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  1. #1
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    Default psychological testing

    can anyone tell me what to expect in the psychological test for a paid-on-call firefighter position? I made an appointment and they said it could be 6-7 hours. What the heck do they do in that kind of time? thanks for any heads up.


  2. #2
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    Go to the link below for psychological exam help. Good luck !!!

    http://www.fireprep.com/fireman_psyc..._examinat.html



    Since 1950, Don McNea Fire School has prepared over 40,000 fire applicants with our entry level seminars and products. Fireprep.com has over 250 pages of FREE information and career articles to help you reach your goal of becoming a firefighter.

    Go to www.fireprep.com and register for our free fireprep e-mail newsletter that currently has over 14,000 subscribers

  3. #3
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    The tests check for accuracy in your answers.
    In a former life I was a Phych major and if you ask me they are crap. If someone is lying out their backside then it will show up. But the testers are looking for the same answers to each type of question not the answer itself. The tester doesn't care if you are a pothead just if you are a lying pot head.

    The best way to pass the test is a technique I call speed test taking read the test question at a rate that you are comfortable reading at then answer the question. Don't reread don't ponder the question, etc. If it takes you more then 10 or 15 seconds to finish a question your going to too slow. Your gut response will be the most truthful. If you think about it (because you want the job) you will start to answer what you think they want and be inconsistant with your answers.

    Good luck and don't sweat it, most places don't count the test for anything, it is just a way to fail a guy that they don't like for another reason.

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    Default I have to disagree!

    I have been informed by two cities that my psychological test results were why I was eliminated from consideration.

    Each time I non-chalantly went through the test. Went with my gut feeling.
    Maybe it is just me. I have called the examining companies to get more info but found them to be very uncooperative.

    I will probably try the info from Don Mcnea next.

  5. #5
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    I just ordered the psych test info from Don Mcnea....can't hurt to see what he has to say, and it's a write-off for next years taxes :-)

    Like was mentioned by "ADSNWFLD"....don't dally around on the question's......answer 'em with your first reaction to the question ie;

    #57 "I like to get up and exercise in the morning"

    True or False

    #149 "In the morning, I find myself active and alert"

    True or False

    #382 "An early morning exercise regimen best describes me"

    True or False


    Now, if you said true to two of those, and false to one (or vice-versa).....there would be an inconsistency.....see what I mean?

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    Do you know what psych test you'll be taking? The MMPI-2 is a common one. It was designed for psychos but the "social scientists" in their relentless drive to be taken seriously by the real world have driven it into the private sector. Basically they want to see if your "profile" is a match for the job. They also want to screen out any applicants that display pathology, or applicants that produce an "invalid" profile. There are several different scales and subscales, and some of them are used to detect applicants that are "faking good" meaning that they are either being defensive when they take the test or trying to make themselves out to be perfect. Of course, the test doesn't take into account the possibility that you might just be an outstanding human being. So you have to admit to certain things, but you can't admit to anything psychotic. For example, true or false, you read all of the daily editorials in the newspaper. They think people who answer true are trying to make themselves look good. True or false, I sometimes think things so horrible that I could never discuss them with anyone. If you answer true to this, it will be scored in one of the "bad" scales (meaning pathological). There are scales for introversion (I like to read alone), anger or aggression (sometimes I want to bash someone's face in), antisocial tendencies (I like to read alone and then bash someone's face in), type A personality (I wish people would just hurry up), compulsive behavior (sometimes I just stick on a thing to the point where it annoys people), low self esteem (I'm not very important in the grand scheme of things), persecutory ideas (people are out to get me), depression (some days I feel hopeless), health anxiety (I experience frequent stomach aches), cynicism (most people would cheat if they knew they wouldn't get caught), and so on. Once again, I'll caution you that if you try too hard to make yourself look desirable, or if you happen to be a highly virtuous, hard working, confident, good willed, healthy person, with no pathology, loved by your family, who reads the paper every day, they are likely to think you are "faking good." Your graph has to appear within certain parameters. So if it's borderline, you might want to consider admitting to it, within reason. The safest thing you can do is hire a psychologist to give you the MMPI-2 and interpret the results. At least then you'll know if you produced a valid profile. Whether or not you produce a "firefighter" profile, who knows. The concept is completely retarded. Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Default Psychological Exam

    I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone has a first hand experience they can share for the psychological exam.

    I am taking one in 2 weeks, also a full day, and for a paid-on-call position. I will post my thoughts once I take it.

  8. #8
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    Default You have to pass the psych test first time out!

    You have to pass the psych test first time out!
    This is a previous article from the career article section here on Firehouse.com http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...me-Out/8$51941

    Most candidates are more than surprised when I tell them up to 40% fail the psychological test given by many departments.

    I received one phone call and two e-mails from relatives of a firefighter/medic candidate who failed a psych test before the candidate called asking "What can I do now?" He had been testing for 5 years and this was the first job offer. I asked him what he had done to prepare for his psych before he showed up? I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard this, "Things were going so great I didn't think I needed to."

    Imagine after all the education, experience and time preparing to get this job like the above candidate . . . and you're eliminated. Then no one will talk to you to find out what happened. I've talked to too many candidates who were devastated and didn't know what to do next. This is a critical part of the testing process you need to prepare for and pass the first time out.

    You've jumped through all the flaming hoops and made it through the background check. Then, you're conditionally offered the job pending the medical, which includes a psychological test. You take the test, no big deal right? Then the phone stops ringing.

    You are out of the hiring process. You are told that you didn't meet the profile. What profile?

    What do you mean I didn't meet the profile? I've got training, experience, education, every degree, certificate, merit badge, and a paramedic certification. I've been a volunteer, paid member of another department for 10years, and lived and breathed this job. And, I don't meet the profile?

    What's included in the psych test? There is a written test that sets up a profile of you. Then, there is an evaluation by a psychologist.

    Written Test: The most common written portion of the psychological evaluation is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory interview test of up to 1000 questions. The aim here is not to pass the test but to go into the job fully prepared. Put your pride and natural defensiveness aside. They ask a few questions in several different ways. You want to answer questions "strongly for" or "strongly against" instead of being in the middle undecided. Answer questions to present yourself as a more social, interactive, team playing type of person, i.e., you would rather be in a conversation with others than reading a book alone.

    You can get some insight on how the written test is scored HERE
    http://www.bigdeadplace.com/psyche_eval.html

    Some written tests include an Ink Blot Test. You can find out more about this test HERE http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.php

    The Evaluation: This is where the wheels start coming off the wagon for too many candidates.

    Before the interview, the psychologist will often have you take a separate personality test, fill out a personal family history, a biography and additional information forms.

    The biggest error candidates make during the psychological evaluation is thinking there is a patient/doctor confidentiality even when the doctor has them sign a release that there is not. This is not your family doctor. Guess who's paying the bill?

    What gets candidates in trouble here is they want this job so bad that they will say and do almost anything to get it.

    I don't encourage candidates to be less than truthful, but those candidates who are honest to a fault diminish their chances of passing the psychological interview! That's right. You folks want this job so bad you will tell the psychologist anything. Even stuff they didn't ask you. Once you start down this road of total honesty, creating trails where you don't have to, tossing out more information than was asked for thinking this guy is your friend is where you get into big trouble. Especially when the psychologist says, "Everyone has skeletons in their closet, this interview is not designed to eliminate you from the process", or "you don't want to be too squeaky clean." So you open up. Then the phone stops ringing and no one will talk to you. You are out of the process Mcfly. And, you don't know why.

    So what should you do?

    Only answer the question you're being asked. Before you volunteer information, think before you speak. If they want to know more they will ask. Don't appear to be closed but warm and cordial. Present your ideas clearly. Don't ramble or chat. Be articulate. This is how you're going to be in the field. Believe it or not this is part of the job interview. You are making an impression of who you are going to be as a firefighter.

    Make sure you dress up and don't slouch. Be prepared to audition for the part of being a firefighter. Know your strong points. Be prepared to demonstrate you are a team player.


    This from a new firefighter:

    I want to comment on your psych test information and report. I had to take one for two departments. I tried to answer the questions as honestly as I could, while presenting myself as a very positive social person. Some of the "experts" out there say that you should be brutally honest on the test. Well 3 good guys I know did just that, and they did not pass either test. We lost 10 out of 25 guys on one test! In all honesty I might not have passed either if I hadn't read this article. I feel that is a very dangerous test, and some of the advice these people are giving out is costing great candidates a job. Steve.

    This from an in service firefighter: During the last hiring process 2 years ago the psychologist passed 10 people. Of those 10, 2 have quit, 2 have been fired, and 1 committed suicide. I wonder if he is worth what the city pays him to evaluate prospects? Have a nice weekend.
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    Expect to answer about 600 multiple choice questions. Don't think too much into the questions and give an honest answer. There will be a lot of the same questions repeated in different ways. This checks for consistency. They may also have you complete some sort of fill-in-the-blank type questions. These will probably take 3-4 hours to complete. Then they'll analyze the results and the psychologist will review it and make notes. This will probably take about an hour. Then they'll sit down with you and discuss any concerns and maybe ask a few other questions the department wants to know specifics about. This could take 30 minutes to an hour or more.

    Remember to be honest. Not only does this test discover inconsistencies, it will also help determine if you are the right fit for the department AND if the department is the right fit for you.

    Good luck!

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    I took two short timed tests, a Shipley vocabulary Shipley shapes test.

    Then I took the CPI and MMPI-2, those were 400+ and 500+ questions as previously described.

    I also had to fill out a an extensive job history through high school, answer questions about drinking and drug use, list details about my family, and any criminal offenses.

    All this took about 5 hours. Then I got a lunch break and met with the phychologist for about 20 minutes, she asked a lot of questions about family, drinking and drug use, etc.

    I'll let you know if I "passed".

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    Hey vince,

    good luck...

    if you don't mind, what department are you testing with?

    thanks!

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    I was wondering if you ever had to take a polygraph? i read that 20 percent of people can't take them, and i know i have a problem with getting too nervous in situations like this. This is the biggest worry I have about the psych test.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedAS View Post
    They also want to screen out any applicants that display pathology, or applicants that produce an "invalid" profile.
    Note that this is exactly what you'll get if you follow the advice of certain fly-by-night test prep services who will try to tell you how to "beat the test." You can't.

    The best instructions for taking a psych profile are the same instructions for taking any test: Read the question carefully and answer it honestly. Don't read anything into the questions or the answers; just choose your response and move on to the next question. Don't change your initial answers unless you realize that you misread the question the first time.

    BTW, don't worry if the same basic question is asked more than once in slightly different ways and you don't always answer it the same way. That's why they're asking it several times with slightly different emphsis each time -- they're looking to place the strength of your response on a scale. They're not trying to trip you up. Just answer each question as if it were the only one you were being asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghan0n View Post
    I was wondering if you ever had to take a polygraph? i read that 20 percent of people can't take them, and i know i have a problem with getting too nervous in situations like this. This is the biggest worry I have about the psych test.
    There's no "beating" this one either. For better or worse, it is what it is. You need to relax and just answer the questions. Fearing the test or being overly anxious is very likley to screw up the results and produce a "fail" even if you're otherwise a good candidate.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 10-20-2010 at 08:34 AM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    "It's not a lie if you believe it." -George Costanza

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    I have a psych in my future. Here's my concern. I'm not the type of guy that typically likes to work in teams and group projects, I prefer to work on my own. Will this be something that I should be concerned about? Thanks.
    Last edited by DexterRutecki; 11-01-2010 at 09:12 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by DexterRutecki View Post
    I have a psych in my future. Here's my concern. I'm not the type of guy that typically likes to work in teams and group projects, I prefer to work on my own. Will this be something that I should be concerned about? Thanks.
    You think?

    Yea, big time. We have no Lone Rangers in the fire service because our lifes depend on those around us.

    It's none that there can be a burn out with medics between 3 - 5 year. Then, they want to switch over to fire. Since most have operated on the own for such a long time it can be tough to make the transition.
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    Just be honest and don't try to answer the questions the way they want then answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DexterRutecki View Post
    I have a psych in my future. Here's my concern. I'm not the type of guy that typically likes to work in teams and group projects, I prefer to work on my own. Will this be something that I should be concerned about? Thanks.
    If you answer questions that show that you like to do things alone rather then in a group/social setting, i.e. - I would rather stay home and read a book rather than go to a party with friends. You will be cast as an introvert and that is a HUGE RED FLAG. You will open a can of worms and will most likely be disqualified.

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    To be totally honest this all seems a little excessive. I know it's just part of the process but they aren't handing you nuclear missle launch codes.

    There are just too many things that can get quality people kicked out. Like beachfire said. I would rather sit at home with my wife on a saturday night then go out to a party. Doesn't mean I'm not a "teamplayer".
    Last edited by CodyK; 11-11-2010 at 12:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyK View Post
    To be totally honest this all seems a little excessive. I know it's just part of the process but they aren't handing you nuclear missle launch codes.

    There are just too many things that can get quality people kicked out. Like beachfire said. I would rather sit at home with my wife on a saturday night then go out to a party. Doesn't mean I'm not a "teamplayer".


    Apparently you have never got to the stage in being hired as member of a career fire department.

    Why would you think, if you do, that they would have asked those questions?

    Polygraph, physical testing is all part of the hiring process.


    No fire department will hire anyone who uses drugs, been convicted of any crime.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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