and I was hoping someone could help me with an answer. What are good answers for the question; what are your strengths and weaknesses? What are some bad answers? ó John

    Reply: Letís start with what your answers are first.

    O.K. If asked those questions I would probably respond with something like; My strengths are education, willingness to start from the bottom, my diverse background in fields other than fire fighting, and the fact that I have experience but am very adaptable to my current surroundings. My weaknesses are occasional tunnel vision, excitability, and no full-time experience. There are probably a thousand faults but you get the point. Where do I go from here? John

    First understand that if we start giving answers, everyone would clone them and they would lose their value. I encourage candidates do use their own answers, reflecting their personal life experience.

    This question can be asked in many ways, i.e.: What attributes do you think a firefighter should possess, or what qualities, what strengths etc. I think you can come up with better strengths. Education, starting at the bottom and a diverse background are not really strengths. They are what youíve done to prepare for the position. Areas relating to loyalty, honesty, and being dependable etc. are strengths.

    When youíre deciding a weakness, use something that might have been a weakness, but you have already done something to correct it i.e., you had a problem speaking in front of groups. You have improved this situation by taking a public speaking class or joining Toastmasters.

    Since firefighters are in a living environment, we would not be looking for someone with occasional tunnel vision and excitability. No full-time experience is not a good choice for a weakness either.

    Got a call from a candidate who lives in Washington now and his oral was in 4 days. Joel got his Firefighter 1 from an academy in Southern California. He said it hasnít helped much trying to get a job. He has now been a medic for 8 months with no luck in testing. In the most pathetic monotone voice he said this is the department he really wants to work for and (with absolutely no enthusiasm) he will be one of the 15 hired.

    He asked if he could run one of his answers on what a negative is for him that his firefighter buddies and other friends helped him work out. Sure, shoot. Joel said a negative for me is my past. Even though I got a DUI and some other minor stuff, thatís not who I really am.

    I couldnít believe my ears. Uh, Joel that answer would only open a can of worms. Donít use it.

    Joel said, OK how about this one. Another negative for me is my paramedic skills. This job will help me improve them. Again, I couldnít believe my ears. Yep, thatís the guy we want to hire, the one with the poor medic skills. Canít use this one either.

    As already mentioned, everyone becomes an expert when they get hired. The answers Joel worked out with some firefighters and friends were definitely not helping but hurting him. The bigger problem is he didnít even have a clue. This was just one answer. How bad were the others?

    I would like to say this was an isolated incident. But we encounter these bad answers on a regular basis. It is especially painful in an actual oral board where we see the candidates die a slow death one question after another. Then the candidates wonder why they donít get hired. This is an area where we try to keep candidates from stepping on the land mines.

    After a little probing, we did find a negative Joel could use that he was working on to improve.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  3. #43
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default It works

    Capt. Bob,

    Three months into probation and I'm happier than ever because I am wearing a badge again every day I'm at work. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and the valuable skills I learned from your package. I was a fulltime firefighter before and had suffered some setbacks with department layoffs. I thought I knew how to get hired, but I didn't know how to prepare properly for a new assault on the testing process. The Gold package is full of tips, tricks, and "nuggets" that I used to get my badge. If anyone doubts the program, the proof is in the badge that I wear and the countless other individuals who have contacted you for help and now wear the badge. If anyone asks me, I send 'em your way, because it works, and nothing matters until you get the badge, nothing! Thanks Capt. Bob!

    Sincerely,

    AJ

    And to add, Capt Bob went out of his way to help myself and another one of my friends when we were both laid off of a dept. He got us both the info we needed and it didn't matter when or if we could afford it. He helped a couple brother firefighters out. That's real class in my book.

  4. #44
    Forum Member jmal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default

    "what is one of your weaknesses?"
    I like to turn a bad thing into a good thing, by adding "being too organized".
    -maybe this is bad response, if so let me know.

    Jmal

  5. #45
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Correct

    I feel that if you can turn a weakness into an asset your way ahead of the game.....
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  6. #46
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Resumes

    Most resumes are poorly done. The business resume format is not the best for firefighter candidates, because with the high volume of candidates, the raters only have a few moments to look at your resume before you walk into the room.

    I’m a one-page resume guy for entry level without a cover letter, not in a binder or folder. Do not give us a book. We will not read it. The board does not have enough time. And do not come an interview thinking you are going to hand out your resume and we’re going to read it. That is not going to happen. This upsets the normal flow of the interview. We’re going to read your application and resume before you come in the room. If you submit a resume, get it to personnel to be placed in your file before the interview. Don’t fax It. Make the appropriate copies and hand deliver or FedEx them.

    A candidate faxed me his resume. The cover letter for the position he was applying for stated, “Attached is a “brief” description of my qualifications.” I laughed out loud because he had sent me a book. The printer ran out of paper. Save a tree, the raters will not read these volumes. Don’t send me on a treasure hunt to find your great stuff. Hit me with your major qualifications starting with your experience on one page. Write it believing the raters won’t go past the first page. You can put any supporting details, documents, certificates and letters of recommendation following the first page. Keep it simple.

    Many people start their resume with their education. For me, I like to see professional experience jump right off the page. Hit me with experience, bam! Fire fighting, bam! Some kind of training, apparatus operator training, fire school, whatever it is. Hit me with that experience. And that doesn’t necessarily have to be in chronological order or fire service experience. On so many of the resumes I see, I find the important stuff way down at the bottom of the first page. Because that’s how it falls in chronological order. It starts with some education up here, some college, whatever, blah blah, experience, now we’re down at the bottom of the page where I might not see it.

    I was reviewing a candidate’s resume and in chronological order his paramedic certification was at the bottom of the page. I asked him, “What are the most important items on your resume? He said, my Firefighter 1 and Paramedic Certification.” They were at the bottom of the page where they might be missed. We put those items on top so those are the first things that hit you. We put the dates on the right side of the page where it can be referenced. Once you put the dates on the right-hand side of the page, you list your experience in order of importance, not just in chronological order. This makes a big difference.

    My suggestion for a firefighter resume format: name, address, phone number & e-mail address, professional experience, education, volunteer and community service. That’s all you need. Nothing more. Nothing less. Keep it simple.

    Make a photocopy because you never know when you’re going to that job interview. I talk to people who have put in applications and resumes, and six to eight months later they don’t have a copy and don’t remember what they’ve put down.

    Here’s a sample:

    Carl Mcfly (Revised)
    1284 Main St.
    Kensington, Ca 94588
    Phone: 510-286-5890 e-mail: Iwantafirejob@aol.com

    OBJECTIVE: To achieve a level within the fire service.

    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

    Firefighter Fire Department, CA 2-00 Present
    Duties include but are not limited to fire suppression in structural as well as wild land environments and emergency medical services under highly stressful emergency conditions. Also, fire prevention, public education, vehicle and station maintenance under the supervision of a Captain, always focusing on providing quality customer service.

    Engineer (Acting) 2-03 Present

    Firefighter Fire Department (Auxiliary) 3-99 2-00
    Perform in a probationary capacity under emergency situations, fire suppression, emergency medical services, also fire prevention, public education, vehicle and station maintenance.

    EMT Ambulance Service, CA 3-99 2-00
    Perform under emergency situations; emergency medical services under the direction of Redondo Beach and L.A. County Fire Department Paramedics. Vehicle and station maintenance and Code-3 driving.

    INSTRUCTOR Emergency Response CPR Training 3-03 Present
    Adult, Child, & Infant CPR training for the community as well as for the professional rescuer.

    Owner/Operator Pool Company, CA 5-97 2-00
    Service and repair of residential and commercial pools and spas according to County Health Department specifications.

    EDUCATION
    Bachelor’s Degree
    EMT Defib and Combitube certified
    Firefighter I
    Red Cross certified CPR Instructor
    Firefighter II
    Federal Red Card System Member
    Driver/Operator State certified
    Class B Driver’s License

    ACTIVITIES
    Member of State University Track and Field Team.
    Member of State University X-Country Team.
    Volunteer for Hubbs Institute White Sea Bass Population Restoration Project.
    Volunteer for Red Cross on various projects.

    Keep it simple. Nothing more or less.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  7. #47

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Captain Bob,

    I wanted to share my testemonial below...........

    I have been a DOD firefighter in for ten years. I decided a year ago that I wanted to work for a big city. This was my first attempt at a major firefighting hiring process. I had no idea what to expect so I purchased Captain Bob's full package on the advice of a friend. Because of the information I learned in the program I went into my "Chiefs Oral" fully prepared. I was not surprised by a single question. I found out this week that in a month I will be starting with one of the biggest fire departments in the country. There is no doubt in my mind that Captain Bob's materials where instrumental in making my dream a reality!"

  8. #48
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Captain Bob,

    I'm having trouble with question 20 What if your ordered to do something that you felt was unsafe? This seems almost like a trick question because it seems unwise to rush into every order without considering your safety but equally wrong to question a direct order from a more experienced firefighter.

    What is the correct answer to this question?

    Thank you

  9. #49
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    When were you Going to Tell Us?

    What have you left out? If it doesnít come out of your mouth during the interview, it didnít happen.

    You may be leaving important stuff out of your oral board presentations. The following are segments from our son Captain Robís coaching sessions.
    Two recent candidates left out they were Eagle Scouts. Is that important? Yea!

    Although this was a firefighter in Kansas this candidate forgot to include in his oral interview that he grew up in the Las Vegas area and was testing to come back home to Vegas.

    Military experience can be a big asset if you present it correctly. Most military veterans donít expand enough on their experiences to the panel. Like many this candidate only mentioned that he was in the military. Which branch? Marines. Weíre you stationed over seas. Yep. Where? Okinawa and Japan. Did they prepare you with cultural diversity classes before you went to Japan? Yes. So you were taught and lived in a cultural diverse country. I guess. A lot better than just I was in the military. When were you going to tell us?

    Another candidate mentioned he was in the military. What was your assignment? I was part of the ground crew for Marine One. Isnít that the President of the United States helicopter? Yes. Did you have a security clearance? Yes, because I was around the President. Should I use that? When were you going to tell us?

    This candidate only said he worked for a private company that provides fire protection. What do they do? Weapons research, development and testing. Have you been trained to handle emergency situations and suppression with rocket fuels and explosives? Yes. Do you have a security clearance? Yes. What security clearance do you have? I canít tell you. If he couldnít tell us, this is pretty big right? So, when were you going to tell us?

    This candidate was asked, werenít you activated for Iraq? Oh, yea. Tell me the story. Well, I was at the firehouse at Columbia Fire College and the phone rings at 11:30 p.m. It was my crew chief from my Air force reserve unit with orders to report at 7:30 a.m. the next morning at Travis Air Force base. We flew out in a C5A transport and I spent the next year in country and did . ... Iíve now been in 27 countries. Did you learn about cultural diversity? Yes, let me count the ways. When were you going to tell us?

    Did you play sports in high school? Yep. Iíve been playing sports since I was 6 years old. I played three sports in high school. Did you letter? Yes. In all three sports. Were you captain of the team? Yea, baseball. What did you learn? Commitment, being physically fit, working as a team, supervision, recognizing and using the strengths and weaknesses of the team members. Do any of these have any parallels to the fire service? Every one. Have you ever used these in an oral? Nope. Why not? Theyíre golden. Who else can tell the story?

    The candidate only mentioned he was a volunteer. After a few questions it was revealed he lived in the fire station while he was going to school and racked up 8,000 on duty hours. Important?

    Too many candidates have been told by firefighters to only use EMS and fire stuff in their oral boards. They end up leaving out 30-40% of critical life experiences from volunteering and jobs they worked through out their life, including high school that can demonstrate skills and attributes that could separate them from the other candidates.

    There are, however, things you shouldnít say:

    Even though you went into the mission field with your church you never know how this might play out with members of the panel when you bring up church or religion. All you have to do is offend just one panel member and it could affect your score enough to be out of the running. Consider just mentioning how you helped people when and where in culturally diverse parts of the world. You better be praying because your competition is.

    From Seattle area: I have a few accomplishments that look really good on paper, but it seems like every time I say them in my voice recorder or in practice with my fiancť they sound like I am bragging. Where can I fit these in, or should I at all.

    High School Valedictorian
    Full Ride academic scholarship to college
    Academy - Most Inspirational
    Academy - Most Inspirational, Top Recruit, Most Fit
    Yada, yada, yada

    Like I said I am not telling you to brag, but I do think they say something about my work ethic and willingness to work with, and help others.

    Reply: The reason they sound like you're bragging is you are bragging.
    I know you want to drop those in but what would you think as a panel member hearing these rants of accolades? When I hear a candidate continue to boast like this I think teacherís pet, can I do the erasers, kiss ***, yada, yada, yada, etc. Yea, you can use one of these accolades but donít go to overkill.

    When this candidate was asked if he had any questions for the panel he would reply, do you see any reason why I shouldnít get this job, (because a firefighter friend told him to say that)? Everyone becomes an expert when they get hired you know. This did not play well on the other side of the panel.

    A candidate in a recent oral told the panel he stayed in shape with arena boxing. Isnít that cage boxing? Yea. This lead to more questions into areas you might not want to go.

    Anytime I hear someone is involved in motocross, cage boxing, ice hockey or any other extreme sports I wonder how many times this candidate has had their bell rung or injuries they have already had or will have that could affect future time and sick leave or ability to do the job. Iím not the only person that feels this way. All you need is a little doubt with one rater and it can affect your score to keep you out of the running to be considered.

    In response to the tip I got this e-mail:

    So would ballet and bowling be a better choice to put on my resume as opposed to ice hockey or other extreme sports?? Would I not want to include sports that are demanding and rigorous on the body as experienced in firefighting? I noticed you left off the bell ringing all American sport of football?? Thanks for the tips.

    Reply: A way to present this is to say you are physically fit and can play most any indoor or outdoor sports.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  10. #50
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Not a Regular Job Interview!

    Many regular job and corporate interview candidates like the following are stunned and baffled why they don't have high scores on their firefighter interviews.

    Captain Bob:

    I just received my oral board score for the City of Glendale. The score did not represent how I felt I did during the interview. This is a big problem for me because I now realize that I DON'T KNOW what the board was looking for. I make presentations for a living, so I felt confident in what I did to prepare. I was sure that I just about nailed it.

    I've always been competitive about what I set out to accomplish, using every tool that I can utilize to reach my goal. Sir, I would greatly appreciate your training to help me be the best that I can be at the oral boards.

    I've been preparing for these orals for months and felt extremely prepared. I don't want to waste another oral board without knowing that I've done all that I can to be the best candidate possible. Thank you for your time Sir.
    Regards, Fire Recruit Jeff

    Reply: Jeff, You're not alone here. You have discovered like many other's that a fire department oral board is different than anything you have encountered. Too many candidates beat there heads against the wall for years getting to the point where you are now.

    Another:

    After my interview rejection an east coast city last week, I sent a letter to the D/C thanking him for the opportunity and telling him I'd appreciate any feedback from the interview. Well - he was honest - he indicated he wanted me to keep testing & interviewing, but wrote that I:

    -talked too much & over answered the questions
    -talked too fast
    -some of my answers were based on book knowledge (?)

    Also - as I mentioned I approached this like I would a corporate interview (BAD IDEA) and I tried to 'close' them at the end - they asked if I had any closing questions (jeez I wish I read your web site before going in) and I opened my big stupid mouth to say 'I kept your rejection letter from last year (I actually showed it to them - this was my second time interviewing) and it mentioned that candidates had failed to prepare and properly sell themselves to the board. I've been working to improve myself in these areas for the past year - have I properly done this?'

    The D/C mentioned in his letter back to me that, 'I don't think that showing the letter I mailed out last time was the best thing you could have done. It was as if you were showing it off and showing us that you still had it.' I need to keep my damn mouth shut and just answer the questions. Live and learn. I look forward to getting your package.

    Stay safe Dave

    You don't want to waste any opportunities. How do you turn it around? Remember you're applying for a snott nose rookie position not fire chief. If you try to use regular corporate job interivew skills it could bite you like it did the above candidates. There is a delicate balance here.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  11. #51
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Key Words

    There is a lot of information out there about focusing on specific traits and key words for interviews, trying to target and use those key words to get the boxes checked off on the rating sheets. There are books that teach you the suggested answers, words, etc but they make you a clone of everyone else. Since these key words and specific traits can change from agency to agency and from test to test with a department how do you know how to target the current key words and specific traits they’re looking for?

    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.

    We've know for a long time that concentrating on trying to get the boxes checked off on the rating sheet for specific traits draws you away from your personal life "Nugget" experiences. Stories only you can tell, and can give our guys the advantage of killing them with their "Nuggets". In the process you will get those boxes checked off

    If you’ve ever heard a candidates try to pull off trying to target specific traits it sounds like a dog and pony show because in trying to ring the bells on the so called specific traits and key words with starts, stops and sputters they lose site of who they really are. They end up like you, not the candidate you want to be.

    They would make a better presentation with their education, experience and personal life experiences and in the process get the boxes checked off, building up hundreds of points in several areas, getting a higher score, in a smooth and natural way. It separates them from the other struggling candidates in their attempt to master the rating sheet.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 03-17-2011 at 12:45 PM.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  12. #52
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default What have you done to prepare for the position?

    In your oral boards everything you have done up to that day has prepared you for this opportunity. Too many candidates leave out important life experiences that could make a big difference.

    While riding a bike on vacation the chain jumped off both sprockets. Couldnít call the car club and it was a long walk back. I rewound the video tape of my life to when I had a bike and quickly got the chain back on both sprockets, wiped off the grease with a handy wipe and peddled away.

    On some departments they will ask tell us a little about yourself and what have you done to prepare for the position. We suggest you still break it down into two questions. One brief ice breaker tell us about yourself and then what have you done to prepare for the position.

    Try this: This will probably be your longest answer. Start with your education and keep it in chronological order so you wonít forget anything.

    Then, your life and professional experience in chronological order. Start your experience by rewinding the video of your life to your first and succeeding jobs in life; no matter if you got paid or how menial it seemed. Many have had paper routes, mowed lawns, worked for relatives or at Burger King. O.K., what did you learn? How you learned to work hard, show up on time, have responsibility, provide customer service and how to work as a team.

    Many have told me theyíve been playing sports since they were 6 years old. Did you participate in sports in high school or college? Did you letter? Did your team advance to the regional or state finals? Isnít that working as a team? As a team member you had to stay in shape, have commitment and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of other team members and how you could cover in. Do any of these areas apply to the fire service? You bet! Every one of them. So any time you can relate your personal life experiences in answering an oral board question, you are telling the oral board that you not only know the answer to the question, you have already lived it!

    End with those things you can tie your name to. Things where you were part of a team, spearheaded a group, took a project from inception to end or were part of a committee that established a procedure or skill. Include anything you volunteered for no matter when it happened. Once you start on this question you keep going until you finish your answer.

    Itís critical to practice your answers with a hand-held voice recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go to work it out.

    This is how it can play out on a promotional test but also applies to entry-level:

    Tony was going for his first Captainís test. I asked Tony to begin his experience for his answer to what have you done to prepare for this position. Tonyís first job was working in a bicycle repair shop. He went through successive jobs and the rest on his experience. At the end of this question Tony told the panel that he spearheaded the establishment (attached his name) of bike paths and trails in the city where he was a firefighter. He also collected, repaired used bikes and gave them to those in need. He also collected donations from businesses to fund this program.

    This type of presentation is referred to as a recall. Tony came full circle from his first job in life to using the experience years later to establish a community-wide bike program. Tony was promoted to captain his first time out.

    It was that early life experience (without the handy wipes) that I recalled to get the chain back on the sprockets and back on the road.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  13. #53
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Master the First Impression

    I spoke to a group of volunteers who were mostly aspiring firefighters recently. As I was greeting several members before I started, I shook hands with a big strapping lad who had firefighter written all over him. He had that kind of firm handshake, smile and focused eye contact that can cause an oral board panel to want to hand him a badge.

    A few moments later I turned to shake hands with another big guy. His handshake didnít carry the same message. It felt like a dead fish. The big problem was he didnít know. No one had told him. I had him go over and shake hands with the first guy. They worked on it for a few minutes and he returned with a more confident handshake.

    The following is from Work Your Network, by Joe ďMr. NetworkĒ Pelayo
    http://www.josephmichaels.com/book/book.shtml :

    A UCLA study found that when 2 people meet for the first time they make 20 distinctions about each other in the first 20 seconds, then spend the next 20 minutes finding out whether or not they were right! The same study found that a handshake is worth an
    hourís conversation between two people, because handshakes are thought
    to be a judge of your character.

    When shaking hands with a female rater donít wait for the high beams to come on in her eyes because of too much pressure. Just match the pressure in her handshake. At the end of the interview they will usually stand and shake hands again. Same eye contact while thanking (by rank if you know) them for the opportunity.

    Use that handshake to make the right first impression.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  14. #54
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default You have to pass the psych test first time out!

    Most candidates are more than surprised when I tell them up to 40% fail the psychological test given by many departments.

    I received one phone call and two e-mails from relatives of a firefighter/medic candidate who failed a psych test before the candidate called asking "What can I do now?" He had been testing for 5 years and this was the first job offer. I asked him if he had prepared in advanced like every other step of the hiring process before he showed up. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard this, "Things were going so great I didn't think I needed it."

    Imagine after all the education, experience and time preparing to get this job like the above candidate . . . and you're eliminated. Then no one will talk to you to find out what happened. I've talked to too many candidates who were devastated and didn't know what to do next. This is a critical part of the testing process you need to prepare for and pass the first time out.

    You've jumped through all the flaming hoops and made it through the background check. Then, you're conditionally offered the job pending the medical, which includes a psychological test. You take the test, no big deal right? Then the phone stops ringing.

    You are out of the hiring process. You are told that you didn't meet the profile. What profile?

    What do you mean I didn't meet the profile? I've got training, experience, education, every degree, certificate, merit badge, and a paramedic certification. I've been a volunteer, paid member of another department for 10years, and lived and breathed this job. And, I don't meet the profile?

    What's included in the psych test? There is a written test that sets up a profile of you. Then, there is an evaluation by a psychologist.

    Written Test: The most common written portion of the psychological evaluation is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory interview test of up to 1000 questions. The aim here is not to pass the test but to go into the job fully prepared. Put your pride and natural defensiveness aside. They ask a few questions in several different ways. You want to answer questions "strongly for" or "strongly against" instead of being in the middle undecided. Answer questions to present yourself as a more social, interactive, team playing type of person, i.e., you would rather be in a conversation with others than reading a book alone.

    You can get some insight on how the written test is scored HERE
    http://www.bigdeadplace.com/psyche_eval.html

    Some written tests include an Ink Blot Test. You can find out more about this test HERE http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.php

    The Evaluation: This is where the wheels start coming off the wagon for too many candidates.

    Before the interview, the psychologist will often have you take a separate personality test, fill out a personal family history, a biography and additional information forms.

    The biggest error candidates make during the psychological evaluation is thinking there is a patient/doctor confidentiality even when the doctor has them sign a release that there is not. This is not your family doctor. Guess who's paying the bill?

    What gets candidates in trouble here is they want this job so bad that they will say and do almost anything to get it.

    Although I don't encourage candidates to be less than truthful, those candidates who are honest to a fault diminish their chances of passing the psychological interview! That's right. You folks want this job so bad you will tell the psychologist anything they want to know. Even stuff they didn't ask you. Once you start down this road of total honesty, creating trails where you don't have to, tossing out more information than was asked for thinking this guy is your friend is where you get into big trouble. Especially when the psychologist says, "Everyone has skeletons in their closet, this interview is not designed to eliminate you from the process", or "you don't want to be too squeaky clean." So you open up. Then the phone stops ringing and no one will talk to you. You are out of the process Mcfly. And, you don't know why.

    So what should you do?

    Only answer the question you're being asked. Before you volunteer information, think before you speak. If they want to know more they will ask. Don't appear to be closed but warm and cordial. Present your ideas clearly. Don't ramble or chat. Be articulate. This is how you're going to be in the field. Believe it or not this is part of the job interview. You are making an impression of who you are going to be as a firefighter.

    Make sure you dress up and don't slouch. Be prepared to audition for the part of being a firefighter. Know your strong points. Be prepared to demonstrate you are a team player.

    This from a new firefighter:

    I had to take one for two departments. I tried to answer the questions as honestly as I could, while presenting myself as a very positive social person. Some of the "experts" out there say that you should be brutally honest on the test. Well 3 good guys I know did just that, and they did not pass either test. We lost 10 out of 25 guys on one test! In all honesty I might not have passed either if I hadn't prepared in advance. I feel that is a very dangerous test, and some of the advice these people are giving out is costing great candidates a job. Steve.

    This from an in service firefighter: During the last hiring process 2 years ago the psychologist passed 10 people. Of those 10, 2 have quit, 2 have been fired, and 1 committed suicide. I wonder if he is worth what the city pays him to evaluate prospects? Have a nice weekend.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  15. #55
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    8

    Thumbs up Thank God for Capt. Bob and Capt. Rob!

    Hey everybody,

    I've been involved/testing with the fire service in Southern California for 11 years and for every process that I go through, I always, always score low in the interview. I got the gold package for my birthday, talked to Captain Bob about what I was struggling with and right afterward, I got a miracle letter for THE best department there is in LA County and the nation! My dream department! After using the cd's and tape recorder I thought to myself, this is good, but I don't want there to be any reason I don't pass this one! So, I decided to get the private coaching with Captain Rob. I was amazed at how COMPLETELY HORRIBLE I had been sounding. Not only my answers, but just the way I talked! Needless to say, I got into the interview and the questions were VERY non-traditional and I had to fit all my experience and what I knew I wanted to talk about into my answers somehow. I got the interview results and I had my wife open them and she said, "you got a 95 and you are in band 1...that's good right?" I said, "stop joking with me, what's my score?". She said, "95. You made band one". I stopped the car and looked and she was right! I did well on an interview! Finally! The one for my dream department no less! I beat out guys who even worked for the department already in other positions! Fire personnel had always told me I was a very marketable guy, but in the oral boards I did not know how to present myself. Captain Bob and Captain Rob gave me the keys to unlock my potential! Thank you both for everything!

    -Joel

  16. #56
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    278

    Default

    I'm sorry Capt Bob but I cant let this continue without opposition. To conclude a statement in an interview with "This is the end of my statement" is a clear way for the panel to know when you are done and when they can move onto the next question. Giving the gent on the first page the go-ahead to say "I'm energetic, do what I can to learn and have trainings" is the same old dribble heard over and over again by oral board panels. As soon as they hear "training" or "I learn good" they shut down.

    To tell someone not mention their community outreach involvement such as church and religion is completely bogus as well. This is something that makes them who they are and explains a large part of their committment to helping others.

    I will guess that since so much of your information is reprocessed, I wont need to read the rest to understand you are not helping anyone score well on interviews.

    FORUM MEMBERS be aware that there are a lot of kooks on these websites. Take my, as well as anyone else's, advice with a grain of salt. You can't pigeon hole an interview process or try to change yourself to meet their needs. You'll be ousted then or in the background investigation. Dont try to "figure out" the oral board. Take legitimate and acredited college courses on public speaking and interview skills. Even joining Toastmasters, although a slow process, is a better way than trying to order the Number 3, pass-the-interview special from the Cafe of Internet Foolishness

  17. #57
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi,
    I am also very interested in this subject, but the reference is very limited. You can share documents as well as experience? Thanks!
    If you want to get more materials that related to this topic, you can visit: Science teacher interview questions
    Best regards.
    Last edited by patricholier; 07-07-2011 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Update

  18. #58
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeEatersUnion View Post
    Hey everybody,

    I beat out guys who even worked for the department already in other positions! Fire personnel had always told me I was a very marketable guy, but in the oral boards I did not know how to present myself. Captain Bob and Captain Rob gave me the keys to unlock my potential! Thank you both for everything! -Joel
    Joel: Thanks for the kind words. Glad you were able to turn it around in your favor. Band one is a great spot to be in.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  19. #59
    Forum Member nwavant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    82

    Default

    This is all great help in thinking and preparing for the boards. Thank you!

    Now what about before the Board? As in just the application process. How would you respond to the questions that are not stated facts?

    As in:
    - Why are you applying for this position?

    and/or

    -Do you have any other remarks?

    I see these a spots where we(I) can all improve on but there is a limited amount of space maybe 3-8 line...

    Thoughts?

  20. #60
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nwavant View Post
    This is all great help in thinking and preparing for the boards. Thank you!

    Now what about before the Board? As in just the application process. How would you respond to the questions that are not stated facts?

    As in:
    - Why are you applying for this position?

    and/or

    -Do you have any other remarks?

    I see these a spots where we(I) can all improve on but there is a limited amount of space maybe 3-8 line...

    Thoughts?
    What do you think the right answers are first.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Interview questions?
    By returnFF in forum Wildland Firefighting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-05-2013, 11:29 PM
  2. Chief interview
    By Kristmatt in forum Testing & Fitness
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-05-2010, 10:10 AM
  3. Oral Board Interview Questions
    By doss in forum Testing & Fitness
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 05:01 PM
  4. interview board questions
    By pnfireman in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-08-2003, 10:56 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts