I think alot of times veterans expect to be promoted just because of their time spent. I'm not saying that experience doesnt count for anything but the complacency in the "longtimers" is sometimes more widespread than just training and safety. When it comes to promotional interviews with candidates we are charged with selecting the best person for the job in the best interest of the department, community as well as the firefighters. People get nervous in the interview. We know and expect that, and we look past that. We also expect to see the passion for the trade in their eyes. We expect candidates to speak from their heart... not their heads. Don't try to tell me what you think I want to hear... tell me what is in your heart. You may think it's corny but you need to open up. Don't be afraid to tell me whats wrong with the department (respectfully) but you better have a suggestion on how you see a fix for it. Share your ideas for building the department or operations. They may not exactly mesh with the current direction but it shows that you think "beyond what is to what it could be". (wow, doesn't that sound profound! LOL ...but it's true). Tell me what challenges you and how you work through it... at home, with life and on the job. Don't assume that because you have been here 10-20 years, that I know all about you. I may have preconceved ideas of you that you clear up in your opportunity for advancement.
We often ask what "Integrety" means to you and it is often surprising what comes out. Some people have no idea what the word means and some only know what Websters tells us.
Passion, Integrety, Fortitude, Ability to do the right thing, Decision making abilities, Convicion, Promise, A genuine interest in what you do, what your uniform stands for and the people you work with.
You dont have to be the greatest speaker but you have to show that your the best for the job. I know that the world isnt perfect and there are people who get jobs by who they know and thats a shame but when it's a level playing field and there is no race, gender, religion... issues on the table the panel is trying to do what they feel is the best for the organization, so don't be pissy if you don't get selected. Nobody likes a poor looser. You may just end up cutting your throat for future opportunities.
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