1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default How to answer these interview questions...

    1.) What do you do or say when you are given an order than could place you in great danger or be morally wrong? For example... you are given an order to pull a line to the front door of a burning house and prepare to go inside to fight the fire. You can tell that the roof is going to cave in at any minute. What do you do or say?

    2.) What do you say when you dont know the answer to a question?

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    1.) What do you do or say when you are given an order than could place you in great danger or be morally wrong? For example... you are given an order to pull a line to the front door of a burning house and prepare to go inside to fight the fire. You can tell that the roof is going to cave in at any minute. What do you do or say?

    OK, You will probaby get more advice on this one. Here's my take:

    This is a dilemma. Some departments want you to blindly follow orders, yes even to the point of jumping off a cliff, and others want you to draw the line at some point where you would remain an asset instead of a liability that would place others in danger that would have to come in after you.

    In many situations the panel members arenít from the department youíre testing for. So, they might not know the department SOPís. In this scenario type question one panel member is usually asking you this question. If you can create banter back and forth with this panel member, as if they were the Captain who is giving you the order, you can start building up valuable points.

    You can start out by repeating the order to make sure you understood it. The Captain will confirm thatís the order. Than you can banter back and forth as outlining any concern. If you see conditions that would cause a life hazard as you progress, walkie talkie the updte information to your officer.

    Hey, in real live you might do something else. But the oral board is fantasyland in many ways. Just go through the drill. You could add that you donít know what the Captains plan is or what additional resources they have coming that could be in place before you advance a line, perform a rescue or any other emergency situation.

    A recent candidate got to the point where you were and he refused to follow the order. Later in the interview a panel member gave him the opportunity to revisit his decision. That should have been a clue they wanted him to follow the order.

    1 board member shook his head and said good, the other two looked at each other with big eyes and said nothing. It was un-nerving.

    You could be psyching yourself out when this happens. You canít know what the panel is thinking. Once you start trying, you will tank your oral board score. Just give your best performance no matter what you think the oral board is doing. Trying to interpret the expressions, attitudes of the panel, what they are writing, etc., is a mental game. I had several candidates contact me after their orals where I was on their panel. They would tell me what they thought I was thinking or doing. They were never right.

    2.) What do you say when you dont know the answer to a question?

    Reply: I don't know.

    We would rather you tell us you don't know than to try to BS us. If you try to BS us in the 20 minute interview what would you do in a 25+ year career?

    Your goal is to have a seamless no surprises interview. You do this by learning how to take a firefighter interview that is like no other. And, taking every test you can so you won't be stumped by a question you haven't heard before.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    also...since we are in fantasy land...

    i am assuming that if they ask a question like... "what would you do if you saw another crew member gambling in the firehouse?"

    that you should answer something like "I would pull him/her to the side and advise him not to do that anymore as this is illegal and if it continues notify my superiors about it."

    is this right?

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xstalkrx View Post
    also...since we are in fantasy land...

    i am assuming that if they ask a question like... "what would you do if you saw another crew member gambling in the firehouse?"

    that you should answer something like "I would pull him/her to the side and advise him not to do that anymore as this is illegal and if it continues notify my superiors about it."

    is this right?
    So, as the snott nose rookie you're going to tell them that?

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    So, as the snott nose rookie you're going to tell them that?
    i dont know what else to say.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xstalkrx View Post
    i dont know what else to say.
    Do you think the oral board panel would want to place you in a station with this answer? They would literally eat you alive.

    How about it's none of your business? Don't you think if you see it the powers to be already know about it? If you are too busy shinning your boots, studying, and improving your skills with the tools you would be too busy to notice anything to be the snitch?

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    hmmm so i am supposed to turn my head at anything illegal going on and assume that my superiors are already aware of it?

    that just doesnt sound right.

    but what do i know?

    any other feedback from anyone else?

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Have you been asked this quesition in an oral interview or did you pick it up somewhere and think it might be asked?

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Have you been asked this quesition in an oral interview or did you pick it up somewhere and think it might be asked?
    i pulled it off a fire website as a possible interview question.

    i will be having my first ever oral interview in a few weeks and besides being clean cut and wearing a suit and tie....im not 100 percent about anything else. oh, i know I am supposed to be ALL FOR affirmative action if they ask about that. The firefighter that taught me CPR was telling me that I better say I think affirmative action is a good idea.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xstalkrx View Post
    i pulled it off a fire website as a possible interview question.
    That's how it sounded. This is an older question seldom used anymore.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    scfire86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    HB
    Posts
    10,219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xstalkrx View Post
    1.) What do you do or say when you are given an order than could place you in great danger or be morally wrong? For example... you are given an order to pull a line to the front door of a burning house and prepare to go inside to fight the fire. You can tell that the roof is going to cave in at any minute. What do you do or say?

    2.) What do you say when you dont know the answer to a question?
    If this is a real question on an interview it is a BS question. I'd find another department if this is a crucial factor determining employment.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    That's how it sounded. This is an older question seldom used anymore.
    I think im going to pick up the "hot seat seminar" cd. Does the hot seat seminar go in depth with these "tricky" questions? What kind of BS tricky questions can I expect to hear at the interview?

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    xstalkrx activate you PM or e-mail me at captbob@eatstress.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    you have mail.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    332

    Default

    I definitely remember question similar to the one about seeing illegal activity.
    The question, with variations, was always something like:
    "You observe firefighter Homer doing this (holding a can of beer,gambling,smelling of alcohol, smoking a funny cigarrette).
    The situation might not be 100% clearly illegal (he was holding a can of beer, maybe he just picked it up?).
    What do you do?"

    I've heard several different options for answers, some blatantly wrong, some better than others.

    "I would ask firefighter Homer what's going on."
    "I would talk to a senior ff about what I saw."
    "I would call the anomynous helpline for him."
    "I would report him immediately to the police!"

    Personally, I think telling the ff, in a NON THREATENING, NON-ACCUSATORY way, what you saw, and asking what's going on, is a good idea.

    Kind of like the questions about, "You see a ff take a gold watch from a patient's bedstand and put it in his pocket during an aid call. What do ya do?"

    I think they are looking for you to ascertain the facts as to what really happened, and then act accordingly.

    Just my 2 cents, but I think these types of questions are definitely still in use.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    I definitely remember question similar to the one about seeing illegal activity.
    The question, with variations, was always something like:
    "You observe firefighter Homer doing this (holding a can of beer,gambling,smelling of alcohol, smoking a funny cigarrette).
    The situation might not be 100% clearly illegal (he was holding a can of beer, maybe he just picked it up?).
    What do you do?"

    I've heard several different options for answers, some blatantly wrong, some better than others.

    "I would ask firefighter Homer what's going on."
    "I would talk to a senior ff about what I saw."
    "I would call the anomynous helpline for him."
    "I would report him immediately to the police!"

    Personally, I think telling the ff, in a NON THREATENING, NON-ACCUSATORY way, what you saw, and asking what's going on, is a good idea.

    Kind of like the questions about, "You see a ff take a gold watch from a patient's bedstand and put it in his pocket during an aid call. What do ya do?"

    I think they are looking for you to ascertain the facts as to what really happened, and then act accordingly.

    Just my 2 cents, but I think these types of questions are definitely still in use.
    hmmm so it would appear the key is to NOT jump to conclusions and throw the guy in the scenario under the bus.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, Va
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    Well you could turn a blind eye to it because you are the rookie like Major Spammer wants you to do.

    Of course it won't be too much longer before you and every other member of that department would be getting a new a-hole from the press, lawyers etc etc because no one did anything. Of course integrity in this business is going away.

    I mean just like Major Spammer said "How about it's none of your business? Don't you think if you see it the powers to be already know about it? If you are too busy shinning your boots, studying, and improving your skills with the tools you would be too busy to notice anything to be the snitch?"
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    carolinablue's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Within one of the phases of the hiring process for a metro dept I applied to was an entire section devoted towards situational/personal decision questions. I would definitively sit down and think about different situations that you might find yourself in either at the firehouse or on a fire/ems call and how you would choose to respond to each situation or scenario.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,470

    Default Oral Board Scenario: Questions

    This is a previous Firehouse.com article from the careers section here:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...stions/8$10754

    Question:
    Do you think you have what it takes to answer situation questions correctly?....answer these following questions. Your Captain asks you to come inside his office to review your final evaluation of probation. When you notice a smell of alcohol on his breath?

    Reply: This is a perfect example how you can be fooled on a scenario question. I believe there are only 30 oral board questions. They can be disguised in hundreds of different ways. This is one of the disguises for drinking on the job, which is number 12 on our 30 plus list below.
    Here is a simple way to break a disguised question down. Dissect the question down to its simplest term, one word, of what the question is really about (i.e. stealing, drugs, drinking, etc.). Once you have removed the disguise, you can place it in one of the 30 plus oral board questions you already have answers for.

    This is one of the simple tools we have to uncomplicate the oral board process.

    One way to help you do this is picture a piece of paper with a line drawn down the center. On the left of the line are issues dealing with ethics, such as stealing, drugs, or drinking. With ethical issues, you ask appropriate questions to determine what you suspect.

    If true, you don't deviate . . you go straight up to a supervisor. On the right side of the line is anything to do with getting along with others; you will go to great lengths to work it out before going to a supervisor. If you can decide what side of the line the question belongs, you have a better chance of knowing how to answer the question.

    I believe the precieved gambling issue is not something that would compromise the crew like drinking, drugs, etc. Could it be that the crew is trying to bag the rookie and see if he goes to the offiicer? Naw, the crew has never tried to bag the rookie?

    So take off the disguise of that this is your captain. Dissect the question down to its simplest form; one word. What is this about? Right, drinking. What side of the line is this on? Right or left. If it's on the left side of the line what do we do? Drinking is not tolerated. Right again, ask questions to determine if your suspicions are correct (are you drinking?). If so, you go straight up(why don't we go to our supervisor) no matter who or what rank is on the other side of the table; and stick to your answer no matter what. YOU WILL NEVER BE WRONG! TRUST ME!

    Fantasy land:
    The oral interview is like fantasy land. It is not like the real world. Your answers in the oral board might not be what you would do in real life. Don't fall into the trap. The board understands the rules. You can't fool them. If you try, the board will crank up the music and let you dance your fool head off. Don't try to intellectualize and bring heavy logic to this process. If you do, someone, who understands the rules in fantasy land better will get the badge. So, please follow the yellow brick road rules in fantasy land and don't look behind the curtain.

    Here's another way this question can be disguised:
    You go in the locker room and see a fellow firefighter drinking something that looks like alcohol. What do you do? The clone, soap opera answer would be: I would try to get him into the day room, play cards and try to smell his breath; or I would have him go home sick, or have another firefighter come into relieve him.

    These are all soap opera answers. Unfortunately they are taught in fire academies and fire technology programs. They will make you a "Clone" candidate. Don't go on this journey. They are insulting to the oral board. You will loose valuable points here. We are intelligent beings on the other side of the table. Give us credit for that. Don't start a soap opera.

    Ask a question that would verify your suspicions and give a direct answer; not a soap opera.

    Understand that if the oral board fires up a question that sounds like drinking on the job, it's going to be about drinking on the job. If it's a question that sounds like taking drugs on the job, it's going to be about taking drugs on the job; It's not going to be aspirin. If the question sounds like it's about stealing on the job, it's going to be about stealing on the job. If they fire up a question that sounds like sexual harassment, that's what it's going to be about, or they wouldn't bring it up.

    If they fire up these questions, take off the disguise ask questions to verify what you suspect decide what side of the line it belongs and then take action in fantasy land. Don't be like so many candidates by starting a soap opera.

    Here is the list of the "Thirty Plus Oral Board Questions":

    Thirty-Plus Basic Oral Board Questions
    1. Tell us about yourself.
    2. Why do you want to be a firefighter? When did you decide on this career?
    3. What is the job of a firefighter? Are you qualified?
    4. What have you done to prepare for this position?
    5. What are you bringing to the job?
    6. Why do you want to work for this city or agency?
    7. What do you know about his city or agency?
    8. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies?
    9. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
    10. What would your employer say about you?
    11. What are the attributes of a firefighter? What is the most important one to you?
    How Would You Handle the Following Scenarios?
    12. Drinking or drugs on the job?
    13. Stealing on the job?
    14. Conflict with another employee?
    15. Irate citizen?
    16. An employee crisis at an emergency?
    17. Sexual harassment?
    18. Racial situation?
    19. Conflicting orders at an emergency?
    20. An order that could place you in great danger or be morally wrong?
    21. What do you say when you don't know an answer to a question?
    22. Are you on any other hiring lists? What would you do if another city called you?
    23. When can you start if we offered you the job?
    24. How far do you want to go in the fire service? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    25. What are the quality traits of a firefighter? Which one is the most important to you?
    26. Have you ever been in an emergency situation? Tell us what you did?
    27. What word would best describes you in a positive way? A negative way?
    28. How do you handle conflict?
    29. Why would we select you over the other candidates?
    30. Do you have anything to add?

    It's your job to take off the disguise and find the real question and have a "Nugget" answer to satisfy the oral board, get your best score on the answer and cause the board to go onto the next question.

    This "Nugget" tool is one of several that can separate you from number 40 and below on a list to between 1 and 10 where you get a shot at the badge. You'll know the difference when the call comes in to go to the Chief's oral. It can happen quicker than you can imagine.

    Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!

    Captain Bob www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-18-2008 at 05:00 PM.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    131

    Default

    ok so gambling would be on the left side of the line since it is an ethics issue...and so i should go straight to the supervisor....


    but earlier you said the snot nose rookie should not do that.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. interview Questions
    By firemanmikey in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-02-2011, 09:08 AM
  2. How to answer specific oral interview question
    By DSMtuned in forum Testing & Fitness
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-05-2007, 01:36 AM
  3. Can someone please answer a few questions?
    By ABH2Crash in forum Americans Overseas
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-17-2006, 06:42 PM
  4. The Mystic Stayback will now answer your questions...
    By StayBack500FT in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 125
    Last Post: 08-16-2005, 02:45 PM
  5. Is anyone will to answer a few questions for me?
    By Jamie11 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-23-2005, 04:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register