Interview Tip: Name-Dropping
Happy New Year!
Many firefighter candidates think it is appropriate to “drop names” when they are participating in an oral interview or some other phase of the hiring process such as visiting fire stations. You may think this is a great idea and that by you knowing that special person you are mentioning, that you will have an “in” with the fire department. Well, that may be true, but it may be more false than true. While you may be proud of knowing who you are saying you know (this person could be your father, mother, brother, sister, best friend, etc.), realize that all of us have people that like us and people that do not like us. Some have more enemies than friends and some have more friends than enemies – that is reality.
So, here you go mentioning the name of your father to the oral board and how proud you would be to follow their footsteps in the same department. Well, did you ever think there might be people that did not like your father, as much of a saint as they may have been in your eyes? Do you think that the oral board might look at you and think you are going to be just like your father? Very likely they will, even while they are trying to remain objective.
Don’t get me wrong, it is ok to mention that you became interested in the fire service because you had a family member or father in the fire service. I just don’t think it is a good idea to specifically name that person and/or the department they work or worked for. If they ask you for names, then so be it; you’ll have to deal with any consequences – let us hope they are good!