1. #1
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    Default Tell me what you think?

    Hi guys.. I recently went through a hiring process here in Florida for a FF position and I have a few questions. We took a written test, agility test, psychological test, polygraph, then an interview. I've been a volunteer guy for this department for 3 years, go to the training, go to calls, and know quite a few of the paid guys and the training personnel well. Anyway, I passed all of the steps and got to the interview yesterday. The interview consisted of 5 questions. There was the Chief, 2 Lieutenants, 1 Firefighter, and 1 HR person. When I was being interviewed, they were telling me a few times that they were only hiring for 7 positions and 21 people applied. They had said "do not get disappointed if you don't make it this time" as they are building 1 new station next year and will be hiring "many, many more." The Chief also mentioned that same quote during our written testing to everyone.

    The Chief mentioned this a few times, and said my application will remain on file for a year and if I didn't make it this time they would call and ask if I was still interested at a later date. My question is, with all my experience, and being a volunteer, I am not sure if the Chief saying this was a good thing?? Is this what they say to everyone? Or were they gearing me up and giving me hints that it probably won't be this time? But I'd have a better shot next time?

    I met all the job requirements (FF Firefighter 1 & 2, EMT, Hazmat, Pump Operator, Volunteer) and it stated volunteer and pump operator were big pluses. There was also only 3 volunteers out of the 21 people taking the tests.

    It's not that I am whining about it, I've just worked hard at this department and this has been my dream department for a while. Of course I do not know the in and outs of the hiring process or what they expect but I would just hate to be passed up as I feel qualified. Both Lieutenants said they would love for me to be hired when a position opens up, but I guess what was said during the interview kinda gets me worried. The fact he brought up a few times.

    Anyway, anyone that knows when the Chief or interviewer says this, what it means?
    Last edited by miked2424; 02-15-2007 at 07:21 PM.

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    Is this what they say to everyone?

    Yep. You're probably creating sea monsters. Knock it off.

    BTW, keep your mouth shut before the results are out and if by some stange act god you aren't selected after the decision is made or you could ruin any chance of being consider in the future.

    Got it?????
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-15-2007 at 09:22 PM.
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    Capt Bob... first off, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell me to "shut my mouth" all I was asking for was advice if anyone's been through this or heard it before. Why did you reply if it bothered you so much?

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    you are a dummy. he was making a point. if you pay any attention at all you would notice that you were getting sound advice from someone who gets asked to sit on boards like the one you just sat for. count your blessings that you were only up against 20 people and accept advice.

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    You know Miked...if you don't get hired this time, it is not the end of the world.

    As for the comments you worked hard, got your certifications, and this is your dream dept. Just a little insight here....almost everyone who applies for the job and gets to the interview will say the same thing.

    If it works out...hey great, congrats. If not....look at yourself and see what makes you stand out. What is is that you have that no one else has? Why should they take you over the next well qualified candidate?

    You may have an advantage because you already volunteer. However, maybe another candidate has more quals...maybe paramedic, military, or whatever. When sitting on an interview panel...every candidate comes in, suit, tie...having FF1, FF2, Hazmat, Driver/operator, volunteer FF for x number years...what have you. If you think that is all it takes to be a career FF, that isn't the case.

    What makes you stand out?

    And if you need suggestions...look at volunteer oportunities in the community. Big Brother, Big Sisters, reading to youth, helping at the local food pantry, and so on. That goes to show you care about the community more than just a job.

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    Mike,

    Your response to Bob is away out of line. He was trying to give you good advice. You need to get thicker skin. I hope the firefighters have not identified this during your time as a volunteer because this would certainly impact your chances of getting hired.

    Now I will try to answer your question.

    You did not say how many of the 27 who applied were also volunteers. This makes a difference in the process.

    Letís look at it through a different set of glasses. IF you are not selected there is a good chance that you will get frustrated and leave. The fire chief has a duty to staff his department. Obviously, volunteers are needed to keep the department afloat.

    I would be very careful about what you say and how you act IF you are not selected. You are defined through adversity. While you may have certifications etc. Itís about performing on the interview. Your post makes you sound like you feel this position rightfully belongs to you.

    Hopefully your hard work will pay off.

    Good luck,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Ok, just wanna apologize to Capt Bob for saying that to him, as I know he was trying to give me advice, I rather thought he was annoyed by my post as I know he gets questions like these a lot. Yes, Capt Bob, I understand you, and I won't say anything after the process, as it's not my place anyway, I really like being a part of the department I'm on. Sorry guy.

    BCLepore- yes, I understand that.. but is "if you don't make it this time.." and those things, is that something you say to everyone? Or are they hinting at something? No, I definitely don't think this position rightfully belongs to me at all. All I was saying is hopefully I have a good shot, and wasn't sure what they mean when they rehash "if you don't make it." There have been times where I applied up against volunteers for other departments and they got the job and rightfully so. 3 volunteers applied.
    Last edited by miked2424; 02-16-2007 at 06:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miked2424 View Post
    Capt Bob... first off, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell me to "shut my mouth" all I was asking for was advice if anyone's been through this or heard it before. Why did you reply if it bothered you so much?
    Wow. That might explain why if you don't get hired.

    You asked a question, you got an answer. So you go off on the guy who gave you the answer? (It was a good answer, BTW.)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Wow.. instead of attacking the guy, why don't we just HELP him out instead?

    basically mike.. they will say that to everyone. I know how the interviews work and that is just standard, they'll usually mention it to you as a group and then individually during an interview. You have good qualifications and have been with the department for a while, you'll be ok. Most likely your in. However, like Captain Bob said with some strange act by God and you don't get in, that would raise some questions. Esp. when you find out they hired a boy from another state. I've seen it before. Been where you are for a few years but it DOES happen eventually. If somebody mentioned another written test or oral board I was gonna throw up.

    Some of these guys will be the first to tell you how the volunteers deserve it all the way and then when a volunteer doesn't get hired, and another guy does, they'll also be the first to tell you what you did wrong.
    Last edited by mattc05; 02-16-2007 at 08:16 AM.

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    I would have to agree with the other comments on the board. If for some reason you don't get hired just be patient. The way you react to not getting hired could make or break your chances of getting hired the next time around. I interviewed three times with my department and was finally hired on the third try. While I was upset as one would be when you are that close to your dream and don't make it. It helped me look closer at myself and ask, "What can I do to make myself a better candidate?" Just be patient and in the end all of the hard work, patience and classwork will pay off, and it will feel that much better when you have reached your goal. Good Luck!!!!

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    Default Volunteer to Paid and Promotional

    A question I'm often asked:

    If you're going to an interview as a volunteer going for a paid position, or a promotional interview, 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 they don't learn how to take a firefighter interview and 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.

    Whethere you know or not as a volunteer you have made an impression good or bad. If bad you will have no idea that no matter how many tests you take there they will never give you a badge. Get out and test everywhere you can.

    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 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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    Default It's common practice.

    I am new to the forum, so please bear with me.

    Allow me to echo what everyone else has said. Fire departments will always play down your chances of getting hired and try to encourage you to "keep trying if you don't make it this time."

    Many departments will create a list of qualified applicants that will remain in place for a year. I have seen over 1000 people show up to take an entrance test and just before it starts, the chief will say, "We don't currently have any openings." You can actually see the applicants melt in their chairs. Of course they don't have openings right now. If they had openings they would have hired them off the previous list, before that list expired. But that doesn't mean that there will not be the average number of openings in the next year. Or perhaps they know that there will be a new station opening, but laws will sometime prevent departments from advertising this until it happens. If the station is scheduled to open in about a year then this list, or the next, might be where they get the people to man it. The chief might suspect (or even know) that his department will be hiring dozens of firefighters over the next 12 months, but he either won't (or can't) say so right now. After all, until the city council finally signs the paper to make it so, there is a chance it will not happen. In some cities, union contracts have a big effect.

    Every fire department has their own way of doing things. Even states that have a civil service law in place, that is meant to standardize the process, will have differences between every city.

    Many people will find themselves going through the process more than once, only to finally succeed. As everyone else said, how you deal with not getting hired one time WILL affect the next.

    Good luck.

    Here is a website with some information on some hiring and training processes. http://www.captainmica.com

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