Not a Regular Job Interview!

Many regular job and corporate interview candidates like the following are stunned and baffled why they don't have high scores on their firefighter interviews.

Captain Bob:
I just received my oral board score for the City of Glendale. The score did not represent how I felt I did during the interview. This is a big problem for me because I now realize that I DON'T KNOW what the board was looking for. I make presentations for a living, so I felt confident in what I did to prepare. I was sure that I just about nailed it.

I've always been competitive about what I set out to accomplish, using every tool that I can utilize to reach my goal. Sir, I would greatly appreciate your training to help me be the best that I can be at the oral boards.

I've been preparing for these orals for months and felt extremely prepared. I don't want to waste another oral board without knowing that I've done all that I can to be the best candidate possible. Thank you for your time Sir. Regards, Fire Recruit Jeff

Reply: Jeff, You're not alone here. You have discovered like many other's that a fire department oral board is different than anything you have encountered. Too many candidates beat their heads against the wall for years getting to the point where you are now.

Another one:

After my interview rejection an east coast city last week, I sent a letter to the D/C thanking him for the opportunity and telling him I'd appreciate any feedback from the interview. Well - he was honest - he indicated he wanted me to keep testing & interviewing, but wrote that I:

-talked too much & over answered the questions
-talked too fast
-some of my answers were based on book knowledge (?)

Also - as I mentioned I approached this like I would a corporate interview (BAD IDEA) and I tried to 'close' them at the end - they asked if I had any closing questions (jeez I wish I read your web site before going in) and I opened my big stupid mouth to say 'I kept your rejection letter from last year (I actually showed it to them - this was my second time interviewing) and it mentioned that candidates had failed to prepare and properly sell themselves to the board. I've been working to improve myself in these areas for the past year - have I properly done this?'

The D/C mentioned in his letter back to me that, 'I don't think that showing the letter I mailed out last time was the best thing you could have done. It was as if you were showing it off and showing us that you still had it.' I need to keep my d*mn mouth shut and just answer the questions. Live and learn.