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  • Unusual Help Needed

    OK, I know I am going to take a lot of heat, but I need some advice from those who sit on interview panels.

    Here's my story. I was fired from a department a number of years ago during my probationary period. I can only say that my termination was not due to poor job performance or bad behavior. It was a very unique situation and the department felt it was best to cut ties rather than invest more money in my training. I feel that termination was far too harsh, but I fully understand their rationale and accept full responsibility for the situation. The issue in question was fully rectified within 2 weeks of my termination. Since then, I have worked very hard to continue to advance my education and experience. I have never had legal troubles, any other work problems, behavior issues, I don't do drugs, don't drink, and am a financially responsible father and husband who was a successful career firefighter prior to accepting the job with my dream department.

    That said, I am now participating in a new hiring process for my dream department. I have successfully completed the first three steps and am in a small group moving on to a structured interview, which is the final step. I am likely one of the highest qualified candidates and have a spotless history other than this one event. Even so, my only hope for consideration is to express my unparalleled passion for the department and try to make it clear that I both understand and accept their previous decisions and that they have actually motivated me to work even harder just to get a second chance.

    How do I do this during a structured interview?
    How can I prove to them I am still an excellent candidate, when most of the members of the department only know that I was fired, not why?
    Do I explain my situation, even if they don't ask me about it?
    I have lots of items and documentation that prove my dedication and passion...how do I present them to the panel?

    I am sure it would be unprecedented, but I know I will be a great employee for them if they just give me a second chance. Any advice will be appreciated.

  • #2
    The only structucted part is the questions...put your own spin on answers and knock them off their feet.
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    • #3
      Own up to your past mistakes and don't make excuses for what happened. I wouldn't bring it up, but don't avoid it either. It was a significant event that shaped you into who you are now. Maybe this time around your "dream dept" will mean a little more to you. If they ask, be honest about your experience and what you have learned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Years ago I had a young military firefighter that had to be discharged for some poor personal judgement. He was a good kid that just made some bad decisions. Several years later I received a call from a large, well respected FD stating that this same kid was one of the candidates on top of their hiring list and wanted to validate his story about his early discharge. I asked the caller what story they had been given and it was exactly as it happened. I told them that the incident happened mostly because he was young and seeing as he told the story knowing he would be at risk in his dream job, they couldn't ask for a better candidate. He had paid a price for his lack of judgement, grew up, told the truth and hoped for the best. Because of his honesty I gave him one of the finest reccomendations I could. He got the job. If they ask, the truth is the only way to go.

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        • #5
          Listen to what everyone is telling you. Be honest and explain how you got into the situation, how you fixed the situation and what you plan to do if the situation ever came back around.

          Comment


          • #6
            and by spin I ment your own carisma...
            Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not sure how you personally can nail your interview you will have to do that yourself. I can tell you what not to do, recite answers you get off of this blog and other interview websites. Use them as a base only, put your own storys and experiences in place.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the helpful responses! I guess my main concern is that the interview is going to be very structured. There won't be any direct questioning about the event, but the panel may know about it. Does anyone think it will be a problem if I just lay it all out there as a part of my first answer?

                Also, I have a collection of documents and photos about the department that I have been collecting since I was three ears old. I'm sure it would be unconventional, but would it be inappropriate to present the items to the panel?

                Thanks again for helping me and not just flaming on me...I really appreciate it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1. Would not make it your oowning remarks

                  2. Would first wait for someone to bring it up

                  3. Sure it will come up depending on how much they ask on the application

                  4. Would not brine show and tell to the interview, but maybe mention it, depending on how the session is going


                  So what have you been doing since you left the dept you were on probation with???

                  That would be my question
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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                  • #10
                    Are you able to get letters of say recommendation from that department, since matters got straightened out?????
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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                    • #11
                      first im sorry i really dont have much to add, and my following question is not to flame you, but just how i have read it, and think it may change how other people answer. is this the same department that had previously terminated you?

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                      • #12
                        When they close out the interview and ask if you have anything to add bring up the situation.

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                        • #13
                          If it is on your application they will know about it. If they know about it and they DO NOT bring it up you are in trouble. Any Fire Chief will be reluctant to hire someone who was terminated from another department. The feeling is that there are so many candidates, why should we take a chance on someone who is tainted?
                          Without having the facts of your situation nobody on this board can give you a valued opinion. As a general rule it is to your advantage to tell your story.
                          Paul Lepore
                          Division Chief
                          Aspiringfirefighters.com
                          AspiringFireOfficers.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I was one interviewing you, I would have already contacted your previous place of employment, and would already know the reasons why you were terminated. So, that being said, if they are on top of their game, they have got the answers they wanted, and you might be in good shape. If I was in the shoes of those looking to hire, you wouldn't be where you are in the process, if I didn't like the reasons for the termination. My opinion only.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sTages19 View Post
                              is this the same department that had previously terminated you?
                              Yes, it is.

                              Comment

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