1. #1
    Forum Member
    trauma308's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    29

    Default Uniform for interview?

    I'm currently in the Marine Corps, about to get out, and I've recently applied to a department near my home to be a resident firefighter/EMT. I was also a resident at another department in the same county prior to enlisting in the Marines.

    I'm wondering what would be better to wear for the oral board and chief's interview; my Marine Corps service uniform, or a civilian suit? I don't want to come off as overconfident or get ahead of myself, but it was simply something that occurred to me the other day.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Also being a servicemember, I would suggest going with a civilian suit. Incorporate your experience in the Corps into the stories in your oral interview.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,802

    Default

    You aren't going to the interview on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps. so why wear the uniform? That's the way I see it. You are going to the interview as yourself, not as a rep. of the military (same can be said for those wondering to wear their VFD or current FD uniform).


    I am curious, are you even allowed to wear your uniform in a situation like this? My FD would give me the beat down if I wore my dress blues or even my uniform around and I wasn't on duty or representing the FD at some function. I imagine the Marines would have similar regulations.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    north of San Francisco
    Posts
    296

    Default

    First off, thank you for your service to our country. Second, Please do not wear your uniform. Most all of the points you would get for your service would be lost by not dressing properly.

    Other than being a firefighter already, there is nothing that is seen as more desirable to the people that hire than military service. If showcased properly you should be able use the things you have done and learned into a fire job.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    180

    Default

    im sorry, but i seriously cant believe you even thought of this. its not like the marines can punish you if you did, since youll be out, but you would be giving them very bad image and thats the truth behind, especially if where your at isnt too military-friendly (like where im at).

    the dept will know that your prior service, have your 214 with you, no need to rub it in.


    *im prior air force, btw.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    trauma308's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    29

    Default

    I really appreciate everyone's input, and it sounds like there's a pretty resounding consensus to not wear my uniform. I had planned on wearing a suit rather than my uniform. The question came up after talking to the guys in my shop, a few of whom emphatically suggested wearing my uniform. I'm glad I asked about it here, so I had opinions from another viewpoint.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    You want your oral board to run smoothly without any surprises. Since what you wear is the strongest non-verbal statement you can make when you walk into the room a uniform, any uniform, might not get you off on the right footing. Are you willing to take that chance?

    For some reason candidates have been convinced by themselves or others that this will some how separate them from the other candidates. It can but not in a way you were looking for. It often hits the panel that you are asking for more points.

    Understand you are applying for a snot nose rookie position. You have no time or rank with the department you are testing for. So donít wear your military, volunteer, other department, dogcatcher or other uniform to your interview.

    Here's a recent one.

    A candidate from out of state called from southern California the night before his oral board. He asked if it was all right if he wore his military uniform to his oral? I asked him if he had brought anything else to wear. He said no. He said his dad and other members of his family that are in law enforcement told him it would make him stand out. I told him to go ahead and wear his uniform and we would talk later.

    Did he get called back? Nope.

    Men: Do wear a wool suit in dark blue or gray. Pinstripes are fine, but avoid brown, black, or high fashion brightly colored suits. Sport coats or blazers are out, so is polyester. Tie should be in a solid color such as navy, red, maroon, yellow stripe, or paisley print. Wear a white, off white, or pale blue long sleeved shirt in cotton or a cotton blend. Starch it no matter what the instructions say. No patterned shirts!

    Donít: Wear casual or novelty watches, too much jewelry, monograms, religious, political, or fraternity affiliation accessories. Beards are out; mustaches are a gray area. When in doubt, shave it off. Donít wear cell phones, pagers or any other electronic leases.

    Good luck
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    174

    Default

    Just curious why you think black suits are bad? I don't interview anymore so it doesn't affect me, but I always wore a black suit. I don't think that ever hurt me. I finished top of the list and was offered to start my background which was the last step before getting an offer in a large city. So I probably would have gotten it if I didn't turn it down. The current job I have is for a very large east coast dept that doesn't have interviews so I wouldn't really know about this place.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pipeman1822 View Post
    Just curious why you think black suits are bad? I don't interview anymore so it doesn't affect me, but I always wore a black suit. I don't think that ever hurt me. I finished top of the list and was offered to start my background which was the last step before getting an offer in a large city. So I probably would have gotten it if I didn't turn it down. The current job I have is for a very large east coast dept that doesn't have interviews so I wouldn't really know about this place.
    You can't beat success. Black is a little too formal, more for dances, funerals and being a star in the movie Men in Black. If black is all you have like you did, wear it. If you're going out to buy a new one, consider not getting black.
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Don't forget to unbutton your jacket when you sit down if you didn't know. Also, if you feel like, ask if you can take your jacket off during your interview being comfortable is paramount to a good interview. Remember to push in the clutch with your brain before you shift gears with your mouth (think before you speak).

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    north of San Francisco
    Posts
    296

    Default

    I would not ask to take my jacket off in an interview.

    There is a very good chance the people interviewing you are going to be wearing their class A uniforms, even if they are not, your comfort is not important. This is an interview for a job in which you have to wear your uniform when its hot as well as turnouts when it is summer time. The last thing I would want them to think is that I wasnít able to wear a suit coat for 15-20 minutes.

    I know a guy who was going for his captains interview and he was a shoe-in, had the job in the bag. He ran a district program, had never messed up and knew it was his turn. He took a bottle of water into his interview with him and a little to often he would unscrew the top and take a drink while he came up with the answer to the question he had been asked. The chiefís were very put off by this, first it was too casual an act for an interview and second they didnít have any water. He was passed over for that promotion.

    Some departments will tell you what to wear. Phoenix specifically says to wear a polo shirt and Dockers. They mean it. Because of the heat and the culture of their department they have done away with the suit in their interviews. But unless you are told what to wear, what not to wear, wear a suit. All of it. Donít take off your jacket, your shoes, donít loosen your tie, go in looking like a person looking for a job and keep that look through the whole interview.

    As stated above a suit coat is buttoned standing up, and unbuttoned sitting down. I recommend buttoning it while you are waiting to be called, so when you stand you can give your jacket a tug, shake hands with the person escorting you in, shake hands with people on your panel and then unbutton it while you sit, so you are buttoned and unbuttoned at all of the right times and not appearing to fumble with you buttons.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,471

    Default Buttoned?

    Never, ever take your jacket off, even if it is 120 degrees and the panel has theirs off. You're not in charge of the interview. One candidate told me he went to an interview with a tie, suspenders and no jacket. I asked him who did you think you were Larry King?

    How do you normally wear your jacket buttoned or not? Do it that way. You could go in with it buttoned and then unbutton your jacket after hand shakes but before you sit down. But, you might forget in the excitement of the moment. So, go in the way you would feel most comfortable.
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default

    suits are the way to go, i did an interview for fire service early last year and the guy before me and guy after me wore ordinary everyday clothes, they got roasted by interview board the second the walked in about the state of them........

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    trauma308's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    29

    Default

    A big thanks to everyone who gave their input. I wore my good suit for the interview, and it went very well. The only problem was when I was asked to go outside and demonstrate familiarity with a few power tools! Oh well, no worries, because I did just fine on that, just had to take the suit to be dry cleaned later that week.

    I start the 6-week academy in 2 weeks, then on to shift and EMT course.

    Thanks again to everyone that shared their insight.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Congratulations! I've never heard of them testing proficiency on tools DURING the oral interview (maybe at the PAT), but hey, you did it. A small dry cleaning bill with be nothing compared to the pride and happiness you'll have for the rest of your career. Again, congratulations! Don't be a stranger around here.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Suit

    I'm with zzyyzx...I to have not heard of a practicle during an oral interview. Like it was said
    "You can always clean the suit." Congratulations on your new job and good luck...
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    Not common but anything is possible on smaller departments where they might have volunteers.

    This from Tom Dominguez:

    A while back, I had a hand crew test where the interviews were held within minutes after completion of the agility. The agency expected dripping wet and smelly candidates. I took along my suit and a few towels and I found a hose bib and washed up as best I could.

    I put my suit on and went into my interview. As it turned out, the interview panel was most surprised that someone would wear a suit for a hand crew job. Needless to say, I got the job offer!

    From time to time, I take classes held at various fire agencies. When those agencies are holding interviews and I am there taking a class,during breaks, I still see numerous candidates showing up in Levis, Dockers and shirts with no ties. No point in shooting yourself in the foot! The moral of the story is ALWAYS wear a suit! Wear a suit for any interview, no matter what the title of the position, unless you have been instructed otherwise. Best wishes.
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    north of San Francisco
    Posts
    296

    Default

    I coached a guy for a small department in the Midwest. He called me after his interview and said the chief had the best cheapest lie detector ever. About halfway through his chiefís interview the chief asked him how much he could bench-press. He said a few pound more then he usually did and the chief asked him to stand up and take off his jacket. As he did a guy was behind a curtain, right there in the chiefís office, putting the weight he said onto a bar.

    He said it took all he had but he was able to get it up once, he thinks the spotter my have had a little pity on him. As the chief was wrapping up the interview, he said he didnít have enough money in the budget to do a big background but he found that the guys that lie will lie about everything they think you canít check and were very surprised to see the bar behind the curtain. He said about half lied, but everyone of the got in there and gave it a try.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    90

    Default

    On all of the letters my department sends out to candidates for things like interviews, background orientations, and academy orientations, "business casual" is listed as proper attire. Anyone who shows up in anything other than a suit and tie gets the roasting of a lifetime.

    Congrats on your success!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Uniform Question
    By BD6413 in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-22-2005, 09:31 PM
  2. uniform??
    By CaptBob in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-30-2005, 10:23 AM
  3. Prince Harry In A Nazi Uniform!!
    By CaptOldTimer in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 01-20-2005, 08:28 PM
  4. Class A Uniform
    By CaptBob in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-12-2004, 10:59 AM
  5. Uniform Shorts
    By iamfireman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-16-2002, 02:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register