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Thread: Austin Fire Exam, May 23rd 2012

  1. #701
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    I dont mind the 20% test and 80% interview. I agree there should have been a cutoff. I mean you should at the least be required to of passed the test. As for the interview the thought of talking to a camera and not real people made me super nervous. Something I was not prepared for at all even though I sat in front of my camera at home myself. The question they asked made it a fair playing field. But I think they could of at least asked something about us as individuals to make some kind separation. I left feeling just okay about my interview honestly knowing I could of done better. Hopefully my extra three points from the military will help.


  2. #702
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    The arbitrariness is what I find most unsettling. A lot of folks make great observations on here, but it really amounts to a statistical lottery.

    We all know our SOI score, and our shot at this job, could be made or broken by a fraction of point. And while I admire the earnestness and rigor that the proctors are applying with good will, you cannot totally remove subjectivity from a ratings process; particularly one focused on answers to open-ended questions that are designed to blind the assessor to distracting details like personal background.

    While I, like you, have been preoccupied with what's going to shake down here, I've been playing with the data from last year's hiring cycle. I've figured a few things out, mostly in an effort to make myself feel better about this whole thing, but here's a fun fact: take the initial rankings from last year's applicant pool and re-weight them for this year's standard (they were 2 to 1 SOI to written test, where we're 4 to 1).

    Without even commenting on demographics, that results in a 36% change of the makeup of the top fifty--a flip-flop of 18 people. Just because of a tweak. Fate and Murphy are fickle indeed.
    aloysiusjones likes this.

  3. #703
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    """"How can anyone possibly believe that a candidates temperment and attitude can be properly assessed from a 12 minute video testimonial""

    Not sure what kind of video you all had to do , but have seen the b-pad video testing a number of times, and you can tell quite a bit via video

  4. #704
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    """"How can anyone possibly believe that a candidates temperment and attitude can be properly assessed from a 12 minute video testimonial""

    Not sure what kind of video you all had to do , but have seen the b-pad video testing a number of times, and you can tell quite a bit via video

    Sure, you can tell quite a bit. But is it enough? No way in hell. Anyone can put on a good face for 1/5 of an hour. A camera cannot ask follow up questions. The process does not reveal anything about whether or not someone is respectful of the chain or command, whether or not someone will be a good team member, whether or not someone will take orders. If you believe that you can tell all that from the video response, then you have some extra sense that the rest of us do not.

    When I am selecting people to be on my jury, I get to examine them for at least a few hours. And that is only to determine whether or not they will be open minded and listen to evidence. I am not trying to gauge if they will be courageous under dangerous conditions, or whether or not they have the ability to deal with witnessing severe injury or death and still be able to function on the job. The video does not reveal anything but whether or not you can answer abstract questions on video. Its flawed at its core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antstar13 View Post
    Without even commenting on demographics, that results in a 36% change of the makeup of the top fifty--a flip-flop of 18 people. Just because of a tweak. Fate and Murphy are fickle indeed.
    I would like to look at that data. Your premise is an interesting one. Is it possible for you to tell how many people that made it would not have under our current 4:1 split? I read a commenter's post about how he got a 100 on the exam and then underperformed on interviews causing him/her to fail to make the cut. Maybe its because I am a total egghead, but something about that seems just wrong. There are lots of supremely qualified individuals that just dont have very good interpersonal skills. For instance: every U.S. Marine I have ever met.

    One of these days, everyone will figure out that there is no such thing as fairness. It is a fleeting unattainable goal. Most remedial measures to try and achieve fairness do more harm than good.

  6. #706
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloysiusjones View Post
    Sure, you can tell quite a bit. But is it enough? No way in hell. Anyone can put on a good face for 1/5 of an hour. A camera cannot ask follow up questions. The process does not reveal anything about whether or not someone is respectful of the chain or command, whether or not someone will be a good team member, whether or not someone will take orders. If you believe that you can tell all that from the video response, then you have some extra sense that the rest of us do not.

    When I am selecting people to be on my jury, I get to examine them for at least a few hours. And that is only to determine whether or not they will be open minded and listen to evidence. I am not trying to gauge if they will be courageous under dangerous conditions, or whether or not they have the ability to deal with witnessing severe injury or death and still be able to function on the job. The video does not reveal anything but whether or not you can answer abstract questions on video. Its flawed at its core.

    It is one tool of evaluating

    Once people are identified as possible hires, they go through another face to face interview

  7. #707
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    It is one tool of evaluating

    Once people are identified as possible hires, they go through another face to face interview
    The hiring process summary mentions only one interview, not two.
    http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...-2013_0830.pdf

    Do you know something I don't about a second set of interviews? Please share, because I would like to start preparing just in case.

  8. #708
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterSplinter View Post
    Did everyone get the email asking you to complete a survey about the AFD hiring process?
    Yeah I just finished mine. I was very candid about what a complete ****-up the whole interview process was. Flights to ATX are expensive. It would have been nice to know that I was wasting my time before I took a personal day and rented a car.

  9. #709
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloysiusjones View Post
    The hiring process summary mentions only one interview, not two.
    http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...-2013_0830.pdf

    Do you know something I don't about a second set of interviews? Please share, because I would like to start preparing just in case.
    sorry was replying how another fire dept used video evaluations

  10. #710
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloysiusjones View Post
    Do you know something I don't about a second set of interviews? Please share, because I would like to start preparing just in case.
    Probably referring to the psychological exam. You sit down with the department's MD and talk to him about why you want to be a firefighter, etc.

  11. #711
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliciaaaaah View Post
    Probably referring to the psychological exam. You sit down with the department's MD and talk to him about why you want to be a firefighter, etc.
    Yeah no possible way I will pass that!

  12. #712
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    This wait is killing me!!

  13. #713
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    I agree. If anyone has any updates on the ETA of the results, please do share! Thanks.

  14. #714
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    Default When is the IRL coming down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kel V View Post
    I agree. If anyone has any updates on the ETA of the results, please do share! Thanks.
    I'm climbing the walls too. Here's my wild conjecture based on last year:

    Guesstimate #1: 8/2/2013--which would be 15 days from SOI completion, and would be the same number of days from Written Exam to Initial Ranked List (IRL) Posting as the 2012 cycle; this is also the date AFD wants the survey results in by--might mean nothing, but I'd think they don't want responses tainted by disappointment from those who don't make it (none of us I'm sure).

    Guesstimate #2: 8/19/2013--which would be 31 daysfrom SOI completion, which would be the same time elapsed from SOI completion to posting of IRL in 2012 (assuming there were no unforseen delays that cycle)--but that could be offset by a sense of urgency with the CBA expiring 30 Sept--this would also still loosely conform to the the mid/late Aug CPAT timeline if scheduling is pre-determined along with initial rank.

    Again, to be crystal clear, this comes from nothing official, just me looking for a pattern in what happened before to apply to when things might go down this year. And hoping the bad news on the CBA negotiation front doesn't cause the whole process to get canned.

  15. #715
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    My guess is 8/2 as well. The CPAT orientations begin "mid-August" and releasing ranks this Friday would give people 1-2 weeks to make arrangements for a mid-August start date.

  16. #716
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    Bit the bullet and emailed recruiting, mostly because I need time to ask off work and a little bit just so I could stop refreshing the applicant page 100x/day.

    "We are looking at the 19th, 20th, and 21st [for CPAT orientations]. These dates are subject to change, however. We will be posting a hiring update on the website next week which should provide more guidance."

  17. #717
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    Dang, next week? That's not good to hear. I was hoping for tomorrow.

    Another aspect I was thinking about today was - say you make it within the top 10 of this upcoming initial ranked list. If you pass the CPAT, Treadmill, Psy, and background checks, what's to stop you from being hired?

    The reason I ask is because I was reading the current applicant page more closely, and it says "Fire Department cadet academy will be made based on this composite score and the candidate’s ability to pass a series of assessments including medical, psychological, physical ability and responses to the teamwork and work behavior written questions."

    Key phrase "... and responses to work behavior written questions." ?

    That's somewhat troubling to me. I thought those questions were part of the written exam score?

    I could be overthinking it (probably), but it seems as if they left that in there so that they could still have one last subjective decision process. One that allows them to weed people out, that for one reason or another, they don't want to hire. *

    *See: 2013 DOJ investigation, & extreme political pressure to match fire dept demographics to city demographics.

    I just want the process to be completely fair to every applicant. You know? (Goes both ways - IOW, I don't want the political pressure to affect the someone's chances, in any way.) Probably not possible though.
    Last edited by Kel V; 08-01-2013 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Spelling, clarification

  18. #718
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    Kel V you pretty much nailed it. Those work and behavior questions will give them another avenue to take. Just my opinion.

  19. #719
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    ^^^^^ you take a more indepth psyc test for the dept psychologist. Nothing to really worry about unless your just out there. The psyc interview is the nerve racking one but they let me in so who knows.....

  20. #720
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    Default No Scores Yet, But...

    They have posted a list of candidate numbers with an approved preliminary DD 214 on file.

    Take-away: even if the CBA issue is going to have an effect, administrators are still working as though the process will continue as planned.

    Additionally, of 2882 scheduled to interview, 322 are ex-military: 11%.

    Lower than I would have guessed, but I imagine the interview turn-out rate for the 322 was higher than the general population, so the remaining pool is actually more than 11% ex-military. (Please don't misconstrue the last sentence to mean that I'm calling vets more likely to show up for interviews just because they are vets--trust your own bias on that count--just that submitting additional paperwork post-test equates to interest that didn't wane after the first graded component of the process, when there's no analogous marker for the general applicant pool.)

    I think this counts as good news to all of us in a way: for ex-military, the 3 points really are an advantage; for non-vets, the vast majority of the competition has got exactly the same chance on the surface level as almost any other applicant.

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