Veterans Taking Entry Level Tests
I often hear comments like this one where seasoned firefighters test for entry level positions for another or larger department:
I have been in the fire service for 20 years both vol and full time. Last
year I had to relocate across the state, leaving my full time ff/pm
position. It took me 10 years to get that job as a white male - Now I'm
looking over here and have been passed over several times for the
younger people. I have all the credentials and the certs and still - I've
been passed over! I think the testing should be thrown out if you have
been working in this career for over 5 years, let's look at the resume
and past employers!
The biggest problem I've seen on oral boards with these seasoned veterans is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nose rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board's skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.
It's not the younger candidates that are keeping them from getting the job. It's them! Presented correctly, there is no way a younger candidate can match their personal life and firefighting experience. This is a delicate balance here. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying.
The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan is in place.
"If your bent on revenge . . . You had better dig two graves".
Because, "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
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.