1. #1
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    Default "Do you have anything else to add?"

    I am going in for an interview tomorrow and ive been practicing with a bunch of different people but i am having trouble coming up with an answer to this question. is there anything that the interviewers would specifically LIKE to hear when they ask at the end of the interview "Do you having anything else to add?"

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    I was told once by an interview coach that when they ask that... ask for the job, or tell them how much you want it. I did this in my interview, it felt weird, but it actually was a nice finish.
    Vita brevis; terra larga.

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    Default Make a great last impression

    At some point at the end of most interviews they will allow you to make a closing statement. They may ask if you have anything to add, do you have any questions, or if you have a closing statement. HIGBY916 is correct you should ask for the job here, you should also keep it simple. Remember this is usually not a scored question. It is important though because it is the last impression you will leave the panel wit.

    Some people have been told that this is your moment to shine and talk until they stop you. This is poor advise as you could take a panel that is happy with you and **** them off by wasting there time re-stating the things you had already said in you interview. I would recommend pausing for a moment before you answer to make sure you did say everything you wanted in the interview. If you have left something major out, you want to mention it here. I have had people so nervous they forgot to say they were medics.

    You also don’t want to try to do repair work. If you have made a mistake in the interview, please don’t re-open that can of worms, just move on.

    A simple, “I want to thank you for your time and the privilege to sit here today and ask you for the job” would be fine. Add something sincere that would let them know what a great choice you would be is good. Shake their hands on the way out if they want to, and out the door you go.

    Then you get to have that great experience of having the interview play over and over in your head. Even people that get 100% kick themselves out the door, because they they start thinking of things they could have done better. A great way to deal with this is to go straight to your car and write down all of the questions, and then what you said. This will help you process the information better and also help you remember the questions for future use. Most departments will use similar question each time as well as in the chief’s interview.

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    This is also a good time to ask a question or two about advancement opportunities to officer, medic, or ??? to show you have ambition beyond just being a line firefighter. Unless you bombed the interview, boards like seeing candidates who will not just coast after being appointed.
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    I am going to have to disagree. This is not the time to ask questions. Asking a question when they are ready to rap up your interview changes the whole flow of the interview. Also a person applying for an entry could include a desire to promotion other places in their interview. If asked if you have any questions, I would say, “NO but I would just like to that you for your time”, and go into a short exit.
    Good Luck, Capt Rob
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    Default Be Careful

    Asking the Panel Questions?

    Candidates have been told by others that you always have to ask a question, if you're given the opportunity at the end of an interview, or you will lose points. Not True in a fire oral! In a regular or corporate interview that might be true. But not here. You never, ever, ever, have a question. We don't expect you to have any questions. I had a guy one day ask, "Since I live so far away, can I start at second step pay to help pay for my gas?"

    If that question is asked (here's the "Nugget") you can pause as if you're gathering your thoughts and then say, "No, I think we covered everything."

    We had another candidate say, "You have probably heard about the charges against me for stealing over at the college?" No, we haven't, why don't you tell us about it. Here was another candidate who have 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 won't. It they do, have a simple, short (I said simple and short) answer to the situation.
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    Default Their correct!!

    At the end of your interview IS the time to ask questions and NOT the time to do damage control. Once the trigger is pulled there is NOWAY to unfire the gun. The main thing to remember id to NOT put yourself in the position of trying to do any damage control. Think before you answer the questions and you'll do fine. Good Luck!!
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    I am going to elaborate a little more...

    I do not think that you are expected/required to ask a question to do well. Obviously, as some of the examples above have illustrated, what comes out of your mouth can have a dramatic negative influence on your score, so don't open your mouth unless what you have to ask or offer is guaranteed to not damage your score.

    Of the interviews I have done, when we leave that last opening for the candidate to speak, no one ever got graded down for not specifically offering any closing comments or questions. Some candidates asked good questions which helped raise their stock a slight amount.

    Be wary of introducing anything new about yourself to the end of the interview, it should have all come out during the session already. Your first impression has already been made and much of the scoring is already completed by the end, so while you can screw up and tank your score in a hurry, there is a lot less to gain by adding good things. You have to decide whether the comment you want to add is worth putting out there. If it is, by all means go ahead and ask. The final comment opening is not a test with a right or wrong answer.

    I like CaptBob's advice for this situation best. If in doubt about what you should do, pause thoughtfully and then tell the group you have no questions, sincerely thank them for their time, and get out.
    Last edited by ElectricHoser; 10-23-2007 at 03:33 PM.
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    Damage control = Bad
    You have hopefully covered everything in your arsenal that demonstrates to the panel you are the best candidate. If in the odd event you feel you missed something, maybe cover it briefly. Like was said before, it usually isn't scored. However, this is an excellent time to ask for the job if you haven't already. With that, I think it is usually best to neither add nor ask anything.

    We tend to rush in and when it's over hightail it for the door. Once outside you find yourself wondering, "Where did the last 10 - 20 minutes go?" Make a calm, purposeful exit. Don't turn-n-burn. Some folks exit the room like the tones just went off and they couldn't wait to get out.

    Before you do that though, sincerely thank the panel. Thank them for their time and especially thank them for the opportunity. We are looking for who we want to work with for the next x number of years and who we feel comfortable with leaving the deparment in the hands of.

    bam
    Last edited by ffbam24; 10-23-2007 at 04:18 PM.

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    Yes, the closing is the time you're going to leave the last impression. There are those who would tell you to raise the flag and beat the drum with a lot of fanfare in your closing statement. Please spare us this part. Understand, if you haven't done it in the body of your oral presentation, you're not going to make it up in the closing. REPEATING, IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT IN THE BODY OF YOUR ORAL PRESENTATION, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT UP IN THE CLOSING! We had a candidate who tried to show us all his certificates during his closing. McFly?

    As Rob mentioned the closing like the opening question tell us a little about yourself aren't usually scored. But if you say something good or bad in your closing it could cause the panel to go back to a section that is scored and change it. Are you willing to take that chance?
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    Default I agree!!

    I'm going to agree with Captain Bob and Rob on this as the closing is an important part but not the time to say what you forgot to say in the body of your interview. I tell the people I help get ready to simply say thank you for the time and then shake their hands and then leave. IT IS NOT THE TIME TO SAY MUCH YOU WANT THE JOB!! That's why you are there...To get a job as a Firefighter. The panel knows that and there is no need to repeat it. If you shake their hands at the end PLEASE!!! make sure you remember the CORRECT names. I do not know how many times I've been called a name that which was not mine.
    Respectfully,
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    Default Agreed

    Jay is right to perfect and remember to use the handshake.

    Master the First Impression

    I spoke to a group of volunteers who were mostly aspiring firefighters recently. As I was greeting several members before I started, I shook hands with a big strapping lad who had firefighter written all over him. He had that kind of firm handshake, smile and focused eye contact that can cause an oral board panel to want to hand him a badge.

    A few moments later I turned to shake hands with another big guy. His handshake didn’t carry the same message. The big problem was he didn’t know. No one had told him. I had him go over and shake hands with the first guy. They worked on it for a few minutes and he returned with a more confident handshake.

    The following is from Work Your Network, by Joe “Mr. Network” Pelayo
    http://www.josephmichaels.com/book/book.shtml :
    A UCLA study found that when 2 people meet for the first time they make 20 distinctions about each other in the first 20 seconds, then spend the next 20 minutes finding out whether or not they were right! The same study found that a handshake is worth an
    hour’s conversation between two people, because handshakes are thought
    to be a judge of your character.

    When shaking hands with a female rater don’t wait for the high beams to come on in her eyes because of too much pressure. Just match the pressure in her handshake. At the end of the interview they will usually stand and shake hands again. Same eye contact while thanking (by rank if you know) them for the opportunity.

    Use that handshake to make the right first impression.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-24-2007 at 12:52 PM.
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    How do you ask for the job in an interview when you know they aren't giving it to you right there?

    "So, can I have the job?"

    I'm guessing you guys mean that you want to reiterate your desire for the position with something to the effect of:

    "I have no questions, I think we covered pretty much everything. I would like to close by telling you that this job means everything to me and I sincerly hope I have the chance to prove it, if selected. Thank you."

    What do you think? Thats what I plan on saying as its how I really feel.
    Last edited by FirefighterRI; 10-24-2007 at 01:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirefighterRI View Post
    How do you ask for the job in an interview when you know they aren't giving it to you right there?

    "So, can I have the job?"

    I'm guessing you guys mean that you want to reiterate your desire for the position with something to the effect of:

    "I have no questions, I think we covered pretty much everything. I would like to close by telling you that this job means everything to me and I sincerly hope I have the chance to prove it, if selected. Thank you."

    What do you think? Thats what I plan on saying as its how I really feel.
    Sounds a little rough. Have you practiced this with a recorder before you posted it? If not practice it and post your reaction here.

    Too many candidates think about their answers, write them down thinking they will come out of their mouths like magic. The brain and mouth don't work in the same way. Practice makes permanent.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-24-2007 at 01:58 PM.
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    No, I dont have a recorder but it's starting to sink in that I need one. I've always been told that I am an excellent communicator. I've been speaking in public since middle school and I actually have a BA in communication studies. I can't tell you how many times I've been told I interview very well. One of the most basic principles in communication theory is that one needs to know his/her audience and tailor the message accordingly. I'm realizing that all of my audiences so far have been in acadamia or the buisness world. Ultimately, even though I've interviewed well in that world, the fact of it is that the fire interviewer and the business/acadamia interveiwer are two different audiences. Sure they are similar in many many ways but there is a difference, even if only a subtle one, to which I am not catering. There must be something in my speech that I'm missing because I'm too busy talking. I think you are right, a recorder might help me identify it.


    In the end, I will never know what any of my answers will sound like to an interviewer because I will never know in advance how they think. It's one of those paradoxes that will always leave so many variables in communication.

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    Default askin 4 the job

    How have the people in the past who have asked for the job in closing stated it exactly? Thanks

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    Default Not a Regular Job Interview!

    FirefighterRI:

    Yes, a firefighter interview is like no other. It can be unpredictable only if you don't have the right skill set. It can be over analyzed and intellectualized to the point of getting getting analysis paralysis. It's the candidates who complicate this hiring process. Your looking for a seamless no surprised interview.

    OK for starters get a hand held recorder. The recorder goes everywhere your car keys go. First try practicing the one above and see if you change the content. let us know what you discover.

    Consider this:

    Not a Regular Job Interview!

    Many regular job and corporate interview candidates like the following are stunned and baffled why they don't have high scores on their firefighter interviews.

    Captain Bob:
    I just received my oral board score for the City of Glendale. The score did not represent how I felt I did during the interview. This is a big problem for me because I now realize that I DON'T KNOW what the board was looking for. I make presentations for a living, so I felt confident in what I did to prepare. I was sure that I just about nailed it. I've always been competitive about what I set out to accomplish, using every tool that I can utilize to reach my goal. Sir, I would greatly appreciate your training to help me be the best that I can be at the oral boards.

    I've been preparing for these orals for months and felt extremely prepared. I don't want to waste another oral board without knowing that I've done all that I can to be the best candidate possible.

    Another

    Capt. Bob:

    After my interview rejection an east coast city last week, I sent a letter to the D/C thanking him for the opportunity and telling him I'd appreciate any feedback from the interview. Well - he was honest - he indicated he wanted me to keep testing & interviewing, but wrote that I:

    -talked too much & over answered the questions
    -talked too fast
    -some of my answers were based on book knowledge (?)

    Also - as I mentioned I approached this like I would a corporate interview (BAD IDEA) and I tried to 'close' them at the end - they asked if I had any closing questions (jeez I wish I read your web site before going in) and I opened my big stupid mouth to say 'I kept your rejection letter from last year (I actually showed it to them - this was my second time interviewing) and it mentioned that candidates had failed to prepare and properly sell themselves to the board. I've been working to improve myself in these areas for the past year - have I properly done this?'

    The D/C mentioned in his letter back to me that, 'I don't think that showing the letter I mailed out last time was the best thing you could have done. It was as if you were showing it off and showing us that you still had it.' I need to keep my damn mouth shut and just answer the questions. Live and learn.
    Stay safe Dave

    Reply: The mystery has been solved. You're not alone here. You have discovered like many other's that a fire department oral board is different than anything you have encountered. Too many candidates beat their heads against the wall for years getting to the point where you are now.

    No more questions. The defense rests your honor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdnyin07 View Post
    How have the people in the past who have asked for the job in closing stated it exactly? Thanks
    I can’t believe how many candidates never ask for the job? That’s why you’re there aren’t you?

    Had a candidate one day in his closing say, “If you don’t give me this job I will kill you!” All the panel members busted out laughing. I wouldn’t have tried it and wouldn’t suggest you try it either; but this candidate pulled it off. Yea, he was hired. Can you believe it? True story. I was there.

    The point here is to be creative and not use a clone answer everyone else will use after they have read it on a web site or in a book. The closing part of an interview is where you call on the emotions of the interviewers to give you the job. Don't reiterate or try to do repair work. In your own creative way and without being boring or lengthily there are four key points you want to make. Thank the panel for their time, the opportunity to be there, hope your qualifications qualify you for the position, and you look forward to advancing in the hiring process (yep, that’s asking for the j-o-b!)
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    I got ur program Capt. Bob and unless I'm missing it I didnt see the answer in the material. Do you just come out and say, "Can I have the job?" as if you are looking for an answer from the board right then and there? How bout a nugget or a bone on this one. Just plain English, Capt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fdnyin07 View Post
    I got ur program Capt. Bob and unless I'm missing it I didnt see the answer in the material. Do you just come out and say, "Can I have the job?" as if you are looking for an answer from the board right then and there? How bout a nugget or a bone on this one. Just plain English, Capt.
    Just look at the posting right above yours.

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    I just have to say, asking about how to become an officer and what the promotional system is like would likely get a response like this "this kid isn't even on the job yet and he wants to be an officer?" Not out loud, I'm sure, but believe they'll be thinking it. I would call that a mistake.
    As for asking for the job, I simply stated that "I really, really want this job. I will work my butt off to prove to you that you made the right choice."
    Feel them out for the words you can use and how you can state it. Saying really twice gave me the ability to toss a little humour in their as well, since there had already been some joking going on right before that. The most important thing is to make sure you have their attention, be concise and be respectful. As mentioned, it's the last impression they will be left with until they see you in drill school!
    Last edited by Higby916; 10-25-2007 at 08:07 AM.
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    All of these issues have variables too. It is not as inappropriate for a 30 or 40-something candidate to be asking about how promotions work during the question section, as it might be for an 18-23 year old who has not done much with their life other than getting a degree or surviving a four year enlistment. I judge such questions by older candidates as indicators that they are taking the sacrifices that will be asked of them seriously as they judge for themselves if the life/career change is a wise choice. Knowing how long it will take those guys to get back to their current position in life can be a major factor, are they asking their familiy for five years of sacrifice, ten years, fifteen? Younger folks who want to be Chief from the starting point on the otherhand can be showing immaturity through exagerated expectations. Almost any board will be judgeing the 30 year old candidate diffrently from the 20 year olds.

    As for the handshake and knowing names; a firm handshake is a MUST, but if you "miss the proper grip" don't let it throw you either. Just give a firm one at the end, but don't try to make up for the poor one either. As for names, don't sweat that either, your name will be forgotten with in three more interviews too, that is why photos are taken to go with your packet in most cases. If you are not good with names, everyone on the panel should be addressed as "Sir" or "m'am" or by their rank if you know it. Pretty easy to deal with there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Default Be careful addressing a woman as m'am.

    should be addressed as "Sir" or "m'am"

    Ask any woman how they would feel if they were addressed as m'am. Most would say it makes them feel old or matronly. Rank is better used and often listed on a card in front of the raters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    should be addressed as "Sir" or "m'am"

    Ask any woman how they would feel if they were addressed as m'am. Most would say it makes them feel old or matronly. Rank is better used and often listed on a card in front of the raters.
    If it is on the card, there is likely no reason to remember their name either. I have never met a female in a military or para-military organization who did not expect the proper "yes Ma'am, No Ma'am, Good Morning Ma'am from a lower ranked underling. If you don't know her name or rank, I would expect that Ma'am is a superior name to "hey lady" or most other alternatives.
    Last edited by DennisTheMenace; 10-25-2007 at 12:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Your choice.

    Oral boards are dicey enough without referring to a woman who might not appreciate being called m'am as they're getting ready to write down you final score. Haven't you been in the penalty box enough? Test it out with the ladies in your life and see what they say?

    Rank preferred.

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