I had a candidate tell me he went to an interview wearing a tie, suspenders and no jacket. I asked him, "Who did you think you are Larry King?" I a One Step at a Time I get a sinking feeling and my heart goes out to those who call and ask, what they can do after being eliminated. This is even after getting a conditional job offer. My question is why didn’t you call me before you went on to the next step? Often, the answer is that they felt things were going well. They did not think they needed [...]
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So far Bob Smith has created 47 blog entries.
The Hiring Process When the scores start coming, I start getting phone calls. I am referring to a testing cycle in LA. Many of our candidates nailed the top three slots to go on in the process. For many, this is their first time in the "Hiring Process". And, after we congratulate our candidates, we tell them to BUCKLE UP! They have already heard the rumors. Often, they are freaked out. As with many tests, there is probably going to be a chief’s oral. They think they have to reinvent themselves to get ready. Here’s my advice to these folks: [...]
Don’t Open a Can of Worms. 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 they 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. And, this is my point. Why do so many candidates create a trail that could open a can of worms and keep them from getting the job of [...]
Are You Fire Academy Ready? Just because you passed the physical agility does not mean you are ready for the fire academy. Whether you agree or not, the physical agility has been watered down to be politically correct. Departments know this. So, the training division will have you jumping through hoops to make sure you can do the job before you go “on line”. And, this is exactly how it should be. Start getting physically ready before you show up at the academy. Be in shape and hit the ground running. It’s tough enough getting a job. Keeping it can [...]
First and foremost – Your mom was right. Honesty is always the best policy. That said, understand that the Preliminary Background Questionnaire is designed to eliminate candidates early in the process before they spend time and money on those who would not make it. Yes, candidates should live their lives as if their future of being a firefighter depends upon it – because it does. And, some departments include a polygraph test as part of the process in the background packet. Now, folks are panicked. They call me to say the background packet and or the investigator said a polygraph [...]
Losing the GIG. What’s Next? Let's get real here! Firefighters can be fired in their academy and during probation. It happens. One of the most challenging hurdles to get over is being fired by another department. If you are in this situation, the main thing is not to blame others. It is time for you to take a step back. Take responsibility. Make sure you understand what has happened, and embrace you have learned. Now is the time to convince yourself that this will never happen again. Here are some situations where a firefighter might lose his or her opportunity". [...]
After 40 years, We Know a Thing or Two After 40 years in fire service, we know a thing or two. Let's get started….. The written and physical ability are pass/fail. These tests are cut and dry. You either make it or you don't. There is no wiggle room. Why does this matter? Because 100% of the score to get a badge is in the Oral Board. Yes, you read that right. 100% of what matters is in your ORAL! This is where you go for all the marbles. Trust me on this. After being part of over 100 oral [...]
Luck is for the Prepared How many times have you thought about luck? What is luck? How many times have you felt that someone has had a better chance than you? Are some born lucky? After all, they earned their firefighter's badge while you are still working at it. Well, I call BS! There is no such things as luck. If you want the badge, then work for it. Success doesn't come naturally. A good result comes from being prepared! If you want the badge, work for it. Earn it. Let me tell you about Jim. He was a nice [...]
No Preambles – EVER! Our Constitution has a preamble. It sets the tone for the body of law that follows. This is like the preface of a book that sets the scene for the story. In one-on-one coaching, many firefighter candidates, either knowingly or unknowingly, do the same thing. Don’t be one of these people! A firefighter candidate is often asked why they want to be a firefighter. I’ve had people talk for 30 seconds before they begin to answer the question. I’ll hear the following: “I’m glad you asked me that,” or “That’s an excellent question, and I’d love [...]
One-on-One Coaching Works By the time I have finished one-on-one coaching with a firefighter candidate, he/she is more than ready to get off the phone or leave my house. You see, the truth is that the amount of information we go over can be overwhelming. As a result, our sessions are recorded, and the taped sessions become a great study guide. Here is why. Sometimes it is hard for some people to understand that what they thought was their “best stuff” gets shot down right out of the gate. One candidate wrote: You assisted me with private coaching back in [...]