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Thread: Ok guys how would you deal with this one?

  1. #1
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    Default Ok guys how would you deal with this one?

    I have really hit a string of good luck lately. In the past two weeks I have had two interviews which is the farthest I have been so far. The first interview went very well but the second one not so well. I had prepared for my orals using Captain Bob's DVD/CD package. The first interview things really went my way I felt I was prepared and I was able to use many of Captain Bob's "Nugget" answers. The second one really threw a curveball. I showed up early(like always) and was able to interview early. I walked in the room shook hands and took my place at a table with a white binder on it. The chief read instructions: the interview was timed and there was 8 questions I was to follow along in the binder as the questions were read aloud then answer them. The first few were easy then I had a curveball and I fell apart. The question was: "What does the Maltese Cross mean?" I went brain dead recovered the best I could but next thing I knew I was repeating my self on answers and I walked out of the room with a feeling of total failure as far as passing the interview. There is another interview in my future at the beginning of next year for my dream dept and I want to make sure I really wow them any suggestions as far as if I get another curveball? Any suggestions on how to recover if I start to fall apart?

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    Pause

    Take a couple of breaths

    Regroup your thoughts

    Think about what you want to say before you say it

    If you do not know the answer state that

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    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    That's a weird one for sure, and I'm trying to think about how I would have answered it myself. I remember reading about it a while back, and where it came from but it would be a stretch to remember details. I think I would have focused on what it stands for now (e.g. brotherhood, honor, etc).

    I know you weren't asking for this, but just curious what others would have done in this instance with this same question.

    Off to look it up again though...

    Edit: I agree with fire49 though. The hardest thing to do is stop and think when you feel like the seconds of silence feel like minutes, but it's better than talking just to talk.
    ColoradoDave likes this.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    My answer would be simple -

    I don't know what it stands for. I realize where I sit right now that there are a multitude of things I don't know, but I love to learn and am eager to do so!
    yjbrody likes this.

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    "I don't know" is always a perfectly valid answer.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Thank You for your responses and you tips. Yjbrody, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that was odd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malder View Post
    My answer would be simple -

    I don't know what it stands for. I realize where I sit right now that there are a multitude of things I don't know, but I love to learn and am eager to do so!
    I agree with this. I think it is a valid response to admit you don't know, but are willing to learn.

    I have looked this up too as I have heard it could come up in some interviews. It is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor. But I have also read that the common fire service crest is mistakenly confused for the Maltese Cross. The common fire cross is more similar to the cross of Saint Florian. Not sure if they would like and answer like that and see it as being a smartass, or if they would think you actually did your research on something to find that out

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    The Maltese Cross is the symbol of the Knights of Malta, who would work to extinguish their brothers whom were set afire by the defenders of the castles/fortresses they were attacking- the boiling oil or "greek fire" poured down upon them. IIRC St Florian was one of the Knights of Malta, and the St Florian Cross is a version of the Maltese Cross. Essentially they are one in the same.

    As for the interview question, I'm guessing they were looking to see what you knew about the heritage of your chosen profession.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    IMO, what a ridiculous question to ask. Instead of another question that could help them paint a picture of you, life, interests, they ask a question that many people in the fire service probably don't know. They must have asked that to get a reply as many have stated ^. Good luck still

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOFD_Getz View Post
    IMO, what a ridiculous question to ask. Instead of another question that could help them paint a picture of you, life, interests, they ask a question that many people in the fire service probably don't know. They must have asked that to get a reply as many have stated ^. Good luck still
    I have to disagree. In fact I think it's genius- asking that question will certainly stress you as it did the OP- because it came from left field and is so far out of whack, but yet so relevant to the matter at hand. Answering it correctly without batting an eye shows you can perform under pressure. Answering "I dont know" in a quick fashion shows honesty under pressure, and bullschitting your way through it....well......shows you are a bullschitter.
    yjbrody likes this.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    FWDbuff, Thank you for your response I agree with why they are asking the question and I like your answers and it really cam from left field I'm sure he look on my face was worth having a picture.

    NOFD_Getz, I also agree with you as far as boards asking odd questions that don't even reflect who you are I would think that a board would want to see if my personality fits the style of that fire department. The maltese cross question did make me think and thats why they asked it not only to see if I knew it's meaning but I also think to see if I could think well

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    I got the results back and I didn't make through the interview. On to the next one.

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    Keep your head up. Every failure is a building block of a lesson learned. I had a question on one of my oral boards that was "tell me what you do for a hobby when you are not working". They didn't care what the hobby was as long as it wasn't fire or ems related. They wanted to see that you had a life outside of the service. It totally took me by surprise, but I took a couple of deep breaths and talked about golf and things went really well.

    Good luck and hang in there.
    yjbrody likes this.

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    SLCfireguy, that is one question i havent been asked. Thanks for the kind reply.

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