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Thread: Interview Questions HELP!

  1. #76
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    Default Interview testimonial

    I am a 33 year old married father of two who works in construction, has no degrees and is not a paramedic.I have been testing since February of '08 and have been rejected from more interviews than I want to think about. It wasnt until my academy last fall I found out about Captain Bob, we watched a video on him and I went home that night and ordered the "GOLD" package and did everything he said to do, listened to the CD's in my truck every second I was driving and sat in front of a mirror (with my old pinstriped suit with suspenders, no joke) and use the tape recorder.

    With my tax return money in April, I went out and bought 2 brand new suits (Navy & Black) 2 brand new white collared shirts a 3 pack of nice underwear, a 6 pack of brand spankin new dress socks and a 3 pack of brand new white under shirts. and I had the suit tailored to me I had the shirts dry cleaned (extra starched) and put those other items in a drawer in hopes to one day pull them out. I wanted to feel like the candidate I knew I was.

    I didnt have another interview until June of '11. By this time I am feeling very prepared. I had my Captains interview and when I left the room I felt so good, like I couldn't not pass. I got the phone call, I was going to the Chief's oral, where once again I felt electrified walking out of there. I once again got the call to go to backgrounds, then to psych, and just passed my medical. I got the call yesterday from one of the assistant Chiefs saying I got the job! I start in 2 weeks. I attribute alot of my success to listening to the CD's and doing whatever it takes to get that badge. IT REALLY WORKS !!!! I am living proof that you dont have to be a medic or have a whole lot of experience or even have a degree to get the job. It can happen. Believe in yourself and know that your competittion is using these tools out there.

    I went from never passing an interview to getting hired after purchasing the CD's, It is surreal. I am still in shock, Thank you Captain Bob
    Sincerely,

    -Jeremy C. Mack
    Huntington Beach, CA.

  2. #77
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    Congrats macky! another great resource for information and tips is www.gettinghiredinfire.com

  3. #78
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    Fantastic Way to go

    Enjoy!!!!!!

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    Congrats Macky777! Capt. Bob and his son are great resources.

  5. #80
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    Default Asking the Panel Questions

    When a traditional interview is about to finish, I'm usually asked by the interviewer if I have any questions. What can you ask at the close of a Chief's Interview with a fire department to end it on a positive note? I'm really stumped on this one and need some advice because I want to have some excellent questions. Also, how many questions should I ask?

    Reply: How about none.

    This can either be questions you want to ask the panel or an opportunity for a closing statement.

    Asking the Panel Questions?

    Candidates have been told by others that you always have to ask a question, if you're given the opportunity at the end of an interview, or you will lose points. Not true in a fire oral! In a regular or corporate interview that might be true. But not here. You never, ever, ever, have a question. We don't expect you to have any questions. I had a guy one day ask, "Since I live so far away, can I start at second step pay to help pay for my gas?"

    If that question is asked (here's the "Nugget") you can pause as if your gathering your thoughts and then say, "No, I think we covered everything." We had another candidate say, "You have probably heard about the charges against me for stealing over at the college?" No, we haven't, why don't you tell us about it. Here was another candidate who had done an outstanding job in his oral and he had to bring this up. His score dropped like a wounded seagull. This is not the time to bring up anything like this. You never bring up a negative item unless the panel does. They probably won't. It they do, have a simple, short (I said simple and short) answer to the situation.

    I asked a class of fire candidates, "What do you want to say if you're given the opportunity to give a closing statement at the end of your oral?" On candidate said, "I would ask them if they saw any reason why I wouldn't get the job." I asked why would you say that? Because that's what you would ask in a corporate interview. Good point. But, understand this is not, repeat is not a corporate or regular interview. This is a semi-military organization. I told the class I would never, ever ask this question. Hum, do I see any reason why this candidate wouldn't get this job? I do now with that question.

    IMO, if a panel asks a candidate if they have any questions, they expect questions to be asked!![/QUOTE]

    No they're not. That question has usually been brought in by the PC HR department. We're actually surprised when someone doesn't understand the culture enough that they start firing off questions when we are trying to wrap up the interview. Often the panel members are from different departments and probably won't have the answers you're asking anyway.

    BTW there is usually no score for this question.

    You're looking for a seamless no surprises interview. Throwing out questions when we really don't expect them, they will not be scored only increases your chances on not ending on a good foot. A simple brief pause, then, no I think we've covered everything is all that is needed here.
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    Is it appropriate to ask "what the next step is" or "when can I expect to hear from you"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by volltmartin View Post
    Is it appropriate to ask "what the next step is" or "when can I expect to hear from you"?
    Convince me why?
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    Hi Capt. Bob,

    I have an interview tomorrow at a dept out in cowboy country USA. I'm about 37hours away from my home town. One of the concerns i've heard is that they typically look at younger guy's applying (21 here) that they'll take 2 years of experience after getting hired and bail (because of the pay, small town etc and I won't lie the city doesn't offer much for things to do and the crime rate is high). How can I show them that i'm not that type of person and am looking to become a career fireman at their department?

    Also, I've been told there will be 8 members on the interview panel, I brought 10 copies of my resume(1pg) and 10 copies of my list of references (only 3). Do I hand out a bunch of copies of my list of references? I also listed about 9 when I filled out my application online.

    -Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fieronfire View Post
    Hi Capt. Bob,

    I have an interview tomorrow at a dept out in cowboy country USA. I'm about 37hours away from my home town. One of the concerns i've heard is that they typically look at younger guy's applying (21 here) that they'll take 2 years of experience after getting hired and bail (because of the pay, small town etc and I won't lie the city doesn't offer much for things to do and the crime rate is high). How can I show them that i'm not that type of person and am looking to become a career fireman at their department?

    Also, I've been told there will be 8 members on the interview panel, I brought 10 copies of my resume(1pg) and 10 copies of my list of references (only 3). Do I hand out a bunch of copies of my list of references? I also listed about 9 when I filled out my application online.

    -Thanks
    All you can do is give your best performance in the interview like this is your dream department. Don't give you age unless they ask.

    As far as the resume. Did they ask you to bring one into the interview? If not don't. References. Save a tree. We won't read them. This is not the time. Keep it simple.

    Good luck tomorrow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Convince me why?
    I think, at minimium, I would thank them for the opportunity and state that I look forward to hearing from them.

    However, if you have not been informed of the next steps of the process, I feel it would be appropriate to ask. If not asked at the closure of the interview then maybe I would include it in the thank you letter, but at that point you may not get the answer to your question...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    All you can do is give your best performance in the interview like this is your dream department. Don't give you age unless they ask.

    As far as the resume. Did they ask you to bring one into the interview? If not don't. References. Save a tree. We won't read them. This is not the time. Keep it simple.

    Good luck tomorrow.
    I see..since i have applied online I have gotten my IFSAC firefighter1 which you get a lot of extra points for. My online resume does not list that cert. Would it be appropriate to call and ask if I should bring a resume? I can call hr or a guy that works there that i know. The job listing says nothing about bringing a resume. I have them in a nice leather folder so worst case I can just leave them in there.

    When asking WHY I want to work for them, - to be honest I will take a firejob anywhere. Other than the fact that they are hiring nothing special drew me to them. Although I called around and everyone has said its a great place to work, good school system, lots of room for advancement, good community. I spoke with a battalion chief on the phone for quite a bit to get a feel of the dept and kind of picked his brain.

    There are 9 people in the final running curently, 2 immediate openings and more to come in the future possibly. I've never been on a panel with 8 people so im not sure how that will affexy things.

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    You can add those things you've added in your answer to what you have done to prepare for the position. You don't need to present a new resume for that.

    If the guy you call says it's OK to bring in your updated. The best way to do this is to get them in his hands so he can put them in your file before your interview. That will be the only time the panel will read your resume. It you try to present them when you go in it will upset the normal flow of the interview.

    If they will accept an updated resume and you don't get in your file in time before your interview, You could take in the one page resumes (after you ditch the learher binders) and put them on the floor next to your chair. You could ask he they want to seem them. If yes, then produce them. If not. Don't try. And please don't leave your resumes with them after the interview. They won't read them. They might end up in the round file.

    It's like this. You're not in charge of running the interview. You're looking for a seamless no surprises interview one question after another . You're don't won't to upset the normal flow of the interview. Got it? I know you want to do those things that will make you stand out. If you don't follow the unwritten rules you will. But not in a way that you really want to.

    I've never been on a panel with 8 people so im not sure how that will affexy things.

    Yea, the 8 to one ratio can be intimitating. But don't let that psych you out. Just give your best presentation no matter who's sitting on the panel.

    This is from Ben29 in this thread:

    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.
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    FierOnfire

    Do you mind stating how old you are??

    As far as showing them that you are not a job hopper,,,, does your work history support that???

    I would say if you are getting extra points for the cert,, provide that documentation showing you have gotten that after you applied

    Thier application doesn't ask about education and work history????

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    FierOnfire

    Do you mind stating how old you are??

    As far as showing them that you are not a job hopper,,,, does your work history support that???

    I would say if you are getting extra points for the cert,, provide that documentation showing you have gotten that after you applied

    Thier application doesn't ask about education and work history????
    Hi fire49,

    I'm 21 years old. I got a job when I was 18 at a restaurant, I quit after 3months since they couldn't work with my school schedule. I left on good terms though. Less than a month later i started working for a valet company and have been there the past three years (still here).

    They asked for documentation of all my stuff and they said it would be ok to fax or mail it to them within a week. (They didn't tell me to bring it beforehand)
    .

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    Well your resume can't be that long

    Send everything, but make sure you send seperate proof of your cert

    As far as eight people panel , make sure you address them all do not foucus on one or two when you answer

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Well your resume can't be that long

    Send everything, but make sure you send seperate proof of your cert

    As far as eight people panel , make sure you address them all do not foucus on one or two when you answer
    Hey guys just got done with the interview. I think it went really well. My friend told me to bring the resumes, same with my captain at my internship he said only hand them out if they asked. They didnt so I left them on the floor next to me. No harm no foul I think.

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    Sounds great hope it all works out

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    Default Luck is Given to the Prepared!

    From Captain Rob:

    In the weeks before Christmas there are two types of people, those who are happy and enjoying the season, and those of us that want to hurt the happy ones. The difference is the first group prepared, their shopping done, cards written they relaxed and enjoyed themselves. Meanwhile the second group is trying to find that last minute gift before their car was done filling up at the pump and they have to pay.

    I was outside a building where oral interviews where taking place. I saw a guy sitting in his car writing like mad on a piece of binder paper. Another guy walking by looked in the car and acted like he was thinking if maybe he had written some stuff down he might not feel like throwing up right then. These guys have never shopped early for Christmas.

    Right after Christmas, you are probably saying, as most of us do, I will have all my Christmas shopping done by October next year. That same attitude should apply to your preparation for your oral interview.

    Please allow me to get on my soapbox for a moment. If you have put in an app., taken the written, or physical ability, you have an oral coming up...If you are in a fire academy, working as a volunteer, in high school, or are twelve years old and are going to be a firefighter some day YOU HAVE AN ORAL INTERVIEW IN YOUR FUTURE; YOU JUST DONíT KNOW THE DATE YET.

    The choice is up to you. How do you think you can present yourself in the best light? If you have spent weeks or even months preparing or you are sitting in your car an hour before the interview still trying to figure out what you have done to prepare and hoping it looks something like what you put on you application.

    My suggestion is you kill two birds with one stone. Prepare for your interview like you know you should, and next year you can give everyone a picture of you with your new badge for Christmas.
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    Default My testimony about Capt. Bob.

    Hello Captain Bob,
    Below is my testimony:
    Three years ago I decided I was going to do it; I was going to stop settling. I was working a job I despised selling shoes at a high-end department store. I had been there nearly 8 years and not a day went by I didn't have the thought "When am I going to go for it? When am I going to start taking the steps necessary in accomplishing my dream of becoming a career firefighter?". On paper I had no business trying to land the most coveted career in the country. First off, I didn't have a four year degree. In fact I was one class credit short from having just a 2-year degree. Having not been in a classroom for almost 10 years, I probably wasn't going to be seeing those remaining credits anytime soon. Second, I had zero experience. My entire professional life centered on selling things. Things like luxury cars, mortgages, shoes.....A far cry from the fire service that's for sure. However, I was determined. I sat down with my pregnant wife in our tiny little apartment and told her this, "Honey, I'm going to become a firefighter. It's going to take a long time, the odds are against us, but I need your support. I need to do this before it's too late." That's when it started, August 2008.
    "Now what?" I thought. Well, I need to go take a test, so I did. I got online and found a local testing company that worked with over a dozen fire departments in establishing their hiring lists. $125 bucks later I and 300 other bright-eyed candidates were in a high-school gymnasium testing to see who of the 300 would be amongst the 12 that would interview for 4 open positions between the 3 different departments that were hiring that year.....this was going to be harder than I thought. After a respectable 89%, I waiting for my phone to ring, I'm still waiting. It was clear 89% wasn't going to get it done, so I hit the books.
    6 months later I was at the University of Washington campus with 2000 more bright-eyed candidates. Turns out Seattle F.D. was going to need 30 new firefighters, here's hoping. This time I got a 96% and my phone did ring. Well not really, but I got a letter! I was in; I was going to the oral boards, yes! This was it, I was in sales, "I'll ace this, piece of cake" I thought. Knowing I was already on the "short list", I put on my best suit and off I went. I pulled into the parking lot an hour early to find 400 others like me, waiting in their cars ...an hour early....crap. Turns out the test was pass/fail. My 96% was out the window and anyone with over an 80% was invited to the oral board interviews.
    2 hours later I found myself in front of 3 Battalion Chiefs and a piece of paper with 10 questions in front of me. 20 minutes later I was covered in sweat, the panel had scowls on their faces and I awkwardly left the room. This was going to be harder than I thought. My written scores were becoming respectable, but it was clear my oral board skills needed work. It wasn't enough to be well spoken or well dressed; the panel was obviously looking for something. Whatever it was I wasn't giving it to them and I had no idea where to find it. The oral board was "for all the marbles" and I was clueless.
    That night I was online researching how to ace these darn interviews when I cam upon Captain Bob's site (www.eatsstress.com). I sent an email detailing my catastrophic failure not expecting a reply.
    2 days later my phone rang...yes my phone, it was Capt. Bob! I needed help; he knew it and he claimed to have the solution. I reluctantly ordered his CD set. After all, what did I have to lose, my phone still wasn't ringing.
    I got the CDs and I listened. I listened, I learned, I listened. Yep, I had it all wrong, my approach wasn't working, I wasn't giving the "nugget" answers while pulling from MY personal experiences.
    Fast forward 2 years. My dream department was hiring, the town I not only lived in but grew up in was hiring for the first time in 3 years. This was my shot and I was ready.
    After a respectable 89% on what was the most difficult written test I had ever taken, my phone FINALLY rang. I and several others were going to the oral boards to interview for 4 positions. I wasn't ever going to see these kinds of odds again and I knew it. Having had Captain Bob's materials for 2 years, I knew it, I breathed it. I got in my best suit and off I went again.
    One month later I was in the department store shoe stockroom getting ready to finish another day doing something other that what I loved when I got the call; it was the department's head training officer....he had my full attention. He was calling to inform me that I was #1 on the hiring list and that I needed to schedule my appointments for my psych and medical exams. He went on to tell me that I had an overall oral board score of 98.5% and when combined with my written score, second place wasn't even close. He went on to say that written in the notes section of my score sheets was this, "If you don't hire this guy, we will." That came from a BC of a very large department. To date itís the single happiest moment of my life. Want to know how I did that? Call Captain Bob, he'll call you back.

    - Career B Shifter

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    Attire
    What Do I wear to a Job Interview?

    The strongest non-verbal statement you can make in the oral board is what you wear. It is time to step up and make the investment.

    I had a candidate tell me he went to an interview wearing a tie, suspenders and no jacket. I asked him, "Who did you think you were Larry King?" I asked him if they called him back for a Chiefís interview? No. The defense rests.

    You want your oral board to run smoothly without any surprises. Since what you wear is the strongest non-verbal statement you can make when you walk into the room a uniform, any uniform, might not get you off on the right footing. Are you willing to take that chance?

    For some reason candidates have been convinced by themselves or others that this will some how separate them from the other candidates. It can but not in a way you were looking for. It often hits the panel that you are asking for more points.

    Understand you are applying for a snot nose rookie position. You have no time or rank with the department you are testing for. So donít wear your military, volunteer, other department, dogcatcher or other uniform to your interview.

    Here's a recent one.

    A candidate from out of state called from southern California the night before his oral board. He asked if it was all right if he wore his military uniform to his oral? I asked him if he had brought anything else to wear. He said no. He said his dad and other members of his family that are in law enforcement told him it would make him stand out. I told him to go ahead and wear his uniform and we would talk later.

    Did he get called back? Not yet.

    Men: Do wear a wool suit in dark blue or gray. Pinstripes are fine, but avoid brown, black, or high fashion brightly colored suits. Sport coats or blazers are out, so is polyester. Tie should be in a solid color such as navy, red, maroon, yellow stripe, or paisley print. Wear a white, off white, or pale blue long sleeved shirt in cotton or a cotton blend. Starch it no matter what the instructions say. No patterned shirts!

    black is acceptable yes?! I sure hope so.

    Not really. Black is a little too formal, more for dances, funerals and being a star in the movie Men in Black.

    I usually say go along with the lady in your life. It might be an exception here.

    If black is all you have, wear it.

    Dress for Success
    ________________________________________
    Don't: Wear casual or novelty watches, too much jewelry, monograms, religious, political, or fraternity affiliation accessories. Beards are out; mustaches are a gray area. When in doubt, shave it off. Donít wear cell phones, pagers or any other electronic leases.

    When my son was trying to become a firefighter I begged him to shave off his mustache. He said Dad this took me 26-years to grow and I'm not going to shave it off. He got hired. He got married and his wife made him shave it off. Go figure.

    Women: Do wear a tailored business-like suit or dress with a jacket, not overly feminine. Choose suits in conservative solid colors such as gray, navy blue, black, beige, or camel with conservative hemlines. Natural fibers such as wool are your best bets.
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    Default Hand Shakes. Master the First Impression

    I spoke to a group of volunteers who were mostly aspiring firefighters. 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, smiles 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. 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:
    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 name or rank if you know) them for the opportunity. Use that handshake to make the right first impression.
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    5 years ago Rob helped me with a lateral interview and I was awarded the job. Capt. Bob helped me prepare for a recent promotional interview and the experience was priceless. I think I spent 40-50 hours with my tape recorder. I practiced for every question I could think of. I was relaxed, I was calm, I was myself. I knew all the key things about me I wanted to express. Even though the questions were phrased differently or out of order, when I walked away I knew I had covered everything I wanted to, and I kept it simple, which for me is not easy to do! When they asked me a question that I had a perfectly practiced (not canned) answer for, my enthusiasm grew throughout the interview. I even caught them nodding their heads as they took notes. I got the call, the chief told me he was impressed with my interview. Even though I was sitting #2 on the list, I was awarded the 1 and only captian position off this list which is set to expire. I will forever be grateful for Capt. Bob and Rob's guidance. What they do is truly remarkable. I am telling every person I know to come to them. They have helped me earn not 1 but 2 badges!!!

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    I recommend Captain Bob to anyone preparing for a promotional test. I actually was searching the internet for example interview questions when Captain Bob's website (firefighters oral board interviews, fire department job interviews, fireman oral board interviews) appeared in the search results. I just wish I would have found the website earlier. I had already completed the written test and assessment center prior to meeting Captain Bob. I was three days from my interview and thought I was somewhat prepared. I was completely wrong! Captain Bob emailed me the information he wanted me to review and told me he would call me back the following day. The following day he contacted me and we spent nearly an hour on the phone for a coaching session. He then gave me an additional homework assignment and said he would call me the next day. I followed his instructions and he called me back the following night for an additional one hour coaching session. I can't thank Captain Bob enough for his willingness to help me last minute. Captain Bob at one point asked, "How long have we known each other 48 hours?" I responded, " Yes sir, and it's 48 hours that I owe you for the rest of my life!". I truly can't say enough about how great Captain Bob was and how willing he is to share his knowlege and experience with those that follow him in the fire service. I am thrilled to say with Captain Bob's help I finished #1 on the promotional test and without his help, I wouldn't have finished where I did. His program works, no other candidate finished within six percentage points of my final score. I hope everyone that is going through a promotional process in the future calls Captain Bob.

    Brett, Ohio FF

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    So I purchased Capt. Bob's Gold package a year and a half ago, I am still not hired but have a Chiefs interview in the next couple weeks with my Dream department. Ever since I started with Capt. Bob's program I have been ranked in the top 5 of 3 departments, It works, It really opens up the doors to show you that it is ok to use your life experiences as answeres. I am very excited and feel more prepared than I ever have. This will be my first Chiefs interview so any help would be great. Thanks.
    Last edited by Cbar84; 05-09-2012 at 01:05 PM.

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    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 wasn’t. 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, it’s the bright
    lights of Broadway. It’s 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. Being able to speak to your interviewers as the people they are, not the heroes you see them as? Visualizing the tones are dropping and on your going on your first call. Everything you have worked for is on the line. You’re
    auditioning for the part to be a firefighter. You have practiced and
    rehearsed for this part haven’t you? You know all the lines for your
    part don’t you?

    The raters pick up on your energy and enthusiasm as we did at the play and they’re saying in their minds, bravo, bravo, we have been waiting for this all week. They’re starting to smile. Throwing you lines that you adlib to enhance your performance. Nothing has stumped you. You know you’re 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!

    Haven’t 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 doesn’t surprise me. Ninety-nine percent of the candidates I ask
    aren’t 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, don’t be confused by why you’re not getting high enough on the list to get a call back to play the part of a
    firefighter. The mystery has been solved.

    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. It's all about presentation skills.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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