We, those who chose to chase the firefighting jobs, live in a weird sort of limbo that few people can understand. We are all driven by a strong desire to get hired as a fire fighter and are willing to put up with a lot of stuff to make that happen. However, the many hours (and dollars) spent training, studying, testing, working-out, volunteering and filling out applications are the easy part. You figure out pretty quickly what is required to have a realistic shot at getting the job, and then you do it. The hard part, at least for those of us trying to do this at an older age when you have more commitments, is to deal with the uncertainty that is inherent in this process. It starts with the application process itself. When will departments start accepting applications? Will you make it through the first stage? Second, third stages? Will you get an interview? Great, you made it down from 400 applicants to the final 30 who are getting interviews. The problem, and hence the uncertainty, is that probably only 6 will get jobs. Waiting for the phone call. Still waiting. Lots of time to mentally review all the things you didn't say or could have said better. It seems like forever because you really want to get the call promising you a job. On the other hand, you are dreading the call because a "no" feels like a slap in the face and reopens the long void until the next process begins. Maybe next week you will be set on the path to a dream job, that is stable, has great benefits and gives you lots of time with the family. On the other hand, next week you may be heading off to another interim job (hopefully not driving a recycling truck) wondering how many months it will be before you get the privilege of beginning the whole process over again.
UPDATE: The waiting game is over. I got the phone call from Coquitlam. "Hi Eric. I've called to tell you that you did well on your interview, but others scored higher than you and therefore we will not be offering you a job. Please apply again next year." That's it. No feed back or advice on how to improve. Certainly no justification for the decision. I'd like to say that I have learned from each interview experience I have been through but I can honestly say I know less now than ever about what a hiring board is looking for.