March 1, 2008
Estimated reading time 1 - 3 minutes for any segment!
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1. Quick Presentation Skills Tip
It wouldn't take you long sitting on an oral board panel or working with candidates to discover even with all their qualifications how many candidates are not prepared to take a firefighter interview.
Even when you attempt to give them a plan it doesn’t always sink in until they come up empty handed and hit a wall.
Some friends introduced an aspiring firefighter candidate Steve to us 5 years ago. A plan was established. Every once in awhile I would hear or run into Steve and checked on how he was progressing. I didn’t think he was getting the message about preparing for the interview.
Steve started adding on credentials, became a volunteer, worked a couple of seasons for CDF and landed a position with a regional park FD. He was still testing for a larger department but kept coming up empty handed even with an impressive resume. Hey, Steve are you using that recorder still? How about sitting down and we can go over some of the questions? Time was never right.
Then, Steve got into the running for big great department. The only thing between him and that badge was the oral. On Thanksgiving morning I ran into Steve at Starbucks. His interview was the following Monday. Forty were going in for 10 positions. Steve was sitting in the high 20’s.
I told Steve to sit down because I wanted to run 3 oral board questions by him. By the third question he said he was spent, his head was spinning and sure wasn’t ready for his interview. I told him our son Captain Rob was on his way to our house for Thanksgiving and if he had some time I would call him to drop by. Rob’s family was running late so I called Steve to come over. With both of us in the room, Rob starts a coaching session with the audio/video recording. The first question Steve goes silent. OK, lets try another. Same response. Oh, boy. I announced I was leaving the room.
Things finally got rolling. The big thing Rob brought out was Steve was doing a lot of spinning his wheels before he got around to answering the questions. Steve kept saying, thank you, thank you, I’m so glad I’m here.
Monday was game day. Steve calls and say that although he didn’t spin his wheels as much he’s not sure how good he did. I told him he probably did better than he thought.
We’ll good enough to nail number 9 position and starts the academy next week.
Steve said I had told him 5 years ago what he needed to do but it wasn’t until that morning at Starbucks that he realized how much time he had wasted in not preparing for the oral interview.
How much time have you wasted by not being ready on game day and you didn’t know it? How much money could you have save in your pursuit of being a firefighter if you hadn’t wasted opportunities by not scoring high enough like Steve and didn’t know it?
much more money could you and your wife had spent over the last year or so by
getting that badge? I asked a candidate who was from California and moved to
Florida to get a job. Now he was trying to come home. He flew out from Florida
to do coaching with Rob. He said as a Firefighter/Medic in Florida he was
pretty comfortable. When I told him I know firefighter/medics that were making
more than $140,000 a year (yea, with OT) he got real quite and then said that’s
$80,000 more than I make now.
That’s what a few posters wrote after I put up this video link:
I responded with: Ah, think scenario?
Still confused I posted:
what I saw in the video as a possible oral board question in this hiring
Someone posted yea, that get asked all the time. Ha
A few posters came back and said they were asked similar scenarios. Then this:
This is at least the third time I have heard about this video, I have received it twice via email. Do you really think that the Officers that are involved in any hiring process are not going to use this as an example or question. If you don't think they will use it, then you are not very prepared for anything that they will ask you. I have been asked questions regarding stealing, drinking in the station, you name it. This is something that a majority of the Fire Service has seen and has an opinion on.
It’s not uncommon for an agency
to ask an oral board question that has to do with a situation that happened on
their department i.e. You’re on a call and you see a bag of what looks like pot
fall out of your buddies shirt pocket. What do you do? This actually happened on
Check Rob’s Corner below for his posting on this topic.
Bottom line getting a badge is
all presentation skills!
have heard a number of questions asked that were a direct result of something
that has happened with that department.
CAPTAIN ROB (Thank you)
Capt Bob,I just wanted to let you know that you can finally add me to the long list of Capt Bob success stories! It has been a long 11 months, but I was officially notified today of my promotion to Lieutenant. Your program, but more importantly your coaching session, gave me the confidence I needed to get through the oral and physiological portions of the exam. The chief informed me today that I scored number one through all 3 portions of the exam. I believe that your program, along with countless hours of studying and hard work made the difference. I begin tomorrow morning at 8 am. Thanks again for your help and support. I will certainly recommend your program to the members who are preparing for the next exam.
Best regards,Jeff Kaplan,Lieutenant
Englewood (NJ) Fire Department
Got the Badge
Captain Bob; I am writing to inform you of my promotion to CAPTAIN here @ Salt Lake City Fire Department, on January 8,2008. THANK YOU!!!!!
Fraternally Marc Morger
Salt Lake City Fire Department
this was the first position I applied for. . .
A little background about myself. . .
I am 39 years old, married to my wife for 13 years and have two elementary school aged boys. Three years ago I was sitting behind a desk at a very comfortable career job of 10 years. . . and unhappy. After many late night discussions with my wife, we decided to move to a rural community with a lower cost of living in order for me to pursue a more fulfilling career. At the time I didn’t know it would be firefighting. A few months after moving I went to my local fire department and signed up to be a volunteer. Volunteering did for me what 7 years of school (BS & MBA) and 12 years of working in private industry couldn’t do. . . it showed me the opportunity for a career that is the most personally fulfilling thing I have ever been a part of.
About a year ago I decided I was going to pursue a career position in the fire service. I got EMT-B certified through my local department, put myself through a community college fire academy (where I graduated top of my class) and began picking up as many per-diem shifts as I could for experience. Of course, I purchased your book and CD and followed it religiously.
About three weeks ago I passed the written for a local, rural department and was then invited to the oral board. After the oral board last week I was invited to the Chief’s interview which was yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon the chief called and offered me the badge and I start next Wednesday!
By the way, this was the first position I applied for. . .
While we have never met and only spoke very briefly on the phone, I want to thank you for your help. While I believe I am a qualified candidate, I truly would not have been able to perform in the oral as well as I did without your help. Sincerely, Lance
Oh yeah, I still get choked up about every 5 minutes thinking about it. . .
Got the Call:
Here's what I feel helped me the most.
I Made it!
Capt. Bob, I finally secured my conditional offer of employment yesterday at 4pm. I could have never made it without your help. I'm a 36 year old energizer bunny with all the pressure in the world on my shoulders. Your program is the real deal. I tested for 15 years before I received the gold package. Thank you very, very , very, much from the bottom of my heart. I can't put my feelings into words right now and I hope you understand. Make sure you write me back to tell me what my badge number will be. Training starts March 5th. Tony Grazziano
Tony’s badge is 2,535 in our program.
Capt Bob,Just wanted to let you know the good news. I came out number three on the engineers exam and have been given a badge. There was three immediate openings and there will be two more this year. I was in the first round! Who would of thought after four short years three different departments I would get promoted to engineer. I also have gotten married and now have a daughter. For anyone that doesn't believe your program works is out of there mind. I am living proof that it works and has worked multiple times. I can't thank you enough for all the help and countless phone conversations you have given me. With a little hard work and motivation you can achieve anything. The next step is Captain and even though I'm not ready yet I will be when the time comes. To everyone out there that wants this job don't stop Trying and don't give up it is the best job in the world and is worth doing what it takes to get a badge. Thank you and you will be hearing from me. Please pass this on to your son Captain Rob who did my entry level coaching, and thank him as well I know you have helped many candidates and will surly help many more to achieve there dream. Chris
I got the badge!
Captain Bob, and Captain Rob,I am still overwhelmed and at a loss for words. One thing I can say is thank you! I am now coming back home where I started as a Reserve Firefighter. The service that you two provide is so valuable. After purchasing your gold package and driving out to Captain Rob's house in Gurneyville for a private coaching session my scores sky rocketed. I noticed that I had an edge over the competition. By using your service as well as the service wwwFireCareers.com I was able to stay on top of the game. I continue to send prospective candidates your way and will continue to do so in the future.
Thanks again! I have to go and begin packing!! Jared
More badges here: http://eatstress.com/testbest.htm
Because I'm a man, when I lock my keys in the car, I will fiddle with a
coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in. Calling AAA is not an
option. I will win.
Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the
hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If
another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, 'I used to be
able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and
everything, I wouldn't know where to start.' We will then drink a
couple of beers and break wind, as a form of holy communion.
Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold , I need someone to bring me
soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You're a woman.
You never get as sick as I do, so for you, this is no problem .
Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at
the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic
items like 'cumin' or 'tofu.' For all I know, these are the same thing.
Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops working, I will
insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me
twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back
Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand
while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole
show looking for it, though one time I was able to survive by holding a
calculator instead (applies to engineers only)
Be cause I'm a man, there is no need to ask me what I'm thinking about.
The true answer is always either beer, sports, sex, cars or sex. I
have to make up something else when you ask, so just don't ask.
Because I'm a man, you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie.
Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't... and if you
are feeling amorous afterwards . . then I will certainly at least
remember the name and recommend it to others.
Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine. The color is
just fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine,
too. Either pair of shoes is fine. Jewelry adds to the outfit, any
pieces are fine. With the belt or without it, looks fine.
It does not make your rear end look too big. It was the pasta and
potatoes and margaritas that did that. Your hair is fine. You look
fine. Can we just go now?
Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the year 2008, I will share
equally in the housework. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the
cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest. Like
wandering around in the garden with a beer, wondering what to do.
This has been a public service message for women to better understand
Remember, absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!
Although our products are sold separately, I would suggest you order Gold Package Program and our companion "It's Your Turn in the Hot Seat" CD series here: Special offer program