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Uniforms at Interviews

Hey all,

I am currently a Call Firefighter (Paid-Call) for LA County. My question is. . . Would it be wise to wear my LA County uniform to interviews? I have talked to my fire tech instructors and some regular FF's who say its a good idea. What do you think?
Keep Up The Good Work,
CFF Bollar
Engine 278

I'll offer my personal opinion and say no. I don't have any scientific evidence to offer you about it being detrimental, but it just seems to rub *me* the wrong way in most Fire Department entry-level interviews.

While I will allow Captain Bob and Captain Paul to offer you their well-researched insight, I would opine that you'll be able to mention the fact that you are a call-firefighter in some manner of your conversation without trying to "over-sell" the issue.

Once members of the oral board learn you are a call firefighter, they will naturally create their own mental picture of you in uniform, and may likely inquire about how it has prepared you for the job.

If you search the archives here, I am confident that you will find some excellent advice and links to information about how you might best dress for success. I do recall Captain Bob going into great detail about the negative aspects of some rings, pins, tie tacks and costume jewelery, especially those that assert affiliation or membership.

Again, this is just my personal opinion. YMMV.


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This message was edited by lafdpso on 11-19-03 @ 1:38 PM

Thanks for the advice. To be honest it didn't sit right with me either, I felt like "Why would the members of Fire Dept. 'A' be interested in me being a member of Fire Dept. 'B'?" With the exception of prior experience, of course, but as you said that would probably come up during the interview anyway. Thanks again!
Keep Up The Good Work,
CFF Bollar
Engine 278

Brian is right on about wearing your current uniform to another department interview. I've seen it all including military, volunteer and yes dog catcher uniforms show up at an interview. Since what you wear is the strongest non verbal statement you can make, dress for success.

My daughter-in-laws sister went to a dispatchers interview wearing her current army dress uniform. I asked her if they called her back for the next process. She said not yet after 2 months.

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

Fire "Captain Bob"
Author of the new book Becoming A Firefighter--The Complete Guide to Your Badge!

This message was edited by captbob on 11-19-03 @ 3:19 PM

To me it's a maturity thing. I would never suggest wearing a uniform in an interview. The uniform has a purpose and an interview is not it.
Personally I would grade a candidate down for showing poor judgement.

This also goes for standing in line for an application while wearing your uniform. We are looking to hire mature peoplpe who exercise good judgement to fill our positions.

Take a look around at the next entrylevel test. Count how many people are standing in line with a fire department hat or t-shirt. I would venture to guess that you don't see alot of older candidates sporting some fire gear.

It's a sign of maturity.
Paul Lepore, Captain
Author of "Smoke Your Firefighter Interview"
Think outside of the box!