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Many times, this is the first question that is asked.  This sets the stage.  This is where the assessors get an idea of who you are, what your qualifications are, what you've done.  This is truly that first impression.

This question requires specific, extensive preparation.  Talking about yourself may sound easy, but too often candidates make the mistake of answering with a chronological life recitation, starting with where you were born, what grade school you went to, where you graduated from high school, what sports you played, where you live, your wife, your children, and ending when you got on the fire department.  Unless you prepare for this question appropriately, this can be extremely boring for the assessors. 

This is not a time to be humble. Go through your resume.  If you haven't put a resume together, you need to do one that lists everything you've done in the department, projects you have been in charge of, leadership roles you've held, committees you've been on in the past or are currently on, your education (Associates Degree in Fire Technology, Bachelor's Degree, etc.), your certifications and licenses (Haz Mat, confined space, water rescue, etc.), and your community involvement (active in your church, feeding the poor, social concerns, volunteering at various organizations in your community, etc.).  Your community involvement just needs to be 2 or 3 things not a long list that will lose the attention of the assessors.  The assessors want to know that you are not only a good officer and have prepared for this position, but you are also active in the community.

When you are practicing, consider organizing your answer into broad categories education, relevant experience, accomplishments, recognitions and awards, community service the order of which can be changed depending on the position you are interviewing for.  Start by creating a list.  Separate the list into categories.   Then write a narrative that tells your story.  Learn the narrative and practice it until you are comfortably able to recount it in about 5 minutes in your interview.

If you would like to review additional promotional exam prep packages, go to our Assessment Center Exam Prep pages at the links below:

Promotional Oral Interview Exam Prep

Fire Tactical Exam Prep

Subordinate Counseling Exam Prep

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Leaderless Group Exam Prep

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Don McNea Fire School's Assessment Center Exam Preparation has been put together by Fire Chiefs who are nationally-recognized authors and who have been assessors for thousands of assessment center examinations.

As always, all of our Assessment Center Exam Prep products come with a no-risk guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied, we will refund 100% of the product cost no questions asked.


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