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Conditional Offer West Yorkshire


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Hey guys, I never thought I would be saying this but I finally got a conditional offer with a start date of September 2018 or January 2019. The hype is real :D

My story in a nutshell is that I used to be quite an undecided person but finally realized that I wanted to join the fire service when I was in my first year of Uni studying Film Production of all things. However I was adamant to finish my degree and not long after finishing I took a year out to travel eight countries in Asia (so glad I did this). Anyway after I got back from my adventures I began applying, I have been dreaming of joining for five years and been applying for two years. I have applied for 15 services including repeats, attended 9 physical days and been invited to five interviews.

Please feel free to ask me anything. I feel as though I have learnt quite a bit in these two years and now I can finally relax while I wait to start my dream job.

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Well done!

I bet it was an amazing feeling receiving your job offer!

Out of all of your applications, which part would you say was the biggest hurdle? 

And do you have any tips for us who are still going going through applications with high hopes! 

Once again, great news! Persistence is key!

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It was amazing, thank you :)

I think my biggest hurdle initially was those psychometric tests that come with Apollo system, I still believe they are an unfair way of testing people. There is no way to revise for them really, it is just luck. I found the best way to do these strangely enough was to rush them and not think hard about the answers. I don't know if this is good advice for everyone so please take it with a pinch of salt. 
How I got round the Situational Awareness (I think that was the name of the questions about what you would do in firefighting scenarios) was as follows. There is no time limit on these tests so one time I took screenshots of each page with my answers. I passed that service and then used the same answers every time with subsequent services as it is the same questions for all of them, using this method I passed every subsequent Apollo first stage.
In regards to physical tests. I got to the gym and eat to gain mass five times a week. However the strength requirements of the physical tests are really low in my opinion. Focus on cardio! This is what will help you pass. I also run four miles once a week as a general habit. But before a physical test I do the bleep test every night for four nights before it (aim for 11/12). I also taper my eating so I am feeling less heavy. If you do this and feel like you still have gas in the tank by the end of your bleep tests you will smash the physicals. Especially do this routine if the service you are applying for has a firefighter fitness test (is that the name? It is basically the equipment carry on steroids! you have to do it in under 11:11 and it sucks) or a bleep test. Merseyside has bleep to 9.6 but I have not seen higher than this yet. 
In regards to assessment centre days or team exercises, don't do what I did and become the quiet guy, start talking from the beginning so you feel comfortable otherwise you may fade into the background. In my feedback I was told that was why I failed. 
And lastly for interviews. I always look what they say the interview is about first. For example with the West Yorkshire one I think it was about their core values. So I wrote one or two examples of stories I had for each of these values. I then just read through these many times so I felt confident about it. 
I have never got obsessed about the pqa's and I have never used the STAR technique, I just try to be myself and listen to what they need from the question. I feared if I tried to use a technique like this I would become too robotic. I wrote a speech that I asked if I could read out when the interview had finished so that the service would know about the extent of my application history and other sacrifices I had made in life to join the fire service, for example using all of my holiday, travelling around the uk and staying in hotels on a low salary and cutting my long hair to a more sensible cut. I also always have a list of questions to ask at the end to show how interested I am (make it specific to their service if possible). 
I have always been honest about applying for other services as I think it shows determination, otherwise you could just be a guy that found out about the job on facebook or something.
If you need any more specific questions answered, go ahead. Also I am no expert and I have still not passed the medical yet which is ages away :'(
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Congrats mate, all the hard work paid of them, will hopefully see you out there some time, I got a conditional offer to start in January next year with West Yorks.

I agree entirely with what you said regarding the interview, I strayed away from the pqas somewhat in mine, and felt more myself, which obviously paid off. 

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@TomWales not guaranteed yet Tom, I was in the first round of applications and tests, so I found out in July, however I'm type one diabetic so my medical result is taking a while, as there is a bit of back and forth betweeen my consultant and the Service Dr. Basically the doctor said all is good he just wanted a full report on my condition, which has been submitted, I'm just waiting on the response.

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Excellent news Tom!

I am in the same boat as you. Just got my conditional offer to start September 2018 or January 2019. (I think we may have been at the same physical day).

I would echo the advice regarding physical. It's a lot more focused on cardio than strength. But don't see the physical as the be-all and end-all. I was no where near the fastest in the BA Crawl (assessed), probably mid-table. And the Fireground fitness test I completed in around 10:45 (11:11 is limit). Some lads were hitting nine minutes. 

The interview is more important. I think a solid performance here sets you apart for the others. A good time in the BA crawl is not going to cover a bad interview. Use the days leading up to the interview to go through your answers/scenarios, in particular think of real world situations you can fit into your answers. The more recent the better (as any follow up questions you will be able to answer clearly). 

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I purposely didn't ask my time for the ba crawl as I didn't wanr to worry about it. Everyone was comparing times and I was just chilling, ignorance is bliss :)

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  • 2 years later...

Hi, was informative reading your experiences,  sounded very genuine and motivating so thanks for that.

Anyway good luck for your journey ahead!!

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