What would be proper attire for a written test?
Thankyou for any info.
What would be proper attire for a written test?
Thankyou for any info.
Looking nice is certainly a good idea. I would also recommend dressing comfortably. Get an idea of the conditions at the test site. Will it be cold or warm? Nothing worse than trying to concentrate on test questions when you're sweating or shivering. My test was in a convention center with over 2200 other applicants, and I was looking classier than half of 'em in my shorts and t-shirt. Save the suit for the oral!
I encourage my friends to wear a suit and a tie. Is it overkill? ABSOLUTELY!
People will make the argument that you want to be comfortable and that no one cares what you wear. You should listen to them…..
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.
It’s 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.
We hire people we believe are going to be successful. It’s difficult to hire good people. The more we learn about a candidate and the better we know him or her, the better their chance of getting hired.
You need to remember that the next phase of the testing process is the interview. The same firefighters often are on the interview panel. Word of a good candidate spreads.
We all want to hire good people. Wear what you want. Take a look around at a few dressed in a suit. Pay close attention because the next time you take the exam there is a good chance you will recognize them. This time they may be wearing a different suit, one with badge.
One of the very few times I might disagree with Paul. I would not wear a suit to a written test.
From my experience taking writtens, its a hurry-hurry process that time delayed and usually runs late. People are checking in, grabbing pencils and other test supplies. The FD and test proctors are in a rush and usually overwhelmed as well. With that in mind, you sticking out in a sea of 2000 people might not work as planned.
Now me- I always wore a nice set of jeans, t-shirt and if needed a sweat shirt if its cold. I like to dress comfortable when sweating and answering a 100+ question test in a compress time format.
NOTHING worn should be fire department related. REPEAT- Do NOT wear some "I fight what you fear" or "Tilwater Volunteer FD" shirt to a written test. It looks lame and unprofessional.
And I will admit, I have bad luck. Yup, with my luck, that suit being work to the written would end up with a stain, torn or something like that.
Jeans and a nice collared shirt would also work. Remember, the fireworks come on at the oral boards and thats where they will remember you. Dress the part then.
wear something "business casual" but comfortable - not a suit... maybe a pair of khakis and a polo shirt or something along those lines. Something you can fit your pencils, calculator, paperwork, etc. into and be ready to go.
I took a number of written tests before getting hired, some with as many as 2000 applicants. You probably won't be making a serious impression on anybody that day, but you never know. Make sure you have the other stuff you need (pencils, ID's, certs, copies of your certs, etc.)
Sorry for the double post!
With big city tests holding their written over a number of days with thousands of applicants, I don't think wearing a suit is going to gice you an advantage in the process. Of course you wouldn't want to wear a tshirt with a picture of a marijuana leaf on it either. Scoring well on the written might be difficult while you're sweating bullets in a suit and tie. It doesn't matter how nice you look if you don't pass.... and to be honest it probably doesn't matter how bad you look if you score high.
i wear something that looks pretty good, but I don't dress to impress by any means. I dress to be comfrotable when taking the test. I wear a nice pair of jeans or khakis, a polo, and one of those nice looking fleece pull over things. That way I can be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.
Wear what makes you comfortable, for a written, it does not matter. Don't show up in a wifebeater, and cut off jeans. I have helped proctor tests, and none of us could have cared less what applicants wore, within reason. Nobody knows you, nor will they remember you in a sea of applicants for a written. Later in the process is when you dress for success, and then it does matter.
I'd dress a little nicer if it's a smaller dept. There will be less people taking the test. At a large dept. with 2000 people, they won't remember you.
polo and khaki's work everytime. not too dressed, not too bummed
THankyou for all your input. I just got to the city I'm testing in and will be hanging out for a couple days to get to know the area, and maybe do a station tour or two. Wish me Luck!!
I work for one of those "big" departments. Believe me, the size of the department doesn't matter. We are all looking for squared away candidates.
I love it when candidates give advice of what WE as firefighters are looking for.
While you have your head down focusing on your test, the firefighters are eyeing the group looking for the squared away candidates.
not to be a smartass, but i love it when one firefighter assumes because his department does one thing, EVERYONE does the same thing..
now in all seriousness, BCLeopore i have read and used some of your advice and i am very grateful for it....but a lot of these "joe-smoes" are right...at "a lot" of "big" cities...its a very rushed process...when your in a convention center, and the "firefighters" are in the front and your in the rear, i doubt they can see if you are squared away...i know from personal experience, a friend has gone to several tests wearing that "lame" VFD shirt and a job shirt with jeans....he's got a job now...i, like you, go in khakis and a polo and i have only been to the final interview...
In the past, I have gone to writtens in nice jeans and a sweatshirt. My attire to a written didnt mean a thing because I know I wasnt noticed.
I do like to dress up nice in my suits. That is where I have scored the high scores and the job.
For me, it really came down to dressing the part at the oral board and saying the right things. Its an awesome feeling making #1 on a list. (And no, it was not LB, CA)
I would not wear a suit or tie, I wore jeans and a t-shirt to 2 tests and was hired by both departments. Actaully I remember sitting there and hearing people laughing when the guy walked in wearing the suit.
Now, the interviews are a different story, thats when you want to make the impression.
And like the guy said above, dont wear a fire dept related t-shirt, you will look like a dork..
If you do wear a suit wouldn't it stick in the firefighters mind that is helping proctor the test?
Not a bad impression if you ask me. There is also a good chance that the firefighter that is helping out with the test or CPAT will be on the board as well.
Comfort is one thing but the suit sure wouldn’t hurt in my opinion, you can be comfortable after you get the job, which is what I am trying to do.