1. #1
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    Default changed my oral approach..was this a good idea?

    Have been scoring high on the written putting me in the top 10 -20 going into the orals. I have been scoring high on orals last 2-test had 95 on written 98 on oral. no badge though. just had another oral for a department in the top 6 going into the oral. decided to try to hit them with a few more nuggets and i think a may have dropped the ball. maybe i should have not changed but i am trying to get me a few more pts. may make the difference. any advise on this?

    working hard.

  2. #2
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    Smile

    Joe,
    If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
    It sounds like you were doing well, I would NOT necourage you to change your approach. Anytime you are scoring in the 90's, the panel likes what they see.
    There is no MAGIC approach. Just be yourself and give a well thought out answer. Write down each question when you leave and decide if you like the way you answer. After a couple of interviews you will see a common theme. Once you are comfortable with the concept behind the answer your interviews will flow much better.

    Most importantly, practice interviews with your local firefighters. They are a wealth of information. Knock on the door and ask for help. Afterall, helping people is what we do. Whether its helping someone in a critical time of need or helping someone who aspires to be in our position, it's just in our nature.

    Take as many tests as you can. If you are scoring on the top of the list it's just a matter of time. Additionally, most lists are good for a year, if not several. While you may not have gotten the first job, there may be additional jobs in the future. You may get a call when you keast expect it.

    Whatever you're doing is working. Keep it up!
    Good luck

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com

  3. #3
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    Default

    Too many candidates switch ponies because they feel they need to add on more stuff or other people "they said" you needed to. I've never been able to find out who "they" are. If you do not continue to use the good stuff that got you this far, your score could be affected (like it already has) or you could drop out of the race.

    This is a new arena. Candidates start talking to their friends. They convince that they need to do something more. By the time of the interview, itís not the smooth proven presentation. They're a wreck. It's not them going into the interview. A clone of someone else. The badges are often given to other candidates.

    Go back and practice your original presentation with a tape recorder and see how that compares with the changes you made.

    If you want to gain an extra edge get in a coaching session with a qualified fire interview coach: http://www.eatstress.com/private%20coaching.htm
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  4. #4
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    Everyone seems to become an expert on getting hired once they've been hired. One candidate visiting stations at LA City was told to mention in his interview that he had an uncle and cousin already on the department. Please don't say this if you have a relative in the fire service. The panel could take it as if you were clubbing them over the head asking for more points.

    You can never know what to expect by just dropping by a fire station trying to gain information to improve your position. Here's an example:

    Watch Out For the Free Advice

    Well it finally happened, after all these years of hearing things firefighter candidates have said in interviews, that some expert has told them was the right thing to do, I hear it first hand. I was sitting in the office of the fire station were I was working, the engineerís son had a friend testing for our department and he wanted him to talk to our firefighter, the newest guy on.


    Iím sitting there, and from the other room I hear him recommend that this guy tell the board that he wants to be a firefighter because the pay is good and there are lots of days off. Now Iím waiting for them to laugh, and tell him theyíre kidding. It doesnít happen. The engineer has been on for 26 years, and hasnít had an interview for 19 years. The new guy was a lateral medic, and didnít have much of an entry interview. So I can see how this poor guy can be thinking, heís in a fire station for the department heís testing for, and heís got a guy with many years on, and a guy who was the last one hired. He must be getting the straight scoop. He was getting the exact opposite. He had signed up for the ďHow To Fail An Oral BoardĒ class, and he didnít know it.

    As I walked into the room, I couldnít let this go, the new guy was telling him that a good weakness to share with the board is that youíre a perfectionist. Now Iíve worked around perfectionists and itís no walk in the park, they think they donít do anything right, and neither do you.

    The candidate was Hispanic, and I asked him if he spoke Spanish. He told me he spoke a little and could understand a little more. I asked him if that might not be his weakness, that while he spoke some Spanish, it needed improvement. He bought some language tapes on the way home from the station, so he could demonstrate he was doing something to fix the problem.

    Now I find myself arguing with the new guy about what the best response is to why you want to be a firefighter. His theory was the board really wants to know why you want to be a firefighter. Trust me on this one, We Donít Care if you like the hours, pay, and status the job will bring you. You need to tailor your responses to match what the board is looking for, not what you feel, save that for your girlfriend. But you can take those things that motivated you to become a firefighter, and make a beautiful response to this question, and then itís your story.

    I worked with this same guy, the expert new guy, again the other day. I mentioned to him that I thought his responses were about the worst Iíd heard. He said, ďYeah, Iíve always been lousy at oral interviews.Ē I asked him why he was giving advice and he said, ďWell, everyone keeps sending people to me because Iím the new guy, so I figured Iíd try to help.Ē I told him he was, if anything hurting their chances, not helping, and he agreed.
    Know this. There are people out there who know their bad, but will still give you advice because you asked.
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  5. #5
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    Default thank you

    Thank you Chief Lepore and CaptBob for your encouraging words and suggestions. After 4 yrs of working getting myself physically and mentally prepared for the job and coming so close on so many tests but not getting the badge,I guess the frustration has started to set in a little.
    Last edited by joescags1; 11-25-2005 at 11:08 PM.

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