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 an ORAL BOARD interview in your future. It is unavoidable. And, truthfully, this is where most firefighter candidates get hung up. Here is how it goes. You walk to the mailbox. You pull out that letter. You read it. You have been invited to interview. Beads of sweat start building up as the panic sets in. You feel as though you are caught flat-footed. After the initial panic, you feel like you are ready. You go to the Oral. And you fall flat on your face. We get it. We understand. I have mentioned before that the ORAL is where firefighter candidates get hung up. Now let’s talk about why. Read on.

Through our years of involvement in helping firefighters earn the badge, we have received calls from panicked candidates. We can feel the stress over the phone as if we were in the same room. These recruits tell us they were blindsided by an unexpected interview question. We pause. We listen. We know this is not true. What caused the difficulty at the ORAL was their lack of preparedness. It really is that simple.

Here is how it goes – When you walk into an ORAL, you will already be nervous. It happens. The raters expect it. After all, you are interviewing for your dream job. You sit down. The games begin.

You will be asked questions from the guys behind the table. You will be asked many questions. Some will be typical. Some will be completely unexpected. It is the unexpected questions that throw you off your game. You provide your answers. You make typical interview mistakes. You stumble over your words and thoughts. It is obvious to everyone in the room. You leave the ORAL with a sick feeling. You really want this job.

To nail the ORAL, this is what you need. You must prepare. Remember, you only have 20 minutes or so in the hot seat. You will need solid, concise answers that let the raters know who you are. You will need to answer questions in a way that shows confidence and not arrogance. You will need to be yourself and have answers that are not canned. The raters are interviewing you and you alone. Your answers need to be yours and yours alone. They want to know about your unique experiences that bring value to their table. They want to know how you will fit in their house.

How do you prepare for your ORAL? The ORAL is the make it or break it decision-maker for the firefighter hiring process. There are many strategies a candidate can use. Our strategy is time tested and proven as we have helped thousands earn the badge. We have the testimonials to prove it. Reach out. As I said, we know a thing or two.

Fire Captain Bob