1. #1
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    Question employment history

    I was wondering how deep fire departments go into talking with pervious employers? When I filled out my application I put down the place where i was working at the time, but i dont work there anymore. I quit because of some things that happened and now i wonder if this department will find out. Its a big company so my previous boss can only tell them the dates I worked there and how much money i made. So will they want more info. about that job and go further like maybe wanting to talk to human resources.

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    Your future department is going to want to know under what circumstances you left that job, and they will likely ask you about it. If you made a mistake and it comes up, own up to it and tell how it made you a better person. If the company screwed something up and you got caught in it, then don't lie but also don't go throwing out accusations. If you feel the employer could not give a true account of your qualifications because of bias, then say so in the application along with "Do not contact." Good luck out there!
    ~Kevin
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    I dont think my previous employer would give me an accurate reference, but i have already turned in the application. So do you think I would be able to go back and tell this dept. that I dont fell that my former employer is not going to give me an accurate reference and ask them not to contact them, will they not call them?

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    If you draw attention to something after already turning in the application, you're pointing out a mistake that you made in your application, which was NOT including that recommendation of not calling your last employer. At this point my suggestion would be to keep going with this hiring process and just wait for anything bad to happen, if at all. Once the application & cover letter have been sent, there's no turning back. I once sent a letter with a resume to a fire department, and I had the wrong person as chief. I was quite pleased that the chief's secretary intercepted all of the mail, and she called me about it. That whole envelope was destroyed (I believe), and a new letter was sent. Anyway, if you make it to the interview process and the question is asked about your last job, speak as honestly and impartially as you can about the job & employer, stating why he/she isn't an accurate judge of your qualifications. Look more to the positives, why you would excel in this fire department. Read up here on Firehouse about oral boards, ask fellow firefighters about common questions in the fire service. Practice people skills, because it's all about talking with others that get you the job. If you're a strong individual with great interpersonal skills, you might have a much better chance at the job than a lug nut with every certification under the sun and no people skills. Good luck with this!
    ~Kevin
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    Default Job History

    Kevin is right here. It all comes down to presentation skills.

    You would never bring this up in an interview unless they did. They probably won't. It would only be opening a can or worms you may never close. It they bring it up, have a brief, simple, reasonable explanation of what happened.

    This is something that would normally be covered with your background investigator. Here again have a brief, simple, reasonable explanation of what happened. If I understand your posting, you resigned. You did not get fired? Did you leave for a better opportunity? Practice your answers with a tape recorder to condense them down so they sound reasonable. Then, be the broken record if needed. Just repeating what you all ready said.

    You can find more interview articles in the career article section of this firehouse.com web site: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/co...r/bio.jsp?id=18

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    Be aware that when you go through a background check they will find everyone in your past. This includes former bosses, co-workers and old friends. Any act of omission of information is grounds for immediate disqualification.

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    The reason I wonder how far into my employment with this company the fire department will check is because it is the companys policy to only give out the dates of employment and how much money I made. What I am wondering about is, is that going to be enough info. for the fire department, or will they want phone numbers for human resources or something like that to find out more info. It is a small to medium size fire dept. if that makes any difference in how in deepth they may get. Basically what happened is that I was going to fire a guy from my store for theft and apparently when the people above me started asking him questions he started naming off different people, one of which was me trying to keep himself out of trouble. SO then they came to me and were basically trying to interogate me and telling me they had all this proof that i stole all this stuff. But obviously I didnt do anything and they didnt have any proof of anything. I did quite after that and they didnt try to press charges because they were making it up trying to see if i got scared and told them i was involved in what the other guy was doing. I hope I dosent come out when they check my employment history because I just did the written and physical agility test and i'm towards the top of the list. So we'll see what happens. Thanks to everyone whos given me some input.

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    Originally posted by fire168
    The reason I wonder how far into my employment with this company the fire department will check is because it is the companys policy to only give out the dates of employment and how much money I made. What I am wondering about is, is that going to be enough info. for the fire department, or will they want phone numbers for human resources or something like that to find out more info. It is a small to medium size fire dept. if that makes any difference in how in deepth they may get.

    Alot of departments (Fire and non-fire) are being REAL careful about answer information. 1, they cannot be sure it is really someone looking to hire you vs, someone you know stirring the pot or maybe trying to get harmful information on you (divorce investigator or such), and 2. if they give opinion that causes you NOT to be hired, they risk being suit for libel (if written), slander, or defamation..

    Because of this, alot of departments will only OFFICIALLY say

    he worked here from this time to this time, he started at this rank, ended at this rank, his ending pay was this, and maybe a vague reason for leaving. We had to discharge him, he resigned, he quit with no notice, etc... BUT again, they have to be real careful there and most places wont even tell why a person leaves..

    Now the "problem" is unofficially, if Chief Bob calls up his fishing buddy (or his aquaintence from the state chiefs convention) and askes, he might get "unofficial" information, it has happened, and there is not much you can do about it because it will not show up in writing anywhere.

    Gerard

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    I have a quick question regarding references. I don't have to put down all my employers correct? I can pick and choose whom to put down as past employers right? Like, why put down the time I spent working as a mechanic or as a salesman, when I'm applying for a fire department position. I'd just put down the employers that are relevant. Any opinions or answers?

    Matt
    "At one point we decided to fight fire with fire, basically your house just burned faster."

    Recipient of the IACOJ Service Award 2003.

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    Default Applications????

    Are you talking about the application or your resume here? If you're referring to your application, you have to list all the employers. Because most applications state if you do not include all the information requested you could be eliminated from the process. This also includes the background packet that can be as much as 30 pages. They will pull your social security records and match it up with your application. It could cause you big trouble if there are any gaps and you left any employers out.

    You can find more on testing secrets on the job section in the career article section of this firehouse.com web site

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    CaptBob writes wisdom here. If you leave something off because you think it doesn't pertain or it doesn't paint you in the greatest light, it will bite you. Matt, think about how your mechanic job or salesman job will better you for a firefighter position. Why mechanic? Well, you have an aptitude and some knowledge about vehicles & engines, perhaps. Salesman? When aren't we salesmen out in this field? Medical calls are the ultimate sales pitch when a patient NEEDS something you can offer, but they might not want it. You have to sell your services. PEOPLE SKILLS! Now, you might be thinking there's a boss out there who wouldn't give you a good reference, or perhaps you were relieved of duty somewhere. If they bring up a subject YOU left out, you could find yourself not advancing in the interview process. However, if you anticipate trouble questions about employment and have honest answers about it, you will impress the board. Without giving away all of Bob's secrets, I hope this helped a little. Take care, and good luck!
    ~Kevin
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    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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    Default Bad Stuff on Applications

    Kevin is again right on the money here!

    If you do not include information that is asked on an application and it is found out later, you are out of the process! Almost everyone at sometime has problems. It's how you put them on the application, background forms, and present them in an oral that makes the difference. A reasonable explanation is what's important.

    Many candidates strain their relationships, marriages and finances and do various jobs trying to get the badge. This is understandable with the right explanation. The oral board seldom knows this information (this is usually covered in background), unless it is an area that is listed on the application, i.e. driving record, arrests, etc.

    Usually these items are not brought up in an oral. You never bring them up if they donít. It can be a can of worms. I had a candidate tell us on an oral board, "You're probably aware of the charges of stealing over at the college?" We werenít. This guy had just nailed his oral and then tanked himself by bringing something up we hadnít asked about.

    I served 5 days in Santa Rita Prison for drag racing at age 18. Yes, I put it on my application. Because if you don't and they find out, you're gone. In my oral board, I was asked about this. I told the panel, "Since that incident, I have been in the army, married, have children, and have been on my job for 9 years. I was a stupid kid. The situation hasnít occurred again. It's hard to believe this really had happened. One of the captains asked, "Mr. Smith are you trying to get go around this problem and ignore it?" Here's the Nugget answer: I said, "No. If I was trying to do that I would have never put it done on the application." He was done with that question.

    When I got my results for that test, the number placement wasn't on the notice. When I called, personnel told me, "Well, Mr. Smith, you're number one. Not only are you number one, you're five full points ahead of number two!" It was having a reasonable explanation prepared in advance practiced with a tape recorder that becomes your "Nugget" answers that makes the difference.

    That question and the "Nugget" answer helped me, not hurt me. It catapulted me past the other candidates at light speed, and did indeed help me get my badge!

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section under JOBS on this firehouse.com web site

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