Stuck in Lodi Again

Capt. Bob,

First off, I just want to say thanks for all the valuable
information on your "eatstress" website. I have never found anything or anyone that has been able to answer so many questions with such clear,concise and honestly painful answers!

Anyway Cap, I have been an active firefighter for about seven years now (1 volly, 4 military, 2 federal) and work for two off-base agencies on my days off; one FD and one ambulance service. Unfortunately I feel as though I am stuck in a dilemma. I enjoy my P/T gig much more than my full-time and now I'm in the running for a crew-chief (captain) position with a very good chance of making it, along with a few other guys.

My problem is this, I am a little worried that if I get promoted and accustomed to all that $$, I'll land myself permanently in a job where I've decided I don't want to be. I'm not in this for the money, I just want to be MORE active and do what I enjoy.

Well, needless to say I've been testing like a mad dog to get out of the federal fire-service and into the city/municipal sector for about the past year with hardly any luck. Starting back at the bottom is NO problem honestly, but I really feel as though my oral scores are what's screwing me in getting a job offer. How does one determine where to draw the line on when to "blow your own horn" or when to "shut the hell up" when changing from one fire-service career to another? I was just recently turned down
(with a letter magnetized to my fridge for proof) for a position with a local large city department because I had too much experience/certs! 

What's the deal? Why would a department even let you continue onto the interviews if they've already seen your file and brought you there? The only thing I can come up with was that I blew chunks on the interview. They just had to word my "you sucked" letter politically correct. I always try not to stray from the question, but I do. 

I try not to beat around the bush, but I dance around it. I also try to not look too clueless, so I give a relatively informed answer that ends up coming out sounding like bulls#*%!  What kind
of answer in situational questions are they looking for?

The "Fantasy Land" as you put it, seems fake or book generated, but honesty sounds a little too heroic and reeks of a free-lancer. HELP! If I could answer this question, I'd probably be away from this facility and out there loving my F/T job as much as my P/T job. Comments, Suggestions or Advice?

Seriously Grateful
for ANY Info,
Federally-Bummed in

Bummed in Utah:

We hear from candidates like you on a regular basis.  They finally figure
out that the oral board is where you get the job.

The biggest problem with candidates going for a lateral or entry level
position is they don't leave their time and rank in their locker.  Even if
you don't like it, it is fantasyland.  You have to follow the yellow brick
road and not look behind the curtain.  Otherwise, you will stay where you
are.  Frustrated and embarrassed.  Not fun is it?

Here's what we know after 30 years of working with candidates like you.
Those who get our audio/video entry level program, practice with a tape
recorded (you have been practicing with a recorded, right?  Probably not,
even though I pound and pound it on the web site), and come back and do
private coaching, get into the Olympic camp.  That's where you get a shot at
the real badge.

I suspect that if you got a private coaching session, it would quickly
reveal where you are stuck.

The audio/video program comes with a no questions full refund if you're not
satisfied.   You're at no risk except you might get a badge. You wrote:

<I have never found anything or
> anyone that has been able to answer so many questions with such clear,
> concise and honestly painful answers!

If this is true, then you're going to love the program.

We had a skeptical firefighter come to us recently in your situation that
was going for a promotional.  He had tested before. Like you, he wasn't sure
about this Fantasyland stuff, using stories to deliver points and
personalizing his answers so he would be like a clone.  But he decided he
had nothing to lose.  He called last month blown away because he came out
number ###1.  Not only number 1; but #3 points ahead of number #2.  He is a
true believer.  Ask him if it works?

If I were you, I would also take the promotional test and decide then what
to do if the job were offered.

Hope you like the attached first edition of our e-mail newsletter.  You can
sign up too.

Let me know if I can help you further.

"Nothing counts til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

"Captain Bob"

Ask "Captain Bob" Any Question

Top of Page


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 books "Eat Stress For Breakfast" ISBN 09657620-3-3, "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.

E-mail: captbob@verio.com  Web site: www.eatstress.com