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Underqualified with a Degree

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  • CaptBob
    replied
    How did you know the other candidate had a degree?

    Orals can often run behind. Several candidates could be in the waiting area at the same time. Do not, I repeat, do not start a conversation. One of our candidates felt the nervous need to start talking to another candidate. He found out this guy was a scientist. He psyched himself out. He felt he was less and didn't know how he could compete with such overwhelming credentials. He blew his own game plan.

    He regrouped on his next test and got a badge. He was probably more qualified than he gave himself credit for. Who knows what happened to the scientist?

    This is the biggest problem I've seen on oral boards when seasoned veterans take entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nosed rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

    There is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity 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 for.

    It's not what you have or don't have as far as credentials that can make the difference. It's how you present the package. And, if you can't present the package, you will never, ever see that badge.

    This From Steve Prziborowski, Fire Captain - Santa Clara County Fire Department:

    Do what you have to do be more marketable so you can take more tests and have something more to offer a department, but remember that it all comes down to that 15 to 30 minute oral interview. I've seen some awesome candidates with resumes packed full of accomplishments that couldn't sell them self in an interview to even make the top 50%.

    Check out postings down the forum including this one:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=51959

    You can find more interview secrets in the career article section of this firehouse.com web site under jobs.

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

    Leave a comment:


  • shortytheFF
    replied
    my view

    I just had an interview and was scared to death b/c of the other girl has a Asso in firescience, she has no exp, I was on a dept for 3 years. So I am still waiting. But if I were making the decision I would have to hire the person w/o the degree.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptBob
    replied
    Is it just a myth?

    Ladyupstairs You wrote:

    I do not have any experience, however the departments I have tested for do not require experience and will train upon being hired. My question to you is will my lack of experience inhibit me from pursuing this career, even though the department states that they do not require EMT/Firefighter certification. If I go through all of the testing etc., am I wasting my time, considering there are several other applicants with experience? Please advise, thanks!

    The short answer is no. As long as you can pass the written, physical agility, oral, psych, background and poly if required. Many don’t realize that 100% in getting most firefighter jobs is passing the oral high enough to get a shot at that badge!

    Even though it states that they do not require an EMT, I would acquire that certification ASAP, because often departments want to hire candidates with EMT because they can shorten the academy.

    This might help:

    Is it just a myth?

    I wanted to know why this one candidate was in the hiring process? He had no academy, no college degree, no EMT, and no experience. I thought to myself, how could this guy be in the same group as me?
    Reply: That's the myth. Candidates believe they have to accumulate a bunch of credentials to be hired. That this alone will get them the job. The truth is it's not what you have or don't have but how you present those credentials. The rubber meets the road in the oral board.

    Don't get me wrong, credentials are great, but numerous candidates, like the one you described above with few or no fire related credentials that get hired all the time. They realized they couldn't compete with candidates with overwhelming credentials. So, they improved their chances by concentrating on the most important part of the process. THE ORAL BOARD! They converted their personal life experiences into proven oral board skills needed to get that badge! Like you, this baffles the other candidates. They can't or won't believe it can be done. Right now several candidates with seemingly no credentials, are in the hiring process in major cities across the United States and Canada.

    Question from a candidate: Are you trying to tell me that a city would hire a candidate with no fire education or experience? No way!

    Response from a candidate did it:

    There is a real simple answer to your question...most, if not all big city departments require almost none, if any, experience or certifications. Says so right on the job announcement. Unless they are required by the department to test, certs and experience mean squat.

    The people who get the jobs are those who can show during the oral board process that they possess the personality, willingness to learn, ability to adapt, and how all of their past life and work experiences have made them well suited for the career. These are the people who blow right by the other wannabes.

    You have to be pretty blind and ignorant not to understand why the bigger departments run their own academies...so they can teach the recruits "their way". None of these departments care one bit how it was done at whatever academy you have been to before.

    As long as you know how to handle the situational questions and how to demonstrate to the panel members that you can and want to do the job, you’ve got a shot at a badge.

    Even with no fire experience and just a lowly EMT cert, I had 4 conditional job offers over a two-week period. My secret?.....Learning how to score high in the oral board!!!!!! Steve

    You can learn more on testing secrets in the career article section of this firehouse.com web site: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/co...r/bio.jsp?id=18

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

    Leave a comment:


  • ladyupstairs
    replied
    should have mentioned

    Though I dont have experience, I would be 5th generation in my family and have spent a lot of time in and around the station. I will look into getting on as a POC. Thanks for the reply.

    Leave a comment:


  • kghemtp
    replied
    It's a hard call, this question of yours. So often we have said that presentation is as important as certifications & experience. Without 2 of those 3 components you might have it a little tough. However, you have real world experience, the ability to work with people and a history of physical conditioning, discipline, and hard work. Now, it never hurts to spend time in the fire station, being part of a call department or doing ride time somewhere with making your interests known. Handshakes & conversations go a long way in making relationships with the white shirts & collar brass of fire service. CaptBob is a great ally in the hiring process and can probably give you some terrific advice from a management perspective. Best of luck, and keep us posted along the way!

    Leave a comment:


  • ladyupstairs
    started a topic Underqualified with a Degree

    Underqualified with a Degree

    I grew up with the intention of becoming a firefighter, however I had the opporunity to be an athelete in college so I took advantage of the opportunity. In turn, I have delayed my goal. After graduation I took a job in the "business world" so I could test the waters. Now, after a year and half I have started testing for a position as a firefighter. I do not have any experience, however the departments I have tested for do not require experience and will train upon being hired. My question to you is will my lack of experience inhibit me from pursuing this career, even though the department states that they do not require EMT/Firefighter certification. If I go through all of the testing etc., am I wasting my time, considering there are several other applicants with experience? Please advise, thanks!

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