Have the oral panel soon...was wondering about my previous experience as a volunteer firefighter/emt and If I should bring it up or let the panel bring it up.....and if so what if they dont? Do I then mention it? Dont want to go in and blow my chance because they think im bragging, but I feel that my experiences and certs are something im proud of and what to be taken into consideration.
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Thread: Interview question
09-26-2006, 02:23 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
09-26-2006, 03:58 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
WhatOriginally Posted by nnjfire
Have you tried practicing with a tape recorder to work it out?
Try this for the question "What have you done to prepare for the position?": Start with your education and keep it in chronological order. Then your experience in order. End with those things you can tie your name to. Things where you were part of a team, took something from inception to end or were part of a committee that established a procedure or skill.
Last edited by CaptBob; 09-26-2006 at 05:39 PM.______________________________ _______________
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob"
09-26-2006, 04:34 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Thanks Capt bob. Im buying your online manual tonight. I also have to get my resume typed up.
09-26-2006, 11:44 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
It's up to you to sell yourself on the interiew. We speak to 12 - 15 candidates each day. We are not going to dig answers out of you. It is up to you to tell the panel about whatever experience you have that relates to being a firefighter. Don't stop at just telling the panel about your experience, rather tell them how it applies to being a firefighter on THEIR department.
Most importantly BE HUMBLE.
I have attached some thoughts on the interview process. Best of luck to you!
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This statement
certainly applies to the interview portion of the firefighter exam, where you
only have one opportunity to make a favorable first impression.
Even before the start of an interview, the first thing the raters will notice
about you is your overall demeanor and appearance. Your eye contact, facial
expressions, and posture, as well as your selection of attire can help
demonstrate your confidence and personality. While this does not mean that
you should try to act like “one of the guys,” it does mean responding to the
raters’ questions with clarity and assurance. And while it does not mean wearing
the most expensive fashions, it does mean being appropriately groomed and
wearing clean, neat clothes that fit well.
When meeting with interviewers for the first time, it’s important for you to
be relaxed but alert. Try to stand up straight, offer a firm handshake, and have
a pleasant expression on your face. The more comfortable you can make a
person feel in your presence, the better they will like you. This is especially
important in an interview setting, where everyone’s feeling a little strained.
Tone of voice and inflection are also a critical part of your presentation.
What you say is important, but how you say it is equally as important. According
to recent estimates, how you sound accounts for 38% of the first impression.
Pay attention to your tone, rate, pitch, volume and articulation. A candidate
who speaks too quickly can give the impression of being nervous. Words that
are spoken too quickly are often difficult to absorb, leaving the listener
overwhelmed and exhausted.
Monotonous talkers, on the other hand, can make listeners impatient, which
might make them lose interest altogether. A voice that is too soft or drops at
the end of a statement can suggest a lack of confidence. A candidate who
speaks too loudly and/or interrupts, can be irritating. A voice pitch that rises at
the end of a statement will turn the statement into a question.
Other common mistakes include mumbling or frequent uses of “um,” “ah,”
or “ok.” To identify how you perform under pressure in an interview, try answering
questions into a tape recorder. You may be surprised at how you sound. Practice speaking into a tape recorder until you’re satisfied with the results. Once you’ve mastered this, do the same thing in front of a video camera.
Words are important, but they only account for 7% of the first impression.
Make your words count even more by addressing people in a pleasant manner
and mentioning their names. If you have an opportunity prior to the interview,
ask the individual in charge for the names of the raters on your panel. If you
know the raters’ names before you enter the room, you will be more comfortable
referring to them by name during the interview.
Your handshake is another way of displaying confidence. Have you ever
shaken hands with someone whose hand felt like a dead fish? Needless to
say, your first impression of him or her was probably not a positive one. Enlist
the help of a friend and practice your handshake. Strive to have a firm yet
comfortable grasp that lasts as long as it takes to greet a person. Don’t be a
finger crusher, but don’t be a dead fish either.
Punctuality is another important aspect of creating a good first impression.
Arrive early for your interview. Raters frequently call on candidates earlier
than their scheduled times. The rater will be favorably impressed to see a
candidate who has bothered to show up a little earlier than required. Whether
the interviews are running on time or a little late, raters will notice that you’ve
been in the holding area for a period of time. When your name is finally called,
they may make a comment about your having had to wait. A simple explanation
that the interview is extremely important to you, and that you did not want to
be late, creates a favorable first impression. Additionally, if the person before
you is a “no show” and you’re available, it will make you look good. The interview
panel will undoubtedly be pleased to be ahead of schedule.
When it comes to first impressions, getting off on the wrong foot may be
overcome, but by then the odds are against you. Why not stack the odds in
your favor and create a strong first impression? All it takes is a little practice,
and the rewards can help you reach your goal of becoming a firefighter.
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