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Topic:  Credit Score and Rambling on Interviews Newsletter #70 entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED!

We currently have over 40,000 subscribers to our newsletter!

March, 2013

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    1. Topic:  Credit Score and Rambling on Interviews

2. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country

    3. 2013 City of Austin Firefighter Exam Update

    4. 2013 City of Arlington Firefighter Exam

    5. 2013 City of Atlanta Firefighter Exam

    6. 2013 City of Fort Worth Firefighter Exam

    7. 2013 City of Lubbock Firefighter Exam


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    1. Topic:  Credit Score and Rambling on Interviews

Credit Score

You've moved along in the process.  You've done well on the written and the physical agility.  You are coming to the interview process.  Most fire departments these days do a very thorough background check.  Part of that background check is going to be your credit score.  What does your credit score reflect about you when you get to that most important part of the interview process?

In the eyes of the chiefs and officers doing the hiring, what does a low credit score show?  It shows someone who is irresponsible, not paying their bills, going in debt, and thinking that no one will ever find out.  In today's society, companies push credit cards on people.  You have to be responsible.  Having 1-3 credit cards is fine, as long as you are paying your bills on time and not building up large balances.  Chiefs doing the interviews could view a low credit score as someone who could well be irresponsible when they get on the job.  They might also view you as the kind of person that feels it's only about me and what I want no matter what the cost.  I'll figure out a way to pay it off down the road.  A lot of candidates worry about their driving record, any misdemeanors, things like that and often neglect their credit score as something that couldn't possibly influence their hiring.   Well, you're wrong.  Again, credit scores these days are playing a big part in the hiring process.  Most certainly, chiefs may shy away from someone with credit score baggage.

The background investigators will take into consideration whether or not your debt is for college loans to further your education.  They might feel that is a reasonable amount of liability.  But you still need to be paying back your loans on time.

The bottom line is this keep yourself out of the numerous credit card trap, pay your debts in a timely manner, and keep your balances low.

The following is the government agency that can be used to check your credit report online:  Your credit report could be inaccurate and falsely reflecting a poor rating.  If you see false information, you can take steps to correct the report.

Rambling on Oral interviews

That's often the problem. Candidates want to give us so much over-kill information they think is important so there is no question or doubt the panel members understand their answers. The candidates try to give us a blue print, when we just need a sketch. Try to give us a dump truck, when we just need a trailer. It often puts the panel to sleep. Especially if the candidate doesn't know they are using clone answers.

When some candidates start talking in an oral, it's like going on a journey. There could be no final destination. Most panel members aren't packed for the trip. Too many candidates end up rambling towards the end of the oral board answers. I refer to this as trailing off.

Keep it simple. Your mind will tell you when you need to stop. It you don't, you will keep adding unnecessary stuff, mumbling, trailing off and the answer will be pronounced dead way out there somewhere ending with, "Blab, blab, blab. And, that's about all . . ."

When working on an answer or a signature story use a tape recorder to practice, rehearse, time, and condense the story down to where you have a great answer and killer story. Have someone in the know listen to your answers to give you some feed back. Be concise, but brief. Tell the story. Make the point. Move on.

You will know if your answers are too long if the raters start getting a glaze on their eyes or they cut you off (not a good sign). And, yes if you go too long in the mouth you will not take advantage of being scored on all the questions.

There is one question though where you will want to dump the whole load, leave nothing out no matter what. That question is What Have You Done to Prepare for the Position.

For more oral interview preparation, click on the following link:


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Past Newsletters!

If you would like to review our past newsletters, go to the link below or visit or and click on "Past Newsletters."


2. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country, in conjunction with, brings the following job announcements for your review.  Since 1996, has been providing its members with the most comprehensive and accurate firefighter employment information available. We list complete hiring information and provide links to the Departments' websites and local area.

Every time we post a new listing, we verify the information and verify links to the department. We search newspapers all over the nation daily to provide you with the most current job listings available.

We also provide links to the city in which the department is located. This helps those who are interested in moving to another location to find out about the area. With this tool, you can check out housing, schools, cost of living and even entertainment options before you move anywhere.


Firefighter Job Openings:

Chapel Hill, NC

Prince William County, VA

Spokane Valley, WA

Nassau County, FL

Dept of the Interior

Grand Prairie, TX


Chapel Hill Fire Department
302 North Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Orange County



Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  March 29, 2013


Town of Chapel Hill
306 North Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516



Prince William County Fire and Rescue
9250 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110

Prince William County

703-792-4362 - fax


Position: Firefighter / EMT or Medic

Last Filing Date:  April 21, 2013

Prince William County
4380 Ridgewood Center Drive
Woodbridge , VA 22192



Spokane Valley Fire Department
10319 East Sprague
Spokane, WA 99206



Position: Entry Level Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  March 20, 2013


Spokane Valley Civil Service Commission
10319 East Sprague
Spokane, WA 99206



Nassau County Fire Department
96160 Nassau Place
Yulee , FL 32097

Nassau County

904-321-5748 - fax


Position: Firefighter/Paramedic


Nassau County
96135 Nassau Place, Suite 1
Yulee, FL 32097



Department of the Interior
Fires Program Office
Boise, ID 83705-5354



Position: Wildland Firefighter (Range or Forestry Aid/Technician) - Boulder City NV

Last Filing Date:  March 29, 2013

INTERIOR, National Park Service
FIRES Program Office
Boise, ID 83705-5354
Phone: 888-364-6432


Grand Prairie Fire Rescue
201 NW 2nd St. Ste 200
Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Dallas County

214-237-8309 - fax

Position: Firefighter

Grand Prairie Fire Department
318 W. Main Street
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
972-237-8192 obID=598179&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0& WDDXJobSearchParams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27 %3E%3Cheader%2F%3E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3E%


3. 2013 City of Austin Firefighter Exam Update

The City of Austin will be conducting a firefighter examination on May 13.  Go to the following website,, and fill out a Candidate Interest Card to be notified of the application details for this examination.  Don McNea Fire School will once again be conducting an in-depth preparatory seminar.  Check our website for all the details soon! 


4. 2013 City of Arlington Firefighter Exam

The City of Arlington, Texas, will be accepting applications for their upcoming firefighter exam from 3/25-4/21.  Only the first 2000 applications will be accepted.  Click on the following links for more information about this examination:

If you are preparing to take this examination, click on the link below for our in-depth preparation for this exam:


5. 2013 City of Atlanta Firefighter Exam

Beginning March 1, 2013, the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department will accept applications for Firefighter positions.  Applications will be accepted beginning March 1, 2013, until the close of business on April 1, 2013.  Go to the link below for registration information


6. 2013 City of Fort Worth Firefighter Exam

The City of Fort Worth's eligibility list expired on March 2, 2013.  You can fill out a firefighter trainee interest card online to be notified of their next examination.  Click on the following link for more information:


Click on the following link for Don McNea Fire School's in-depth preparatory package for the Fort Worth Firefighter Exam!



7. 2013 City of Lubbock Firefighter Exam

    The City of Lubbock is now accepting applications for their upcoming examination.  The application period is from March 4th through March 29th.  The firefighter exam will be on Monday, June 3rd.  Information is available through the following link: rces/home/default.aspx


Click on the link below for Don McNea Fire School's in-depth preparatory packages for the Lubbock Firefighter Exam:




The Ultimate Firefighter Examination Package - Complete Exam Prep Covering the Written, Oral, Psychological, Physical Agility and much more!

Time and time again, research has shown that the top scoring applicants have a game plan. They are preparing well in advance for the written, physical agility, psychological, and oral portions of the examination as well as reviewing top scoring test-taking strategies that will give them an edge over their competition.

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We hope this newsletter and upcoming editions will assist you in obtaining the best job in the world - a firefighter.  We wish you the best of luck!

Don McNea Fire School


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