How to Take the Firefighter Oral Exam
On the road to your first job as a career firefighter, you will encounter a number of tests.
These include test of will, such as finding in yourself the discipline required to apply to and work hard in school, and actual tests—namely, the state written and oral exams. Your training and education will prepare you for these tests, but for some, the natural nervousness that sets in before a big examination can be a distraction. That’s why the best thing you can do to pass these tests, aside from studying and learning the material, is to prepare for the testing environment.
It may vary by county or state, but in most cases, the firefighter oral exam comes just before or after the written test. HCI wants to help prepare you not only for the written exam and the content of the oral exam, but also to present yourself in the best light during this important step on your journey to becoming a firefighter.
Make a Good First Impression for Firefighter Oral Exam
The oral exam is meant to measure things like your composure, etiquette, and presentation, so how you arrive and begin the process is key to your success.
- Arrive on time and ready to begin. This means five minutes early. Prior to the exam, take care to double-check the location and directions. Walk in the door ready to test. Leave your coffee cup and phone conversation behind, have all paperwork you need at the ready, and know the name of the person you were directed to.
- Present your best self. It may not seem like wearing your best suit or unscuffed shoes has anything to do with getting a job, but attention to detail shows you take your work seriously. You may be standing during the exam, so take that into consideration as well.
Be Prepared for Firefighter Oral Exam
Take time to network with people in your field, ask questions about the exam, and show enthusiasm for your answers. You might not know the specific questions they’ll ask, but you can bet on needing to explain why you want to be a firefighter, what service to the community means to you, and how you would handle certain situations. Spend time thinking about your reasons and responses, so you can speak confidently when prompted.