What to bring to your firefighter interview

Firefighter Interview


The firefighter interview process is one of the most important (if not the most important) parts of the hiring process. It is usually the first time people from the department will see your face *1 and you will want to make a great first and lasting impression. Part of making that great impression on the personal of the department is by coming prepared for the interview.

I’ve already talked about what it’s like going through a firefighter interview but now I want to talk about some minor aspects of the whole process in which you should be doing for the interview. I will be talking about some things like how to dress, what to bring, how to present yourself, and other small tips for this important part of the hiring process.


Firefighter Interview

Make sure you are aware of the exact date, time and place of your interview. Enter this information on your personal calendar so that you stay aware of your exact interview schedule. This may sound almost too basic to mention, but it’s an unfortunate candidate who assumes that the interview is to be held in a certain place, and then discovers shortly before the interview that the appointment is somewhere else. Equally unfortunate is the candidate who arrives at the right place and time, only to find that the appointment is tomorrow or worse, yesterday. Keep the interview notice with your other important business documents and bring it with you to your interview. Do not rely on your memory.

Plan to arrive for your interview at least 30 or 45 minutes early. A few extra minutes will help to take care of unexpected emergencies. It is frequently difficult to find a parking place quickly in the Personnel Department Building area. Late arrival for an interview is seldom excusable.


Your courtesy, alertness, and self-confidence are important; so, you should try to speak in a self-assured tone of voice; smile occasionally; look the interviewers in the eye as you listen and talk. Sit erect, but be relaxed.


Walk in confidence, like you’re supposed to be there – just don’t look too cocky waling around like the world owes you something.

The board members realize that it is normal for people to feel nervous in this situation; interviewers will discount a certain amount of nervousness. If you are prepared to answer the questions, you will probably find that you will not be as nervous as when you are unprepared.

Bring the interview notice with you. Sometimes this is required and you don’t want to forget it at home. Luckily most departments are ok with just having it on your phone.

A question that’s asked by many first time firefighter interviewees is “what do I wear to my interview”? I had the same question when I was first trying to get a job as a firefighter and I wold ask anyone who would listen because I didn’t want to be “that guy” that didn’t dress right for he’s firefighters interview.

Luckily for you, there’s a pretty standard dress code when taking a firefighter interview.


Firefighter Interview


What you should be striving for is a black or dark blue suit with a button up underneath the jacket and a tie. Also, invest in a nice pair of black or brown shoes { show options of shoes to buy online }. Shoes SHINED. Black belt. Socks that match the suit color. If you don’t have the money to invest in a suit then try borrowing one. It might not fit as well but it’s way better than wearing jeans to an interview, trust me, they notice. Make sure to wear a nice looking button up because it is highly likely you will be taking it off at some part of the interview.


You shroud be cleanly shaven for the interview. All firefighters must be cleanly shaven for the job as such you should show up to the interview clean shaven. A mustache is fine if you have one. Except for a watch and your wedding ring, leave the jewelry at home.

Girls, the same pretty much goes you as well. 

Firefighter Interview           Firefighter Interview

One important thing to make sure you do it wear some sort of pants and not a dress. I explain why below. Everything else is pretty much the same as what a guy would wear. If you are not comfortable moving around in heels then wear some flats. They might not look as nice but at least you won’t be falling down in front of the interviewees.

A plain white shirt under the suit for a girl or guy will be fine and looks nice in any interview. Make sure your hair is nicely done and presentable. No “Find ’em hot and leave ’em wet” T-shirts under your white shirt.

The reason you will want to be wearing pants and not a dress is that some interviews include an EMS assessment part in which you will be given a scenario and have to run the call as if you were in charge of the call. The scenario will be within your scope of practice (EMT-B / EMT-P) and usually set to be quite difficult so the interviews will see how you do under pressure.

You will be moving around a lot during this part of the assessment so having pants on will help you move around freely and more comfortable. Most people will take off their coat so they’re just wearing their button-up as it’s easier to move around like that. Again, not all interviews will include this part and you will most likely be notified if they plan to include this portion.

What to bring with you

You’re going to want to bring a couple of things with you to your interview. Most interviewees will bring a small binder with them to put their papers in. A resume, references, and maybe some certs are all good things to bring.

The Resume

I have already talked about how your resume should look; nothing that’s too crazy or confusing. You just want something simple that’s easy for the interviewers to look at. Sometimes they will already have a resume from you that you supplied when applying for the job. Never assume they have a resume from you and always bring your own.

I typically bring around 10-14 copies of my resume when I did my interviews. I wanted to always make sure I had enough resumes for every interviewer that was there. It’s a horrible feeling to only bring 3-5 copies and later find out you have 6+ persons interviewing you. Rule of thumb, bring many copies.



This rule goes for your references as well. Again, you want your references to be pretty simple and easy to read. The department may or may not use your references as you may have supplied that information when you applied but it’s always a good idea to bring them.

What most people do is put “References upon request” on their resume so if they would like a copy they can ask for it. Your references should just be one page of the paper and have the individuals name, phone number, relationship, and email as a minimum. You can add an address and current job but that’s not necessary.

  • Joe Pricket
    • (123) 456-7890
    • Former Manager
    • email@email.com


Some department requires you to bring your certifications to your interview and show them upon request. I’ve personally never been asked for my certification but I bring them with me anyway just in case.

Scratch Paper

The last thing I recommend bringing to your interview is a scratch paper and a pen. I’ve used the pen and paper a couple times in my interviews. Whether it be writing down a question so you don’t forget to answer it, or writing the names and ranks of your interviewees so you can thank them later, or write a question that comes into your head to ask them later. This again is one of those times that’s good to be prepared.


Wildland or other non-fulltime firefighter interviews

These kind of interviews are a little different than the other ones. For the most part, they are all the same so I won’t go too much into them. Below are the differences with taking a different position in the fire service. These different positions include wild land firefighter jobs, EMS jobs, and any volunteer position.

When you go into one of these interviews you should probably ask the department what to wear because of how different departments/crews think of their interviews. You should wear a suit in most cases but in some cases *2 it would be considered a little overdressed. For these, you will be fine with some khakis and a button shirt. You can wear a nice looking coat/blazer over to look even nicer but that’s pretty much all. 

Firefighter Interview

The department you apply for will most likely help you or tell you what you should wear, If not you should be making a call to them. For these types of jobs, you can be asked to do a number of different things for the job, as I had to do.

In my “interview” for the type 2 wild land firefighter crew, I worked for we had to do a hike and the top 2 persons to finish the hike got the job*3. They called us up mid season (in August) and told us we would go for a hike to get the job and a week later we were all hiking up a steep hill for our job. It was a perfect example of why you should always stay in shape during the off season.


Make sure you bring everything with you as you would bring in any firefighter interview. A handful of resumes, your references, and especially your certifications. These are the interviews that usually have a lot of people in the interview panel so bring multiple copies of each, besides your certs – a single copy of each is fine.

If you don’t get the job it’s not the end of the world and there will be another opening and another test in the future, I promise you that. Just keep your head up high and remember why you’re doing this. It’s the best job in the world and all your hard work will be worth it in the end.

I hope you enjoy this post and if you have your own in put then let me know below in the comment section.

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