1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default What do you know about this town? oral board

    I have my first oral board this week with my hometown. I have some info to personalize my answer but how much is too much as far as facts? I mean I was practicing with my fiance and she had to stop me and say that it was too much. I stated the population, square miles, and then went into a brief description of the town government, how many schools, and then started on a long journey into the 3 fire stations here in town and how many shifts, guys, etc etc. Should I not get into the fire part of it for this question? How much is too much or how much is too little? Neither captain bob or paul lepore touch on this as I have both of their material. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Question....

    I'm sure Chief Paul Lepore and Captains Bob and Rob will jump in....My two cents is this:
    If asked "What do you know about our City just give them an overview. Highlights if it were and don't get too detailed. I had a Candidate give a brief overview and then repeat the city mission statement verbatim. He was hired. The Oral is time sensitive and you need to be direct and to the point. I wish you good luck and above all remain calm and you'll do fine.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    I agree with Jay. An overview is fine, getting too detailed not only takes away from the time allotted, it makes it sound too "canned" of a response.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thank you. Yes I was saying too much. So what exactly would be the highlights? Town motto maybe or is that corny? Population, square miles, maybe total number of fire and ems calls? Thanks for the responses.

  5. #5
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Yes, that's corny.

    Population and square miles are good, and maybe recognize significant hazards or special places (mass gathering events, etc). However, I'm afraid you might be putting too much thought into this. Just go in and answer the questions...you can work in some of the information about the local demographics should the time arise. If it doesn't, no worries - if the rest of your answers are smart and thoughtful, you'll likely get a positive nod from the interviewers.

    One thing to remember: always wait 5 seconds before you answer any question. It provides you time to think and also maintain some control of the interview.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default

    So don't mention schools or government?

  7. #7
    tcd
    tcd is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I've never done oral boards, but I would think that throwing in some knowledge of the the town's strategic plan as it relates to public safety might be worth something as well.

    For example, you might mention knowledge of expected population growth rate, planned infrastructure projects, new schools, hospitals and of course fire stations. It seems like this would not only show what you know about the town as it is today, but would also display that you have an understanding of the direction it's going in the future.
    Last edited by tcd; 02-14-2012 at 08:53 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Oral

    I have to stress that this is a time sensitive part of you process. There's only so much time allotted for your interview. You'll be telling the board about the schools and government and they'll drop a bomb and say we're out of time. Just relax and pause before your answers and just hit the highlights of your town. You'd be surprised with all the time you've spent remembering things about your town they might not even ask you a question about it. Good Luck and please let us know how it went.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    I agree with the postings above to not go to overkill on this answer. Yes this question and information is covered in our book Becoming a Firefighter under this chapter:

    Shot Gun Effect

    The best way to handle this type of question about the city and department is to use the shotgun effect. Give them a smattering of areas like square miles, population, type of city government, number of stations, engines, trucks, number of personnel and target hazards. If the panel looks puzzled after your answer ask them if they want more. They will tell if they have heard enough and you can be onto the next question.

    What would you think if you were on an oral panel and the candidate gave you a sample smattering answer? Right, you would think he had done their homework.

    You don’t want to go endlessly here. Just a sample smattering. I had a candidate one day tell us so much he got down to the grid water system the city used. Definitely overkill. Another candidate during coaching had a good answer for city information. In the next two weeks before his oral he piled more information onto his answer. He ended up making a long answer endless, finally telling them the number of convention hotel rooms that were available. He committed suicide in his efforts to over impress the panel. Oh, yeah, this is the guy we want to put in a station that would drive everyone Nuts!

    This mindless, endless, rambling not only hurts your score, it robs valuable time that you could be using to let the panel know the important stuff that could improve your chances to make the final cut.
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Great thank you for the responses. The only other question I'm concerned about is the initial tell us about yourself. Paul lepore says to basically not mention education or anything fire related which is basically the exact opposite of what I'm doing. My interview is for my hometown. I'm touching on 3 objectives, townie, education, what I'm doing now. Granted it will make me repeat what I will answer if they ask what have you done to prepare but that's what I'm going with. I dont think they care if I fish or ride atvs etc. Hey what do I know?!? That's why I'm here

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Rookie, if you have Capt. Bobs stuff, his answer is in there and I tHink he and BCLepore may disagree. I've always stuck with a really short answer. Name, live in ..., married?, kids ?, quick overview of hobbies/interests. Hope that helps although I'm sure you will get differing opinions regarding this.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I18 terrrncr@gmill.com no a lot about the fire home

  13. #13
    tcd
    tcd is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suffolk police View Post
    I18 terrrncr@gmill.com no a lot about the fire home

    And the spam bot has arrived.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Oral Board
    By FFWC in forum Testing & Fitness
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-25-2011, 09:28 AM
  2. help oral board
    By rescuerick82 in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-02-2009, 01:25 PM
  3. First Oral board
    By sleflar in forum Colorado
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-15-2005, 10:25 PM
  4. First Oral Board
    By tsbacker in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-10-2004, 09:46 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

Log in

Click here to log in or register