Get Prepared for the Oral Board
Even though I've stressed the importance of being ready for the oral board, I continue to be baffled how many wait until the last minute or are poorly prepared. They have somehow convinced themselves that something magical is going to happen in the oral board and they will be the ones selected.
Bottom line most candidates don't do enough interviewing to get good at it. This is also true for any job interviews. You've got around 20 minutes for a 25+ year career. How are you going to stun the oral board panel to convince them to give you the badge over the other candidates?
Everyone that called about coaching while I was at the helm last were a week or less from their oral board. One called on Friday that his interview was on Monday (three days away). He said he had our program. OK, have you been practicing with a tape recorder? Well, no. Doesnít the program hammer away about how you need to hear what the panel is going to hear out of your mouth? Yes. I know itís my fault. I just bought a tape recorder and will start practicing tonight. Any chance I can get in? Sorry, we donít do coaching sessions until a candidate has been practicing their script with a tape recorder. How can someone think they can show up for a coaching session without being prepared? Itís like pulling teeth for us and a waste of your time and money. Look here for a copy of a script: http://www.eatstress.com/workboolette.htm
Calls come in like this one. Hey, they sprung it on me. Rob says, ďNo they didnít. If you have put in an application, taken the written, or physical ability ... YOU HAVE AN ORAL INTERVIEW IN YOUR FUTURE; YOU JUST DONíT KNOW THE DATE YET.Ē
I believe a candidate should prepare for their oral board early on in their pursuit. Because if you canít pass the oral board, no amount of education or experience is going to get you that badge. I don't know about you, but I would want to place myself in a position where they can't go around me after that twenty-minute oral.
A candidate called recently that he had gone to a chiefs interview last year and didnít make the cut. He took the test for this department again this year. He got the call again for the chiefs interview. So, even though he knew he needed a coaching session before the chiefs interview last year, had a year to get in to complete a session, calls that he has 3 days to get ready for his next chiefs interview and can he get in?
Then I get this series of e-mails complete without spell check:
Capt. Bob,I recently tested for a FD. This was one of those test
that you take, and they grade it on the spot and send you right off to the
agility test all in the same day. Well I was fortunate enough to pass the
test and they told me that I have an oral in 7 days. I was shocked that it
had all happened this fast. I have to say that I am a little worried because
I feel like I dont have enough time to prepare. I have been on your website
and have been practicing the sample questions. I also went to the city
website and aquired as much info about the dept. as I could. My question is
if I only have 7 days too prepare for this, and it is my first oral do I
have enough time and have you seen people be successful in my similar
circumstance?Thanks for the help. Jeff
I replied: Yes, I have seen candidates turn it around in 7 days if they put together their package and practice with a tape recorder. To do that I suggest you call our distributor and order our Gold Package next day service. You will have it tomorrow. It will give you everything you need to be ready in the time you have. Here is the formula: http://www.eatstress.com/formula.htm
Capt. Bob, I don't know if you remember me, but I sent you an email about a week ago. I
told you that I just passed a test, and they only gave me one week to prepare
for the interview. I guess one week is enough time, but it was my first oral
interview. Well, Good news, I found out today that I passed. I was so
excited. I did what you said and went out and bought a tape recorder. I
found that in the beginning I sounded very unconfident, but by the end I
started to sound like I knew what I was saying on tape. Well I am writing
because I have a paramedic practical on Wednesday, in two days!!! I am
wondering if they did not specify the attire then what is appropriate? Also
what should i expect if I make it to the chiefs oral? Is it a little more
relaxed, in the sense that the Chief is just selecting the best individuals,
or should I expect to get a variety of questions again? Thanks!!!
Reply: Good job! Now, let's take it one step at a time. For the practical attire, usually a collared shirt and nice pants will do, but call and ask. On they practical, don't get confused, just treat the patient as you would on any call.
Did you get our program? It covers the chief's oral. There is also a chiefs interview section on our web site in the FREE 101 Inside Secrets How to Get a Badge here: http://eatstress.com/faq.htm Get back to me for more.
Only when I followed up did I get this e-mail:
Capt. Bob,Thank you so much for being interested in the career that I am pursueing.
Well I had my medic practical and passed. Next was the chiefs oral two days
later. When I walked into the room I was greated by FIVE CHIEFS! I felt an
instant nervousness and panic. The chief was very nice and told me that they
just wanted to see if they could live with me for the next 20 years. Well
I'm not sure if I ever really recovered from that nervous feeling. I felt
that I was so nervous that I had a hard time expressing my responses to the
questions. I left feeling really unsure. Well unfortunatly, they had made
calls yesterday and I didn't recieve one. But its ok it was my first one and
now I know what is expected of me. Luckily, I have another oral interview
Hereís the part that still has me scratching my head:
I still want to get your interview package. (I'm
sure you hear that all the time.) Between motgage payments and my wife
getting her hair done I am going to have to wait till the end of the month.
Any ways, thank you for the follow up on my progress. Jeff
Reply: What this candidate faced was a 5 against 1 in the chiefs interview. Itís the typical gold badge white shirt fever that through off his game plan. This is something that you can prepare for. This is a perfect example of candidates having great opportunities to gain a badge but they didnít take advantage of the resources that could put them over the top. To be ready for the interview that is going to separate them from badge and no badge.
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"