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  • Interview Question..

    hello all, i know this may sound a bit dumb, but what do the interviewers on the panel really wanna hear when they ask "tell us about yourself?".

    thanks in advance

  • #2
    Question

    When they ask you the question "Tell us about yourself" They want you to tell them what you've done in your life to prepare you for the job of firefighter and how you got where you are today. I would use what us older folks would say "The Readers Digest version" meaning paint your picture with broad strokes and make sure you hit all the high points in your life.
    I'm sure there will be other who give your other ways .....but this is what I look for when I'm on the oral panel to hire new firefighters.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not quite so sure, Jay.

      If it's the first question out of the oral board, they're likely looking for an icebreaker. Tell them where you grew up, what you do for fun, hobbies. They want to put you at ease (as much as possible) and start getting an idea of how you'll fit in.

      Later on they may ask "What have you done to prepare for the fire service?" That's when you pile on the education, past experience, certifications, etc.

      Comment


      • #4
        Question

        This is true as I've seen it used to relax the candidate . That's the tricky part as I've also seen it used to have the candidate as I say it 'expose his/her soft underbelly and open a can of worms to what will be asked next.
        Respectfully,
        Jay Dudley
        Retired Fire
        Background Investigator
        IACOJ-Member
        Lifetime Member CSFA
        IAFF Alumni Member

        Comment


        • #5
          ive got another question id like to get some input on. ive recently started interviewing with departments again for jobs and i have an issue that i dont know how i should handle, so here it is. i worked at a department for 2 years and was finally up for a full time position. was set to start and was just waiting for my pysch results to come back to the chief. so a week before my start date i find out that i failed my pysch test and would no longer be getting a fulltime job. now i worked here for 2 years with no disiplinary issues and always recieved high praise on reviews from my officers. but due to cirumstances i decided to resign from this deparment since there was no chance for future fulltime employment. i know for a fact my captain and lieutenant would definetly recommend me to any future employer. so how would you appoach this when it come up in an interview. i always tell the complete truth and give details into the whole story since ive got nothing to hide.

          any input would be great. thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Interview

            Interviewers are not inhuman and will understand when they ask the question and you are honest when you answer. Most have been in your shoes and when the background is completed it will all come out in the wash so to speak. The main thing NOT to do is hide anything during the interview. I'm sure that you'll do fine and good luck with your application in the future.
            Respectfully,
            Jay Dudley
            Retired Fire
            Background Investigator
            IACOJ-Member
            Lifetime Member CSFA
            IAFF Alumni Member

            Comment


            • #7
              Qwerty-

              Try this to learn how to effectively answer this question and the follow ups:
              1. Create a chronological history of big events in your life.

              2. Make note of how those events shaped your life and way of thinking.

              3. Make note of how those events led to a desire to work and prepared you to work in the fire service.

              4. Once that has all become very clear to you, start practicing answering the question "tell us about yourself" this way:

              My name is:
              I was born and grew up in:
              I went to school and did:
              After graduating I:
              I'm really excited to be here today because:

              5. THIS IS GOING TO SOUND COUNTER INTUITIVE BUT DO NOT WRITE A SPEECH FOR YOURSELF!!! Keep answering the question to yourself out loud in different situations including in front of a mirror, while walking, whatever. Lot's of people recommend recording yourself...This is fine, but in my humble opinion, secondary to just answering the question out loud over and over until it flows from you without thought because you will naturally come out with who you are in a concise and more interesting manner which will be prepared, not canned, and not boring. It will also set you up very well for the follow up questions like "What Have You Done to Prepare Yourself?" Or "Why should we hire you?" by creating a foundation to answer these questions without repeating yourself over and over.

              By using this technique, I went from "Thanks and better luck next time" to having a chief on a panel literally pump a fist in the air and shout "Yes! Well done!", shake my hand, and smile at the conclusion of my Oral Board. I got the job...He showed up at my academy one day, pulled me aside, and told me that I needed to keep up the good work that i'd started in preparing to get the job. He said that he'd been suffering for days through poor oral boards, and I'd been the first one to really hit a home run. The only thing better than this was graduating and getting off probation...

              Best of Luck and Preparation!

              Paul
              PaulC
              FF/EMTP
              City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
              gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by qwerty21 View Post
                hello all, i know this may sound a bit dumb, but what do the interviewers on the panel really wanna hear when they ask "tell us about yourself?".

                thanks in advance
                LIsten to the question. I agree for the most part this is an ice breaker question to get you comfortable in the chair. It's usually not scored.

                A one minute or less answer about you and your hobbies is all that is needed here. A "Nugget" here: If they look baffled after your short answer, ask if they want more. They usually won't.

                Most candidates make a big error on this question by dumping the whole load on why they want to be a firefighter, what they have done to prepare, why this city and on and on. That's not what this question is about. It's only to get you comfortable in the chair. Then, when the panel starts asking why they want to be a firefighter, what have they done to prepare and the other standard 30 possible oral board questions, they have to reiterate what they have already said. They lose valuable time and points here.
                _____________________________________________

                "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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by quayleman View Post
                  ive got another question id like to get some input on. ive recently started interviewing with departments again for jobs and i have an issue that i dont know how i should handle, so here it is. i worked at a department for 2 years and was finally up for a full time position. was set to start and was just waiting for my pysch results to come back to the chief. so a week before my start date i find out that i failed my pysch test and would no longer be getting a fulltime job. now i worked here for 2 years with no disiplinary issues and always recieved high praise on reviews from my officers. but due to cirumstances i decided to resign from this deparment since there was no chance for future fulltime employment. i know for a fact my captain and lieutenant would definetly recommend me to any future employer. so how would you appoach this when it come up in an interview. i always tell the complete truth and give details into the whole story since ive got nothing to hide.

                  any input would be great. thanks
                  I wouldn't bring this up unless the panel does. If you do you could be opening a can or worms you may never close.

                  Let's see now you worked there for 2 years and everyone loved you. Then because you failed the psych they wouldn't hire you. That could cause doubt in a panel members mind that you might not pass their psych either.

                  You might want to prepare for a psych evaluation like any other part of the hiring process so you can first figure out why you failed and where the land mines are so you will be more successful it you get another opportunity.

                  Did you know if you fail a psych you can request a second opinion?
                  _____________________________________________

                  "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


                  • #10
                    believe me i tried to get a second opinion. but the chief would not budge on it. i also talked with the civil service commision and human resources. they just told me theve used the same company for years and trusted their judgment.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Quayleman-

                      That's a horrid break...I believe that it will eventually come up in any hiring process, but I don't think that it will prevent you from getting hired in the future. Work on the psych for sure. There are ways to approach it, and I think Capt Bob has some great stuff on it. (I think he had a free report at one time or another?) Also, I would be prepared for any follow up question that leads to the incident in question in your future oral boards. IE: Why did you leave your last department? You will want to be prepared and turn a difficult question into a possible winner by knowing (exactly if possible...) what happened and what you've done to ensure that wouldn't be a problem in your future. You will also want to be able to allude to letters of recommendation from your Captain, Lieutenant, and chief if possible. If the department refuses to share why you failed with you (which sounds unbelievable but happens), then you might consider thinking about whether you may have appeared to waiver or be inconsistent in the test answers due to age/lack of maturity/etc..

                      Don't give it up.

                      Paul
                      PaulC
                      FF/EMTP
                      City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
                      gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

                      Comment

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