What It Takes To Land A Job
Battalion Chief Paul Lepore
It is important to note that you are establishing your reputation the minute you walk into the fire station. If you make a favorable impression, the firefighters will help you and maybe even pass positive information to the oral board. The same thing can be said if you make a poor showing.
It is impossible for the board to get to know you within a 20 – 30 minute interview. A candidate who maximizes his or her time before the interview by spending time in the stations and getting to know the firefighters can vastly improve his or her score.
If the firefighters like you, they can put in a word to the oral board. If the oral board doesn’t have a good feel for you there is no way you will score in the top.
The way we score candidates is different than most people would expect. If the board consists of two or three firefighters, the minute you walk out the door we look at each other and try to decide if we want you on our crew.
If the interviewers really like you they will score you in the high 90’s. If they thought you were the average “vanilla” candidate with the usual complement of fire science classes, maybe even the academy and a reserve firefighter position, you will be in the low to mid 80’s.
If the board really doesn’t like your demeanor or feels like you were completely unprepared for the interview, you will be below the minimum score of 70%.
If you have already taken fire department examinations, reflect back to your oral interview scores and try to interpret what the board is trying to tell you. If you are in the high 90’s I would suggest that you make sure you are in top physical condition. You are on the brink of being hired. Don’t change what you are doing, as you are already on the right track.
If you have taken a plethora of fire science courses and are doing all the right things to get a job, but still find yourself in the low to mid 80’s, you need to re-evaluate how you are performing on your interviews. It is important to remember that it is not about having more qualifications than the next candidate; it’s about coming across as someone we want to have on our crew.