Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    59

    Default 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.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    278

    Default

    This is where you get the chance to shed light on some of your more positive attributes, like you stated.

    The one that absolutely knocks them dead and gives you a chance to fish around their feelings on the interview: "I am someone who knows there is always room for improvement. That being said, is there anything you saw in this interview, upon which, I can improve"

    If you dont talk like that or wont feel comfortable talking like that, re-word it or try this:

    "I've noticed this unit about the department." How does one go about achieving the goal of becoming part of that unit?" Or some variation of observation+memory+interest in the department=questions for the panel.

    Be warned: Saying "No. I dont have any questions" is an amature's mistake
    Last edited by FDNYPD; 05-26-2011 at 04:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Really FDNYPD? Everything I have been taught and heard pertaining to the "final question" is that as the interviewee I should have no questions, but should give a response to the "is there anything else we should know about you" question. I also was taught if asked simply, "Do you have any questions?" then I should ask if I can give a closing statement.

    Im from California, so maybe it's a regional thing.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Do you have any questions for us and is there anything else we should know about you?

    This is actually two different questions. The answer to Do you have any questions for us is NO. The message is that you have done your research and you do not have any questions. DO NOT ask how many they plan to hire or when you will get your results. The number of people hired depends on the number of retirements. You should have picked up this information during your visits to the fire station. The men and women usually have a very good feel for these numbers.

    You will get your results when you get them. This could vary quite a bit depending on how many of the HR staff are assigned to the firefighter recruitment. Itís important to note that this is just one small component of what the HR department does in a normal day. Recently I contacted a small city about a recruitment. The person who answered the phone said her friend in HR is handling 8 different recruitments for the City. The results will come when they get around to it. Your interview panel has no idea when that will be. Moreover, virtually every candidate asks them when they will get their results.

    Now, ďIs there anything else we should know about youĒ leaves the door wide open for you. This is you opportunity for a STRONG closing statement!
    I want to thank you for your time today. I would like to tell you that getting hired by your fire department would be a dream come true. I would show up to work early and I would stay late. I would do everything I could to earn the respect of the men and women on your department so I could pass probation. I would never take for granted that out of the hundreds of people who applied for this position I was the one lucky enough to be hired. This would be a life changing event for my family and I.

    Thank you very much for your time. Stand up, look them in the eye and give a firm hand shake and a smile.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,482

    Default

    During the interview is not the time to ask for their feedback on how you're doing, how to get to a certain unit/company or how soon can you start specialized unit training.

    I used to have a short and long form closing statement dependent on the final question. Short form for the "any questions of us?" And long form for when given the opportunity with "anything to add?" Long form would also be independent on whether or not I felt I hit all my points in previous answers. If so, it was back to the short form.

    That in itself was the standard thanks for their time and opportunity, how I'd be a great fit and was looking forward to a career with them.

    Sound sincere. Be conversational. Don't sound rehearsed.

    Rehearse until you don't sound rehearsed.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,482

    Default

    Yeah! What Chief said.

    Morning Chief!
    A quick public thanks again. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for your books, help and advice.

    Same gratitude towards Captains Bob & Rob.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I disagree.Asking questions that could not be awnsered anyhwere else regardless of source shows interest in their department.I think also, that you should go in with the attitude that they will be lucky to get you also, so asking about particular specialities is not a bad thing, especially if you have a good amount of previous experience in that and enjoy that work.I recently addressed this in an oral board and guess what, it showed interest in their department and that you have done your research.
    I think some progressive forward thinking departments encourage their employees to be forthright and gone were the days of " we know everything, you know nothing".Not asking questions, shows dis interest as far as i'm concerned.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Jeeves,
    It's your right to disagree. I will tell you though, I have conducted hundreds of entry-level interviews and am speaking from the perspective of the guy who sits on the other side of the table and actually makes the decision of who gets hired.

    You are looking at from the other side of the table THINKING you are saying what we want to hear.

    We speak to 12 -15 candidates each day. When I tell you I do not want to hear mundane questions I am speaking from experience. Don't waste our time!
    When I give you an opportunity for a closing statement, you should take advantage of it. Do not, however, recap or summarize your interview.

    You believe fire departments have changed their way of thinking. You wrote:
    "I think some progressive forward thinking departments encourage their employees to be forthright and gone were the days of " we know everything, you know nothing".Not asking questions, shows dis interest as far as i'm concerned."

    This is your opinion from someone who is still trying to get into the fire department. The truth is your opinion is just that.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    north of San Francisco
    Posts
    295

    Default

    No, you donít have any questions.

    There is a natural flow to an interview, and and sitting on a panel can be a little boring for the interview panel. As we ask the final question, we know we are almost done. For you to ask a question now not only derails the flow of the interview, but now we as evaluators have to go from our position of listing to you, to figuring out an answer to your question.

    What question would you ask anyway, and why? There is no score assigned to this question usually and there is no magic, great question you could ask to impress us and raise you score. If you have a question about our department and you have waited until the end of your interview to have it answered, you havenít done a good job of researching our department. Also, often the panelists donít work for that department; they may not have an answer.

    Speaking of derailing an interview, in one interview a question was asked regarding an engineer showing up for work smelling like pot smoke. One of the candidates said, ďWell, I donít know what marijuana smoke smells likeĒ. Now the panel has to tell him that even though he doesnít, which they donít believe, he was told it was, so it was, and to deal with the problem. All they wanted was for him to handle a legal question, and he got cute and slowed the pace of the interview. You want them to remember you, but not for being difficult.
    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    www.myfireinterview.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    162

    Default

    LePore.Already serving and have been for many years.Think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.You maybe in the position you are and respect to that, but I have managed to pass oral boards in the past by just being myself and perhaps seeking advicefrom those already serving in the department I would be looking to work for.
    A firefighter/offficer who was my mentor with over 30 yrs experience once said to me, " the only stupid question is the one you dont ask".Yes you need to be resourcefull and do your homework on the department your looking to join, but also you need to know that the department you are looking to join is right for you too.You wont know that unless you ask specific, relevant questions.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Jeeves,
    You believe that the only stupid question is the one that you don't ask. I wholeheartedly disagree with this.

    I believe that you keep your head down and your mouth closed. If you have a question you do the research and find out yourself.

    You are correct, we are going to fundamentally disagree with eachother on this one. It will be up to the readers to decide which way to go.....

    Stay safe!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  12. #12
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Orals

    I have to agree with Chief Lepore on this. I to have sat on the other side and I can also tell you...you have no questions!!! As Chief Lepore has stated were are on a time schedule and to sit and answer inane questions is only hurting you. Sure there are those who do ask and have been hired but more than most do not. It only hurts you if you make the interviewers on edge. I suggest you arrive early to your interview as there is always a gap if someone doesn't show up and if your early it will help you out before you even enter the room.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    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 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.

    Closing Statement

    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.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 05-26-2011 at 01:53 PM.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    700

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    Do you have any questions for us and is there anything else we should know about you?

    This is actually two different questions. The answer to Do you have any questions for us is NO. The message is that you have done your research and you do not have any questions.
    Chief and others,

    Would it be acceptable to elaborate on that No answer or just stick with the straight No?

    Example:
    Panel: Do you have any questions for us?
    Me: No. I was able to answer all the questions that I had by reviewing your website and visiting some of your stations. Thank you for your time.

    A sort of round about way of letting them know that you have done the legwork to learn about their dept. if you haven't mentioned it already.


    Thanks for the feedback.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 05-26-2011 at 01:59 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    Chief and others,

    Would it be acceptable to elaborate on that No answer or just stick with the straight No?

    Example:
    Panel: Do you have any questions for us?
    Me: No. I was able to answer all the questions that I had by reviewing your website and visiting some of your stations. Thank you for your time.

    A sort of round about way of letting them know that you have done the legwork to learn about their dept. if you haven't mentioned it already.
    And then you've opened it up to the panel asking you what you experienced at the stations. You're not in charge of running the interview.

    Keep it simple. Too many candidates think they need to add on more stuff than necessary. They want to give us a blue print when we just need a sketch. A dump truck when we just need a trailer.

    You're looking for a seamless no surprises interview. This is a semi-military organization. You're applying for a snott-nose rookie position. Throwing out statements and 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.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 05-26-2011 at 02:57 PM.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I think many departments are looking to get away from the paramilitary approach of thinking and going towards a more inclusive,non intimidating way of doing business.Although this is a separate topic and thread Capt Bob, I think in this instance it is of some relevance.Having a two way interview does have its benefits.Yes, an interviewee should show some humility, when approaching an interview, but I treat interviews also as an opportunity to see if the department is right for me as well.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Jeeves,
    You need to find a hobby. You spend entirely too much time on these forums whining about not getting hired, giving uneducated advice to people, and arguing with people with alot more experience on the subject matter. Listen more, talk less..... It just might get you a job someday.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    162

    Default

    ronbalm.What do you know about me.Nothing.Have been a serving firefighter for a long time so jog on."Experience" is subjective by the way...

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    59

    Default Good Stuff

    Chief, Captains, Commissioner and everyone else,

    Thanks for the responses. I had a feeling that the way to go was to not ask a question, give a brief ending statement (if the opportunity arises) and thank them for their time. I appreciate the light shed on the subject and I will let you all know how it goes.

  20. #20
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Interview

    Good Luck..........
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Oral Board Interview Unique Situation Need Advice
    By SRT407 in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 05:30 PM
  2. Firefighters Quit Volunteer Department
    By ResQUrCat4Free in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 278
    Last Post: 06-08-2006, 03:35 PM
  3. oral board question employee crisis at emergency
    By scrubbintoilets in forum Probie House: The Place for Newbies
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-08-2006, 09:28 PM
  4. Oral Board Questions
    By DoubleDown in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-04-2001, 07:55 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts