Oregon State University|blogs.oregonstate.edu

Week 1 – My Perspective on the Last Job I Applied for.

  April 2nd, 2024

Describe your experiences from the perspective of an applicant for the last job for which you applied.

My experience was an intense one. I am currently applying to be a firefighter at various stations in the area and I have found it a daunting task. Having made it past the initial interview at my hometown fire station, Hillsboro Fire, I was moved on to the panel interview. This panel includes officers at that station, city council members, and the chief. Fire interviews are not meant to make you feel comfortable, they are supposed to feel intimidating and push you to your limit to see how you handle pressure. There is heavy competition in larger city departments due to the volume of applicants. Every applicant gets the exact same interview to keep things fair; this means the panel will say nothing to you besides reading off the questions and you are expected to spend several minutes answering each question. At one point I lost my train of thought and had to ask to start over on a question, thankfully I made a good recovery and was moved on to a final, chief’s interview.

Explain how your experiences during the job application process shaped your impression of the job you were applying for and your desire to work there (or in some cases to not work there).

As soon as the interview began, it was then I realized how much I wanted the job. I logged on to my virtual interview to see an audience of professionals who had spent years mastering their craft. It was no joke to them; they had seen plenty of applicants before me and would see many more after I left. It dawned on me how truly difficult it would be to land a job here, but it also reminded me of why the fire service is so highly regarded. Sometimes a thousand applicants apply for a single fire job. It reminds me of how critical the “who” is over the “what” in the industry, as stated in our weekly reading, and largely why the fire service has been so respected over the years. There is a heavy flow of candidates for these jobs, and there is an intense and meticulous process for narrowing down the applicants to find out who gets to work there. There is a common saying in the fire service that departments spend “25 minutes to decide if they want to spend the next 25 years with you.” It’s crucial for departments to identify good character quickly, and they are experts at this.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply