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  1. #1
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    Question Oral Boards.... the basics

    I am testing for Fire and have passed the written and the physical agility testing. Next comes the oral boards, which I have never been through before. Could you give me some tips or perhaps a site that would cover this particular topic? Any info would be greatly appreciated!!

    D.J.
    EMT-B
    Prescott, AZ


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    An oral board review is just like any other job interview. Dress neatly...if you go into the interview looking like a slob dressed in a Coed Naked Firefighting t-shirt and a tattered pair of jeans, that could be a reflection of your work habits.

    If you are answeering a question and have to pause, it's better not to say anything and take a moment to collect your thoughts than to say ah, um, etc.

    If they ask you a question you cannot answer, be honest about it...better to dazzle them with honesty and brilliance than baffle them with bull****!

    Good luck!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    I finished on the top of my list, not blowing my own horn, but so youll know that proper preperation will always pay off, and a good bit of luck. If you want to get on a dept you have to do more than the next guy. If you really want to get on the dept you should begin preparing a year out from the test. Its not a matter of you being smarter or a better interviewer, but whether or not you put in more effort than the next guy. If you want to do well on the oral board get this book and follow its sugesstions, Fire Dept oral interviews by Gene Mahoney you can get it at perfect firefighter candidate. It has an excellent chapter on matching your strengths and experiences to the jobs requirments and what they are looking for. Get this book, study it, fill out several answers to interview quesions and practice interviews. Have someone you know give you an interview, go test at a dept you dont want to get on but to gain experience also. But most definietly get this book, it helped me score very high on the oral exam when i tested.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    As I've said to others who asked this questions, BE HONEST. Most orals have questions tied together. A late question will be much the same as an early one, but you won't know it. In most cases, if your not being honest, it will show up. Remember, you're not expected to be the perfect person, just a level headed, honest and caring one.
    Good Luck!

  5. #5
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    Post Do your homework

    All the previous posts have been good. The best information given is the fact that honesty is the best policy.

    I have interviewed many times and served on several oral board as an interviewer. Each oral board may be looking for something different, therefore honesty is the best policy. The idea is for the oral board to help a civil service board choose those who poses the traits that meet the true interests of the jurisdiction and of the job position.

    Normally at least one question will not have a correct answer. The intent is to make you think on your feet under pressure; to see if you can use your knowledge and skill to solve a problem. Your right as long as you can explain your decision and back it up with logic.

    Another question will most likely involve how your experience and education will be beneficial to the community that your applying to. This requires that you at least know something about the community. If you live there then you have a leg up on the competition. However if you don't, you need to do your homework and find out about the town and the fire department. What's the social and economic make-up of the community? What services does the fire department perform? How does this match with your experience, education and knowledge?

    All of the oral boards that I have served on had at least one question that most canidates seem to do poorly on and it's the one which you most likely can do very well on. "Tell us about yourself."
    This is your opportunity to "sell" yourself. Don't lie here but make sure you know your resume and tell them everything you can in the time allotted. If you have first aid and cpr tell them about it. Tell them that your a certified firefighter and instructor. Tell them that you have worked part time for several other departments. Tell them that your fire truck flies at your volly house and your responsible for that, if in fact it's true and can be documented. Tell them just as if your telling your new girl/boy friend what you like about them. Tell them with a passion why you LOVE this job and what you have done in the past to prove that.

    Wear a suit and a tie, or a nice dress or pants suit that fits. Get a haircut and be clean shaven. Trimmed mustaches are okay but beards and other facial hair is not allowed on the job because of respiratory standards and will not get you any points. You are on display. A clean, well dressed and groomed candidate will score better every time.

    At the beginning of the oral make eye contact with each oral board member and shake hands with each member prior to sitting down. Ask for permission to sit before you do, if not directed by the board chairman. When the interview is over, shake each persons hand and thank them for the opportunity.

    After the interview, don't discuss the question with anyone. (I am always surprised everytime I do an oral board how many choose not to take this advise and if you can't figure it out, then you deserve to get what's coming; nothing). Take time to write a well written and neat thank you letter to the civil service board and thank them for the opportunity to interview.

    Lastly, Good luck. It's the greatest job on the earth. Hope ya get it.
    Last edited by glowpop; 02-26-2002 at 04:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    Along with listening to what everyone else is posting you could check out this link to some good interview stuff, hope it helps ,good luck and remember the words of Ford??? "Whether you think you can ,or know you can , you're right!"www.eatstress.com/thirty.htm
    Last edited by MrBombero; 02-26-2002 at 10:48 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the info guys, you all have been a big help!!! Orals are less than a week away, I've got some serious studying and practicing to do!! Thanks again!

    D.J.
    Prescott Az
    EMT-B

  8. #8
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    I agree with the others. Dress for the part.....no shorts, wild hair, shave, get some sleep the night before. Wear business attire or if you dont own any......slacks and a nice ironed shirt. Dress shoes.

    When you enter make sure you make eye contact with everyone on the panel.

    Be honest

    They may ask you situational questions. The biggest and most important thing is that you have to think about what you are going to say. I have done some oral interviews and have seen the look on some candidates faces when they just blurt out an answer. Think about what you will say and structure it. Generally, some of them are times...you may have 20 minutes to answer 5 questions. Take a watch with you and lay it down in front of you and glance at it. Manage your time well. When you have completely finished a question....say...I am finished with my response. In any situation or question, put yourself in that position or situation that is being discussed. Answer thoroughly and confidently. Avoid..."I think", "I might", "Maybe"...etc. As you speak look directly at the interviewers, not at your hands or the table or the ceiling. Try and gain eye contact with each interviewer during each question.

    When you are finished, as you stand to leave, extend your hand to each interviewer and say, "I will be looking forward to hearing from you, thank you for your time." Some may shake your hand, other will not....but offer.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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