Thread: Oral Board Trap

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    Jan 2006

    Default Oral Board Trap

    I recently had a oral w/ a department which sponsored the basic academy I attended. I consulted the he chief of training for advice and he suggested that I say something to the effect of "I've been testing various places at haven't gotten a shot". I tried to drive home that I was interested in becoming a FF w/ only that dept as evidenced by my attending the acdemy under that dept. One of the panel asked, if you want to be here, why are you testing other places? Would you accept a job at one of those other places? My response was basically "I would have to consider any job offer, yes." Did I screw up? Did the chief give me bad advice? I know dept's want you to want to be in their city, but should I have been honest about the other job op's???

  2. #2
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    mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada


    Sure, honesty is a good thing. There is not always a "right" answer, because every Chief may want to hear a something different. The big thing is consistency in your answers, and having prepared for those common traps. If you honestly think out the reasons for your choice to become a FF or EMT, you will probably find the best answers (assuming you don't want to be a FF just to pick up women ). And it should go without saying that you want to avoid "canned" answers. You must find a way to stand out from every other person who "Just wants to help people".

    If the interviewer asks why you tested out elsewhere, you could answer "Because you were looking to gain some experience with the testing and interviewing process, so you were prepared for the Big One with dept "x".", or "You really want to be a firefighter, and you aren't prepared to give up on your career choice if your first choice (Dept "x") chooses not to hire you."

    Many of these guys have been interviewing for more years than you have been alive. Their job is to find out if you are the right guy for the job, and that might mean exploring an apparent contradiction to see if you get yourself caught. It is not a bad thing if they surprise you with a question you couldn't have anticipated, and you struggle a little to answer it, but it is bad if they catch you in a "canned" or "faked" answer.

    If you really want to show them that they are #1 on their list, spend the hours and days required to find out EVERYTHING about the dept. Who the Chief is, how many halls, members, apparatus, what speciality stuff do they do, what are their favourite dept charities, etc...

    You cannot go into an interview with too much knowledge of your chosen dept.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by mcaldwell; 02-04-2006 at 11:30 PM.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!


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