1. #1
    Monster

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    Default Chief's interviews-any help?

    I am a 21 y/o M and I have a chief's interview in a couple of weeks. I work on a small volunteer fire department, 26 ppl, 6 trucks, 36 sq. miles. I have a Medic license and almost 4 years on the dept. What do I need to do to get prepared for this interview? any suggestions would be helpful.

  2. #2
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    Default Try these

    Chief Lepore

    Captain Bob

    Both are highly respected Fire Service Professionals who have taken the time to help others "get the badge". If you've been reading on here at all, you'll see that they don't always agree with each other, but do so professionally. They do offer their own products, but I'm not here to endorse one over the other. Overall take away the information they give for FREE! Their sites will show you what is generally asked....Anywhere, USA.

    My .02 cents: Don't rest on your laurels of having been a volunteer for the last four years with your department. You need to sell yourself. The chief may know you, but make sure to tell him why he should choose you.

    Good luck,
    bam

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    21 years old and only 4 years...Yikes!

    I am in now way trying to discredit you, I don't know anything at all about you or your department, but that sure doesn't seem like much in the way of age or experience for a chiefs position.

    I'm curious how you rank in both of those categories, compared to the other applicants.

    Either way...I wish you the best of luck!




    Kevin
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    IAFF Local 2339
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    Default Chiefs Interview

    Volunteer to Paid

    A question I'm often asked:

    If you're going to an interview as a volunteer going for a paid position, and you already know the guys there, do you have to go through all this preparation and auditioning stuff?

    The biggest mistake, job interview candidates make in this situation is when they know people on the panel, they don't think they need to do all the work. They figure everybody already knows about them, and they don't have to say anything. Or, entry level, "It's on my resume, it's on my application, I don't have to say everything." If it doesn't come out of that slot between your nose and your chin (your mouth), you don't get credit. You might as well have never have shown up. This is how important it is to be auditioning for the part. You play your part no matter who's sitting there.

    I can't tell you how many times I've talked to volunteers from departments they've waited for years trying for that golden opportunity to get hired in that community as a full-paid fire fighter. Then they've blown it. Because they went in and saw Paul was on the board. He knows Paul, they bowl. Randy over there, why he's married to Randy's cousin. My gosh, he knows everything about me. They come out, and somebody else gets their badge! It devastates them. They failed because they didn't present the package. The other candidates did. It's show time, ta dah. You have to bring out the top hat, the cane, step it out, and give the board the complete show. It's you! It's the bright lights. It's Broadway! You gotta make it happen. You gotta make the magic.

    When I said this at a recent firefighters convention, Dan shared the following:

    ...I went through exactly through what he's talking about, at a promotion in my department for this position of lieutenant. I knew all the people on the board including a division chief. I was thinking, "Geez, I've known these guys for 16 years. And, I don't have to say anything, they know me." During my critique afterwards, the division chief said, "You know, Dan, you've got so much going for you, but you didn't blow your own horn." If you would have blown your own horn, you would have said all the things that you got going for you, you'd have had it. Since you didn't say a word, and I can't give you the badge." If you don't say it, you don't get credit for it, period.

    The defense rests.
    ______________________________ _______________

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    4949 I dont think he is interviewing for the chiefs pos I think he is doing his one on one interview with the chief to be hired as a firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27Truck
    4949 I dont think he is interviewing for the chiefs pos I think he is doing his one on one interview with the chief to be hired as a firefighter.
    Uh...DOH!

    Well, it looks as though things make a whole lot more sense, once I pull my head outta my butt!

    Sorry firestop, I read your post rather quickly and completely misinterpreted it.




    Kevin
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    IAFF Local 2339
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    "Fir na tine"

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    I just sat on my departmentís Chiefís Interviews as one of two assigned to the panel. Here are some thoughts:

    We did not ask ANY situational interview questions, as we were more concerned with getting to know the candidates. We asked big picture questions like:

    Why do you want to be a firefighter?

    Why do you want to work for our department?

    Tell us about your education, experience and how that has prepared you to become a firefighter.

    Are you on any other lists? What if you were working for us and they called you, would you leave?

    What if you were working for them and we called you, would you leave?

    How would you rate your mechanical ability?

    Tell us about your physical fitness routine.

    We also asked specific questions about the candidateís resume. For example, if a candidate listed that he or she had completed a class in building construction, attended a basic fire academy we asked a question about basic building construction.


    An example of a building question would be:
    ē Tell us the difference between lightweight and conventional construction.

    ē What do you call the horizontal support member over a window or a door?

    By the time a candidate reaches the Chiefís Interview he or she should be dialed in and ready to get hired. We donít expect any loose ends such as expired EMT or unfinished courses.

    Not bringing a resume is a grave error. If the department allows you to bring a resume, BRING IT. Actually bring three copies as there will usually be more than one person on the panel. Ideally you have already attached it to your application so I can review it BEFORE you walk in the door.

    Make certain your resume is free of errors and looks professional. This is our first impression of you. Any misspellings, grammatical or formatting errors give us a poor first impression.

    Itís a shame if you are unprepared and do not capitalize on your opportunity. It always amazes me how unprepared candidates are for this incredible opportunity to reach their goal. Hereís the bottom line, if you do well I am going to hire you. If not you will be placed back on the list and you have squandered your opportunity.
    Getting to the Chiefís Interview is an incredible accomplishment. Not getting the badge because you were unprepared for your interview is a huge disappointment. Capitalize on your opportunity!

    Good luck, you'll do fine.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 06-16-2006 at 11:31 AM.

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    Thumbs up interview

    I recently went through the Battalion chief process. Chief Lapore was a big help. He helped me realize to pay attention to detail. I cannot stress how important details are. Understanding the question, relating to the question.
    Again Chief, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore

    Not bringing a resume is a grave error. If the department allows you to bring a resume, BRING IT. Actually bring three copies as there will usually be more than one person on the panel. Ideally you have already attached it to your application so I can review it BEFORE you walk in the door.
    Now I thought that bringing a resume for everyone is pointless because they're not going to sit there and read it while you're interviewing, and when you're done it's time for the next candidate.

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    BB, You're welcome. Congratulaions on your success.

    I completely disagree about only bring one copy of a resume. I see it as a lack of preparation. I EXPECT that you will bring a resume for each person on the board. I will read your resume as you are speaking and circle anything I want to explore (either good or bad). I do not want to have to hand it off to one of my fellow raters.

    Traditionally there are three people on the board. I suggest you bring four copies so you are prepared for a fourth evaluator.

    For goodness sakes, please MAKE CERTAIN YOUR RESUME IS FLAWLESS. This means no punctuation or grammatical errors, the columns line up, it's on quality paper and that your printer is not running out of ink.

    Your resume is our first look at you. It's important our first impression is a favorable one.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    I read back a few pages and found the post where I read that at (the no resume deal).

  12. #12
    Monster

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    Default Thanks

    Thank you all for your assistance. I got the job.

    I would like to point out a few suggestions that have helped ( I got some good comments from the chief about).

    1. Bring resumes. I brought 4 just in case, and thats exactly how many I needed. I figured one for me and 3 for them. They looked at them as well.

    2. Definately toot your own horn. Its an interview about you and what you can do. I was told by the chief that he had over looked some stuff that I brought up......

    Once again, thanks alot for all the help and suggestions.

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    Congrats. The last interview I went on (I start Tuesday) I passed out resumes and the first thing anyone said was "Well, that answers our first question". One of the interviewers ended up knowing one of my references.
    Last edited by vortech302; 09-02-2006 at 05:26 PM.

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    Congratulations and great feedback!

    bam

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    If you're good friends with someone already on the department, is name dropping a good or bad thing to do at an interview? When the officers ask me why I want to become a firefighter with their department, is it okay to say that I have a good friend, (his name), who work there and loves the department, which is one of the things, amongst many, that makes me want to be a firefighter there?

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    Default It's Risky

    Donít name drop. What if one of the panel members doesnít like the guys you name? It could hurt you. Too many candidates club the oral board over the head with a friend, acquaintance, dad or other relative who is or has been a firefighter. The panel can interpret this as asking for more points. Get the job on your own.

    Talked to a candidate who was super qualified but had been testing for five years without getting a badge. When I asked him why he wanted to be a firefighter, he said he was out water skiing with his neighbor who was the fire chief for a local city, yada, yada, yada. Removing that and several other land mines from his answers he was hired on his next test.
    ______________________________ _______________

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Donít name drop. What if one of the panel members doesnít like the guys you name?
    I appreciate the advice, but what if I know that they all do like this person a lot, though? By the way, this would be at a Chief's Interview, where I'm not trying to score points but trying to earn trust and show that I would fit in with their department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surtur View Post
    I appreciate the advice, but what if I know that they all do like this person a lot, though? By the way, this would be at a Chief's Interview, where I'm not trying to score points but trying to earn trust and show that I would fit in with their department.
    You just can't take the chance as a snott nose rookie to start name dropping.

    If this person thinks you're so great have him send that message up the chain before you're interview.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    Surtur,
    Yes, your plan is correct. What I like best about it is that you are not solely relying on your friend's recommendation. You are adding what you have learned with your own research.

    You are completely on the right page.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Youíre a free agent here. You are only going to the chiefs oral because of the great stuff you already used in the first oral. Did you drop this guys name in your first interview?

    Many candidates start to panic when they are notified that they are going to a chief's. They think they have to reinvent themselves. Reinvent the wheel. WHOOAA! You're riding the winning pony. Don't switch ponies.

    There will probably be more than the chief at the interview.

    This is a new arena. Candidates who are going to the chiefs interview, start talking to their friends. They convince that they need to do something more. By the time of the interview, they're a wreck. It's not them going into the interview. A clone of someone else.
    ______________________________ _______________

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Surtur,
    Yes, your plan is correct. What I like best about it is that you are not solely relying on your friend's recommendation. You are adding what you have learned with your own research.

    You are completely on the right page.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Thanks Chief Lepore,

    The reason I wanted to lace his name into my answer for wanting to become a firefighter there is because this is a department where being the right "fit" is very important. This is a department where fire & EMS knowledge doesn't seem to be as important as being someone with proven integrity who has shown that he/she is a capable individual and would mesh well with their current crew.

    I've always respected your advise, so I decided to order the book Smoke Your Firefighter Interview a few days ago. I haven't gotten it yet, but I was wondering, if I have any other questions, is there some way I could write you an e-mail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    BB, You're welcome. Congratulaions on your success.

    I completely disagree about only bring one copy of a resume. I see it as a lack of preparation. I EXPECT that you will bring a resume for each person on the board. I will read your resume as you are speaking and circle anything I want to explore (either good or bad). I do not want to have to hand it off to one of my fellow raters.

    Traditionally there are three people on the board. I suggest you bring four copies so you are prepared for a fourth evaluator.

    For goodness sakes, please MAKE CERTAIN YOUR RESUME IS FLAWLESS. This means no punctuation or grammatical errors, the columns line up, it's on quality paper and that your printer is not running out of ink.

    Your resume is our first look at you. It's important our first impression is a favorable one.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    I am preparing for my Chief's Interview and have been reading up on different experiences. I am confused though as to how many on the panel there might be. I had my 1st interview which included the Fire Chief, both Assistant Chief's, and a FF. Now I am going for the final phase of getting hired, the Fire Chief's interview. Can I expect another big panel or just the "big man" evaluating my credentials and how my test and PAT results were. I was told by others on the job (although they are on a different department) that they wouldn't bring me back for the final interview unless they wanted to give me the job. I really want this and do not want to blow my chances. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kramerfl View Post
    I am preparing for my Chief's Interview and have been reading up on different experiences. I am confused though as to how many on the panel there might be. I had my 1st interview which included the Fire Chief, both Assistant Chief's, and a FF. Now I am going for the final phase of getting hired, the Fire Chief's interview. Can I expect another big panel or just the "big man" evaluating my credentials and how my test and PAT results were. I was told by others on the job (although they are on a different department) that they wouldn't bring me back for the final interview unless they wanted to give me the job. I really want this and do not want to blow my chances. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.
    The slate is more or less clean when you show up for the chiefs interview. Any and all things are open game. What they really want to find out is if you're a fit for their culture.

    What can you expect in a Chief's Oral?




    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, Californai State Fire Marshall
    ______________________________ _______________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Surtur- I see why you would want to drop your contact's name at the interview.

    Overall, its my experience not to name drop. I have verbally listed a person in the past and if the panel needs to know the name, they can ask me. And they have.

    Do what you feel you need to do. Put please do not push the issue or person's name. Let the entire interview flow smooth. Just dont try to jam it.

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    Default I agree

    I'm with CALFFBOU....I've seen people drop names that were incorrect and were called on it . It was down hill from there. Just relax and enjoy the ride.You'll do fine and good luck.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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