Just a little advice... my department recently conducted a written examination on Saturday, about 70 people applied. None of us there were taking notes on what they were wearing, however after an observation, most wore fire related shirts. We never even seen the names of the candidates and won't see them until the oral board when they give the apps to Chief.
However.. like one guy said, maybe you should go a little formal in a small town. But don't wear a suit and tie. Every department is different.
BCLepore.... I give you much resepct, you give great advice and I think it's great that you take the time out of your schedule to post here. So, when I say this I'm not trying to sound argumentative or disrespectful. I'm just curious...
When you say that "While you have your head down focusing on your test, the firefighters are eyeing the group looking for the squared away candidates," does that mean when you see a candidate who is wearing a VFD shirt or a wifebeater you take down his/her name and don't even consider their score? Do you write down the names of people in suits? Or, if he/she were to show up to the chief's interview in a suit, after being ranked at the top of the group, would you not hire them if you remembered they were dressed a little to casual at the written?
I think that a collar shirt is what you should be wearing during a written exam
Thanks for the kind words. I will cut and paste the crux of what I said:
"The smart candidates realize that most portions of the exams are proctored by firefighters. We notice things. Your hope is that dressed in a suit and tie will get the attention of the firefighters who are proctoring the exam.
Itís an good first impression that hopefully opens the door with one of the firefighters. Maybe it results in an invitation to the station to meet the crew."
What you are hoping is to be noticed by the firefighters. The men and women of the department are there proctoring the exam. All of the comments about firefighters not noticing are incorrect. If you are around a group of firefighters you know that we pay attention to EVERYTHING.
Do we notice the wife beaters? No they blend in with all of the wanna bees who wear their XYZ fire department t-shirt, and the reserves who didn't have time to change out of their fire department uniforms (screams look at me!).
I have the luxury of seeing the hiring process through a different set of glasses. I sit on promotional exams all over the place. I am on committees with my peers and with badges much larger than mine. Today alone I spoke to two different background investigators who were calling for references.
Most of my peers know of my involvement and interest with the hiring crowd. The topic always turns to the hiring of new firefighters. Any opportunity we have to select a strong candidate will help us in selecting the right fit for our respective departments.
There is much more that goes into hiring a new firefighter than most will ever know. I have shared one of them with the this forum. Most people believe that wearing a suit in not necessary. That's OK. I wasn't talking to them. I am speaking to the .01% who is listening. The same person who says, "while I may not agree with it, if it helps me stand out I will do it."
I especially like the posts from CANDIDATES who share what THEY wear for a written exam like they are an expert. Ifyou are still taking written exams to get hired, I don't believe you qualify as an expert.........
Personally, I don't care what YOU decide to wear. Like I said earlier, my friends will be wearing a suit and tie.
You make great points. Again, thank you for your time and effort on these message boards.
Chief Lepore, you give great advice and your book helped me finally get over that oral board hump but I gotta disagree with you, a suit and tie during a written doesn't do much. I went through the process with a few guys that were wearing suits you would see celebrities wear, and they didn't get hired. Maybe in Cali though... I hear the competition is brutual.
No one on here, other than you, are proclaiming themselves as an expert. The "Candidates" are simply stating the FACT that FD's in the whole country doesn't run their hiring process EXACTLY like yours....
Originally Posted by BCLepore
Like I said before, most of your posts are very informative, but no need to bash others that dont agree with you..
Sorry to question your authority though, sir. Cause i am just a dumb candidate.
"The "Candidates" are simply stating the FACT that FD's in the whole country doesn't run their hiring process EXACTLY like yours...."
Excellent point.... not all fire departments proctor the written exams.
I ended up goin in with dress slacks and a button up. I saw all kinds of guys in Fd shirts and sweatshirts. One guy even wore his turn out coat. Thankyou for all the support again. I felt I did well on the test. Only a month to wait to hear back.