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Five Nuggets for successful Oral boards

30 sample oral board questions

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Check out how candidates have improved their position in gaining a badge. What changed?

Who’s Captain Bob?

Rob’s corner:  Wisdom and insight

Seminar dates

Links to other firefighter web sites

Coyright 1998 - 2010

 

 

"Getting the

job of your

dreams is

like winning

the lottery!"

 

 

 

 

 

"Nothing

counts 'til

you have

the badge

Nothing!"

 

Anything

less and

you're

still the

bridesmaid.

 

 

 

 

 

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Everyone’s an Expert

I had a chance to do a mock oral for a large department in preparation for their interviews.

The Capt I interviewed w/ gave me some great suggestions. One question he did ask, in which I said, "I don't know the answer" was, "why is it important for a fire station to have diverse ethnicities". I now know.

He said it's important for the community to see their race/culture/ethnicity present when you arrive at an emergency. The public feels more comfortable when "one of their own" is present. I think it's probably good to have ethnic representation in the firehouse just to keep things even keel as well. Especially now days w/ tensions. Thought this might be something other candidates would find useful.

Reply: I would not use this type of answer.  Think about it?  If he gave you this answer he has given it to how many others?  You would be a clone.  Also, I wouldn't like the answer from this angle if I were a member on your panel.  I have minority friends who would be pissed if they heard this.  More here: http://www.eatstress.com/diversity3.htm

Rob had a candidate Dave in for coaching at our home testing for this same department.  He asked me some questions before the coaching session. One of the captains told him against our suggests to dump the whole load if they ask you “Tell us a little about yourself.” Just keep talking until they stop you.  I told him BS!  It’s not a scored question/answer.  An icebreaker question just to get you comfortable in the chair.  A minute or less about you, your hobbies and interests.  If they look baffled ask them if they want to hear more.  They won’t!

He said, “Well this captain is on the panel.”  Then you get to choose what direction you want to go in.  This captain might want to hear the rambling but if the other raters don’t it could hurt your oral board score.  Rob agreed.

So, this was a last minute coaching session on a Thursday two weeks ago for an interview the following Monday.  Rob was driving home from work that next Monday and his cell phone rings.  It’s Dave.  He just got out of his oral board for LA City.  He was walked down the hall, told he just scored a 100% on his oral and was handed a background packet.  WOW!  Dave said, “My head is still spinning.  This is the best I’ve ever done.”

CB Reply:  Oh, yea go ahead and dump the whole load.

Back to the original candidate above: 

I have a question for you. If asked what my weakness is, I would have to respond with this for mine. I can be controlling. - I have leadership qualities, I like to plan and organize, sometimes micromanage, and when things don't go the way I've planned, I tend to be controlling. Now, I've learned over the years (having a wife & two kids) to be more opened minded, open to suggestions and go with the flow. I'm slowly learning things don't always have to go my way.

Please let me know what you think when you have the chance.

CB Reply: I can be controlling.  What????? You can't use this answer.  They will never hire you if you do.  Think about it?  This makes you sound anal.  Is this the guy we want to put in a firehouse to drive everyone crazy?  Keep is simple.  More on weaknesses here: http://www.eatstress.com/weakness.htm

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