Question: How is it possible to go through two interviews for two different departments, each department asking basically the same questions, and walk away feeling positive about both interviews and get two completely different scores?

I understand the panels for each respective department is made up of different people, but the more i test, it seems very obvious to me that you really have no idea what a department is looking for. I say that with frustration and confusion. One department, i score a 95% and the other a 64%...how can the scores be so despairingly different; with absolutely no explanation?!

Reply: The process is subjective. Itís hard to say without being in the room and knowing the agency. All you need is one panel member either way that can determine if youíre going to make the cut. A recent rater told me that if they didnít want a candidate one of the raters would give them a real low score that would drop them out of the process.

Youíre looking for a seamless no surprises interview. With an average of 5-6 questions, just one question could tank you and you would never know why. Thatís why itís so important to learn how to take a firefighter interview which is like no other. Then, get in a session with a coach with a proven track record.

A question on a recent oral board panel was if you heard two firefighters talking about an issue with another firefighter what would you do? One candidate not only knew what the issue was currently going on in the department, he knew who the firefighter was they were talking about. He thought they wanted his honest opinion even though he wasnít on the department and had no time and rank to have an opinion. Can you believe they didnít want to know his opinion? He found out later had he replied with an acceptable answer to this type of question he would be in the academy now.

In a coaching session a candidate said he had been a stay a home dad for two years. Hold on here a minute now. After a few questions, it turns out that he was completing his medic cert, was a paid on call firefighter 2 days a week, riding the box, and completing classes for his AS in addition to cover the home base while his wife worked. What sounds better to the guys on the panel? Iíve been a stay at home dad or the complete story? He would have never known if he hadnít done the coaching session.