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  • How are my answers?

    Hey everyone, I've been putting in many days and hours preparing for this interview coming up, I have a decent shot at the job, anyway let me know how you think my answers are. We actually got a paper of some of the questions the oral board may ask. Of course I won't memorize these answers but just wanted to see where I could improve on. These are the 3 questions I am spending a lot of time on. Let me know if these are good, or a clone answer.

    1. Why do you want to be a Firefighter with this city?

    I want to be a Firefighter with this city because of the excellent customer service this Fire Department provides both in medical and fire. I like the team oriented and family atmoshphere that is within the stations. I always like to be learning and training on anything fire and medical related and I know this department has the best training available and offers the best opportunity to learn the job.

    2. How have you prepared for this position?

    I began preparing for this position almost two years ago, but I have been around the fire service most of my life due to family. I started by taking a Firefighter 1 and 2 course. I gained certification and then continued to pursue my Associate's degree in Fire Science. I became a volunteer Firefighter and respond to calls several days a week. I spend my days and nights and weekends studying anything Fire related and am constantly training to learn as much as I can.

    3. What made you decide you wanted to be a Firefighter?

    I have grown up around the Fire Service most of my life in a big city. I have a lot of family members that are Firefighters and I have always been interested in it. I would spend many days at the fire station when I was younger watching how they train and then I knew I wanted to do it. I didn't officially decide I wanted to be a Firefighter until I watched several emergencies in my area and how Firefighters and EMT's operate.


    Those are a few, they gave us a list of some "possible" situational questions but those would be the standard questions about me.

  • #2
    1. Why do you want to be a Firefighter with this city?

    I want to be a Firefighter with this city because of the excellent customer service this Fire Department provides both in medical and fire. I like the team oriented and family atmoshphere that is within the stations. I always like to be learning and training on anything fire and medical related and I know this department has the best training available and offers the best opportunity to learn the job.

    I would prefer to hear about the morale of the firefighters, the excellent training you will receive, the professional demeanor of the firefighters, the call volume (if the department is busy), their reputation of being an aggressive department, the fact that the department is adding stations or positions, the opportunities to get involved in specialized areas such as Haz Mat, paramedic, fire prevention etc, and the promotional opportunities right up front. While customer service is important, it is not the number one reason to want to work for a department.

    2. How have you prepared for this position?

    I began preparing for this position almost two years ago, but I have been around the fire service most of my life due to family. I started by taking a Firefighter 1 and 2 course. I gained certification and then continued to pursue my Associate's degree in Fire Science. I became a volunteer Firefighter and respond to calls several days a week. I spend my days and nights and weekends studying anything Fire related and am constantly training to learn as much as I can.

    This is a good start but I want to hear about your physical fitness routine, your strong work history, your clean background, and the fact that you are active in your community. This question is not simply referring to what classes you have taken.

    3. What made you decide you wanted to be a Firefighter?

    I have grown up around the Fire Service most of my life in a big city. I have a lot of family members that are Firefighters and I have always been interested in it. I would spend many days at the fire station when I was younger watching how they train and then I knew I wanted to do it. I didn't officially decide I wanted to be a Firefighter until I watched several emergencies in my area and how Firefighters and EMT's operate.

    On two of the three questions you mentioned that you are a firefighter’s kid. Personally I don’t care for it. Indirectly you are telling the panel to hire you because of your relative. Many of us did not have relatives in the fire service and had to do it on our own. There is an undercurrent among firefighter’s relatives that they have an advantage because of their relative. Your answer reinforces this. Leave it out and EARN a badge on your own merit.
    One other thing to consider is that I may not care for your relative. There are many personalities in the fire service. The higher you go, the more people you influence. As a Chief Officer you are making decisions that not everyone is pleased with. Now a candidate comes in who is related to someone who may have made some unpopular decisions. Again, earn it on your own merit.

    I have read many of your posts and have found them to be right on the money. You don't need a relative's help to earn a badge.

    I would encourage you to look at what it is that drives YOU to want to become a firefighter. Some of the common answers are:
    A genuine desire to help people, being a problem solver, enjoy working as a team, like the excitement of the job, like working with your hands, enjoy that the possibilities for a firefighter to get involved and promote are unlimited, the pay will allow you to reach your dream of buying a house, the time off will allow you to continue your education and coach your kids in little league.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Questions

      Have you practiced these answers with a hand held recorder?

      Your answers sound clonish. I know this might surprise you but too many candidates are using all the above same answers. How are you going to separate yourself from the rest of those candidates who are using the same answers? Your score and career will be affected if you don’t, because you’re competing with candidates who have learned how to make a presentation to capture a badge.

      It’s not that you can’t use clone answers. You can. But first you need to deliver a signature story about you. Not a clone answer of anyone else. I haven’t met a candidate yet that couldn’t come up with signature stories. Signature stories demonstrate experience. They also tell that you not only know the answer to a question, you’ve lived it.

      Most firefighters love firefighter stories. If you open up with a signature story, you instantly separate yourself from the other clone candidates. Stories show the oral board who you really are. You capture the board and take them on a journey with a story they have never heard. Isn’t this making sense?

      The toughest thing for a candidate to do in an oral is being themselves on purpose. When you are yourself, you become conversational because you are on your own turf. This alone can lower the stress and butterflies. Everyone has butterflies. The trick is to get them to all fly in the same formation.

      Relatives: Mentioning you have relatives in the fire service is tricky. It’s a balancing act. It could hurt you. Too many candidates club the oral board over the head with a dad or other relative who is or has been a firefighter. The panel can interpret this as asking for more points.

      With my son Rob we used it this way: I’ve wanted to be a firefighter most of my life because members of my family have been firefighters. He never said who. If they wanted to know they would ask. They only asked once. That department hired him.

      1. Why do you want to be a Firefighter with this city?

      Reply: What is a department giving you if you get their badge? One word in the last sentence of your answer is your key.


      2. How have you prepared for this position?

      I began preparing for this position almost two years ago.

      Reply: Really? Only two years ago. Most candidates don’t rewind the video tape of their life back far enough to take advantage of great information on their life and character. Have you had previous jobs? Well, what did you learn? How to be responsible, work hard, customer service, team work? Did you play sports in school? If so, what did you learn? How to work as a team, strengths and weaknesses of the team members, staying physically fit, commitment? Did you letter in sports? Team Captain? Do these things have any parallel to the fire service? You bet! Now, you have the beginning for a story.

      Stories are more than facts. If you can create the excitement, emotion and magic of the actual event, you will capture the interest and a top score on that question. A big part of getting this job is convincing the oral board that you can do the job before you get it. Stories are convincing and can demonstrate your experience. Even if they’re not fire related.

      3. What made you decide you wanted to be a Firefighter?

      Reply: There was a point in your pursuit during a class, ride along or a life experience where your mind went click; that’s it. This is what I want to do in life. My life is not going to be the same until I get that badge.

      When did this happen? That’s your story that your can marry off with you other information.

      After a written test I asked a group of six candidates why they wanted to be firefighters. They were amazed that what they thought was unique was only a “Clone” of everyone in the group. After I worked with one in the group with his signature story of why he wanted to be a firefighter, the rest of the group used the formula to put together their own too.

      I have yet to find a candidate who doesn’t have signature stories. The problem is they don’t know how to use them. You might not know yours today. But, after reading this, you will have some aha’s in the next few days.
      Last edited by CaptBob; 12-29-2006, 11:49 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

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