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What to Expect in the Fire Chief's Interviews?

I get asked that question a lot, it seems to be that after all the hard work to get to a chief's interview, when it finally happens you feel you aren't ready and don't know what to expect. Not all "chief's interviews" are with "the chief". They can be a second interview just like the first, an interview with other chiefs, or a meeting with the man himself.

First of all, the things you did in your first interview were right, that's why you are continuing in the process. Second, the chief knows you have passed all of the other portions of the test, the physical, written and oral, so he knows you are qualified. Now he wants a chance to get a look at you, see if you are someone he wants working for him and if you are going to fit into the culture of this department. You could have anything from a fully structured interview, to just a cup of coffee in his office. You cannot prepare for a cup of coffee, but you can for a structured interview. Get back into preparing just like you did before your initial interview so you are prepared no matter which way it goes.

Another good idea is to go and talk to some of the last people they hired. They were the last ones to do it right and they may be able to give you some pointers.

The last thing is easy for me to say and difficult for everyone to do. That is to get yourself prepared to the level where you can go in and be comfortable and confident. Doing that while your whole life and future depend on this meeting is not easy, but it is very important. If you cannot sound comfortable and confident in yourself, it will be hard for him to feel that way about you. You and I could go into the same interview and say the same thing word for word, you in a calm manner and me as a nervous guy and you would score higher than me. If you can go for a good run before your interview, and still cool off, you can exercise out some of the adrenaline, as well as release some positive endorphins that will help you stay relaxed. Make sure the time before your interview is kept stress free, you don't want to put any adrenaline back in your system, arrive early and I'm sure you will do fine. Remember, this person sat in that same chair long ago and asked for a job, he knows how you feel. He is going to try to get the best out of you, don't make it hard for him.

Courtesy of Captain Rob @

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