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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Sharing Oral Board Interview experiences?

    Can anyone tell me if it is bad that I only had to answer 6 questions from the 6 of the members of the Civil Service Oral Board members last night during my interview? I am feeling a little disallusioned because I was prepared to answer several questions and not just 6 of them. Each board member asked me one question that really only required a one word answer and the interview was over in a matter of 10 minutes? I was then told the interview was over and they wondered if I had any questions to ask. Is this bad? this is my first oral board interview and my first time thru the hiring process for a fire fighter.. any info would be appreciated!


  2. #2
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    Well I can tell you that every oral interview I did had a standard amount of questions that the board was going to ask. Sometimes my answers raised more questions, sometimes they didn't. Perhaps the board only planned on 6 questions for the interview as they can get tiring and boring depending on how many candidates they must interview.

    Let me start off by saying I don't know if you did good or bad because I don't know the questions they asked or the answers you gave. What I can tell you is that one and two word answers are not sufficient for an interview. Whenever they ask you a question, yes there technically is a one or two word answer, BUT, they want to know the reason behind your answer. So if you just gave yes or no answers then your interview is not going to be long and you're not going to make them want to know more about you. This does not mean that you answers should be long and drawn out either. You should give your answer, support your answer with your reason by being direct and too the point.

    I usually always got high scores on my interviews because I learned the "art" of the interview. You should too. You need to have an answer in your mind for every possible question that could be asked, research interview questions and answers, ask people who have done interviews or actually interview people. Get their opinions and ideas about questions and answers so you can make your own. Once you do this you will be prepared but you also need to make your appearance and expressing yourself better than everyone else. Eye contact, gestures, proper voice fluctuation, looking comfortable even if you aren't, Suit, tie and so on. And you MUST practice. When you do all this interviews will be easy for you, Jobs will come your way. I am a firm believer that in processes that include an interview score, the interview gets you your job.

    Lastly, when they ask you do you have any questions for them. You always should. It appears then that you have an interest in the department and want to know more about them. Just one or two questions is usually enough.

  3. #3
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    Where are you Capt. Bob!? This question (and the reply), SCREAMS for your assistance!

    The best answer I can give for you is to invest in some material that is designed to help you in fire dept. Oral interviews. I purchased Capt. Bobs Gold package, and its GREAT. I know there are others out there as well.
    He tells you how to create your own answers to the questions without using the yes and no answers. It also answers others questions you may have, like appearance etc. It is more than worth the money. If you are interested in the one I used, the website is www.eatstress.com. You may also be able to get some info. at you local library. Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber Golzy12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarnyTheKid

    Lastly, when they ask you do you have any questions for them. You always should. It appears then that you have an interest in the department and want to know more about them. Just one or two questions is usually enough.
    I've heard that your never supposed to ask questions at the end of an interview according to captain bob.

  5. #5
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    Default You Rang?

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow91yj
    Where are you Capt. Bob!? This question (and the reply), SCREAMS for your assistance!
    Many oral board interviews are structured; asking all candidates the same questions.

    Although itís difficult to say by not being in the room with you but having short answers on most of the 6 questions would be a concern. Being prepare as CarnyTheKid advised, along with personal life experiences with your answers, can make a far better presentation.

    Iím sure you learned much from your first interview. The firefighter interview is like not other. Personalizing your answers to any of the possible oral board questions and practicing with a recorder will put you in a better position for your next oral board. You can find a sample list of questions here: http://www.eatstress.com/thirty22.htm

    You could have used the opportunity to ask if you could deliver a closing statement to include more of your prepared information at the end of your interview.

    Asking the Panel Questions?

    Candidates have been told that you always have to ask a question if youíre given the opportunity at the end of an interview or you will lose points. In a regular or corporate interview that might be true. Not true in a fire oral! You never, ever, ever, have a question. If that question is asked (hereís the ďNuggetĒ) you can pause as if your gathering your thoughts and then say, ďNo, I think we covered everything.Ē

    We donít expect you to have any questions. Weíre usually surprised when some one does. Then we hear all kinds of crazy questions. Donít ask when you can expect to hear back or about the hiring process. Most panel members are from other departments and donít know. I had a guy one day ask, ďSince I live so far away, can I start at second step pay to help pay for my gas?Ē

    We had another candidate say, ďYou have probably heard about the charges against me for stealing over at the college?Ē No, we havenít, why donít you tell us about it. Here was another candidate who had done an outstanding job in his oral and he had to bring this up. His score dropped like a wounded seagull. This is not the time to bring up anything like this. You never bring up a negative item unless the panel does. They probably wonít. If they do, have a simple, short (I said simple and short) answer to the situation.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 06-19-2008 at 05:58 AM.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Oral interview Questions

    Captain Bob hit the nail on the head. We are given a set amount of questions to ask each candidate. Depending on their answers and not " exposing their soft under bellies", we move on. If they open the door to a question then we have the right to enter and asked what we need to know to get an answer. So be careful and don't offer anything up or.....enter we must.

    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley, Retired Fire
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  7. #7
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    One time while interviewing for Long Beach Fire, I asked Jay Dudley a question while exiting an interview. Judging by the confused look on his face, it wasnt the best move at the time.

  8. #8
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    As a general rule of thumb there is no such thing as a yes or no answer in an interview. This is particularly true with scripted questions.

    Imagine yourself sitting on the other side of the table as the interviewer. Your job is to ask a one question of each candidate. How boring it would be at the end of the day. If the answers were all yes or no, why donít you save the time and expense and simply have the candidates fill out a scan tron. More importantly how would you grade the candidates?

    The interview questions are designed to promote dialogue between the panel and the candidates. Itís in YOUR best interest to share your thoughts with the board. If you have done your homework there is absolutely nothing the panel could ask you that you donít have an opinion on. Reading trade journals, logging into this website, a being engaged in the fire service makes you a better-rounded candidate.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  9. #9
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    Yeah.. I've been there! 6 questions and all yes or no. It didn't pan out good for me, as they said it's going to be brief "but we know what we're looking for" is what they told me. Of course every interview is different. Just My experience.

  10. #10
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Last Question

    CalFF....That must have been the one we held @ P.D. interview room. That lopsided chair didn't phase you at all. It was when you tried to get out of the room. You did fine!!
    Jay Dudley
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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  11. #11
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Thanks Jay. This was like 1994 or 1995. I cant remember. I wasnt ready for the LBFD back then.

  12. #12
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Now I remember

    CalFF....I think after our e-mail I was shocked because I've never been to the river as you thought I had.
    Dud
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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