|Are you Prepared? || by "Captain Bob"|
Are you Prepared?
Two friends, Dave and Scott were volunteers in their city. Dave had been convinced that he needed to get a degree in order to be hired. Scott told him to stay, become a medic and they would get on. Dave went off for six years, got his BA degree in business and still couldn't get hired. Scott became a medic and was hired by his volunteer department. He now has 6 years seniority, made more than $100,000 each year with OT ($140,000 last year---that's real money) and enjoys the good life, more toys than you could imagine and has traveled everywhere.
Guess what? Dave was still trying to get a fire job after six years. Even after getting all the usual credentials. Firefighter 1, BA degree, 3 seasons with CDF, rode ambulance yada, yada, yada, Dave finally figured out he needed to become a medic (yes, he enjoys the medic side) to get hired. After getting his medic cert, he got hired. Where you ask? The department he was a volunteer for. But he had to figure something else out first.
Dave's dad is one of the guys I work out with at the gym with. After testing for more than six years, his dad gave him a coaching session just prior to his oral for his dream department. Dave had been practicing with a tape recorder. During the coaching session, Dave expressed his burning desire, passion, my life won't be complete until I get a badge compassionate longing, agonizing story.
One problem. Dave sucked big time! Even after testing for 6 years, he wasn't ready for any oral board. His answers were garbage. This should be no surprise, because most candidates are not ready either. Coaching usually takes about an hour +. We ended at 2 hours. His closing was a dog and pony show (I wished this candidate would just end and get out of the room) pathetic mess.
I asked Dave how he expected to get a badge when he hadn't spent the time to get ready for an oral. He said, like most candidates, (a big clue here), he thought he was. This is what most candidates think. Does this sound like you? Captain Bill Long is an oral board rater. He said you knew which candidates were really prepared. Those candidates, who were prepared, caused you to straighten up in your chair.
The important point to realize is it doesn't take much to improve your situation and separate yourself from the clone candidates. Dave only had a couple of days to review his coaching tape and redial his approach.
He called me the day after his interview. He sounded like he didn't step on any land mines, wasn't stumped and was able to put it together to make a real good presentation.
A few days later, there was a message on my recorder. A guy was yelling, Captain Bob, you are the man. It was Dave. He had just received the call that he was going to the Chief's Oral. His first in the six years he had been testing. Not only was he going to the Chief's Oral. He was number . . . 2! They were interviewing 30 candidates for 5 jobs. How do you like those odds?
When you are going for all the marbles, you want to make sure you're riding the winning pony!
As my son Rob says, There's an oral board in your future, you just don't know when. Do you want to be telling yourself "I suck" coming out of your next oral and you will do better next time. Or, have that feeling that you knew I smoked it and it was going to get you that badge?
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:www.eatstress.com
|About the Author: Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry level and promotional candidates to get their badges. He is a retired 28-year Fire Captain, speaker/author of the CD/DVD program "Conquer the Job Interview," the books "Becoming A Firefighter"|