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Thread: Interview Questions HELP!

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    Default Interview Questions HELP!

    A quick check in this forum and you will see that agencies are hiring again. You certainly donít want to waste any opportunities if youíre selected to participate in a testing and hiring process.

    The Number One Problem in Getting Hired!

    If you turn in an application for firefighter job there is an oral board interview in your future ó itís unavoidable. You just donít know when.
    Yet despite this certainty, when the interview invitation letter arrives, panic almost always follows. Youíre caught flat-footed.

    I frequently hear from panicked candidates who say they were blindsided by an unexpected interview. But we know this isnít true. They just didnít prepare in advance for what was likely the difference-maker in whether they made the cut or missed out on an opportunity.
    Improving poor oral board skills

    Your scores in the oral board portion are crucial in landing a position. Usually 100% of your score to get hired. So what are you doing incorrectly that is keeping you from getting hired?

    Bottom line most candidates don't do enough interviewing to get good at it. This is also true for any job interview. You've got around 20 minutes for a 25+ year career. How are you going to stun the oral board panel to convince them to give you the badge over the other candidates?

    Hereís some insight:

    ďYouíve said the oral board is the most important step in the hiring process and the step that is least prepared for. Well I can support your statement. As I watched the recording of my oral interview score for a really large city (reading upside down) I noticed 60's and 70's on the scores of those that interviewed before me. I would assume there were about 25 names on the sheet prior to mine. Rich

    If youíre succeeding at the written and agility portions of the test, which are usually pass-fail, and youíre not placing high enough on the oral board, then thatís where the problem lies. Most candidates who score low on the oral attempt to go back and pack on more credentials thinking that will get them over the hump. They think that they have to finish their degree, certificates or get through academy training first before reapplying. While these are sound strategies to improving your rťsumť, they do little to improve the skills needed for the oral board.

    ďStop looking in the magnifying glass at others . . . and start looking in the mirror at yourself. Thatís where the problem is.Ē

    From Firehouse contributing author Steve Prziborowski, Battalion Chief, Santa Clara County Fire Department:.

    ďDo what you have to do be more marketable so you can take more tests and have something more to offer a department, but remember that it all comes down to that 15 to 30 minute oral interview. Iíve seen some awesome candidates with resumes packed full of accomplishments that couldnít sell themselves in an interview to even make the top 50%.Ē
    Kodiack likes this.
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    Default Thirty-Plus Basic Oral Board Questions

    I believe there are only about 30 oral board questions. Plus or minus a couple. But these 30 can be disguised into hundreds of different questions.
    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. Once you have removed the disguise, you can place it in one of the 30 plus oral board questions you already have answers for. This is one of the simple tools to uncomplicate the oral board process.

    Here is the list of the "Thirty Plus Oral Board Questions":

    1. Tell us about yourself.
    2. Why do you want to be a firefighter? When did you decide on this career?
    3. What is the job of a firefighter? Are you qualified?
    4. What have you done to prepare for this position?
    5. What are you bringing to the job?
    6. Why do you want to work for this city or agency?
    7. What do you know about his city or agency?
    8. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies?
    9. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
    10. What would your employer say about you?
    11. What are the attributes of a firefighter? What is the most important one to you?
    How Would You Handle the Following Scenarios?
    12. Drinking or drugs on the job? 13. Stealing on the job? 14. Conflict with another employee?
    15. Irate citizen? 16. An employee crisis at an emergency? 17. Sexual harassment?
    18. Racial situation? 19. Conflicting orders at an emergency? 20. An order that could place you in great danger or be morally wrong?
    21. What do you say when you don't know an answer to a question?
    22. Are you on any other hiring lists? What would you do if another city called you?
    23. When can you start if we offered you the job?
    24. How far do you want to go in the fire service? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    25. What are the quality traits of a firefighter? Which one is the most important to you?
    26. Have you ever been in an emergency situation? Tell us what you did?
    27. What word would best describes you in a positive way? A negative way?
    28. How do you handle conflict?
    29. Why would we select you over the other candidates?
    30. Do you have anything to add?

    These questions can be disguised in hundreds of different ways. It's your job to take off the disguise and find the real question and have a "Nugget" answer to satisfy the oral board, get your best score on the answer and cause the board to go onto the next question.

    This "Nugget" tool is one of several that can separate you from number 40 and below on a list to between 1 and 10 where you get a shot at the badge. You'll know the difference when the call comes in to go to the Chief's oral. It can happen quicker than you can imagine.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

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    spam reported
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Default Voice Recorder ó The Miracle Oral Board Tool

    ďEveryone has butterflies. The trick is to get the butterflies to all fly in the same formation.Ē Dottie Walters, Author: Speak and Grow Rich

    Itís all about building confidence for your oral boards.

    I canít believe how many candidates I talk to in person and on the phone that donít know how they sound to others. Theyíre soft spoken, monotone like theyíre giving a patient assessment, with no enthusiasm or inflection with a lot of pause fillers. Many are not using a simple tool that could tilt things in their favor.

    A recent candidate had such a monotone voice that I asked if he knew. He said, ďYea, but that's just my voiceĒ. I told him I didn't believe that for a second. What can I do about it? I've been testing where I can for four years, going to school and work as a federal firefighter.

    Trying to get on his turf, I asked him what do you do with your time off? What is your interest, hobbies? What really rings your bell? Nothing seemed to work to break his monotone voice.

    That was until a few days later I get a call from an energized candidate. I didn't recognize the voice. Yes, it was Mr. Monotone. He told me he didn't realize how bad it was until he listened to the recording of his coaching session. He said, "Man I sounded retarded. I can't believe how much stuff I left out. How many times I said "What Ever" and other stupid pause fillers I didn't know I was using."

    The mystery of why this super qualified candidate could not get hired was solved by listening to a voice recording of what the panel had been hearing for four years.

    So, what tools can you use to practice and rehearse your oral board answers? A video camera? Sure. You need to see how you look in action. But you are trapped with a video camera. A Mirror? Sure standing in front of a mirror is good. But you are missing the most valuable tool of all. A hand-held voice recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go. The closest distance between you and the badge is picking up a recorder and hearing what's coming out of your mouth like Mr. Monotone!

    Few candidates have a script that they have been religiously practicing with a voice recorder. Ninety-nine percent of the candidates I ask arenít. I asked a college program recently how many had been practicing with a voice 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, like Mr. Monotone 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.

    Many applicants want this job so bad they will do almost anything ethically and morally to get it. I guess that doesnít include using a voice recorder to get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the uhís and other pause fillers, or to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck. You need to get married to your hand-held voice recorder. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. Itís narrows the distance between you and the badge youíre looking for!

    This is usually a guy thing. Guys think about their answers in their head and write them down. Then they think their answers are going to come out of their mouths like magic in the oral. Trust me, they donít! The brain and mouth donít work that way.

    Try this. Take 3X5 cards and write down your oral board questions. See a sample list on the previous posting. Practice your answers with a hand-held recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go. If you hear something you do not like when you play it back, turn over the 3X5 card and write it down. The next time you go after that question, turn over the card first and see what you don't want to say.

    Let me tell you how critical this really is. If youíre not using a voice recorder to practice, practice, practice, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and over learn your material until it becomes second nature to you, you might as well not show up for the interview. You are wasting the oral boardís time and your time! Seek out another career. Understand you still have to interview there too. The above candidate has already lost some great opportunities. Had he been faithfully using a voice recorder to prepare for his oral boards, he probably could have had a badge already.

    Some will say, ďWell, if I practice it too much it will sound canned.Ē NO it wonít! It sure will be planned though. Practice makes permanent. ďLuck is preparation meeting opportunity.Ē One practice session with a recorder is worth 10 speaking outlouds. After practicing, you will get to a point where your answers will get into your subconscious. Thatís where the magic begins. You canít be fooled.

    Be advised that your competition knows the value of using a voice recorder. They are catapulting past you if youíre not using one too.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    capt bob how would you answer for these such questions.

    What are your weaknesses?

    What are your strengths?

    Why are you a better candidate for the position than the rest of the candidates?

    those are questions i always seem to have a hard time with coming up with good answers.
    To the men who were there that day, my utmost respect.
    To those that will be there the next time, Ill be there by your side

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    Capt Bob,

    Can you please make a guide on how to spam a message forum?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonsoffun1101 View Post
    capt bob how would you answer for these such questions.

    What are your weaknesses?

    What are your strengths?

    Why are you a better candidate for the position than the rest of the candidates?

    those are questions i always seem to have a hard time with coming up with good answers.
    Your answers first.

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    Three very informative posts, if that is spam, then I have never had spam read so good or keep my interest! Well worth the read. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    Three very informative posts, if that is spam, then I have never had spam read so good or keep my interest! Well worth the read. Thanks.
    Agreed. I don't understand how anyone could think this is spam. I have an oral board coming up on the 28th, so I am very interested in this info, and I think I will try the tape recorder to practice with! I also just joined Toastmasters, which I think is another good tip for anyone, whether going for the fire dept or not, to improve their speaking, listening, and leadership skills.


    Capt Bob: When answering the questions, would it be a plus to address the Captain or Chief asking the question by name? Like say "Captain Bob, I feel that...."
    Last edited by huntstyle; 10-14-2010 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Immediately thought of a question to ask

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    What are your weaknesses?
    I've always had a trouble public speaking so to try and overcome it I've participated in events such as, fire prevention or training classes. I've gone out of my way to answer questions in front of the group instead of hanging back and let others take the spotlight. The more I've done it the easier it is to speak in front of my peers and at public events.


    What are your strengths?
    Iím a very energetic and well-rounded person who can follow instructions. I am a good communicator and a team player. I find myself Able to prioritize and operate in stressful situations.


    Why are you a better candidate for the position than the rest of the candidates?

    Iíve been a firefighter for the past four years. Iíve also taken the time to educate myself through local level training classes, state and national certifications, and college courses toward a degree in fire Science Technology. I can react quickly in hectic situations, and can handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. I have Devoted everything I do for the last 4 years to becoming a firefighter.

    any input would be greatly appreciated !
    To the men who were there that day, my utmost respect.
    To those that will be there the next time, Ill be there by your side

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    Three very informative posts, if that is spam, then I have never had spam read so good or keep my interest! Well worth the read. Thanks.
    Three trash posts regurgitating the same generic folksy platitudes as always -- and conveniently providing a place to post links about his cheesy business...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntstyle View Post
    Agreed. I don't understand how anyone could think this is spam.
    It's easy with an IQ above room temperature.

    I have an oral board coming up on the 28th, so I am very interested in this info, and I think I will try the tape recorder to practice with!
    Assuming you aren't just another shill...

    Be interested all you want; just don't get suckered into buying any of the "secret tips." Anyone reputable would tell you the same things for free.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Three trash posts regurgitating the same generic folksy platitudes as always -- and conveniently providing a place to post links about his cheesy business...
    deputy do you have any info to add on my answers i provided??
    To the men who were there that day, my utmost respect.
    To those that will be there the next time, Ill be there by your side

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntstyle View Post
    Agreed. I don't understand how anyone could think this is spam. I have an oral board coming up on the 28th, so I am very interested in this info, and I think I will try the tape recorder to practice with! I also just joined Toastmasters, which I think is another good tip for anyone, whether going for the fire dept or not, to improve their speaking, listening, and leadership skills.


    Capt Bob: When answering the questions, would it be a plus to address the Captain or Chief asking the question by name? Like say "Captain Bob, I feel that...."
    These are preambles. Donít do use them before or at the end of your answer. It will drive some panel members nuts.

    Here's more:

    -During the oral board, what is you opinion on repeating the question in your answer?

    For example: Why do you wan to be a firefighter?

    -"i want to be a firefighter because...." Ending with ďThatís why I want to be a firefighter.Ē

    Again this will drive some panel members nuts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonsoffun1101 View Post
    deputy do you have any info to add on my answers i provided??
    Given that you've been trying to get on the job for three years now aren't one step closer now than you were then? My only advice to you is to practice saying, "Do you want fries with that?"

    (You're going to want to wait for that speeding ticket -- fast enough to be considered "reckless driving" -- to fade away for a few more years before you're even going to be a serious candidate.)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Be interested all you want; just don't get suckered into buying any of the "secret tips." Anyone reputable would tell you the same things for free.
    Yet where are all the reputable people that are offering this free advice? You'd be surprised at the questionable free advice I've heard in my short time. Not everyone has the insights and experience with the oral interview process as the likes of Capt Bob.

    Yes, he does have something to sell, but you will find a lot of free information and tips on his site that it may not even be necessary to purchase any of it if you can put it all together for an interview. And then some folks just need a nudge in the right direction.

    The only "secret" to it all, is finding what your personal experience is to make your answers your own. That's "the nugget". That's why you're not going to hear how he would answer most of these questions. Because each person has their own story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonsoffun1101 View Post
    What are your weaknesses?
    I've always had a trouble public speaking so to try and overcome it I've participated in events such as, fire prevention or training classes. I've gone out of my way to answer questions in front of the group instead of hanging back and let others take the spotlight. The more I've done it the easier it is to speak in front of my peers and at public events.


    What are your strengths?
    I’m a very energetic and well-rounded person who can follow instructions. I am a good communicator and a team player. I find myself Able to prioritize and operate in stressful situations.[/B]


    Good answers. Practice with your hand-held recorder until they sound they way you want the panel to hear them.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonsoffun1101 View Post
    Why are you a better candidate for the position than the rest of the candidates
    I’ve been a firefighter for the past four years. I’ve also taken the time to educate myself through local level training classes, state and national certifications, and college courses toward a degree in fire Science Technology. I can react quickly in hectic situations, and can handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. I have Devoted everything I do for the last 4 years to becoming a firefighter.


    This question is usually towards the end of the interview. One thing you don't want to do is reinterate what you have already said. Are you doing that here?
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-14-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Given that you've been trying to get on the job for three years now aren't one step closer now than you were then? My only advice to you is to practice saying, "Do you want fries with that?"
    so DM because I've been trying to get on the job for 3 years now and have a speeding ticket I should just give up and go work at some fast food joint??



    Capt bob thank you for your input and I have been practicing
    To the men who were there that day, my utmost respect.
    To those that will be there the next time, Ill be there by your side

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    Default Spam???

    I think not.....Deputy Marshal I think you need a time out. If someone is trying to help those who ask I think you need to take a deep breath and butt out. All you do is complain and throw mud on most things you don't agree with...which is quite a lot from my vantage point. Captain Bob has always been there for those who ask and to those who put forth their $$'s for his advice and nobody has their arms twisted to do so. So if your not helping then you need to take a time out.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    If someone is trying to help those who ask
    In case you hadn't noticed: Nobody asked. This is just another of CaptSpam's advertising threads. Anyone else who posts blatant ads gets banned and for good reason.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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