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What's the Panel Thinking?

Do you know your part in auditioning for the part of a firefighter?

Captain Bob:

Since I received your audio/video tape program, things have turned around. I'm concerned about an oral I had yesterday. An oral board Battalion Chief for this large central valley department seemed disinterested, puffed air when I gave my answers, stared at the ceiling and said, "You can't do that" when I gave an answer to a scenario question. I felt horrible. What do you think was going on here?

Rob

Reply:

You can't know what the panel is thinking. Once you start trying, you will tank your oral board score. Just give your best performance no matter what you think the oral board is doing. Trying to interpret the expressions, attitudes of the panel, what they are writing, etc., is mental masturbation.

I had several candidates contact me after their orals where I was on their panel. They would tell me how they thought I was thinking or doing. They were never right.

The oral board is like auditioning for a part in a play. You have to know your part and your lines. You have to give your best performance no matter who is on the panel or what you imagine they are doing. You have about 20 minutes. The curtain is going up. It' the bright lights of Broadway. It's show time! You have to put on your top hat, grab you cane and step it out.

To show you how you can't tell, Rob called me back shocked that he had placed number 20 on a list he thought he failed. He will get a shot at a badge on the next hiring round.

The defense rests!

Another Victory:

Dear Captain Bob, My name is Jason and I want to take this time to say, THANK YOU! I recently tested for the City of Denver. The written test was the first step in the process and over 2,100 people showed for the test. As I waited outside the building, I thought to myself, "Do I really have a chance at getting a job here. I have worked in the fire service for the past eight years ( 7 as a military firefighter and 1 as a paid in NM). This was going to be a challenge for myself. I received the results for the written and I passed. Come to find out 1,400 people failed that test. They took 757 people to the oral boards. I didn't fare so well in Colorado Springs oral boards last year. I ranked something like 173 out of 250. That's when I contacted you for advice.

After being in the fire service for eight years, I thought I knew everything needed to be hired. Something went wrong and I wanted to know what it was. As you took the time to speak to me you noticed a few things wrong right off the bat. You pointed them out and I never even knew they existed.

I ordered your audio and video tapes right after our conversation. I studied them in and out, used a tape recorder, and practiced, practiced, practiced! I found out quickly what I didn't know. I went to the oral boards prepared. I as I walked in they stated 757 people were going through the boards. I tried to remain positive and just present my package. I was in and out of the interview shortly. I walked to the car and my wife asked how it went. I said, good but I'll find out in two weeks.

Yesterday, I went to the post office to get my mail and there was the letter from the City of Denver. I was to nervous to open it. Finally I decided it was time, my rank was 14th out of 757. I couldn't believe it 14th. WOW my total score on the board was 100.0000%. I ACED IT!!!!!! I immediately called my wife at work with the good news. She cried.

So I want to say THANK YOU CAPT. BOB for all your advice and information on your web site. I would have never score that high if it wasn't for you. I realize that I have a long way to go in the testing process but I feel you helped me with the hardest part. I will keep in touch and Thank You once again. Please feel free to edit any mistakes or shorten this book I wrote. Thanks Bob. Jason

Captain Bob's Reply:

It's been a busy few days for our Colorado Candidates. We have several in the top 30 in the Denver process, three starting the academy in Colorado Springs on August 30th, and two have been offered badges in West Metro Fire.

Just being a part of this celebration makes my heart full. I hope by sharing these stories conveys the message that it is essential to gain the skills for the most important part of the hiring process; THE ORAL BOARD!

It proves that again that, "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

"Captain Bob"

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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.

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