I can't believe what many candidates reveal! Candidates often call me after going to an oral board, doing background checks or psychological interviews. They are concerned by some information have given. Often it is related to something from their past.
My first question is who besides you knows this? Who could they contact that could tell them this information? The usual answer is no one. This is my point.
Why do so many candidates create a trail that could open a can of worms keeping them from getting the job of their dreams? Especially if the department is not giving a polygraph test. Many feel they have to be honest to a fault to get this job. Candidates tell me, "They were hammering so hard I felt I had to give them something." Please spare me this part. Think twice before creating a trail that probably no one can find. Especially if it doesn't make any difference.
This is from our "Conquer the Psychological Interview" Special Report:
A doctor who interviews a candidate that is open, honest, forthcoming, has common since, and answers all questions probably considers them as O.K.. But, many candidates want this job so bad that they will do almost anything to get it. I have been told what candidates have said during their interviews. Ive asked, "How did you get these people to say that?" The answer was, we just asked them and they volunteered the information. Before you volunteer information, think before you speak. Present your ideas clearly. Dont ramble or chat. Be articulate. This is how youre going to be in the field. Believe it or not this is part of the job interview. You are making an impression of who you are going to be as a firefighter. Make sure you dress up and dont slouch. Be prepared to audition for the part of being a firefighter. Know your strong points. Be prepared to demonstrate you are a team player.
One of our candidates was going to a chiefs oral. He knew one of the questions was going to be, "Is there anything we should know about?" He wanted to say something about being eliminated from hiring by another department, because his polygraph was questionable about previous marijuana use. My question was, "What do you think your chances are of being considered by this department it you said that?" Not good was the reply.
My advise was this was not the time to bring something like that up. If anytime, it would be in the background check. Don't create a trail that might not be found. He didn't bring it up. It never came up with the background investigator. A polygraph was not given. I saw him receive his badge. This candidate was hired again by the department he really wanted to work for even after taking another polygraph. I witnessed that badge pinning too. The defense rests!
The following is from the 1832 badge in our program:
Hi Capt. Bob. I just wanted to let you know that I purchased your video some time back prior to Testing for a Colorado Fire Department. On August 8,1999, I started the fire academy. I was one of 14 people out of 541 who tested. I think a lot of what helped me was the tapes I got from you. I have tested all over the country during the past 5 years and always came close but never got the "call ". I went in to the interview with a lot more confidence than in the past, and it worked! Well. Thanks again. Steve
Captain Bob's reply:
Half of the 14 candidates in that hiring were our candidates. How did they do it without all sounding like clones? We taught them to use their personal life experience!
Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!
Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry level and promotional candidates to get their badge. He is a retired 28-year Hayward, Ca. Captain, speaker/author of the audio/video program "Conquer the Job Interview," the book "Fire Up Your Communication Skills" ISBN 09657620-6-8 and a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. You can book him as a speaker or get a copy of his books and tapes by calling toll free at 888-238-3959.