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Uniform for interview?

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  • 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
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        Good Luck, Capt Rob
        www.myfireinterview.com

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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 don’t 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!

              Don’t: 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. Don’t wear cell phones, pagers or any other electronic leases.

              Good luck
              _____________________________________________

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

              More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
              http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


              Fire "Captain Bob"

              www.eatstress.com

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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!"

                  More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                  http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                  Fire "Captain Bob"

                  www.eatstress.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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 wasn’t 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 chief’s were very put off by this, first it was too casual an act for an interview and second they didn’t 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. Don’t take off your jacket, your shoes, don’t 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
                      Good Luck, Capt Rob
                      www.myfireinterview.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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!"

                        More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                        http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                        Fire "Captain Bob"

                        www.eatstress.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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........

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment

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