I just tested for a Fire Marshal /Dep. Chief position in a Northern Idaho fire district. When I showed up for the interview, I was told I would have 45 min. for the written, then I would be escorted to the oral portion. At 34 minutes into the written, I was told my time was up. Although I was given 2 additional minutes, I was still denied my full 45 minutes. This may not have made any difference. I did very well on the oral. Prior to this test date, I was warned by a sales rep that He had heard from FF's in Cd'A that the position was promised to someone "in-house." Shortly thereafter, the chief was fired. The position was indeed awarded to someone "in-house." Although I will never be able to prove that any improprieties occurred, something seems wrong about the process.

Lessons Learned:
1. When given a specific amount of time for a test, ensure your time and the time of the proctor are the same.
2. Do your homework. Review any and all information on the department and the chief.
3. Read the department's mission statement and values. Their goals and objectives. Is this a department that knows where they are, and where they are heading? Do they have clearly defined goals and objectives? Do they have a vision for the future?

Not being awarded this job, now seems to be a blessing. Although it was the right job, and the right location; it turned out to be the wrong situation and wrong department.