11-24-2004, 05:07 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Oral Interview in Gwinnett County, GA
I am a 33 y/o firefighter in Houston, who is going for his Orla Interview in three weeks. Are there any pointers that can be given. I havent been this nervouis since my first burner. I have alrady reviewed Capt. Bobs' site & it helped a little, but naturally I seek more. There is no board in Houston, so I dont know what to expect. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
11-25-2004, 11:06 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
The Miracle Oral Board Tool
- A Tape Recorder Ė
Everyone has butterflies. The trick is to get them to all fly in the same formation.
This is the biggest problem I've seen on oral boards when seasoned veterans take entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nosed rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.
There is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying for.
The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan are in place.
What tools can you use to practice and rehearse your oral board answers? Right, a video camera. You need to see how you look in action. But you are trapped with a video camera. Mirror? Sure standing in front of a mirror is good. But you are missing the most valuable tool of all. A hand-held tape recorder.
I received a call from one of our candidates. He has made it to a few oral boards and one Chiefís Oral without success. He has been invited to the San Diego oral board and wanted to set up a private coaching session. In just a few moments I was aware of something critical. Then I asked him if he was using a tape recorder to practice? Like most people (99.7%) and maybe you even after going to our site, he hemmed and hawed and finally said, "Well, no. But, I'm thinking about it."
Even though we hammer and hammer the point home that you have to use a tape recorder and hear how you sound, he still didn't get the message. His answers were garbage. Many applicants want this job so bad they will do almost anything ethically and morally to get it. I guess that doesn't include using a tape recorder to get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the uh's and other pause fillers, or to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck. You need to get married to your hand-held tape recorder. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. It's narrows the distance between you and the badge you're looking for!
What is the first thing a candidate says when he hears his voice on a tape recorder? Yep. That's not me. Yes, it is McFly. You need to get married to a hand held tape recorder and practice everywhere you go.
This is usually a guy thing. Guys think about their answers in their head and write them down. Then they think their answers are going to come out of their mouths like magic in the oral. Trust me, they don't! The brain and mouth don't work that way.
Try this. Take 3X5 cards and write down your oral board questions. Practice your answers with the tape recorder. If you hear something you do not like when you play it back, turn over the 3X5 card and write it down. The next time you go after that question, turn over the card first and see what you don't want to say.
Let me tell you how critical this really is. If you're not using a tape recorder to practice, practice, practice, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and over learn your material until it becomes second nature to you, you might as well not show up for the interview. You are wasting the oral boards time and your time! The above candidate has already lost some great opportunities. Had he been faithfully using a tape recorder to prepare for his oral boards, he probably could have had a badge already.
Some will say, "Well, if I practice it too much it will sound canned." NO it won't! It sure will be planned though. Practice makes permanent. "Luck is where preparation meeting opportunity." One practice session with a tape recorder is worth 10 speaking out louds. After practicing, you will get to a point where your answers will get into your subconscious. That's where the magic begins. You can't be fooled.
We think practicing with a tape recorder is so important; we will not do private coaching with a candidate if they arenít using one. It is a waste of our time and their money. Be advised that your competition knows the value of using a tape recorder. They are catapulting past you if youíre not
Start asking your self this question: What am I doing that can best prepare me for the most important part of the hiring process? . . . The oral board. Because if you canít pass the oral board, or score high enough on the list, you donít get the job. Never! Ever! Ever! Now, whereís your tape recorder?
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter
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