Q. I think I should have been contacted for my oral boards, but this has not happened. What should I do?
A. The contact information, including email address is on the contacts page.
Q. When will I be contacted for my oral interview?
A. Every attempt is being made to schedule your interview as quickly as possible. There are various circumstances that may delay your oral interview; e.g., living in an area where there are few applicants or mission requirements of the agents who would be conducting your interview. You will receive written notification when you are scheduled for your interview. You will probably receive a notification of places to choose for your interview. If more than a month has passed since you received your tentative selection package and you haven't received notification of an interview you may contact the Twin Cities Oral Interview Coordinator.
When reporting for your oral interview, please be prompt, present yourself as a professional, and provide the panel only with the documents listed in your tentative selection letter. If you find that you are unable to attend your oral board because of a bona fide emergency situation you are required to contact the Twin Cities Oral Board Coordinator in advance of your scheduled interview at 612-467-7007 to make arrangements for having the interview rescheduled. If you do not appear for your oral board and do not contact Twin Cities in advance of your scheduled interview your offer of employment will be withdrawn.
Q. What are the best ways to prevent appearing like a total dork?
A. Show up with plenty of time to spare. Know where the location is BEFORE you actually have to be there. You should probably locate it the day prior to your interview during daylight hours, so you can relax on the way there. Consider what traffic will be like at the time of your appointment.
Dress better than all the other applicants. You don't want to be the one who shows up in Levis and a tee shirt and all the other people are in the brand new suits. This is a major, life changing career change. Dress like it!
Be well rested. Don't party the night before. Not only will you reek of booze, but you'll have bed head and you'll be even more prone to barfing than normal. After you PASS your oral boards, then it is time to party. Invite me.
Don't act like a "sabe de todo" (know it all). Oral board members just hate those guys and they do not go easy on them. Be yourself and give answers to the scenarios that you would really do, not what you think they want you to do.
Q. I am a male. How should I dress for the interview?
A. You should dress like you are going to a funeral........your own. A black or navy blue suit would be good. The closest thing to it if you don't own a black or navy blue will have to do. Wear a professionally laundered shirt that goes well with the suit. Do not go for the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" look. The less jewelry visible, the better. If you normally wear a wedding band, wear it to the interview. If you normally wear six piercings up and down the side of your ear or in your eyebrows, PLEASE wear that, too. That will be sure to impress the panel members. If you want to wear your Mr. T starter kit, go ahead, but don't say I didn't tell you so.
Shine your matching shoes. Make sure your belt resembles the same color of your shoes. For God's sake, do NOT wear white socks. That is a sure sign of a redneck or a severe athlete's foot sufferer. Decent looking cowboy boots will neither help nor hurt you, so if you are comfortable in cowboy boots, go for it.
Haircut should be recent and of a businessman's style or military style. High and tights are not necessary. If you wear facial hair, I wouldn't make radical changes just for the oral boards. You might not pass, then you don't have the job and you don't have your beard. Not only that, but it looks plain silly to show up with an un-suntanned spot where your goatee used to be.
After shave should be used discreetly if at all. You're on an interview, not a date.
Q. I am a female. How should I dress for the oral boards?
(Note: This was written by a successful female applicant.)
1. SKIRT OR PANTS? Okay, the key to the skirt or pants question is to wear what you are most comfortable in. Remember that you could be waiting for your interview all day. (The author of this piece waited 5 hours.). I chose to wear a black pant suit with a white blouse underneath. The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to look PROFESSIONAL and POLISHED. Stay away from bold colors or prints. Remember that you want the board to be focused on you, not your shirt.
2. HAIR: Hair can be distracting especially if you play with it when you get nervous. My best suggestion is to get it up and away from your face. This is naturally a more professional look and will keep you from "accidentally" playing with it while in your interview. Make sure that whatever style you choose that it looks natural and is not all lacquered up with hairspray or gel.
3. SHOES: Make sure your shoes are freshly polished and clean. You could be waiting all day for your interview so make sure you choose a comfortable yet appropriate pair.
4. BRING A HANDBAG OR A BRIEFCASE, BUT DON'T BRING BOTH: Make sure your bag does not clash with your outfit and that it is of good quality. Always make sure to carry your bag in your left hand. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling when you go to shake hands. When I went to my interview I took a small leather portfolio case. Inside was an extra pair of nylons, a compact mirror, face powder, Carmex, a small bottle of water, a snack, the papers I needed to bring, and my picture ID. Put your picture ID in an easy access pocket. You don't want to make the panel wait while you are rummaging around and you'll come across as disorganized.
5. HANDS/NAILS: Make sure your hands and nails are neat and clean since you will be shaking hands and giving the board your papers/ID. I would stay away from any color polish and stick with a nice french manicure or a neutral beige.
6. MAKE-UP/PERFUME: Remember that you are not on a date so do not use any perfumes or scented lotions. You never know when someone may be allergic or associate one of these scents with a bad memory or person. Makeup should be neutral and not too heavy. Try to stick with sheer glosses on the lips and absolutely do not wear red lipstick.
7. JEWELRY: Go easy on the jewelry. Keep your look simple and understated. Wear small earrings. If you want to wear a necklace keep it simple. . . maybe just a small diamond pendant. Also, if you wear a ton of rings take them off. You don't want to look like Mr. T.
Q. What kind of stuff will they throw at us at the Oral Boards?
A. Sorry, but I can't go into that. I have been trained as an Oral Board officer and I feel that any info I give out would be a conflict of interest. Generally, you are given situations that test how you respond to dangerous or stressful situations and you are expected to produce a suitable response in a short time frame. The agents want to know what YOU would do in these situations, not what you think THEY want to hear. You will not be tricked. The orals are designed to examine your decision making ability, emotional maturity and interpersonal skills. (Note: webmaster makes coughing noise, stamps foot three times and taps the blackboard.). Unless you desire to be held up to public ridicule, DO NOT ask agents or applicants who have been to the orals to divulge actual scenarios from the oral boards. They will not do it. When you go to the orals, you, too, will be asked to sign a non-disclosure form.
The most common responses to this question on the message board are:
1. Just be yourself;
2. Get a good night's sleep;
3. Find the location of the oral boards the day before during daylight hours.
4. Dress conservatively.
5. Relax (yeah, right! ).