IS IT NECESSARY?
I said that I would always visit a station when I heard a story of a guy who entered an interview and was ask did you visit any of our stations and get the information packet that admin made up? This sounded like a sure fire way to NOT be successful. But after testing a lot it becomes a serious pain in the butt.
I know I will catch alot of flack for saying that. But think about it, if you take all the test you can because you really want the job, you could potentially have to visit like 3 or 4 different dept in a month. And it is the same routine over time. Call admin for a stations #, then call the station and explain you would like to visit to ask questions on the dept/personnel/training/equipment.
And, you must not show up empty handed (unwritten rule). At my dept last time we tested we had people showing up left and right. some brought stuff some didn't. It really did not seem to bother anyone. This one guy in particular who sat down with us and really gave me a good feeling did not get hired. I doubt the oral board even had a clue that he visited the station and all the information he gathered did not benefit him because I saw the interview questions. So my question is this. Are we just like the Mayor running for office and trying to show our faces around and campaign??? What about the buddy system when visiting stations?? Is this looked upon poorly?? Thanks in advance.
Captain Bob's Reply:
Yea, it's not a day at the beach. But, it can be used in part of your answer on what you have done to prepare for the position; that you have been by some of the stations and what you observed; enthusiasm, skills, dedication, willingness to be of service to those trying to become firefighters.
You can also learn something unique about the department that few if any of the other candidates can say in their oral i.e. did you know that San Jose has dry drum hydrants?
More than one candidate was stumped in their oral when they were asked, "Did you get by any of our stations and pick up the oral board packet?"
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!" Ask Dan
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.