When hiring for a paid position what does the Dept want to see of the applicant on the hiring process?

Well I am putting this discussion up for the youngsters out there whom have not been into a hiring process yet.


We know how this works from the applicants eyes.   But how does it look to the departments eyes?


When you go to the Informational meeting to pick up your packet or just filling out the application.  How is the best approach should you talk to the people there as if it were an interview or should you move along and get the app and leave?    How should you dress?   What should you say?



Ok now we have our app in and its test day.    We know that the entire process you are being interviewed from the moment you step through the door to pick up the application.     But how do you act around the ones your in competition with .   Is it prefered that you dont really converse with them?   Should you be best friends for life?    Me personally I think its more of a speak when spoken to approach.     But again what does the Department want to see?



Wow were still here we have done the app blew the Cpat test away and rocked out that written test with a 95.   We can still screw up this interview.   I have done it heck I did it the other day.     You walk into a room and there are 4, 5, or 6 guys sittn at a table.     We know this is a scare tactic.   You are trying to be overwelmed to see your reaction and how you handle it.   You walk up and shake there hands do you introduce yourself to everyone or just the first person?   When they tell you to have a seat and everyone is seated should you be first or last?      Ok the questons are being asked now.   When answering do you answer to the whole panel or just the person asking the question?     What about the questions that they ask twice?    Are they just trying to trick you into changing your answer?    We had an interview class in my academy  in which the instructor proved a point.    He is on interview board around there and he made one of the younger members of our academy step out the purpose was to see how much ridacule he could take before he had to go and how he handled it.   It took a while and I was proud of him for it.   


Please if you have been to an interview or have conducted one lend us your knowledge.   Help us on the way to getting a start on our careers.


Oh and one thing I made the mistake of getting on a department just because I wanted on a paid department.    Dont take the first thing you get make sure that the department you are applying for is the one that you want to be at.      It took me a while to figure that out but know that I have I am trying for where I want to be well the general area.

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While I have never conducted an interview, I have been through many of them. I can share what I have learned and been told over the years. Hope this helps.

Always dress appropriate when picking up the application. This means get rid of the baggy clothes, the "bling bling" as they call it, and leave the baseball cap at home. I am not saying that you need to be in a suit and tie, but dress nice. I was always told this is when the interview starts, from the moment you pick up the application. As far as what to say, keep it simple. Introduce yourself, get the app. and fill it out. When you hand it in, thank the person who gave it to you, and leave. Don't hang around and talk about what your qualifications are, at this point, they don't care. There will be a few hundred more people just like you walking through that door with the same qualifications.

On test day, just be respectfull of those you are competing with. Just don't buy into what other testers say. Losts of people will talk themselves up, or claim to be the "golden boy" just to discourage you. Just sit back, relax, and do your best on the test.

Before the interview, do some research on the department and city you are interviewing for. I know it's kind of cleche', but knowledge is power. Knowing about the department can help you with some of those pesky essay questions! Like, why do you want to be a part of this department? I usually made up some resume's for each person in the interview, and passed them out before being seated. These usually included a copy of some of my certification cards. Make them nice, you can get resume' covers at staples.

Dress nice for the interview. I always interviewed in a suit and tie. You want to show that you can be proffesional. Shake hands and introduce yourself to everyone in the room. Sit down when they ask you to have a seat. I have always been told to pull the seat a little closer to the interviewer's table, and sit up straight. Just relax and breath! Answer all questions fully and to the best of your ability. Make eye contact with the person who asked the question first, then everyon else in the room. They may ask you a question a few times, just answer the same as you did before. One questoin I remember the most was one involving your partner in a structure fire. He goes down just as you find a baby. You can only save one, and the other will die. Who do you take? I always answered the firefighter, and gave my reason for it. That was always followed by "I am the father of the baby you left to die, what are you going to say to me?" I always replied that it was a lose lose situation, but I never changed my answer. Some places will try this. When the interview is over, again shake their hands and thank them for the opportunity to interview.

Again, this has been my experience, and I am not sure what the department is looking for in general. Hope this can help someone out.
I also forgot to mention that during the interview to use proper english. Leave the slang terms somewhere else.
Yea, I have seen lots of people that "blow themselves up" not get considered for the position. An attitude like that usually causes some problems later on in your carreer!
I think the thing that really empresses me when I meet someone one is their attitude. Listen to anyone in the military. They always call you sir, look you straight in the eye, and they stand erect. I worked at our academy and I can tell an ex military person within one minute of talking to them. There is some good advise printed here. Tim is right on with his answers. Your not there to be there best friend. Look them in the eye and give them a short no BS answer.
About taking a job where you might not want to stay there. Think about it, you may be taking a job from someone who really wants it. If you take it and apply somewhere else, the next department might see you as someone not serious about staying anywhere. One way to lose respect is to move around alot, although if your dream is to become a firefighter in a big department and it opens up later, go for it.
Hey Chris.
This is a sincere question. Is your word "deparm" short for department? I suspect it is, but need to ask anyway.
I'm putting a resume together now, and with the application I hope to get an interview. So, I'm sucking all this in and didn't want to miss something.
That is the reason that said what I did about makin sure its the right department. What I ment was make sure you and this department will mesh nothing makes it harder in life than not getting along with your co-workers. You will end up hating the job not for the job but the people.

I appreciate all you have said so far especially you Timothy. This is going to be very helpfull to the future generations that read this.

Does anyone else have anything to add?

I think you've gotten some very good responses so far. Many times, the interviewers will ask you questions or give you a situation where there really is no right or wrong answer. They might also ask several rapid fire questions and start tapping on the desk or table (like a clock) to try to rush you into an answer. I've had this happen a couple of times on interviews for law enforcement agencies. The whole point is to see how you might react "under fire" so to speak.

Remember, your interview is nothing more than than salesmanship. You are selling yourself as the best candidate for the position, except a salesman tries to BS their way to a sale. If you don't know an answer, don't try to baffle them with BS. Firefighters and officers are usually pretty good at seeing through BS.
Like I said, I hope this helps someone achieve their dream. It took me nine long years and thirteen interviews to gain my "experience". Good luck.

To comment on working at a particular department, I always dreamed of working at the same department that my father and brother work for. I ended up at a department in the next county over, and couldn't be happier their. This is where I belong, with my new brothers in a new town. So just be carefull, where you want to be may not always be the best spot.
Written test day, only matters how you score. Nobody is looking at how you dress, who you are, whou you volly for, etc....the score matters. Same thing for a PAT. Both determine if you move on to where you can make a difference and impression, the interview.

In pretty much EVERY interview I was in (quite a few) there are a couple questions that seem to always be asked.....
Why do you want to be a FF for XX Dept?
What have you done to prepare yourself to be a FF?
Anticipate a diversity question
Anticipate a situational question such as conflicting orders, you see someone take a wallet, etc.

Thing with an interview is you want to stand out, but remember there are a lot of other candidates being interviewed, so make your responses to the point. Rehearse your answer to the ones mentioned above, eliminate the "ahs", "ums", "you know" etc. Remember everyone want this job because they don't want to be in an office (yet many of those interviewing you are in an office). Everyone wants this job to "help others", what makes you stand out? What kind of history do you have "helping out"?
make it easy on yourself, and I would not lead you or anyone hear on the FFN wrong, just read my posts, you'll figure out that what I say is from the heart...

click www.eatstress.com

this guy helped me and I know his information, much of it free will help you out as well.

please let me know how it went and if this was helpful,

later buddy,

Once again I want to thank all of you. John I have had some of those questions before on interviews. I also had one that was kinda wierd but it made sence. It was "Why do we keep the engines looking clean at all times"
this might help you out a little bud

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