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Oral Board Questions

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  • Oral Board Questions

    I am taking a large city's oral board in less than 2 weeks. This being my first oral board exam, I have a few questions.

    1) I feel like I have very little life experiance. I am in my VERY early 20's, and I am still in college, but I AM a paramedic. Is there a way that I could turn these around into more positive
    takes on the issue?

    2) My father has 29+ years on with the FD that I am testing for, and is currently still a line FF. Should I
    mention anything that has to do with him or any relative being in the fire service, such as a response to the "why do you want to
    be a FF" Question. I look just like him,and if they find out my name, they will most definately know who I am.

    3) I have been going around talking to as many FF's in this department as
    possible, especially ones that may be on the oral boards, or have been on some in the past. The likelyhood of most of them being
    on the oral boards i take is quite high. How should i handle
    this if it comes up, or they are my evaluators?

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    First let me give you some background on myself. I am a Paid FF. I am with my second Carrier Department. I tested for 4 years and took 30+ tests that covered 9 states. I wound up on top of three lists and got offers from all of these departments within a year of each other. O.K. now to your questions.

    1) As far as your life experience. Sure your in your early 20's but so what. Everyone has life experience. The trick in the oral board is to apply your particular life experience to the question. Which also leads into what you have done to get yourself ready for this job. Your a Medic!!!! Your well on your way to the job already. Becoming a Medic is part of your life experience, use it.

    2) Be carefull with this one. You don't want to come across as "The Golden Boy". I had a friend that did just that and he hung himself in the oral (His dad was the BC). But, on the other hand, this is part of your life experience. I would just mention that you have a family member in the Fire Service and leave it at that. They will most likely recognize the name and face and put two and two together. Stand on your own, they will respect you for it.

    3) Talking to the FFs on duty gives you a big jump on the rest of the canidates. I did a ride-along with one of the departments that offered me a position. If you happen to have one of them on your oral board respond to them the same as the other members. They WILL remember you.

    Some guys nail the first oral board they go to. Me, it took some practice. If I could leave you with some advise it would be to get out there and test, test, test.

    Also check out www.eatstress.com this site is by Captain Bob Smith. His advise on oral boards is what got me my badge.


    Good luck and stay safe
    MFD IAFF Local 1937


    • #3
      Hey, good luck first of all. I've been in the field for five years and have done oral boards before. They can be nerve-racking. Just remember to be honest, even if you have made mistakes in the past. Don't brag and don't kiss butt. Be yourself, don't try to live up to what you think their expectations are. And most important: RELAX!!

      Stay safe and best of luck.
      Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten


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