Jump to content

Kent Success


Recommended Posts

I've just completed the final hurdle for Kent (medical) and providing nothing goes wrong now, I am one of the successful members of the forum for the Kent campaign.

Like many, I have wanted to be a firefighter since childhood and have been applying since 18, some 15 years now.  I've worked out I have applied for at least 14 different services nationwide, made it to interviews on a few occasions, but always missed out.  The closest I have come before was the North East campaign in 2010.  I selected Durham and Darlington, passed all processes and went on to a waiting list for 3 years.  My luck at the time meant that Durham was the only service of the 4 to not take anyone from the waiting lists.

Then we come to this campaign, my local service, first time they have recruited in 12 years.  I duly applied, already thinking it would go the same way as all my previous attempts.  All services are different and do recruitment slightly differently, but this is how the Kent campaign has worked out.

The initial application was just one of gathering details from the candidate.  This stage did not seem a pass or fail stage.  There was also an eligibility screening at this stage, which was simple enough.

The next stage was a behavioural style questionnaire, which was a pass/fail.  If you passed this, you then had to do the situational judgement test, another pass/fail.  Both these tests are what most services have been using for some years now.

Upon completion of them, it was the ability tests.  A maths and English test.  Again, both tests have been used in varying degrees for some time now.  I would say, brush up on your maths.  The English test is fairly straight forward, with reading a passage and picking out information for the answer.  I found the maths always to be the one that makes me think.

It was at this point that Kent separated from most other campaigns I've gone for.  You had to complete a full PQA style application form.

If passed, it was on to the physical tests.  These were the normal tests most services have used for a while, with the addition of doing the Chester treadmill test on the same day, instead of bleep test that some services do.  We were not told on the day if we passed or failed.  Best advice is to keep going, no matter how you think it is going.  Half way through the equipment carry, I thought I wasn't going to make the time, but carried on and passed.  Do NOT give up at any point, unless the instructors tell you to.

On passing this, it was on to the interview.  It was competency based, but slightly different from the normal PQA competencies.  Kent advised you to look at the behaviours listed on their website, of which there were 8.  In going into interviews, I normally come up with an answer that will fir a PQA and then come unstuck when the question asked doesn't fit my answer.  This time i decided to change my approach.  I prepared like normal, but only come up with subject areas for the PQA/behaviour and not the whole answer.  This helped me massively in being able to adapt an answer to the question asked.  The other thing I used was Civil Service Competency Framework. I matched up the behaviours as close as I could to the framework competencies.  The framework lists both good and bad behaviours an is really helpful for preparation.  I came out of my interview thinking I had blown it and everyone I have spoken with who has made it through had the same feeling.  Do not be disheartened if you think this after an interview.

Then came the phone call to let me know I had been successful.  Following this, I have had my references contacted, completed a CRB check form (still waiting the result on that, but know it will be fine) and had the medical today, which was a pass.  Uniform fitting is tomorrow and full course details are expected within the next week or 2.  

Having done many campaigns, I can say that this one has been the most organised.  At every stage, they have informed you what is occurring at the time they said they would.  They have had a wealth of information on their website, including a PDF about the whole process.

If you haven't, subscribe to this site.  I was a member on the old forum for at least a decade and here since it started.  I never contributed much, but took on board the wealth of information offered by many experienced heads.  Subscribe and make use of that information, it really does help.  Over 3600 applied for the Kent campaign and 3 members of this forum have been successful to get on to the training course of 24, which is pretty darn good.  Also take note of the number of successful posts there have been in recent weeks.  This forum helps immensely.

Good luck to everyone still trying.  Don't give up hope.  28 years of wanting and 15 years of applying and my dream is about to start.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Nice one Crog.  Another one proving that perseverance and being determined to learn from previous knock backs pays dividends in the end.  There have, as you say, been a few of them lately.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Massive congratulations pal. Long followed your ups and downs on here, glad the day has finally come. Hopefully run into you on a job somewhere!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...