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Thread: Ride along before interview?

  1. #1
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    Default Ride along before interview?

    Question, what do you guys think about doing ride alongs before you interview? I figure it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the department and its functions. Still new to interviewing, so I am not sure if this is normal... any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Would say not a good idea unless you live in same town you are testing for

    Unless you do it many months before testing

  3. #3
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    Some departments do not allow station visits during test time.

    You can find more on station visits at the end of this thread:

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117336 (Interview Questions HELP!)
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    i wouldnt. i would've started riding way before the hiring process began.

    1) alot of dept dont allow it.
    2) you might be "in the trash" before your interview.

  5. #5
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    As above, some may not allow it... and some may not allow it right before an interview.

    My perspective:

    I put in my app at a dept and then scheduled a ride along. My ride was approx 2 weeks before the apps closed. I had a great ride along, met more than a few guys, and talked with guys from the last process. This gave me a heads up on not only the process but also better insight into the day to day operations of the dept. Guys were friendly and helpful.

    So I walk into my initial panel interview.... who's there? 3 guys. One captain and the BC from my ride-out plus another Lt that I had not met. They remembered me and thanked me for showing interest w/ a ride-out. This is a very desired dept in Johnson County and here they are thanking me for my military service and for coming to ride out. They even mentioned they learn a lot about potential candidates as well on rideouts. (I.E. have your **** together when you go). I'll be honest that it relaxed me, but I believe that it relaxed the panel towards me. Maybe they would have done the same otherwise, but that I'll never know. I got verbal and non-verbal positive feedback on my answers which is far different than the typical "stone face" you will get. I had a call the next day to come back in for the chief's interview.

    Chief's Panel interview is a whole other story for another day though...

    My suggestion is to go for it if it's available to you. Get your face out there...this is a cut throat competition and you need to set yourself apart in any and every way possible.
    FireMuscleMan21 likes this.

  6. #6
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    You hit the nail right on the head. You are putting yourself out there. I am not a big advocate of ride alongs. In fact, we do not allow anyone into the stations during the testing process. HR believes this gives people an unfair advantage (I personally don't agree with HR).
    I would NOT encourage a ride along. WHile it is a great opportunity to learn about the department, it's also a long time for you to be on display. You can be assurred that you will be graded by the group on everything that you do. It's especially hard if you do not understand the fire station etiquette.
    Your best advantage is to learn about the department and perform well in the interview.
    Good luck all!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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