For most candidates, the oral board is the most difficult part of the hiring process. Cultural diversity questions can be the toughest. It's no as easy for most people to just use common sense. We don't give answers to questions. If we did that, we would make candidates into clones of everyone else. Too many college and fire academy programs are doing that. Yes, we get the wheels turning in the candidates mind.
Just like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, we don't give our candidates anything they don't already have. The success of our program is convincing candidates to develop their own signature stories of their personal life experiences. No one can tell you life story. No one! Many don't realize they have already experienced cultural diversity going to school, in the military and at work. Once they can identify situations that demonstrate that understanding, and put it in a story form as part of their answer to this question in an oral board, is where it starts making a difference.
Didn't you prepare for the written and physical agility part of the hiring process? Then why wouldn't you prepare for the most important part of the hiring process . . . the dreaded oral board? This is where you go for all the marbles. If can't pass the oral board high enough, you will never, ever get a badge!
Part of getting the job of a firefighter, is convincing the oral board you can do the job before you get it. Your personal life experience stories convince the oral board that you not only know the answer to an oral board question, you have already lived it!
Here's a testimony how it works:
I was having trouble with the cultural diversity questions. I scored a 78 in Denver after a poor answer in this area. I asked Captain Bob if he knew anything about cultural diversity after a class he presented at our college. He did! After going through his audio/video program, and although I didn't have the money, Captain Bob gave me a private coaching session. I learned I had a personal dynamite answer for cultural diversity and the rest of my oral board answers.
Three months later, I went to the chief's oral in Las Vegas. I was ready when they asked the cultural diversity question. After the interview, one of the Chief's said, "I don't know if we're supposed to say anything, but that was the best answer we have heard on cultural diversity."
Thirty-five hundred took the test. My oral board score jumped from 78 to a 96! I was one of the first hired for next academy. Since then, they sent me to medic school.
Believe me when I tell you I would not be in uniform right now if it wasn't for Captain Bob.
Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!
Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry level and promotional candidates to get their badge. He is a retired 28-year Hayward, Ca. Captain, speaker/author of the audio/video program "Conquer the Job Interview," the book "Fire Up Your Communication Skills" ISBN 09657620-6-8 and a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. You can book him as a speaker or get a copy of his books and tapes by calling toll free at 888-238-3959.