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 [...]
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So far Bob Smith has created 43 blog entries.
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 [...]
Don’t Let This Happen in Your Interview We have all been at a party where a group of guys is standing around telling jokes and laughing. Then, somebody says something that doesn't quite fit, and the mood is gone. Enter the uncomfortable silence. Do not let this happen at your interview! Besides answering the questions correctly and having enthusiasm, it is crucial to keep a smooth flow during your interview. Here is what I mean. I have witnessed this happen first-hand. A firefighter candidate was asked this question. "What if you are on duty and a co-worker smells like marijuana [...]
Follow The Bouncing Ball Why is it that some firefighter candidates apply and go through the steps to earn the badge with what seems like complete ease? Why is it that some candidates struggle? The answer is simple. Being prepared matters. Let’s take a look at how this is done. Humor me as we follow this firefighter candidate over a two-week period. Note that this candidate has never been to an oral interview and is non-medic testing against medics. This is what he emailed me. Hi Captain Bob, I just took my first interview with a multi-agency test after going [...]
Your Competitive Advantage Every Saturday, there is a Farmer's Market in our town. Many booths sell fresh-picked strawberries. Even so, there is one strawberry booth that stands out. This booth's line of customers is half a block long. People stand in this line for up to 20 minutes. Anyone will tell you that these strawberries are the best. So here is the question. What makes these strawberries better than the others? The answer is the farmer's competitive advantage. Here is what I mean. It is well-known that once strawberries are picked, they will not get any sweeter. This particular farmer [...]
The Oral Board Skinny With many years in Fire Service, we have seen it all. Yes – we have seen just about every type of person, and every scenario come through the hiring process. We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak. Here is what we know at www.eatstress.com: If a firefighter candidate is going to get hung up, it will be on the Oral Board. The average Oral Board lasts about 20 minutes. You might five questions, which means you will have 4 minutes for each reply. Add on an opening and closing, and you [...]