Latest News2015-12-02T10:52:51+00:00
2406, 2022

To Take the Job or Not!

By |June 24th, 2022|Categories: Becoming a fire fighter, Getting the job, Interview Process, Written Test, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , , |

To Take the Job or Not! A few years ago, one of our candidates, Gavin, was going to a chief’s oral for a training position. Several older and in-service firefighters were offering Gavin their advice. They were saying that he should not be doing this. They said it could limit his chances of being hired by another department where he was on the list. Gavin was focused on what [...]

1006, 2022

The Problem with Pre-Existing Problems

By |June 10th, 2022|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , |

The Problem with Pre-Existing Problems Do you have a pre-existing medical problem? Is there a glitch in your personal life that will stop you from moving forward? Maybe there are charges, and you have a record. If there is a chance that any of these will show up on your background, do yourself a favor. Find out early if any of these will interfere with a career in firefighting. All [...]

2705, 2022

Your Goal is the Badge. What’s Your Plan?

By |May 27th, 2022|Categories: Being Prepared, Goals, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|Tags: , , , , , |

Your Goal is the Badge. What’s Your Plan?  Having helped many over the years earn the badge, we have seen a thing or two. Yup. We have witnessed all types of candidates. Why is this important? Because we are passing our experience and lessons learned onto you. Here is the bottom line – you need to score high enough on your Oral Board to get a call-back. If you [...]

1305, 2022

Read What Others Say: Testimonials

By |May 13th, 2022|Categories: Background Check, Being Prepared, Clean Background, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Real Testimonials|Tags: , , , , , |

Read What Others Say: Testimonials Many of our candidates score high enough on their Oral Boards to get a background packet. Right there and then, this puts them in the hiring process. Their buddies with far more credentials didn't believe them. As a matter of fact, they were angry because it wasn't them going forward. Here are some of these testimonials. Captain Bob, I have passed my first Oral Board ever for [...]

2204, 2022

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!

By |April 22nd, 2022|Categories: Being Prepared, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Test Prep|Tags: , , , |

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize! Have you ever wanted something so badly that it is all you can think about? It could be a new car, a relationship, a house, or a JOB – like becoming a firefighter. When all you can see is what you want – how do you make sure you get closer and closer to reaching your goal? How do you know you are [...]

804, 2022

Private Coaching Will Make A Difference!

By |April 8th, 2022|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Private Coaching, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , |

Private Coaching Will Make A Difference! “Hope is the anchor to the soul.” – unknown   My name is Captain Rob. I am Captain Bob’s son. It is my job to coach all the entry level applicants nationwide. The folks I coach are not doing anything wrong. The truth is they simply fail to include some of the key things they have done in the past that will help them [...]

2503, 2022

Feeling Lucky?

By |March 25th, 2022|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Test Prep, testing, Written Test, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Feeling Lucky? With all that this said about being a medic, I must tell you that we help candidates get hired all the time with little or no experience. Introducing Jim. Jim picked up one of our flyers when he picked up an application for the San Francisco Fire Department test.  He saw the ad for the test in the newspaper. Now, Jim was not a kid. With no [...]

1103, 2022

Anxiety Is Very Common – Especially When Testing!

By |March 11th, 2022|Categories: Attitude, Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, testing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Anxiety Is Very Common – Especially When Testing! Depending on your age, you will or will not be familiar with everyone having some sort of debilitating disorder. It is commonplace. The topic of this recent blog revolves around ANXIETY. By modern standards, anxiety is an emotion earmarked by feelings of tension, worry, and can include some physical changes like an increase in blood pressure. Folks with anxiety disorders typically struggle [...]

2502, 2022

Multiple Job Offers

By |February 25th, 2022|Categories: Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , , , |

Multiple Job Offers Email from Jimmy who has received 2 offers: Dear Captain Bob - After getting your program, I got offered a job. Today, another job offer came. It's unreal. Thanks for helping me package the product (Me) and sell it. It worked! Here is my dilemma. I received a conditional offer of employment from a County Fire. I have signed it and will mail it out. I [...]

1102, 2022

Your Polygraph is Inconclusive

By |February 11th, 2022|Categories: Background Check, Clean Background, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Test Prep, Trick Questions|Tags: , , , |

Your Polygraph is Inconclusive Part of the firefighter hiring process may or may not include a polygraph test. Do not be surprised if your day with the polygraph examiner comes sooner rather than later. Here is what the poly looked like for Bill. There were six pages of questions. These questions were read out loud by him before he was hooked up to the polygraph. When Bill was hooked up, [...]

2101, 2022

Never Ever Lie!!

By |January 21st, 2022|Categories: Attitude, Background Check, Being Prepared, Getting Hired, testing, Trick Questions, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , |

Never Ever Lie!! According to Doug Williamson, a 35-year veteran polygraph evaluator from www.polygraph.com “It is a very serious mistake to believe that you will pass your polygraph or CVSA tests just because you are telling the truth - they are not "lie detectors". Scientific research proves that simple nervousness will cause a truthful person to fail!” Meet Phil. I got a call from him just after he failed his polygraph. [...]

701, 2022

Are Polygraphs Lying to Us?

By |January 7th, 2022|Categories: Being Prepared, Clean Background, Getting Fired, Getting Hired, Test Prep, Trick Questions|Tags: , , , , |

Are Polygraphs Lying to Us? Being prepared for the firefighter hiring process before you show up will put you in a better position to get that badge. You do not want to be caught flat-footed and wondering what happened when the career you have been pursuing evaporates before your eyes. Are you hearing me? Let me tell you about SCOTT. The first time I had contact with him was [...]

2112, 2021

New Rookie

By |December 21st, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Interview Process, positioning, Private Coaching, Rookie|Tags: , , , |

New Rookie A few years ago, I talked to a devastated candidate at a written test. This paramedic had been hired with four other medics by a good fire department. After four months he was fired. He said he thought things were going fine. Then, the captain started telling him that the other firefighters didn't like some things he was saying, starting counseling and documenting him for not taking down [...]

712, 2021

Know the Formula!

By |December 7th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Private Coaching|Tags: , , , , , |

Know the Formula! If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times, after 40 years in Fire Service, we know a thing or two. Some things have changed in fire service, but not the basics. What I mean is that the written and physical ability tests are still pass/fail while the ORAL BOARD carries all the weight of getting you that badge.  After sitting on [...]

2611, 2021

Don’t Chit-Chat – PUT A CORK IN IT!!

By |November 26th, 2021|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Test Prep, You're Prepared|

Don't Chit-Chat – PUT A CORK IN IT!! Often, we get phone calls or emails from candidates after they have completed portions of the firefighter hiring process. This guy wrote to me about his experience during his Oral Board. Read what he wrote and my response below. Captain Bob, I recently passed a written and agility for a department. I had my oral interview the next day. Honestly, I felt [...]

1211, 2021

Having Trouble with the Written?

By |November 12th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Written Test|

Having Trouble with the Written? The firefighter hiring process is unlike any other job interview process you will ever experience. And, if you have read my other blogs, you know how I feel about being prepared. It is a MUST! Even still, no matter the preparation, you might get hung up as you move along. Let’s talk about the written. Is this where you are having trouble? Are you [...]

2910, 2021

Really? YOU GOT FIRED FROM A DEPARTMENT?

By |October 29th, 2021|Categories: Attitude, Getting Fired, Physical Testing, Retiring, You're Prepared|

Really? YOU GOT FIRED FROM A DEPARTMENT? Let's get real here! One of the most difficult hurdles to get over is being fired by another department. It is a blow for sure. But, the cold, hard truth is that there has been an alarming rate of new firefighters fired in their academy and during probation. So, what is going on here? Here is what we know: The number one [...]

1510, 2021

Attitude is Everything

By |October 15th, 2021|Categories: Attitude, Being Prepared, Getting Hired|Tags: , , , , |

Attitude is Everything. Attitude – ever since you were a kid, your parents have told you to mind your attitude. Behave yourself. Respect others. Be kind. And, so much more. In school, teachers may have praised you if you had a positive attitude in the classroom. Maybe you helped other kids or stood up to the bully. Your good attitude was noticed. Later in life, your first boss may [...]

2409, 2021

It’s Finally Here!

By |September 24th, 2021|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|Tags: , , , , , |

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 [...]

1009, 2021

When You Think the Process is Easy – YOU ARE WRONG!

By |September 10th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Job Interview|Tags: , , , , , , , |

When You Think the Process is Easy – YOU ARE WRONG! Here is the situation. Let's say that someone you know is a NAVY SEAL. Imagine the process that this SEAL went through to earn his status in the military – and it is quite prestigious to be a SEAL. Now – imagine that this SEAL has always wanted to be a firefighter. One would think that this person [...]

2708, 2021

They Call Me Poodle

By |August 27th, 2021|Categories: Private Coaching, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , |

They Call Me Poodle The pressure is on. There is no turning back. You have wanted this your whole life. If there is ever a time when you feel as though you are under a microscope, it is during an intense series of job interviews – like the ones you will experience in the firefighter hiring process. Here is what I mean: A guy goes in for his oral [...]

1308, 2021

There is No Need to Create Trails!

By |August 13th, 2021|Categories: Physical Testing, Private Coaching, Test Prep, testing, Written Test, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , , |

There is No Need to Create Trails! In all my years in Fire Service, one thing stands out and shocks me again and again. I cannot believe what many candidates will freely and willingly reveal! Let me explain: Often, candidates call me after an oral board, background check, or psychological interview. They are concerned by some information they have revealed. Usually, this is related to something from their past. [...]

2307, 2021

Crossing the Bridges

By |July 23rd, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview|Tags: , , , , , , |

Crossing the Bridges Part of the work we do in preparing recruits for the firefighter testing process involves fielding phone calls. We get many, many phone calls. Some of these calls are from folks who want help with the Oral portion of a test. First, I ask the date of the Oral. The usual response is that the Oral has not been scheduled yet. They have just put in [...]

907, 2021

Getting that Phone Call

By |July 9th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview|Tags: , , , , , , |

Getting that Phone Call Here is what Josh wrote: “Today, I'm writing with a sigh of relief. I have been offered a position with a department in Oregon. I start on January 3rd. I want to thank everyone for the help and encouragement down the long path. I want to say a special thank you to Fire Captain Bob. Without his words of wisdom, I don't think I would [...]

2506, 2021

Thanks, Coach!

By |June 25th, 2021|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Loved Ones, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|Tags: , , , , , , |

Thanks, Coach! Do you remember being in high school and you had a tough class? You had to pass otherwise you would not be able to play sports or worse, your parents would be pissed. What did you do? Well, if you are like some, you asked the teacher for extra help or you found someone to study with on a regular basis. Maybe you did both. The other [...]

106, 2021

Mechanical Principles: The Ins & Outs

By |June 1st, 2021|Categories: Getting Fired, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Physical Testing, positioning, Uncategorized, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , |

Mechanical Principles: The Ins & Outs If you are interested in being a firefighter or maybe your hiring process has already started, congrats! Let the games begin. This journey will be unlike any other interview you have ever experienced. Let’s talk MECHANICAL PRINCIPLES. Here is an introduction to help you with what many find difficult in the exam process: PULLEYS: 1. The more pulleys, the easier it is to [...]

2105, 2021

Getting Down to the Short Strokes

By |May 21st, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, positioning|Tags: , , , , , , |

Getting Down to the Short Strokes I get a sinking feeling when someone tells me they have been eliminated from the process after getting accepted for a conditional job offer. He or she wants to know what can be done to further their dream of earning the badge. My question is why didn’t you call me before you went on to the next step? Often the answer is that [...]

705, 2021

Keep the Home Fires Burning!

By |May 7th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Goals, Loved Ones, Support|Tags: , , , , , , |

Keep the Home Fires Burning! The phone rings. You get the call. It is happening. You are moving forward. Well, first things first. Yes, your career is making the next move and you are headed to the academy. But, let’s not forget the ones who stood by and encouraged you along the way, were your sounding board, stayed awake at night to figure out how you could get a [...]

2304, 2021

Digging In: Your Background Check

By |April 23rd, 2021|Categories: Background Check, Clean Background, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired|Tags: , , , , , |

Digging In: Your Background Check After 40 plus years in Fire Service, we have seen a thing or two. We have been asked some great questions. This is always the case when it comes to the background check. Here are a few: What exactly happens during a background investigation? What kind of information does the background investigation dig up? Who do they contact and how? Is it likely they [...]

204, 2021

Navigating the Background Appeal

By |April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Background Check, Clean Background, Getting the job|Tags: , , , , , |

Navigating the Background Appeal Even after working with firefighter candidates, we usually hear from them. From time to time, a candidate will call or email when things are good, and when things are not. We are happy to help. Read what situation our friend, John D., ran across. Dear Captain Rob, Once again, I need some advice. About 10 years ago, I got in trouble for having a fake [...]

2603, 2021

When the Wheels Come Off the Wagon!

By |March 26th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Test Prep, testing|Tags: , , , , , , |

When the Wheels Come Off the Wagon! The firefighter hiring process includes a Psych Test with an evaluation by a psychologist. When the evaluation goes wrong, the firefighter candidate is eliminated from the hiring process. As you can imagine, the wheels start coming off the wagon. Here is how it goes down. Before the interview, the psychologist will often have you take a separate personality test, fill out a [...]

1203, 2021

Pass the Psych Test the First Time Out!

By |March 12th, 2021|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Passing Medical Exam, Test Prep, testing|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Pass the Psych Test the First Time Out! You want to be a firefighter. You have jumped through all the flaming hoops and made it through the background check. Then, you are offered the job pending the medical, which includes a psychological test. You take the test, no problem. Right? Wrong! All of a sudden, the phone stops ringing. Let me tell you about my experience with Bill - [...]

2602, 2021

Improving Poor Oral Board Skills

By |February 26th, 2021|Categories: Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, positioning|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Improving Poor Oral Board Skills If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times, your scores on the ORAL BOARD are crucial in landing a firefighter position. And can be 100% of what gets you hired. Here is the million-dollar question. What are you doing incorrectly that is keeping you from getting hired? The bottom line is most firefighter candidates don't have the right interview [...]

1102, 2021

The Number One Problem in Getting Hired

By |February 11th, 2021|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Number One Problem in Getting Hired If your dream has always been to become a firefighter, most likely you understand that there is ­­a process that happens to earn the badge. Chances are you have researched or talked with others about the firefighter hiring process in general. There are applications to fill out and requirements to meet. You know this. Part of this process means that there is [...]

2201, 2021

Physical Agility: Technique, Momentum, and Grip

By |January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Physical Agility: Technique, Momentum, and Grip Firefighter candidates don't realize that it's not just strength that is required in physical agility. If you are having problems in the physical, there are steps you can take to prepare. Before I go any further, I want to be clear that the NUGGETS here are technique, momentum, and grip. You do not want any surprises during the Physical Agility. I encourage firefighter [...]

801, 2021

Eliminated on Your PBQ – Where’s the Threshold?

By |January 8th, 2021|Categories: Clean Background, Competitive Advantage, Getting the job|

Eliminated on Your PBQ – Where’s the Threshold? Here is a very real situation. You took an online Preliminary Background Questionnaire (PBQ). When you tried to continue, it flashed PERMANENT DISQUALIFICATION! You wonder what the heck happened? Let’s be clear. The Preliminary Background Questionnaire is designed to eliminate candidates early in the hiring process before they spend lots of time and money on those who they would refuse later. [...]

1812, 2020

Five NUGGETS for A Successful Firefighter Job Interview

By |December 18th, 2020|Categories: Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Five NUGGETS for A Successful Firefighter Job Interview After 40 years in Fire Service and much of that on the line, I know a thing or two about earning your badge. I know that nothing else matters to you than becoming a firefighter. Most likely, you have wanted to become a firefighter for as long as you can remember. I understand that being a firefighter is in your blood. Afterall, [...]

412, 2020

NO! You Are Not Ready!

By |December 4th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

NO! You Are Not Ready! Read my lips – or these words. No matter what you think or no matter how much you have been down this road before, you must accept one cold fact. You are not ready for the firefighter testing process that is required of all firefighter candidates. How do I know? Trust me. After 40 plus years in Fire Service and working with firefighter candidates [...]

3010, 2020

It’s a Small World

By |October 30th, 2020|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Private Coaching|Tags: , , , |

It’s a small world Ever feel like you are living in a fishbowl – or under a microscope? Here is the story of Tom. He is going in for his oral interview in Berkeley, Calif. He has an education, loads of experience, and he's ready to knock 'em dead. Tom is ready!  They asked him to tell them about a stressful situation he'd been in at work and how [...]

1610, 2020

Who Are You Sending to the Oral Board?

By |October 16th, 2020|Categories: Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, positioning, Private Coaching, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , |

Who Are You Sending to the Oral Board? I can't think of anything more disappointing than to spend lots of time, money, and effort to get your oral board presentation memorized, only to find out that you sound just like the person who interviewed before you. From an interviewer's perspective, there is nothing worse than sitting in a room and listening to person after person come in, sit down, [...]

910, 2020

Goals and Why We Need Them?

By |October 9th, 2020|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Goals, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , , |

Goals and Why We Need Them? Goals – we all have them. We need them. They keep us moving forward and on track with what matters. Goals relate to family, work, education, and just about everything in our life. Ask yourself this – What is your goal? Is it a degree? Is it a firefighter's badge? Once you know what you want, how do you make it happen?  Let's [...]

210, 2020

Nailing Your Oral Interview

By |October 2nd, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|Tags: , , , , |

Many of our candidates are going for their Oral Boards. For some, this is their first oral. And some scored high enough to get a background packet. This puts applicants in the hiring process. At first, their buddies with far more credentials didn't believe them. Then, they were angry because it wasn't them going forward.  Here are some thoughts.  A candidate wrote to me and told me he had [...]

2509, 2020

One Step at a Time

By |September 25th, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Test Prep, Trick Questions, Written Test, You're Prepared|Tags: , , |

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 [...]

1809, 2020

The Hiring Process

By |September 18th, 2020|Categories: Getting Hired, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview|Tags: , , |

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 [...]

1109, 2020

Don’t Open a Can of Worms

By |September 11th, 2020|Categories: Background Check, Clean Background, Interview Process|Tags: , , |

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 [...]

409, 2020

Are You Fire Academy Ready?

By |September 4th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

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 [...]

2808, 2020

First and foremost – Your mom was right.

By |August 28th, 2020|Categories: Background Check, Clean Background, Getting Hired|Tags: , , |

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 [...]

2108, 2020

Losing the GIG. What’s Next?

By |August 21st, 2020|Categories: Competitive Advantage, Getting Fired, Getting Rehired|Tags: , , , , |

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, [...]

1408, 2020

After 40 years, We Know a Thing or Two

By |August 14th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Passing Medical Exam, Physical Testing, Test Prep, Written Test, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , |

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 [...]

708, 2020

Luck is for the Prepared

By |August 7th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Private Coaching, Test Prep, You're Prepared|Tags: , , |

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. [...]

2407, 2020

No Preambles – EVER! 

By |July 24th, 2020|Categories: Background Check, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview|Tags: , , , , |

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 [...]

1707, 2020

One-on-One Coaching Works

By |July 17th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Getting the job, Private Coaching|Tags: , , , , , |

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 [...]

1007, 2020

Don’t Let This Happen in Your Interview

By |July 10th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting Hired, Interview Process|Tags: , , , , |

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 [...]

307, 2020

Follow The Bouncing Ball

By |July 3rd, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Competitive Advantage, Getting Hired, Getting the job|

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 [...]

2606, 2020

Your Competitive Advantage

By |June 26th, 2020|Categories: Competitive Advantage|

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 [...]

1906, 2020

The Oral Board Skinny

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|

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 [...]

1206, 2020

This Testimony Says It All

By |June 12th, 2020|Categories: Real Testimonials|

This Testimony Says It All As retired Fire Captains in Fire Service, my son and I enjoy what we do to help firefighter candidates earn the badge. Whether it's answering emails from candidates, talking on the phone to walk a candidate off the ledge, or simply sharing in the excitement as a candidate moves further along in the hiring process, Captain Rob and I are all in. At eatstress.com, we [...]

506, 2020

The Background Check 

By |June 5th, 2020|Categories: Background Check, Being Prepared, Clean Background, Getting Hired|Tags: , , , , |

The Background Check  That’s right. You have made your decision and are ready to give it your all to become a firefighter. You are committed to doing everything you can, within reason, to earn your badge. We hear what you are saying. And, all of us at eatsress.com want this for you, too. Let’s get started. How does your background look? Even if you are already a firefighter and making a [...]

2205, 2020

What Do I Wear To A Lateral Interview?

By |May 22nd, 2020|Categories: Getting Hired, Interview Process, Job Interview, You're Prepared|Tags: , , |

What Do I Wear To A Lateral Interview? So, you are seeking a Lateral position. Understand that you are applying for a snot-nosed rookie position.  And, know that you have no time or rank with the department where you are testing. The question is what to wear. Well, don’t wear your military, volunteer, other department, dogcatcher, or other uniform to your interview. Here is why. For some reason, firefighter candidates [...]

1505, 2020

The Best Oral Board Secrets Revealed!

By |May 15th, 2020|Categories: Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Test Prep, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , |

The Best Oral Board Secrets Revealed! The Oral Board is the most misunderstood part of the firefighter testing process. It is where candidates typically get hung up again and again. How do you fix that? A candidate must prepare, prepare, and prepare again.  A candidate must be ready to nail the Orals. Why? Simply put, the Oral Board gets you the job! Many applicants tell us they want this [...]

805, 2020

Applying For A Lateral Position

By |May 8th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting the job, Interview Process, Job Interview, positioning, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , |

Applying For A Lateral Position The biggest problem when seasoned veterans take entry-level or lateral tests is that they can’t place themselves in the position of being a snotty-nosed rookie. It’s hard for them to remember what it was like to be the newbie. Instead, they try to hammer the Oral Board with their credentials. They think the Board will just hand them the job. But, the truth is [...]

105, 2020

Persistence Is Key!

By |May 1st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Persistence Is Key! At eatstress.com, we work with candidates from all over the country. And, we hear from them regularly before, during and after we engage to help them earn the badge. Here is an email we received: Captain Bob, I have been testing for 10 years and have taken approximately 73 tests. I want to figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong, so I can get the badge! [...]

2404, 2020

A One-Page Resumé

By |April 24th, 2020|Categories: Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards, Resumés|Tags: , , , , |

A One Page Resume A resume. Yes, you need one. It is pretty much mandatory for any job you would ever want. But, here is the trick – KISS. You have heard that before. It means, Keep It Short and Sweet. When you put your thoughts together for your resume, write it believing the raters won’t go past the first page. I am telling you the truth here. Be concise. [...]

1704, 2020

Do I Need a Letter of Recommendation?

By |April 17th, 2020|Categories: Interview Process, Job Interview, Oral Board Process, Oral Boards|Tags: , , , , |

Do I Need a Letter of Recommendation? If just one thing is true, it is this. The ORAL is unlike any interview you have ever experienced. I am telling you the hard, cold facts when I tell you this. A letter of recommendation as it applies to the interview process is just one area where the difference is obvious. You may think it will help to have letters of [...]

1004, 2020

Commit To Your Career

By |April 10th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting the job, Test Prep, testing|Tags: , , , , , |

Commit To Your Career Over the years, we have helped thousands – yes, thousands – earn the badge. At eatstress.com, we work with candidates through not only private coaching but also guide them along when they choose a more independent route. We hear from candidates when they succeed. We hear from candidates when they feel they have hit a wall. And, we can help them turn the corner. Here is [...]

304, 2020

The Unique Oral Board

By |April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Job Interview, Oral Boards, testing|Tags: , , , |

The Unique Oral Board For many people, job interviews can be tough. Whether a seasoned corporate worker bee looking for something new, or a kid fresh out of school, interviews can be very tricky. This truism applies to applicants working to earn their badge. Let me explain what I mean. First and foremost, the corporate interview is very different than the interviews you will experience as you work towards [...]

2703, 2020

A Seat at the Table

By |March 27th, 2020|Categories: Getting Hired, Job Interview, Test Prep|Tags: , , , , |

A Seat At The Table In my 40 plus years in fire service, I have seen this as a constant question. And, a great question. WHO GET A BADGE? WHO GETS A SEAT AT THE TABLE? Let me tell you the cold, hard truth right here and right now. Getting this job has nothing to do with how great a firefighter you are. It has nothing to do with [...]

2003, 2020

Practice Makes Perfect

By |March 20th, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Test Prep, testing|Tags: , , , , |

Practice Makes Perfect At eatstress.com, our goal is to help as many as possible live their dream and earn their firefighter’s badge. It’s that simple. With 40 plus years of experience, we have helped dreams come true for thousands. After all, we all know that being a firefighter is a front row seat at the greatest show on earth. Before we go any further, let me ask you a question. [...]

1303, 2020

Remember – It’s for the Experience

By |March 13th, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Job Interview, Test Prep, testing|Tags: , , , , |

Remember - It’s for the Experience Every day, those of us at eatstress.com have the chance to change lives. And, to be completely honest, my son, Rob, and I are very grateful. It is an incredible feeling to be able to help so many live their dream. Here's another situation I would like to share. In doing so, I hope I encourage you to see your own struggles are not insurmountable. [...]

603, 2020

The Possibilities Are There – If You Are Willing

By |March 6th, 2020|Categories: Job Interview, Oral Boards, Test Prep, testing, You're Prepared|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Possibilities Are There – If You Are Willing All too often, we hear candidates say they only want to work for a particular department or in a certain area like their hometown. And, when they test outside their area of interest, they are adamant that they would never work there if offered a job. Volunteers hang their hopes on one day being a paid member of their department.  They hang on [...]

2802, 2020

Dreams Do Come True – When Prepared

By |February 28th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

Dreams Do Come True – When Prepared Having over 40 plus years in fire service, I can brag and tell you that I know a thing or two. I hear from candidates every day about their struggles and difficulties scoring high enough to get the job done. With our program, we work to help them discover what is holding them back and what needs to be overcome in order [...]

2102, 2020

Which Path Will You Take?

By |February 21st, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting the job, You're Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , |

Which Path Will You Take? In our last four academies, we hired 39 medics and 12 firefighters. Here was the thinking….our department wanted a medic at each station. As a result, we were down about 25-30 people. And, we didn’t hire all medics because medics weren’t the people who were retiring. The long and short is that we didn’t need everyone to be a medic. We just needed some [...]

1402, 2020

How Long Can You Tread Water? 

By |February 14th, 2020|Categories: Being Prepared, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , , , , |

How Long Can You Tread Water? I could not agree more with the value of an education. Education can and will help you in many ways. But, here is the truth – everyone has an opinion about this, and there are exceptions to every rule.  How does that translate to a career in Fire Service? There are many roads to earning your firefighter’s badge, and there are no guarantees [...]

702, 2020

The Curve Ball Question

By |February 7th, 2020|Categories: Oral Boards, Private Coaching, Trick Questions|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Curve Ball Question Because I interact with many who use our eatstress.com program, I received this email: Captain Bob, I have been a volunteer firefighter for 3 years now. I only began seeking employment as a career firefighter 1 year ago so that I could finish my bachelor’s degree.  I have never had any problem passing written and physical exams but am getting eliminated after oral boards.   I am at a [...]

2401, 2020

It Can Happen F-a-s-t

By |January 24th, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Job Interview|Tags: , , , , , , |

This is How Fast It Can Happen Things can happen fast. Let’s follow this recent candidate over a 2-week period to understand how fast. And, by the way - this candidate had never been to an Oral interview and was a non-medic testing against medics. Here is Pat’s story. From Pat: Hi Captain Bob: I just took my first interview with a multi-agency test after going through your audio/video [...]

1701, 2020

Shoot for the Moon

By |January 17th, 2020|Categories: Getting the job, Your Career Path|Tags: , , , , |

Shoot for the Moon We all have dreams. It is what keeps us moving forward. Dreams get us out of bed in the morning. Some dreams are attainable. Some are not. But, we still dream. Here is a situation where I was asked to give my opinion. Captain Bob- I've been offered a position to pitch with the minors.  It doesn't pay much, and I don't know if I'm good enough [...]

1001, 2020

Run Like Hell…

By |January 10th, 2020|Categories: Clean Background, Getting the job|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Run Like Hell! You are interested in a career in the fire service. The jobs are out there. And, as a matter of fact, we’ve all heard the stories about people looking for fire service jobs even though they feared something from their past would stop them from earning the badge. It might be something big or small holding you back. Let’s take a closer look at how your [...]

301, 2020

Do I Need a College Degree?

By |January 3rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

Do I Need a College Degree? Let’s get something clear – very clear - Leave no doubt that I fully believe in education. If you want to get a doctor, lawyer, public Administrator, Engineer or any other career that requires a college degree and beyond. But….don’t think for a second that a college degree is the key to earning your badge and becoming a firefighter. Here’s a timeline to [...]

912, 2019

It’s An Early Christmas!

By |December 9th, 2019|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting the job, Passing Medical Exam|

It's An Early Christmas! I told Nick that in our experience, this meeting was going to include a job offer conditional on passing the medical.  It was exciting news. This was an emotional time. Not only did Nick get this e-mail on his birthday, but he was driving home for Thanksgiving the next day. That very next week, Nick was with the other candidates in the lobby when they [...]

2511, 2019

Not Your Momma’s Oral

By |November 25th, 2019|Categories: Being Prepared, Getting the job, Retiring|

Not Your Momma’s Oral Sometimes, you will hear folks talk about how easy it was in the '70s to get hired as a firefighter. Back then, people got hired right off the street. There was no test. It was just a handshake. You see, fire departments in the late '60s and early '70s earned incentives for hiring guys coming back from Vietnam. Those guys now have 30 years in [...]

1511, 2019

Do You Have the COURAGE It Takes?

By |November 15th, 2019|Categories: Getting the job, Job Interview, positioning|

Do You Have the COURAGE It Takes? So – you have wanted to be a firefighter for as long as you can remember. You want it so bad you can taste it. But here is the hard cold truth -  If you can’t answer yes to the following questions, you will never – and, we mean never,  see a badge! Before we get started, ask yourself these questions: Are [...]

3110, 2019

First Time Out

By |October 31st, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, positioning, testing|

First Time Out We get it. It's your first time taking the test. You're nervous. What can you do to give yourself an edge? And, you are wondering if anyone out there has been hired on their first try? The answer is, YES. Here is a look at Steve's first time out..... A very excited candidate recently called me with a great story. At age 23, Steve decided he [...]

1710, 2019

Didn’t Get By To Pick It Up

By |October 17th, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, positioning|

Didn't Get By To Pick It Up I was invited to a career day for a paramedic college a couple of weeks ago. Several fire departments and ambulance companies were represented. A group of aspiring candidates was standing around my table, asking questions. One candidate said he had just taken oral boards in Oakland and CoCo County. With our video playing on a VCR monitor in the background, I [...]

1010, 2019

Wind Chimes

By |October 10th, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, positioning|

Wind Chimes Have you ever listened to wind chimes? One hangs in our back yard. It contains 6 chimes. When there is not much breeze, only one chime is heard. It's a constant monotone gong, gong, gong, gong. When the wind changes direction ever so slightly, all-6 chimes begin to play a melody. It would take a short time as an oral board rater to hear the same constant [...]

2609, 2019

The Root of the Question

By |September 26th, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, positioning|

The Root of the Question A candidate was asked, "What have you done to prepare for this interview?" He thought for a moment. I asked him what he thought the question was really asking. It was clear he believed this question had to do with the interview and not the bigger picture. When he left the interview, he immediately remembered one of the 30 possible oral board questions. "What [...]

1709, 2019

Tell Us About A Time…

By |September 17th, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, positioning|

Tell Us About A Time... The testing process remains the same for fire and law enforcement and will continue to include an oral interview. The things they are looking for within this process are changing slightly. They are looking more at the personality of the applicant than the resume and credentials. The thinking is that if we are going to train the new hire to do things our way, [...]

1908, 2019

LIFE IS TIMING

By |August 19th, 2019|Categories: Being Prepared, Job Interview, positioning|

LIFE IS TIMING While in Washington DC with our 13 and 15-year-old grandsons, I read a topic on one of the firefighter bulletin boards. A candidate, named Mike, was asking a scenario question about a firefighter who showed up for a shift and had been drinking. What do you do? I thought Mike received some bad advice on how to answer the question. Right away, I emailed Mike to [...]

2207, 2019

RESUMES ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE!

By |July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Job Interview, Resumés|Tags: |

If it doesn't come out of your mouth, you will not get credit! Question: If they don't accept resumes, then how are they going to know what I did? Will I somehow have to work all that information in the oral? And if so how and where? Thank you- a confused wannabe Reply: One of the major error's candidate's make is thinking that because I have listed experience and [...]

3003, 2018

LIFE CAN BE YOUR PLAN B

By |March 30th, 2018|Categories: positioning, testing|

LIFE CAN BE YOUR PLAN B Jon and his 9-fire technology academy buddies set out to target six departments in the northwest where they wanted to work. Their Plan A would cultivate these departments and be in a position when they tested. After almost two years, no one got hired or was high enough to be considered. Then Jon read a section of our website that encouraged candidates to [...]

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“Nothing counts ’til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

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    “The only hinder that I found myself with was not passing the oral… For all of the candidates out there...
    Becoming a Firefighter
    5
    2018-04-22T16:51:46+00:00
    “The only hinder that I found myself with was not passing the oral… For all of the candidates out there that don’t believe this, try passing and ranking #1 on orals with a stuttering problem…I did.” – Dave, FF/PM  
    Using Capt Bob’s program I was called back for the chiefs oral. I ended up #2 on the list and...
    Becoming a Firefighter
    5
    2018-04-22T17:01:21+00:00
    Using Capt Bob’s program I was called back for the chiefs oral. I ended up #2 on the list and now proudly wear the badge for Denver. I would not have been in this position if it wasn’t for “Captain Bob’s” program.
    “Well, I never thought I would be writing this to you, Captain Bob, but it happened to me also… Out...
    Becoming a Firefighter
    5
    2018-04-22T17:02:45+00:00
    “Well, I never thought I would be writing this to you, Captain Bob, but it happened to me also… Out of a possible 120 pts, I scored 119.87 pts! I couldn’t believe it! … Just wanted to say THANK YOU!” – Armando  
    Using Capt Bob’s program I was called back for the chiefs oral. I ended up #2 on the list and...
    Becoming a Firefighter
    5
    2018-04-22T16:44:54+00:00
    Using Capt Bob’s program I was called back for the chiefs oral. I ended up #2 on the list and now proudly wear the badge for Denver. I would not have been in this position if it wasn’t for “Captain Bob’s” program.  
    “I tested for 10 years taking 73 tests. My next oral was in two weeks. I wanted to figure out...
    Becoming a Firefighter
    5
    2018-04-22T16:47:33+00:00
    “I tested for 10 years taking 73 tests. My next oral was in two weeks. I wanted to figure out what the heck I was doing wrong… with Captain Bob’s program and coaching, I was shocked to see I had ranked number one and got my badge.”  
    5
    5
    Becoming a Firefighter

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