It’s Finally Here!

Well, it’s finally here. Your day has come. Congratulations! And, welcome, Brother.

There were ups, downs, twists, and turns. No matter what happened and however long it took, you stuck with it. Persistence is key. You now have your badge. Let’s back up and talk about the road traveled to get here.

Sharing your experience could help others get the badge, too. Don’t be too big for your britches. Share what happened along the way. Be open with recruits who may be so green behind the ears that a bit of encouragement could change his path.

Yes. You’ll meet the recruit who has no experience whatsoever. You may also run into the applicant with several certs and a good amount of experience. Maybe you’ll meet a kid who is overconfident because they know somebody. Hey, kid! That is not how it works. No matter what you encounter – tell the truth. Let them know that the only thing stopping them from getting the most important call of their life (okay – maybe not the most important call but close) is how well they do on the ORAL BOARD.

Tell them this. If it is easier not to prepare in the short term, it’s probably the right thing to do for the long term. When it comes to getting your badge, being ready for the ORAL BOARD is a must. Consider sharing these tips:

  • Practice! Practice! Practice! You get about 20 minutes to land a lifetime career.
  • Prepare unique answers for the ORAL questions that have been rehearsed again and again. You need to know your story.
  • Have confidence – not arrogance.
  • Let the raters gain an understanding of how you will fit in their house. Always remember it is their house.

Here are other tips for the newbies – Nobody interviews enough to get good at it. A recruit needs to bone up on the interview skills to be any good. Look at it this way. Many others are competing for the same firefighter’s career on the table. A firefighter candidate better be on top of their game to get their shot.

Most of the time, candidates are their own worst enemies. They will train for the written and physical but not the ORAL BOARD. They have no clue what the raters want and how to stand out while fitting in at the same time. They have no idea how to make their answers unique and memorable. This is where personalizing the answers comes in handy.

Finally, and to the point – A recruit can be stubborn. They must get out of their own way to earn the badge. A newbie must look in the mirror and face weaknesses instead of bolstering strengths by practicing the obvious. Now is the time to pull out all the stops. The interview will make or break your chance for the badge. Do not leave the ORAL BOARD to chance. Use all available resources you have and knock the socks off the panel. How many candidates have the internal fortitude to do this? Are you one of them?

Captain Bob