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  1. #1
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    Default Chiefs Interview

    I currently work for a department that I have been at for over five years. I am getting ready to take a chiefs interview for another department and am looking for any advice regarding questions that I can expect. I have been out of the testing process for six years now and would rather avoid asking my current chief for advice on what I can expect. Any information would be appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Default chiefs Interview

    The biggest problem I've seen on oral boards with seasoned veterans taking entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nose rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board's skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

    This is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying.

    The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan is in place.

    You're going to the chiefs interview because of what you have done in your first interview. The chiefs interview is open to any types of questioning. They are really trying to find out more about you. How you're going to be as a firefighter for the next 25+ years. Do you fit their culture? We like to hire candidates that are them selves on purpose in the interview. Someone who has a personality and conversational. Are you that person in an interview?

    I think this says it all:

    It was five years ago that I first visited this site. It was how I found and landed my first job at a small career department, and served for four and a half years. The entire time I wanted to make the lateral move to my hometown dept.--a larger city, more opportunities, Paramedic and tech. rescue opportunities...But I was a bone head. I thought because I was already on the job elsewhere, I could waltz through the process, and to some extent I did--all the way to the Chief's interview twice, but never got the call. Laterals, my advice to you is this: we are our own worst enemies...you think you are a good judge of your interview skills, trust me you're not. Don't be a bonehead like me and go through the process twice before getting help from professionals who specialize in oral boards skills

    Think this is some baloney sell-out advertisement? Well, all I can say is after five years of trying, my recruit academy starts in two weeks. You be the judge. Matt
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default

    Thank you for that advice, I appreciate your time.

  4. #4
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    Default What can you expect in a Chief's Oral?

    Some more thoughts:

    Chief's Orals will vary widely depending on the style of the Fire Chief and the department. However, here are some suggestions:

    1. Get to know about the Department and the Chief before the interview. What are some of the core values of the organization? What are some of the key issues or projects that the department is involved with? Some Chief's like that you took the time to know a little about what the department is all about? However, if the topic comes up...be genuine...don't B.S.!

    2. The Chief's interview is often casual in that there are not necessarily a specific set of fixed questions like on the more formal oral board. The Chief may ask about anything that is on your resume or follow up questions in response to your comments. Casual does not mean that you don't wear professional business attire.

    3. One thing is certain, this is the Chief's brief opportunity to get to know you. I cannot speak for all Fire Chiefs, but I tend to use this opportunity to look for examples in your experiences that demonstrate maturity, stability, responsibility, judgement, compassion, work ethic and other characteristics that I believe are important to be a successful firefighter.

    By the time you reach the Chief's interview, you probably have already been through the written, PPT, and oral board(s). In those portions of the testing you probably have demonstrated your memory, reading comprehension skills, mechanical aptitude, basic math, physical ability, ability to work others as part of a team, understanding of firehouse etiquette, communication skills, and likely have addressed some honesty/integrity scenario.

    4. Don't be afraid to talk about yourself in terms that demonstrate the qualities mentioned above. Give specific examples.

    5. Stay on track with the point you are trying to make. Don't get lost and wander off into irrelevant areas. You'll miss your point, which may also cause you to become more nervous than you already might be. Listen closely to the questions and be responsive to them.

    6. Finally, try to be relaxed and conversational in your manner. Be confident, but not cocky. Make good eye contact. Try to be natural...be yourself...that is who the Chief wants to get to know!

    I hope this helps. Good Luck!

    Ruben Grijalva
    California State Fire Marshall
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  5. #5
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    Default

    I just sat on the Chief's oral panel for my department. I can say that the one thing that NON-firefighters have over firefighters (yes, you read this correctly), is their passion for the job. Many firefighters become complacent once they get hired.

    They believe that since they are already a firefighter their experience will carry them through. In addition, they have LOST their ability to take an oral interview. Being good is an acquired skill. Like any skill, it must be practiced and maintained. Being out of practice and having minimal fire and desire for the position is a BAD combination. If you are truly serious about the position treat it as you did not already have a job.

    If you are not willing to put in the homework and effort necessary, don't waste your and the board's time.
    If, however, you are fired up for the position let your homework and desire show in the interview. As a working firefighter who is humble, nobody should beat you in the interview.

    On the contrary, I have scored many firefighters very low because they felt they had it in the bag.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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