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  • #61
    For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

    Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by nwavant View Post
      For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

      Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?
      You could be reading too much into these sections on the application. These sections are included in most city applications no matter if it's for firefighter of sewage treatment level one. I know this because I saw a guy in the hiring process that was being hired for sewage treatment and his application was the same as mine. There are more things to worry about.

      Often panel members don't get to see your application. If they do they don't always read it.

      If you meet the minimum requirements to take the test adding in why you're applying is usually only a formality. I know a candidate who put in the why section, "You're hiring and I'm looking. He was hired because this didn't make any difference. He was hired because he blew the doors off his oral board.

      "other remarks"???? A catch all that's on most applications. Are these secions going to catch someone's eye in HR and say hey this is the one? Not likely. On most tests they are only making sure you meet the minimum requirements to take the test. Meet the minimum requirements and move forward to written, agility and the oral board where you make your best case presentation to be considered to be hired.

      This is not how you're going to make the cut to go forward. It's being prepared for every step of the hiring process before you show up. That's how you going to move forward and make the cut.
      _____________________________________________

      "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

      More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
      http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


      Fire "Captain Bob"

      www.eatstress.com

      Comment


      • #63
        I'm actually working on two applications both are for after the test, but prior to the Oral board. Would that change your thought/answer?

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by nwavant View Post
          I'm actually working on two applications both are for after the test, but prior to the Oral board. Would that change your thought/answer?
          Is it the identical application? If not it could be a personal history questionaire PHQ.
          _____________________________________________

          "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

          More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
          http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


          Fire "Captain Bob"

          www.eatstress.com

          Comment


          • #65
            Capt Bob...

            Thank you for all of your advice. I would have to say that it was because of your website that I was able to score as well as I did on my interview with LACoFD last April. I scored a 94. That put me A HALF point from being in Group A but it taught me a valuable lesson! Dont wait until 2 days before your interview to start researching interviewing for a FD position!

            But my shortcoming wasn't all bad though! It prompted me to better myself while waiting to apply again and deciding if I wanted to stay in CA. Well, I went to paramedic school in the meantime and just graduated this past Saturday (6/25). While on my paramedic internship, I interviewed with a dept in the midwest and used the techniques you spell out. I'm happy and proud to say that I start Rookie school with this dept July 18 (3 short weeks away!)

            Oh and icing on the cake...if I HAD scored that extra HALF POINT I would most likely be still waiting to get into the Academy. But instead, I've gotten my "P" and a badge...and that's all that matters!

            Thanks so much for your devotion to helping any and all of us.

            For all you looking for work....there's no shame in looking nationwide! GO GET YOUR BADGE....IT'S NOT GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR YOU!

            Best of luck! And thanks again Capt Bob!

            Comment


            • #66
              One is a PHQ but the other is more if an application even though try both have very similar questions.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by nwavant View Post
                One is a PHQ but the other is more if an application even though try both have very similar questions.
                Preliminary History Questionnaire (PHQ)

                Many departments are including an online or hand out PHQ as part of the application process.

                The PHQ is designed to eliminate candidates early on in the hiring process before they spend lots of time and money on those who they would tank later.

                So you fill out a PHQ. Then you receive a notice of PERMANENT DISQUALIFICATION! or, There Could Be a Delay in Your Background. What happened?

                Well, you probably answered correctly or incorrectly yes to a question that had a threshold that was an automatic disqualification. You still might not be out of the woods on some of your answers. They could come back to haunt you later in the process. Make sure you go back and double check your answers before you click continue. You would be surprised what percentages of candidates are being disqualified from this process.

                Threshold
                So where’s the threshold? Did you answer yes to a question on drug use? How many times? Answer yes to a question on how many times you had drank more than the legal limit and drive? Driving or criminal record? Bad credit?

                So what do you do?
                Before you submit future on-line or hand out printed forms double check your answers for errors and think twice before you step on any land mines that could take you out of the process.
                _____________________________________________

                "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                Fire "Captain Bob"

                www.eatstress.com

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by nwavant View Post
                  For me the "why" is easy and I have been able to whittle down my passion into a nice, concise paragraph that usually fits withing the allotted space.

                  Where I struggle is the "other remarks" spot. I see this an area to drive home the fact that I want to work for their department based upon xyz reason(s), what I can bring to the department, and a short thanks for consideration. Is there something that "should" be included in this section?
                  IMO: No.
                  We're talking the Personal History Questionnaire for TFD I believe here. This is required to be handwritten still as well I think? Either way, I would hold off on filling anything out the "Other Remarks" area. Those are more for clarification on or in addition to other parts of the questionnaire, not to sell yourself. That's what the interview is for.

                  Leave no gaps or omit anything in work history between the two. That can be considered purposeful omission (read "lying").

                  *Make a copy of it as well. If you don't move on now and are asked to come back for additional testing, the PHQ is required to be turned in again, and completed in handwriting only. Copies will not be accepted.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by ffbam24 View Post
                    IMO: No.
                    We're talking the Personal History Questionnaire for TFD I believe here. This is required to be handwritten still as well I think? Either way, I would hold off on filling anything out the "Other Remarks" area. Those are more for clarification on or in addition to other parts of the questionnaire, not to sell yourself. That's what the interview is for.

                    Leave no gaps or omit anything in work history between the two. That can be considered purposeful omission (read "lying").

                    *Make a copy of it as well. If you don't move on now and are asked to come back for additional testing, the PHQ is required to be turned in again, and completed in handwriting only. Copies will not be accepted.
                    Thanks. Always good to hear both sides. I have heard from others that it has to be filled out, even one department further south as stated that this section IS what is looked at by the higher ups to even bring you in for the next steps.
                    I guess it really is department dependent.

                    Oh and I always keep copies of all apps, PHQ, and other forms/certs submitted!

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Capt Bob,
                      I am a volunteer firefighter. I have worked as a Paramedic on a 911 ambulance in a major EMS system for three years, I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages. I feel like my resume is coming together but it seems to me that the answers to "What have you done to prepare for this job?", "what are you bringing to this job?", and "why should we select you over the other candidates?" are very similiar questions. I am not sure how to differentiate my answers for these questions. Any advice?

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Aking View Post
                        Capt Bob,
                        I am a volunteer firefighter. I have worked as a Paramedic on a 911 ambulance in a major EMS system for three years, I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages. I feel like my resume is coming together but it seems to me that the answers to "What have you done to prepare for this job?", "what are you bringing to this job?", and "why should we select you over the other candidates?" are very similiar questions. I am not sure how to differentiate my answers for these questions. Any advice?
                        They are not the same answers. How many oral boards have you had? I would need to know your answers first. Not here where everyone will clone them.

                        Originally posted by Aking View Post
                        Capt Bob,
                        I can perform an adequate ems assessment in 5 languages.
                        Great asset. During your answer for "What have you done to prepare for the job" say a short message in several of those languages. Then, translate what you said. You just demostrated your great ability in the field.

                        Case in Point: Mark’s family is from Russia. They spoke Russian at home when he was growing up. He wanted to work for a big fire department in another state that had a Russian speaking population. He targeted this department as he brushed up on his Russian.

                        During his oral board Mark answered a portion of his answer in fluent Russian. One of the panel members from this department said, “Good to have you here (in Russian).”

                        A few weeks later Mark gets the call. It’s the panel member offering him the job in Russian.

                        The point here is start writing down your special unique qualities that will give you that competitive advantage on your oral board game day that will inspire the board to say we want to hire this person. It can happen just that fast (like Mark) when you know what it is for you.
                        _____________________________________________

                        "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                        More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                        http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                        Fire "Captain Bob"

                        www.eatstress.com

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by kidCLEVER38 View Post
                          Capt Bob...

                          Thank you for all of your advice. I would have to say that it was because of your website that I was able to score as well as I did on my interview with LACoFD last April. I scored a 94. That put me A HALF point from being in Group A but it taught me a valuable lesson! Dont wait until 2 days before your interview to start researching interviewing for a FD position!

                          But my shortcoming wasn't all bad though! It prompted me to better myself while waiting to apply again and deciding if I wanted to stay in CA. Well, I went to paramedic school in the meantime and just graduated this past Saturday (6/25). While on my paramedic internship, I interviewed with a dept in the midwest and used the techniques you spell out. I'm happy and proud to say that I start Rookie school with this dept July 18 (3 short weeks away!)

                          Oh and icing on the cake...if I HAD scored that extra HALF POINT I would most likely be still waiting to get into the Academy. But instead, I've gotten my "P" and a badge...and that's all that matters!

                          Thanks so much for your devotion to helping any and all of us.

                          For all you looking for work....there's no shame in looking nationwide! GO GET YOUR BADGE....IT'S NOT GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR YOU!

                          Best of luck! And thanks again Capt Bob!
                          kidCLEVER38 Congrats on your success! Looks like you developed a plan B as a resourse to gain your badge. Many have figured this out and tested far and wide to gain their badges. Here's another one:

                          Life can be Plan B

                          Jon and his 9-fire technology academy buddies set out to target six departments in the northwest they wanted to work for. Their plan A would cultivate these departments and be in a position when they tested. After almost two years no one got hired or was high enough to be considered. Then Jon read a section of this web site that encouraged candidates to test wherever they could get to.

                          This made since to Jon especially when he figured out that he was only able to take two tests a year. Like hands on academy and education skills if you don’t use your oral board skills you will get rusty faster than trying to throw a 35’ wood ladder or laying a line when you haven’t don’t it for awhile.

                          This is not taking into consideration that departments don’t always test every two years switch to medics only, or hire only laterals.

                          So, non medic Jon tried to convince his 9 buddies to expand their horizons and establish plan B to test any and every where they could to keep their oral board skills at the cutting edge. None of his buddies were interested because they believed that because of their academy training and education and how they were laying the ground work it would only be a matter of time before one of the six departments on plan A would pay off.

                          In a short time non-medic Jon found out the more tests he took the better he got at taking tests. His oral board scores started climbing and he was getting called back for chief interviews. Then BINGO! Jon gets a job offer from THE PREMIUM fire department in the southwest (yea, that one). As he was packing to leave he tried to convince his buddies on what helped him get hired. He was surprised they weren’t interested. Didn’t need it. They were still banking on plan A.

                          His fiancé joins him to do her internship to complete her degree.

                          It’s now 3 years later and Jon’s dream department, THE PREMIUM department in the state of Washington (yep, that’s the one), announces their test. Guess what? Jon gets a job offer and gets to go home with his new bride, also from Washington.

                          Again he offers his buddies the information that has got him hired twice. He is shocked again when they said they don’t need it.

                          So, how many of his 9 buddies were hired during this period of time? None, zip, nada.

                          Sometimes life can be plan B.
                          _____________________________________________

                          "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                          More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                          http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                          Fire "Captain Bob"

                          www.eatstress.com

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Capt. Bob Smith

                            I DID IT! Wednesday July 27th was my interview, I just got a call from the chief yesterday that I got the job and start the academy Aug 30th. Not to mention, 4 hours after I received notification of a job offer, I get a call from another dept. that I was moved to the final stages of the process (conducted the interview a month ago). It's all happening so fast. I am taking the 1st dept (closer to home and better way of life). I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am. I'm 24 yrs old and my fiancé and I are living a dream that does not seem real yet. In this economy, I didnt think it was going to happen. I have spent countless hours listening to your CDs and talking into this recorder and it all paid off. I wanted to thank you for all your help, advice and tactics. I want to be one of those firefighters that sends you a Christmas card with me and my family in front of a truck or engine. Thank you very much. I know for a FACT, if I walked into that 12 person panel interview last year with my old ways...it would have never happened for me. You changed it and changed my life.

                            God Bless and thank you!

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Got The Job

                              Hey Captain Bob,
                              FYI I have only contacted you a couple times but you replied each time and that was great. I am sure your program works different for everyone but it did one small but crucial thing for me, it got me to be myself on purpose. I am 41 former military but not squeeky clean, a misdemeanor and a dui (long ago) but still not your ideal candidate on paper, and I firmly beleive that your program was (while not the only part) a crucial part to me getting the badge. 700 candidates I made it to number 6 they were hiring 5 and then number 5 dropped out and I am in, just like that. Your advice and email replies were invaluable to someone who had never taken orals for FF. My sincere thanks. Worth every penny.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Psyching Yourself Out?

                                Many candidates are thrown in their oral boards because they can’t tell or get feed back from the interview panel members on how they are doing.

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

                                Here is an example. We went to a matinee play in San Francisco. There was a fraction of the audience this theater could accommodate. You would have never known it by what took place on stage. During intermission I spotted two of the lead actors. I told them although the audience was sparse the cast wasn’t. The energy and enthusiasm were fantastic, as if they were playing to a packed house. These were professionals. They thanked me for noticing.

                                Consider doing the same thing going into your oral boards. The door opens and they call you in. The curtain is going up, it’s the bright lights of Broadway. It’s show time. You have to grab your top hat, cane and know matter what the audience (panel members) you have to give it your best shot and step it OUT!

                                Not floundering trying to remember the lines for your part. Being embarrassed by stage fright that causes you to forget your best stuff, as your mouth goes dryer than the Sahara Desert.

                                Visualizing the tones are dropping and your going on your first call. Everything you have worked for is on the line. You’re auditioning for the part to be a firefighter. You have practiced and rehearsed for this part haven’t you? You know all the lines for your part don’t you?

                                The raters pick up on your energy and enthusiasm as we did at the play and they’re saying in their minds, bravo, bravo, we have been waiting for this all week. They’re starting to smile. Throwing you lines that you adlib to enhance your performance. Nothing has stumped you. You know you’re going to make the cut for the call back. You have never had an interview like this. The hairs start standing up on the back of your neck and the raters too. You walk off stage knowing you nailed it!

                                Haven’t had this feeling in your oral boards yet? Well, do you have a script that you have been religiously practicing with a tape recorder? It doesn’t surprise me. Ninety-nine percent of the candidates I ask aren’t either. I asked a college program recently how many had been practicing with a tape recorder daily? No hands. How about weekly then? Nope. None. O.K. how about monthly? Finally three hands went up out of a total of 40. Then, don’t be confused by why you’re not getting high enough on the list to get a call back to play the part of a firefighter. The mystery has been solved.

                                You might not have the oral board skills (the oral is still 100% of the score to get hired) to convince the producers (raters) you have what is takes. You see getting this part as a firefighter you have to convince the raters you can do it before you get it.
                                _____________________________________________

                                "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                                More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                                http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                                Fire "Captain Bob"

                                www.eatstress.com

                                Comment

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