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Thread: Seattle 2011

  1. #1
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    Default Seattle 2011

    Got an email from Seattle today. They'll be taking applications Nov. 15-Jan. 7.

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    Thanks, definitely will be applying.

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    Thanks for the heads up!!!

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    Excited to test. Anyone have any tips or know if the testing workshops help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GU Bulldog Fire View Post
    Excited to test. Anyone have any tips or know if the testing workshops help?
    I have taken the last two tests offered by Seattle, so I can only speak to how those processes were conducted. I did not participate in the workshops beforehand.


    Written Test:
    For the past two list, the test was held on the UW campus in a couple of auditoriums. For the written test, candidates were given a packet of information including essays, pictures, maps, and diagrams to study for aprox 2 hours (forget the exact time). After the time period expired, there was a short intermission, and then candidates were given a written test on the same material they had just finished studying. Multiple choice questions in SCANTRON format, if I remember correctly. Time to take the test portion was about the same as the study time.

    Oral Interview #1:
    The passing score for the written test was 70%, so a LOT of people move on to the first interview (over 1,000). Interviews were conducted at a school in Shoreline. Normal interview rules apply - show up early, wear your suit, leave the cell phone in your car etc. After checking in, candidates wait in a holding room where they got a speech from the HR lady explaining the process, future dates, vet points and the like. When called, candidates get escorted into a classroom for the panel of 3-4 firefighters (maybe a Lt. as well). Candidates are introduced to the panel, shake hands, and seated at a table facing the panel, but about 6 feet away from them. Interview questions are taped to the table in front of the candidate, so in addition to hearing them asked by the panel, candidates can read them as well. The panel strictly adheres to their script and give little if any feedback or visual cues - which can be unsettling until you get used to it. There were 6-8 questions.

    Oral Interview #2:
    Again, due to a relatively low passing score, a LOT of people move on to the second interview. The format for the second interview was the exact same as the first.


    Background Packet:
    If you place in the top 25% of people who pass the second interview, you receive a "list number" (not final) and the packet for the background investigation, driving abstract, work history, written references etc. You may also be scheduled to take the written psych, CPAT, training captain interview, and oral interview #3.

    Written Psych:
    Conducted at the academy, the test was pretty standard, if you have ever taken one before. Several hours filling out strange questions about whether you are ticklish or want to kill yourself. The dept also offered the opportunity to get hands on with some equipment and meet some suppression staff afterward.

    CPAT:
    Um, duh.

    Training Captain Interview:
    Short interview to go over any red-flags in the background, such as drug use or theft.

    Oral Interview #3:
    May be the same day as the background interview. Conducted at department hq, old Station 10. One captain, and one BC made up the panel.

    My understanding is that after this point, the top 25% of the list (those eligible for hire) are reorganized into some sort of hiring order. I was never notified of where I stood in that order, but I did receive notice before both academies they hired off my first list that I was not in that class. The second list I was on, I removed myself from the process right before Interview #3 since I was hired elsewhere. Total time from written test to notice of first academy class was 10-11 months, but those were in good budgetary times.

    Hope this helps, good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GU Bulldog Fire View Post
    Excited to test. Anyone have any tips or know if the testing workshops help?
    Just be prepared to wait over 2 years or more for a recruit class.They only had this recent class because last minute change because of a fatal house fire involving an apparatus problem which stopped them having their budget cut this year.The list I was on expired begining of October this year, so they are willing to waste money doing a whole new recruitment campaign they must have some money somewhere.Good luck anyhow

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    Jeeves, Seattle is lucky to have passed you over judging by your crybaby posts on this forum. You didn't make the cut. Get over it.

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    Already worked for bigger and better. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone on here..Just giving people the heads up of what they may expect. So get over yourself. Have seen more than you will ever see in a lifetime

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    Good luck Jeeves.
    Last edited by dwoods87; 10-29-2010 at 10:21 PM.

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    Hey guys. It looks like the written will be offered on 26 and 27 Feb and the first oral board should be sometime in March. Hope that helps with some planning. i wouldn't book plane tickets or take vacation yet, but that's the best wag I've seen so far. Good luck.

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    Any rumors on the hiring budget?

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    That's the $25K question. No one knows the answer to that, but all of our budget cuts for 2011 have been announced and they weren't as bad as we anticipated because SFD gave up a mandatory 2% cost of living increase saving about $6M for the city. I can't see us spending the money on testing for a new list if we weren't going to. We are still under the threshold of new hires vs. OT cost so I would think we need a class in 2011. I would guess cuts will be worse in 2012 and beyond, so if anything this might be the only shot for awhile. Just my .02. If I hear more I'll let you know.

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    GRNFT- some cities have an H&R policy that requires them to have an active list of eligible candidates at all times, irregardeless of planned hiring or not.
    So sometimes they have to run a test just to establish a list, then have it sit for a couple years.
    Certainly hope that isn't the case with SFD, but it does happen.

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    Yeah that could be the case, but we have an active list right now, as far as I know, but a lot of names have dropped off because it's been so long. If I hear anything from HR I'll pass it on...

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    Default Out of state

    I'm looking to relocate to Seattle and wondering if there are any seattle FFs on the forum that could provide some insight. I have been a career FF for 4 years now and will be promoted to engineer very soon in my department. I understand if I get hired I would have to start over as a firefighter, which is fine by me. I love fighting fire and the city of Seattle so it is worth it to me. How is experienced viewed as far as getting hired? is it a plus/ minus or does not matter? How about age? I am 31 now. Any info about the hiring process or dates would be great. Can't wait to do testing!

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    Average age of my academy was 32 I think, so no problem there. We had a 42 year old make it through, but I know some of the over 40 crowd got beat up in the current recruit class. Previous experience is a definite plus if you can sell yourself during interviews. Most people had some experience, but they seem to take some flyers on a few zero experience people who have very unique/diverse backgrounds. It's a long process. I commuted 9 times for various tests/interviews etc...Hope that helps.

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    CFDRes thanks for the tips, looking forward to getting the process underway. I've been testing for a year and a half and am up there on a couple lists but always wanted a shot at SFD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRNFT View Post
    Yeah that could be the case, but we have an active list right now, as far as I know, but a lot of names have dropped off because it's been so long. If I hear anything from HR I'll pass it on...
    the last eligible expired October as I was on it.I made one of the alternates.Seems like a waste of money as those people waited 2 and half years.At least this time round they are changing the process by putting CPAT earlier which will help eliminate a few more who arent up to it

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    CPAT earlier? where's your info from?

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    I may have read their job notification wrong but dont think I did.This time, after the eligible list is anounced, ie top 25% they will do the CPAT 1st instead of BC interview/ background/ Psych

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeves1 View Post
    the last eligible expired October as I was on it.... Seems like a waste of money as those people waited 2.5 years.At least this time round they are changing the process by putting CPAT earlier which will help eliminate a few more who arent up to it
    I was high on that list as well (final panel interview and background interview), really thought I was going to get it, and even started preliminary plans on moving out there across the country. It was a very long and stressful 2 1/2 years, and very expensive as well. I understand that the city is in a financial deficit, but so are good candidates who live all over the country. I went through another west coast city process and their processes were bunched together into 1 weekend of activities. Just my .02 on that.

    Seattle FD is probably one of the best departments to get picked up by and the city is awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have another 2 years and $5000+ travel expenses to chance with, and I'm not about to walk away from almost 10 years (if I got hired off this list) with a pretty decent career department I'm with now.

    Good luck to all the applicants, just don't get your hopes up too much. Take the interviews seriously, get an interview prep book. Don't forget to refresh your basic math and algebra skills. Study, study, study, then practice, practice, practice. You might also want to enroll in a frequent flyer program with Northwest Airlines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patjackson52 View Post
    I love fighting fire
    you might not want to mention that to any interview panel. In fact if you really feel that way, a prosperous city like Seattle may not be for you. May I suggest Detroit, Gary, Camden, or East St. Louis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 125cc View Post
    I was high on that list as well (final panel interview and background interview), really thought I was going to get it, and even started preliminary plans on moving out there across the country. It was a very long and stressful 2 1/2 years, and very expensive as well. I understand that the city is in a financial deficit, but so are good candidates who live all over the country. I went through another west coast city process and their processes were bunched together into 1 weekend of activities. Just my .02 on that.

    Seattle FD is probably one of the best departments to get picked up by and the city is awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have another 2 years and $5000+ travel expenses to chance with, and I'm not about to walk away from almost 10 years (if I got hired off this list) with a pretty decent career department I'm with now.

    Good luck to all the applicants, just don't get your hopes up too much. Take the interviews seriously, get an interview prep book. Don't forget to refresh your basic math and algebra skills. Study, study, study, then practice, practice, practice. You might also want to enroll in a frequent flyer program with Northwest Airlines.
    I feel you man.Exactly the same situation.I traveled from the UK 4 times, at one point.extremely stressfull on a marriage as well.I think they have lost 4 or 5 on their curent class so far, makes you annoyed that they are doing a whole new recruitment drive when they still have fresh people on the list of good calibre ready to go.Mybe if a few of us top 25% got together we could email them to find out the logic behind it? Because I could never understand it.Especially because we waited for so long.?...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeves1 View Post
    I feel you man.Exactly the same situation.I traveled from the UK 4 times, at one point.extremely stressfull on a marriage as well.I think they have lost 4 or 5 on their curent class so far, makes you annoyed that they are doing a whole new recruitment drive when they still have fresh people on the list of good calibre ready to go.Mybe if a few of us top 25% got together we could email them to find out the logic behind it? Because I could never understand it.Especially because we waited for so long.?...
    Jeeves, just curious what made you pick Seattle out of all the FDs in the US if you are trying to come over from the UK?

    Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is that there are good people on every list who get passed over, or do not have a chance to prove themselves. The FD tries to make good decisions for their department (remember they have financial incentive to pick good people who will make it through the academy and probation) and apparently they have a system they think works for them.

    I don't have any insight into why the current class may be losing members. That said, I understand from friends who have hired on in Seattle that they have a very old tradition of washing out at least one recruit from every academy class - a tradition they don't intend to part with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CFDRes View Post
    Jeeves, just curious what made you pick Seattle out of all the FDs in the US if you are trying to come over from the UK?

    Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is that there are good people on every list who get passed over, or do not have a chance to prove themselves. The FD tries to make good decisions for their department (remember they have financial incentive to pick good people who will make it through the academy and probation) and apparently they have a system they think works for them.

    I don't have any insight into why the current class may be losing members. That said, I understand from friends who have hired on in Seattle that they have a very old tradition of washing out at least one recruit from every academy class - a tradition they don't intend to part with.
    I am already over here.Have been for 2 yrs career now on East coast.I have family in Seattle and love the city.Am dual national so have lot of family on both east and west coasts.Seatle had their chance with me.Im probably going for Baltimore City now

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