Oral Board Final Question
I have an oral in the near future with my dream department and want to make sure I finish strong. Looking to have some light shed on the famous final question that can come up in an oral, the question: "Do you have any questions for us and is there anything else we should know about you?"
In the past, I have again emphasized my enthusiasm in being involved in the process and thanked them for the opportunity to interview. I also try to make a department specific comment of how I feel I would fit in at their department and how I will strive to be the best firefighter given the chance.
The question I have is whether the panel really wants me to ask a question or just conclude the interview the way I already am. Thanks again, any input is really appreciated.
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 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.
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.
Don't forget that this could be a chance for a closing statement here. The closing part of an interview is where you call on the emotions of the interviewers to give you the job. Don't reiterate or try to do repair work. Use only the key points not already covered in your script. Without being boring or lengthily, tell the interviews why you really want the job and, with your qualifications, hope to be considered for the position.
Then shut up and get out of the building. Or, you will say something stupid. We had a guy one day ace his oral. After his closing, he said, "Well, if I don't get this job I can always fall back on that part time painters job." The panel couldn't believe what this guy just said after acing his oral. Did it hurt his score? Enough to keep him from getting a shot at a badge. Last time I heard, he was still painting.