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  1. #1
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    Question the chiefs interview??????

    I made it to the Chief's oral one on one. They told me I'm competing for two positions w/ six other candidates. I don't want to blow this now that I've made it this far and I really would like to work for this dept. Any suggestions?


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    Default Great Odds!

    Quote Originally Posted by DMM7700
    I made it to the Chief's oral one on one. They told me I'm competing for two positions w/ six other candidates. I don't want to blow this now that I've made it this far and I really would like to work for this dept. Any suggestions?
    Congrats on your success. You have to love those odds.

    Going for All the Marbles

    Even though this is for all of the marbles, don’t panic now!

    I am very excited, and very nervous at the same time. You see I just got the phone call for a Chief’s oral. Just when I was starting to get familiar with the regular oral interview, it is now time to learn something new! They only gave me a day to prepare. Do you have any pieces of information that might help me? Will the structure be the same?

    Should I be studying anything? The city? The organization? IFSTA? Or is this more of a get to know you type of interview? To see how you will fit in. Any advice you might have will help. Thanks for your efforts in helping make people’s dreams come true! — Jeff

    Many candidates start to panic when they are notified that they are going to a chief’s oral. They think they have to reinvent themselves. Reinvent the wheel. WHOOAA! Understand what got you there. You are only going to the Chief’s Oral because of the great stuff you already used in the first oral.

    You’re riding the winning pony. Don’t switch ponies. You’re coming around the club house turn, you shoot out from the back of the pack, go to the whip, you’re on the winning pony, you’re friends and family are on their feet in the stands cheering you on and you ride her home for the badge.

    Too many candidates switch ponies because “They Said”. 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, you could drop out of the race. This is a new arena.

    Candidates who are going to the chiefs interview start talking to their friends. They convince them 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. The badges are often given to other candidates.

    The chiefs interview is open to any type 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 themselves on purpose in the interview. Someone who has a personality and is conversational. Are you that person in an interview? Practice your answers with a tape recorder.

    Stan was going to our departments Chief’s Oral. He made an appointment to come by our station. While there, he asked what more he could do to make it over the top. I told him he was riding the winning pony and not to switch during the home stretch. Three months later I was down at the training center where they were training new recruits. I saw a familiar face. I said, “Stan is that you?” He said, “Yes, I rode that winning pony all the way in!” Saddle up and ride to glory.
    ______________________________ _______________

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  3. #3
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    Smile Chief's Oral

    Thank you Capt Bob and I just wanted to say that even if I don't land this job I feel your tips from your website have made me very confident and good at all my interviews and I'll get that badge someday soon."I pray" -Mike

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMM7700
    Thank you Capt Bob and I just wanted to say that even if I don't land this job I feel your tips from your website have made me very confident and good at all my interviews and I'll get that badge someday soon."I pray" -Mike
    "Prayer is where burdens change shoulders"

  5. #5
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    Smile Got It!!!!!!

    Capt Bob, I felt really good after the Chiefs interview but after about a week I hadn't heard back so I called them to get the bad news. I was without a doubt pretty depressed but the very next day I received a letter from another dept I had interviewed for with a conditional letter of employment. I've now been medically cleared and my orientation for my new job with a county dept is in one week! Thank you so much for your work on your website. It's full of very good info and tips on what to do and not to do. I feel that without it I would still be waiting for that call. Again thank you for your help.

    Mike
    Jacksonville, Florida

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMM7700
    Capt Bob, I felt really good after the Chiefs interview but after about a week I hadn't heard back so I called them
    Mike
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I've got a question on this and some insight would be helpful is their any type of suggestion for calling the department?

  7. #7
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    Default

    Well, I'm sure all departments are different but in my case I had been out of town a few days following my Chief's interview and I called to say I was making sure I hadn't missed anything and if they were still considering me for the position. I'm sure most depts don't mind a candidate calling to check their status during the process as long as its not obsessive. hope that helps, not sure what you were asking.

  8. #8
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    Default

    In a Chief’s interview we are looking for people who will fit into our department. As a general rule we will not ask situational questions, those are usually done in the Captain’s interview.

    In a manner of speaking, the Captains have given their stamp of approval that’s why you have moved on in the process. Now we want to take a look at you with a different set of glasses.

    It is our job to determine who really the right fit for our department is. No games from this point foreword, rather straight up questions.

    Why do you want to work for our department?
    What do you know about our department?
    What are your short and long-term goals?
    What does your spouse think of the fire service?
    What is your single greatest NON-fire service accomplishment?
    Tell us about yourself EXCLUDING your fire service education and training.
    What do you know about our academy?
    How would you rate your mechanical ability?
    Describe your physical fitness routine.

    It’s not a game or a matter of deception. It’s just you and the Chief (or Chiefs). We are looking to hire someone who exemplifies our beliefs and will become the future leaders of our department. Backseat firefighters are very important to us, however, we are looking to hire people who have tempered aspirations of becoming paramedics, engineers and captains.

    Good luck and be sure to be enthusiastic. Here’s how it boils down:
    If you do well and are passionate and enthusiastic you will move on in the process. If not you go back on the list and will find yourself testing again.

    Do your homework. You are on the fence. If you fall to the left your life changes FOREVER. If you fall to the right you are looking for the next test.

    Good luck,


    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Default

    I've got a chief's oral for a city in Arizona. I'm extremely nervous, though it's not for another month. Is there any reading material that I should look through - any tips? I'll start w/ BCLepore's questions here, and work on those. I was extremely nervous for my first interview, I babbled and stumbled. I have no idea how I got passed it, but I must have done something right. don't get me wrong, I prepped for over a month for it, nearly every day...I've just got no idea what's to be expected this time around. Any help would be appreciated greatly.
    Last edited by AZCadet33; 12-13-2006 at 05:09 PM.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZCadet33
    I prepped for over a month for it, nearly every day...I've just got no idea what's to be expected this time around. Any help would be appreciated greatly.
    This is a feeling that you're not prepared. Everyone has butterflies. The trick is to get them to all fly in the same formation. How often have you practiced with a recorder?
    ______________________________ _______________

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  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob
    This is a feeling that you're not prepared. Everyone has butterflies. The trick is to get them to all fly in the same formation. How often have you practiced with a recorder?
    I was practicing with a recorder quite a bit, but I began to sound the same every single time. I didnt want to sound like a robot, do you think that would be the case? I took the radio out of my car this time around, and practice a lot when I'm driving. I guess the nervous feeling comes from the fact that this is even closer to the edge of getting hired. I might have to bring out the recorder again, just to see how I'm doing. I was nervous in front of a capt, engineer, a ff, and an HR person...I can't imagine how it's going to be in front of three chiefs.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZCadet33
    I was practicing with a recorder quite a bit, but I began to sound the same every single time. I didnt want to sound like a robot, do you think that would be the case? I took the radio out of my car this time around, and practice a lot when I'm driving. I guess the nervous feeling comes from the fact that this is even closer to the edge of getting hired. I might have to bring out the recorder again, just to see how I'm doing. I was nervous in front of a capt, engineer, a ff, and an HR person...I can't imagine how it's going to be in front of three chiefs.
    It's called white shirt or gold fever in front of the chiefs. You might have lapsed into a montone voice like giving a patient assessment. You need to use more inflection, volume, cut out the pause fillers and add enthusiasm to your answers. The recorder is the closests thing to you and that badge.


    Consider getting in a coaching session with a qualified coach that could get you in a better position to cement the deal for your badge.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 12-13-2006 at 08:29 PM.
    ______________________________ _______________

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    Default

    In my case I was in front of the Chief and the shift Capt. who had the positions available at the time. I was very nervous but took all the advice I could remember from Capt. Bob's website about being yourself, keeping eye contact, sounding confident, and just trying to make connections with them when it was possible. I was told by the shift Capt. before I went in that the Chief would only ask a couple of interview type questions and then just have small talk about me and what I was about. I wasn't prepared for the two pages of interview type questions that he rattled off and I stumbled some. So I would say to you be prepared to answer those type as well as personal questions. Good luck hope that helps.

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    Thank you both - that def helps. I've got a list of chief's questions to start practicing. In addition, Capt Bob, I found a gentleman that just finished his booter year w/ the department that's going to give me a hand. I appreciate the advice, and I'll have to get the tape recorder back out!

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    Default

    as far as mechanics on the chief's interview...

    Should I still bring resumes or assume that they already have the 4 copies I gave them from the last interview? If I need to bring a resume...should this one be more in depth...or still keep it under one page???

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    Default Forget the recorder, go video

    While a tape recorder can help, using a video camera can allow you to find out a great deal more about your presentation. Tics, habits, problems with eye contact, they all become apparent on video. Talking to a video camera can also get you out of your comfort zone, and that is apt to be your frame of mind when you are in the interview or oral board--it can be a more realistic indicator of your readiness.

    As for the resume, bring them. You can offer. If they already have copies or refuse them you have lost nothing. Keep the single page format. Short, sweet, highly refined, and proofread by several people with grammar and language skills you trust.

    Look for a resume example at www.firedepartmentcareer.com

    You will also find on the site a DVD-based course that includes first-person practice oral boards for use with a video camera. The practice orals in the course are very realistic, and by taping your response to them you get to see exactly what your presentation will look like in the real thing.

    Work hard ahead of time, then walk in with the confidence of the well-prepared!
    Good luck,
    Dave Arthur

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    Default Recorder

    Yes you need to see yourself on a video camera. But you’re trapped using a video camera. You can take a hand held recorder almost anywhere you go. Successful candidates found using a hand held recorder they were able to perfect their presentations faster and increasing their confidence level. One practice session with a recorder is worth 10 speaking aloud.

    “Practice makes permanent”

    I don’t suggest going into an interview, any interview, thinking you are going to hand out your resume to the panel and they’re going to read it then. Especially, if you were instructed not to bring a resume. Some candidates have come marching in trying to hand out their resumes when they weren’t being accepted. They did this because their firefighter buddies told them it would make them look different. It will, but not in a way you are looking for.

    Unless you’re instructed to bring a resume to your oral board don’t. It might be given a courtesy glance but will not be read once you go into the room. Often candidates will come in, they will try to hand out resumes, and it upsets the normal flow of the interview. We're going to read your resume before you come in the room. If you can submit a resume, get it to personnel to be placed in your file before the interview. Don't fax It. Make the appropriate copies and hand deliver or FedEx them.
    ______________________________ _______________

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    Default Read the situation and give yourself options.

    No question, if instructed not to bring a resume--don't.

    Likewise, if instructed to not include a resume or other materials in the application packet, leave it all out! Increasingly departments are using electronic applications, so your opportunities to submit additional support materials are being reduced.

    Above all, an impression of professionalism is your goal. Throwing resumes around or not reading the situation is not professional. Being unprepared when the situation calls for materials you don't have is not professional either. I was once an applicant in an oral board in which I was ASKED for copies of my resume. There was only one copy in my packet and the other two members of the board wanted to look at the resume as well. I was unprepared and later kicked myself for not having a folder with additional materials in hand. You don't have to use anything you bring in, but you have options.

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