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  • Tell us about yourself?

    According to retired Battalion Chief Dennis O’Sullivan, "The oral interview gets you the job! This is where you putt for dollars. Understand one very important thing here. If I’m on you're interview panel and your my kind of guy or gal, I will fill in some of the blanks to make up for your short comings. If you start off without establishing this natural bridge and being a know it all, I will never fill in any of your shortcomings. This is human nature."

    Tell us about yourself? This is an icebreaker question designed to get you comfortable in the chair. A one minute or less answer about you and your hobbies is all that is needed here. A "Nugget" here: If the panel looks baffled after your short answer, ask if they want more. They usually won't.

    I have never seen an oral where there was a possible score for the question “Tell us a little about yourself.” So doing a salvo drop and dumping the whole load does nothing for your score. Oral board scores are calculated in hundredths of points (82.15, 87.63, 90.87, etc). There is usually a score for each question on the oral board. Your final score is a total of all your scores. The goal on each question is to personalize your answers (for bonus points) to get your best highest score on each question, satisfy the oral board and cause them to go on to the next question.

    You’re trying to build up your score a couple of hundredths of points here and a few hundredths of points there that will add up to whole numbers that will enable you to walk away from the rest of the clone pack. You can’t maximize your points on a question by repeating or reiterating valuable information you already used in the ice breaker tell us about yourself.

    When some candidates start talking in an oral, it’s like going on a journey. There could be no final destination. Most panel members aren’t packed for the trip. I asked a candidate to tell me a little about himself one day. I stopped him 12 minutes later somewhere in Montana. I said you have just used up 12 minutes of a 20-minute oral. What do you think we have time for now?

    Question: What is the oral board looking for when this question is asked? I have heard many different things on the subject and am confused on how I should approach the question. Thank you for any responses.

    One candidate replied: SELL, SELL, SELL!!! I am definitely not an authority on "The Interview" but I would take the opportunity to emphasize all of my strong points. I would also include things that I am interested in so as to seem human and not some firefighting robot. This is a question that I have been spending a lot of time thinking about lately. It puts the ball in your court and seems as if it could make or break your interview. Good Luck (but I guess the prepared don't need luck).

    My Reply:

    You could be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about the SELL, SELL, SELL approach. That will come later. So you get finished with dumping the whole load on the first question tell us a little about your self to emphasize all of your strong points and the next questions are what have you done to prepare yourself for the position, why do you want to be a firefighter, why this city and on and on for any of the other possible 30 oral board questions. You have already used up all your good stuff in the opening question and now you have to REINTERATE, REINTERATE, REINTERATE for the rest of your interview with “Like I just said, blah, blah, blah.” You lose valuable time and points here.

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

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 10-06-2003, 05:43 AM.
    _____________________________________________

    "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

  • #2
    We definitely appreciate all of your thoughts, Cap. Your keyboard must be smoking with the number of posts & bits of advice that are sent!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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