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  • final interviews

    I have made it to the final interviews with a smaller combination department for a full-time position. This was an internal process so I know exactly who I'm going up against. My question is do I try to use what I know about the others in my answers or just focus on myself. I've made it to the end at other departments but never really knew what I was up against so I was only able to talk about myself, this time it's different. I was just wondering people's opinion on this situation. Any ideas would be great, thanks.

  • #2
    I just sat on my department’s Chief’s Interviews as one of two assigned to the panel. Here are some thoughts:

    We did not ask ANY situational interview questions, as we were more concerned with getting to know the candidates. We asked big picture questions like:

    Why do you want to be a firefighter?

    Why do you want to work for our department?

    Tell us about your education, experience and how that has prepared you to become a firefighter.

    Are you on any other lists? What if you were working for us and they called you, would you leave?

    What if you were working for them and we called you, would you leave?

    How would you rate your mechanical ability?

    Tell us about your physical fitness routine.

    We also asked specific questions about the candidate’s resume. For example, if a candidate listed that he or she had completed a class in building construction, attended a basic fire academy we asked a question about basic building construction.


    An example of a building question would be:

    • Tell us the difference between lightweight and conventional construction.

    • What do you call the horizontal support member over a window or a door?



    By the time a candidate reaches the Chief’s Interview he or she should be dialed in and ready to get hired. We don’t expect any loose ends such as expired EMT or unfinished courses.

    Not bringing a resume is a grave error. If the department allows you to bring a resume, BRING IT. Actually, bring three copies as there will usually be more than one person on the panel. Ideally you have already attached it to your application so I can review it BEFORE you walk in the door.

    Make certain your resume is free of errors and looks professional. This is our first impression of you. Any misspellings, grammatical or formatting errors give us a poor first impression.

    It’s a shame if you are unprepared and do not capitalize on your opportunity. It always amazes me how unprepared candidates are for this incredible opportunity to reach their goal. Here’s the bottom line, if you do well I am going to hire you. If not you will be placed back on the list and you have squandered your opportunity.

    Getting to the Chief’s Interview is an incredible accomplishment. Not getting the badge because you were unprepared for your interview is a huge disappointment. Capitalize on your opportunity!

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Stretch60 View Post
      I have made it to the final interviews with a smaller combination department for a full-time position. This was an internal process so I know exactly who I'm going up against. My question is do I try to use what I know about the others in my answers or just focus on myself. I've made it to the end at other departments but never really knew what I was up against so I was only able to talk about myself, this time it's different. I was just wondering people's opinion on this situation. Any ideas would be great, thanks.
      There is only one person who is keep you from getting a badge. Who do you think it is? Trying to compare yourself to the other candidates would only be psyching yourself out.

      Only the panel can evaluate the qualifications of all the candidates you can't. For a snott nose rookied candidate to try to compare themselves to the other candidates would be a mistake.

      This is all about presentation skills! If you've learned how to take a firefighter interview that's diffenent from any other, just presenting your credentials can set the base line that will establish a high standard the raters will recognize and the other candidates won’t be able to cross.

      I've made it to the end at other departments

      If you've made it this far before and not gotten the call you have to asking yourself why? How many wasted opportunities are you willing to take?

      You can find out more about the last or chiefs type interview in that section here: http://www.eatstress.com/faq.htm


      Let me know if I can help further.
      Last edited by CaptBob; 02-19-2007, 10:42 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

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the advice from both of you. I wasn't planning on doing anything but focus on myself and my presentation. I was just curious if knowing my competition would make any difference in how I should approach the interview. And it is obvious that I shouldn't change my approach. Thanks again.

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