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Thread: Interview Questions HELP!

  1. #51
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    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 01:45 PM.
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  2. #52
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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

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    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

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    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 12:22 PM. Reason: Update

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    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.
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    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?

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    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.
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    For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

    Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwavant View Post
    For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

    Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?
    You could be reading too much into these sections on the application. These sections are included in most city applications no matter if it's for firefighter of sewage treatment level one. I know this because I saw a guy in the hiring process that was being hired for sewage treatment and his application was the same as mine. There are more things to worry about.

    Often panel members don't get to see your application. If they do they don't always read it.

    If you meet the minimum requirements to take the test adding in why you're applying is usually only a formality. I know a candidate who put in the why section, "You're hiring and I'm looking. He was hired because this didn't make any difference. He was hired because he blew the doors off his oral board.

    "other remarks"???? A catch all that's on most applications. Are these secions going to catch someone's eye in HR and say hey this is the one? Not likely. On most tests they are only making sure you meet the minimum requirements to take the test. Meet the minimum requirements and move forward to written, agility and the oral board where you make your best case presentation to be considered to be hired.

    This is not how you're going to make the cut to go forward. It's being prepared for every step of the hiring process before you show up. That's how you going to move forward and make the cut.
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    I'm actually working on two applications both are for after the test, but prior to the Oral board. Would that change your thought/answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwavant View Post
    I'm actually working on two applications both are for after the test, but prior to the Oral board. Would that change your thought/answer?
    Is it the identical application? If not it could be a personal history questionaire PHQ.
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    Capt Bob...

    Thank you for all of your advice. I would have to say that it was because of your website that I was able to score as well as I did on my interview with LACoFD last April. I scored a 94. That put me A HALF point from being in Group A but it taught me a valuable lesson! Dont wait until 2 days before your interview to start researching interviewing for a FD position!

    But my shortcoming wasn't all bad though! It prompted me to better myself while waiting to apply again and deciding if I wanted to stay in CA. Well, I went to paramedic school in the meantime and just graduated this past Saturday (6/25). While on my paramedic internship, I interviewed with a dept in the midwest and used the techniques you spell out. I'm happy and proud to say that I start Rookie school with this dept July 18 (3 short weeks away!)

    Oh and icing on the cake...if I HAD scored that extra HALF POINT I would most likely be still waiting to get into the Academy. But instead, I've gotten my "P" and a badge...and that's all that matters!

    Thanks so much for your devotion to helping any and all of us.

    For all you looking for work....there's no shame in looking nationwide! GO GET YOUR BADGE....IT'S NOT GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR YOU!

    Best of luck! And thanks again Capt Bob!

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    One is a PHQ but the other is more if an application even though try both have very similar questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwavant View Post
    One is a PHQ but the other is more if an application even though try both have very similar questions.
    Preliminary History Questionnaire (PHQ)

    Many departments are including an online or hand out PHQ as part of the application process.

    The PHQ is designed to eliminate candidates early on in the hiring process before they spend lots of time and money on those who they would tank later.

    So you fill out a PHQ. Then you receive a notice of PERMANENT DISQUALIFICATION! or, There Could Be a Delay in Your Background. What happened?

    Well, you probably answered correctly or incorrectly yes to a question that had a threshold that was an automatic disqualification. You still might not be out of the woods on some of your answers. They could come back to haunt you later in the process. Make sure you go back and double check your answers before you click continue. You would be surprised what percentages of candidates are being disqualified from this process.

    Threshold
    So whereís the threshold? Did you answer yes to a question on drug use? How many times? Answer yes to a question on how many times you had drank more than the legal limit and drive? Driving or criminal record? Bad credit?

    So what do you do?
    Before you submit future on-line or hand out printed forms double check your answers for errors and think twice before you step on any land mines that could take you out of the process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwavant View Post
    For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

    Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?
    IMO: No.
    We're talking the Personal History Questionnaire for TFD I believe here. This is required to be handwritten still as well I think? Either way, I would hold off on filling anything out the "Other Remarks" area. Those are more for clarification on or in addition to other parts of the questionnaire, not to sell yourself. That's what the interview is for.

    Leave no gaps or omit anything in work history between the two. That can be considered purposeful omission (read "lying").

    *Make a copy of it as well. If you don't move on now and are asked to come back for additional testing, the PHQ is required to be turned in again, and completed in handwriting only. Copies will not be accepted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffbam24 View Post
    IMO: No.
    We're talking the Personal History Questionnaire for TFD I believe here. This is required to be handwritten still as well I think? Either way, I would hold off on filling anything out the "Other Remarks" area. Those are more for clarification on or in addition to other parts of the questionnaire, not to sell yourself. That's what the interview is for.

    Leave no gaps or omit anything in work history between the two. That can be considered purposeful omission (read "lying").

    *Make a copy of it as well. If you don't move on now and are asked to come back for additional testing, the PHQ is required to be turned in again, and completed in handwriting only. Copies will not be accepted.
    Thanks. Always good to hear both sides. I have heard from others that it has to be filled out, even one department further south as stated that this section IS what is looked at by the higher ups to even bring you in for the next steps.
    I guess it really is department dependent.

    Oh and I always keep copies of all apps, PHQ, and other forms/certs submitted!

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    Capt Bob,
    I am a volunteer firefighter. I have worked as a Paramedic on a 911 ambulance in a major EMS system for three years, I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages. I feel like my resume is coming together but it seems to me that the answers to "What have you done to prepare for this job?", "what are you bringing to this job?", and "why should we select you over the other candidates?" are very similiar questions. I am not sure how to differentiate my answers for these questions. Any advice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aking View Post
    Capt Bob,
    I am a volunteer firefighter. I have worked as a Paramedic on a 911 ambulance in a major EMS system for three years, I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages. I feel like my resume is coming together but it seems to me that the answers to "What have you done to prepare for this job?", "what are you bringing to this job?", and "why should we select you over the other candidates?" are very similiar questions. I am not sure how to differentiate my answers for these questions. Any advice?
    They are not the same answers. How many oral boards have you had? I would need to know your answers first. Not here where everyone will clone them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aking View Post
    Capt Bob,
    I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages.
    Great asset. During your answer for "What have you done to prepare for the job" say a short message in several of those languages. Then, translate what you said. You just demostrated your great ability in the field.

    Case in Point: Mark’s family is from Russia. They spoke Russian at home when he was growing up. He wanted to work for a big fire department in another state that had a Russian speaking population. He targeted this department as he brushed up on his Russian.

    During his oral board Mark answered a portion of his answer in fluent Russian. One of the panel members from this department said, “Good to have you here (in Russian).”

    A few weeks later Mark gets the call. It’s the panel member offering him the job in Russian.

    The point here is start writing down your special unique qualities that will give you that competitive advantage on your oral board game day that will inspire the board to say we want to hire this person. It can happen just that fast (like Mark) when you know what it is for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidCLEVER38 View Post
    Capt Bob...

    Thank you for all of your advice. I would have to say that it was because of your website that I was able to score as well as I did on my interview with LACoFD last April. I scored a 94. That put me A HALF point from being in Group A but it taught me a valuable lesson! Dont wait until 2 days before your interview to start researching interviewing for a FD position!

    But my shortcoming wasn't all bad though! It prompted me to better myself while waiting to apply again and deciding if I wanted to stay in CA. Well, I went to paramedic school in the meantime and just graduated this past Saturday (6/25). While on my paramedic internship, I interviewed with a dept in the midwest and used the techniques you spell out. I'm happy and proud to say that I start Rookie school with this dept July 18 (3 short weeks away!)

    Oh and icing on the cake...if I HAD scored that extra HALF POINT I would most likely be still waiting to get into the Academy. But instead, I've gotten my "P" and a badge...and that's all that matters!

    Thanks so much for your devotion to helping any and all of us.

    For all you looking for work....there's no shame in looking nationwide! GO GET YOUR BADGE....IT'S NOT GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR YOU!

    Best of luck! And thanks again Capt Bob!
    kidCLEVER38 Congrats on your success! Looks like you developed a plan B as a resourse to gain your badge. Many have figured this out and tested far and wide to gain their badges. Here's another one:

    Life can be Plan B

    Jon and his 9-fire technology academy buddies set out to target six departments in the northwest they wanted to work for. Their plan A would cultivate these departments and be in a position when they tested. After almost two years no one got hired or was high enough to be considered. Then Jon read a section of this web site that encouraged candidates to test wherever they could get to.

    This made since to Jon especially when he figured out that he was only able to take two tests a year. Like hands on academy and education skills if you donít use your oral board skills you will get rusty faster than trying to throw a 35í wood ladder or laying a line when you havenít donít it for awhile.

    This is not taking into consideration that departments donít always test every two years switch to medics only, or hire only laterals.

    So, non medic Jon tried to convince his 9 buddies to expand their horizons and establish plan B to test any and every where they could to keep their oral board skills at the cutting edge. None of his buddies were interested because they believed that because of their academy training and education and how they were laying the ground work it would only be a matter of time before one of the six departments on plan A would pay off.

    In a short time non-medic Jon found out the more tests he took the better he got at taking tests. His oral board scores started climbing and he was getting called back for chief interviews. Then BINGO! Jon gets a job offer from THE PREMIUM fire department in the southwest (yea, that one). As he was packing to leave he tried to convince his buddies on what helped him get hired. He was surprised they werenít interested. Didnít need it. They were still banking on plan A.

    His fiancť joins him to do her internship to complete her degree.

    Itís now 3 years later and Jonís dream department, THE PREMIUM department in the state of Washington (yep, thatís the one), announces their test. Guess what? Jon gets a job offer and gets to go home with his new bride, also from Washington.

    Again he offers his buddies the information that has got him hired twice. He is shocked again when they said they donít need it.

    So, how many of his 9 buddies were hired during this period of time? None, zip, nada.

    Sometimes life can be plan B.
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  23. #73
    benjamin29

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Capt. Bob Smith

    I DID IT! Wednesday July 27th was my interview, I just got a call from the chief yesterday that I got the job and start the academy Aug 30th. Not to mention, 4 hours after I received notification of a job offer, I get a call from another dept. that I was moved to the final stages of the process (conducted the interview a month ago). It's all happening so fast. I am taking the 1st dept (closer to home and better way of life). I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am. I'm 24 yrs old and my fiancť and I are living a dream that does not seem real yet. In this economy, I didnt think it was going to happen. I have spent countless hours listening to your CDs and talking into this recorder and it all paid off. I wanted to thank you for all your help, advice and tactics. I want to be one of those firefighters that sends you a Christmas card with me and my family in front of a truck or engine. Thank you very much. I know for a FACT, if I walked into that 12 person panel interview last year with my old ways...it would have never happened for me. You changed it and changed my life.

    God Bless and thank you!

  24. #74
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Got The Job

    Hey Captain Bob,
    FYI I have only contacted you a couple times but you replied each time and that was great. I am sure your program works different for everyone but it did one small but crucial thing for me, it got me to be myself on purpose. I am 41 former military but not squeeky clean, a misdemeanor and a dui (long ago) but still not your ideal candidate on paper, and I firmly beleive that your program was (while not the only part) a crucial part to me getting the badge. 700 candidates I made it to number 6 they were hiring 5 and then number 5 dropped out and I am in, just like that. Your advice and email replies were invaluable to someone who had never taken orals for FF. My sincere thanks. Worth every penny.

  25. #75
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Psyching Yourself Out?

    Many candidates are thrown in their oral boards because they canít tell or get feed back from the interview panel members on how they are doing.

    You canít know what the panel is thinking. Once you start trying, you will tank your oral board score. Just give your best performance no matter what you think the oral board is doing. Trying to interpret the expressions, attitudes of the panel, what they are writing, etc., is mental clutter. I had several candidates contact me after their orals where I was on their panel. They would tell me what they thought I was thinking or doing. They were never right.

    Here is an example. We went to a matinee play in San Francisco. There was a fraction of the audience this theater could accommodate. You would have never known it by what took place on stage. During intermission I spotted two of the lead actors. I told them although the audience was sparse the cast wasnít. The energy and enthusiasm were fantastic, as if they were playing to a packed house. These were professionals. They thanked me for noticing.

    Consider doing the same thing going into your oral boards. The door opens and they call you in. The curtain is going up, itís the bright lights of Broadway. Itís show time. You have to grab your top hat, cane and know matter what the audience (panel members) you have to give it your best shot and step it OUT!

    Not floundering trying to remember the lines for your part. Being embarrassed by stage fright that causes you to forget your best stuff, as your mouth goes dryer than the Sahara Desert.

    Visualizing the tones are dropping and your going on your first call. Everything you have worked for is on the line. Youíre auditioning for the part to be a firefighter. You have practiced and rehearsed for this part havenít you? You know all the lines for your part donít you?

    The raters pick up on your energy and enthusiasm as we did at the play and theyíre saying in their minds, bravo, bravo, we have been waiting for this all week. Theyíre starting to smile. Throwing you lines that you adlib to enhance your performance. Nothing has stumped you. You know youíre going to make the cut for the call back. You have never had an interview like this. The hairs start standing up on the back of your neck and the raters too. You walk off stage knowing you nailed it!

    Havenít had this feeling in your oral boards yet? Well, do you have a script that you have been religiously practicing with a tape recorder? It doesnít surprise me. Ninety-nine percent of the candidates I ask arenít either. I asked a college program recently how many had been practicing with a tape 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, donít be confused by why youíre not getting high enough on the list to get a call back to play the part of a firefighter. The mystery has been solved.

    You might not have the oral board skills (the oral is still 100% of the score to get hired) to convince the producers (raters) you have what is takes. You see getting this part as a firefighter you have to convince the raters you can do it before you get it.
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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