Why Don't More Candidates Do
constantly baffled why more candidates donít get in a coaching session to
improve their interview scores so they can nail a badge. But as someone said
earlier about candidates not showing up at even FREE seminars where they can
improve their chances, "They just arenít hungry
I think what is more interesting is since the written and agility are pass/fail
and the oral board is 100% of your score to get hired that more candidates donít
place a high enough priority on what is needed to make this happen.
They have somehow convinced themselves with college, academy, medic programs,
current firefighters and others that they have what it takes to be selected over
the other candidates.
They do little or nothing to prepare for the oral, which in most instances is
100% of the score to get hired. I really believe before you pack on tons of
classes, certs, degrees, experience and every other merit badge you can think of
you should see if youíre capable of passing a 20 minute oral board (no not a
mock interview where they probably wonít tell you how bad you are), but the real
in the "hot Seat" deal of a live interview to see what youíre made of.
This is what causes me to shake my head. Because, if you canít put it together
and canít or wonít do what is necessary to obtain the necessary oral board
skills, you are wasting your and everyone else in your lifeís time and money
because you will never, ever see a badge. The rubber meets the road in the oral
Itís the wise, savvy candidate that books a coaching session long before they
need it. Then they will have time to practice what they have gained from the
session. You would think with the high success rate of candidates getting hired
after a coaching session more would be using this approach.
As Rob wrote:
I do get quite a few calls each month, sometimes over 100. But the problem is
that I only do so many sessions and book up quickly.
Yea, it got to the point where Rob was turning himself inside out trying to
accommodate those who waited until the last minute when they got the letter
like: Help! My oral board is next Monday. They sprung it on me. Rob says, no
they didnít. When you turned in the application you knew there was an oral
board in your future. You just didnít know when. Many are shocked that we are
not waiting by the phone ready to do the next coaching session when you get your
So working a firefighter job, driving 2 hours to work, the demands of a family
and adding to the mix the pressure of trying to handle those calling in a panic.
Rob realized that how does your not planning ahead all of a sudden become and
emergency for me? Thatís when he started doing only a set number of coaching
sessions a month. He often books a month in advance.
Rob tries to get back to those who try and contact him. But with the large
number of last minute calls and e-mails he gets especially when several agencies
are testing around the same time itís not always possible. Could you field 30 or
more requests coming in at once? When they canít get in they contact me
thinking I have some kind or pull. I donít schedule Robís appointments. I
primarily do promotional coaching now.
You should hear the long drawn out sad stories why it isnít their fault they
waited to the last minute and they will do anything to get in. Or, they say it
is their fault and fall on the mercy of the court. My heart goes out to them,
but they knew at some point this was coming and they needed to be ready if
they're going to get a shot at that badge.
When Rob was getting ready for his last captains probation test he did not
schedule any coaching sessions. I stepped in to cover the bases during that
period of time. It was refreshing to do these sessions. An amazing thing can
take place in coaching sessions. Candidates realize where they have been stuck,
valuable information they are leaving out, answers that will not get them their
highest score on the questions that are being asked, and how to personalize
their answers instead of sounding like a clone.
Two of these candidates where stuck in process. During their sessions I saw a
transformation I have witnessed before. It was like they came out of a cocoon
to morph into the firefighter candidate they could be. As Paul has said they
were now in a position to crack the code.
Both candidates had interviews the following week. Both were called back to
their first ever chiefís interview followed immediately by job offers. I was at
a badge ceremony last week where one of the candidates received his badge. His
bride to be (the wedding date has been set for Oct) gave me a big hug. She told
me after his coaching session he was an entirely different person.
So, if youíre beating your head against the wall trying to figure out what you
need to do next, make an appointment in advance with Rob to find out where you
are stuck. More on Coaching here
The ball is in your court.
Fire "Captain Bob"
The proof is in the badge!
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Author, book Becoming A Firefighter--The Complete Guide to Your Badge!
Ask "Captain Bob" Any
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