1. #1
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    Unhappy First oral board crash and burn.

    Well I just thought I'd share this, I had my first oral board interview a few weeks ago and I had been preparing for the interview for a month before I had it. I used Captain Bob's book to prepare, I did practice interviews had non-clone answers, used signiture stories, used a tape recorder, practiced in front of a mirrior, and went out and bought a suit. I thought I had everything covered, I went to the interview and the whole ride there I was completely nervous, as soon as I steped inside city hall I calmed down. The dept. gave us the questions 15 minutes before our interview. I looked them over and they wern't any that I studied for. The questions were more like "share an experience with us where you had to deal with ______". I didnt freak out I just went in to the interview and got it over with. I felt I had done very well when the interview was over, I was calm, I didnt stumble my words, I fit in a few of my signature stories, and I even got the panel members to laugh. We had to wait 2 weeks for our results in the mail and as time went by I started to doubt myself, I was thinking I could have said this I shouldnt have said that, but a couple of days before the results came I started getting more confident. Then I got the letter, I was ranked number 35 out of 50, and their hiring 10 people, I looked at my oral board score and I got a 63 (out of 100). How did that happen, now I'm mad because I must have done something wrong but I dont know what it was. I spoke with some other people who were in the process and they didnt score much better then me 33/50, 40/50, and 48/50. I'm starting to think that age might have had somthing to do with our scores, were all 19 and 20 maybe we didnt have the life experience the department was looking for. I'm just really dissapointed, tommorow I'm going to try to call HR and figure out what the criteria was for the interview. The interview was a good learning experience I'm just trying to learn form my mistakes.
    Last edited by Golzy12; 11-08-2005 at 10:26 PM.

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    Golzy12, it happened to me too at my first oral board which the panel members were the Deputy Chief, Volunteer Chief, 1 Captain, 1 Lt, 2 firefighters, 1 EMT/Paramedic, 1 city worker. I practiced all day/week long, bought study books months ahead of time, used a tape recorder, used my own signature stories but i still didn't do good either, i think i ended up ranking like 38 out of 65, didn't pass the oral board though, but was still high enough for a Chief's oral for some reason. But even then I knew that they knew who they wanted to hire, basically they interviewed 40 people for 25 positions. the Chief's oral I had was about 5-10 minutes with the Chief telling me about the department real briefly and then ending it, didn't even look over my app or anything. anyway im 21 that could of played a part, like maybe in your case. There was a guy there who was about 30 to mid 30's who dressed in a volunteer fire department shirt and jeans and sandals to his oral, come to find out he was one of the first guys to get hired. I called the Chief back to see what I did wrong and what to improve on but he didn't really tell me he much but based on the little I could get, I think it had something to do with my confidence answering questions but I don't know. Basically said I was on the hiring list up to a year.
    Last edited by ffman02; 11-08-2005 at 07:52 AM.

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    I think it is important to keep in mind that YOU perceive the interview went well. Having been on the other side of the board quite a bit, I can assure you that you perception is often quite different than ours.

    This is your FIRST interview. I like the idea of trying to find out more about the process. I do believe, however that you will get minimal information from HR. They are concerned about a lawsuit and will generally not share much information. In fact, they will often tell you that the results are not available to the candidates. Look at it from their side: What do they gain from sharing information with you? Nothing. What do they risk? Everything. The more information provided to you, the more ammunition you have to protest.

    I would encourage you to look up the members of the panel. As a Battalion Chief, I sit on promotional boards for neighboring agencies. As a Captain and firefighter I proctored entry-level interviews. I feel itís an honor and a big responsibility to determine the future of the fire service. If a candidate looks me up after an exam (after the results are out) I am more than happy to help him or her better herself as long as they are humble. If they are arrogant or questioning their score, I wonít give them the time of day.
    I hope this helps.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

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    Red face

    Thanks for your replies, I did some research and I called HR they told me that each question was scored based on 9 items that neede to be fulfilled in each answer, and if your answer hit all the points then you get all the points (thats how it was explained to me.

    The interview questions and criteria were made by CPS I found this on their website http://www.cps.ca.gov/ExaminationSer...smentTools.asp

    Structured Interviews: The Structured Interview is a job-related, oral examination process designed to elicit information about a candidate in relation to a set of pre-determined job performance dimensions or competencies. The Structured Interview attempts to gather information about a candidate's performance in previous and/or future job-related situations. Each customized Structured Interview process includes: a job analysis to identify the critical job performance dimensions or competencies to be assessed; a series of job-related interview questions; a set of behaviorally anchored rating scales for each dimension being assessed; and appropriate rating guidelines and materials. CPS consultants can also assist with rater training (half or full-day sessions available) and the administration of the interview process, if requested.

    So now I know I scored low on the test because I didnt hit all of the points I needed to.

    Also I found out today that I will have another interview coming up and they will be using the same process, so I'm not going to make the same mistakes again. Has anyone else taken the CPS oral interview.

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    They get a good idea who they want to hire after the written and physical test. The interview is a way of rejecting applicants that they don't have any interest in to begin with.

    Alot gets said about appearance. Don't take any of this personal...because I know absolutly nothing about you. This stuff could apply to anybody.

    Why would a department want to hire a fat person? Why would the department want to hire a guy that doesn't iron his clothes to the interview? Why would a department hire a guy that doesn't comb his hair to the interview? Why would a department hire a guy who tells personal stories such as: "I did this and I did that"?

    If you don't fit the culture of the department, it doesn't matter how many certifications you have, it doesn't matter how much you bench press, it doesn't matter if you have your masters degree.

    Fact of the matter is....the can pick and choose who they want and who they don't want. Maybe you wouldn't have amounted jack shiot on that department. Maybe the next department that you interview, you'll end up being an Lt. or something. Don't take it so personal. It's comendable that you are putting forth effort, but sometimes trying to hard is just as bad as not trying at all.

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    I can tell you not to get discouraged. I just sat in front of an Oral interview board today, and they told me when it was over that I failed the interview becasue I have a confidence issue. Based on a scenario that they gave me they said that I second guessed myself too much. Who wouldn't with the scenerio of a 6 month old with dependent levidity, with a mother who wanted her baby to go to the hospital? Anyhow come to find out they were hiring one person, and had five candidates. Myself and the other three who went first were all rejected. The only one left was the chiefs neighbor. He told me that when I was waiting. The moral is don't let it bother you because like it has been said before "This is just a way for them to pick the one(s) that they want and make the others feel like crap." Good luck on you next one.
    Adam

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    rinkdude, same thing about happened to me. took an oral board, didn't pass but got an interview with the Chief, and he basically said, or from what little I could get out of him, that I had a confidence issue. come to find out they filled their 25 positions with volunteers who dressed in everyday clothes to the oral board and the Chiefs interview. nothing is definetly more frustrating then going through 2 months of hard work to get the job then find out who they hire is who they wanted to hire a year ago.

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