ARFF Firefighter Recruitment Process

A complete guide to the ARFF firefighter recruitment process

For more information on becoming an aviation firefighter, please visit our dedicated page.

Tests You Need to Pass 

In order to become an aviation firefighter with Airservices Australia

There have been many iterations and process changes over the time we have been meticulously following the Airservices recruitment process.

Over the last few years, we have seen the aviation firefighter recruitment aptitude test provider stay fairly constant.

Cognitive Reasoning Assessment

Verbal, Mechanical, Spatial – examples below. SHL Test Practice


The verbal reasoning questions are based on a block of text then your response to the information contained in the text. This style of question is easy if you know what you’re doing OR catastrophic if you don’t. You will need a framework to become quick and accurate at these questions if you are not already a gun at English.

The Key – With any aptitude assessment make sure you are using relevant test questions for your practice. There is a bit more to it but that’s the big one. Unfortunately a lot of the practice stuff you will find via web search is NOT what you will experience on the day. I have seen every mistake under the sun related to this issue. I keep a constantly updated list of current test questions inside my membership portal.

Work Styles Questionnaire

Below is an example question style you might find on a work styles questionnaire for aviation rescue firefighter recruitment.

This can also be referred to by people who don’t know the test as a firefighter psych test.


Talent Screener

With the talent screener you may be given a scenario and then given multiple choice questions as to how you would deal with the situation.


The Key – With the Psych Style Tests, you need to develop an understanding around the beliefs and attitudes of the preferred candidate profile of an aviation firefighter or more so the organisational psychologist company that is being used at the time.

Once you grasp the concept it allows you to avoid mistakes thousands of people make that do NOT get jobs.

TIP: Simply searching the internet for “practice test x” will usually prove a waste of your valuable time and may even lead you down the wrong path. Have a think about what the majority of people do and don’t do that.

Aviation Firefighter – Physical Aptitude Test

The “Physical Aptitude Test” is not something you want to fail after going through the effort to pass the initial testing. The PAT test it’s also the most transparent test you will face, you know the benchmarks you’re required to meet, they lay it out for you step by step.

It’s like getting the test questions before the test.

TIP: Always “control the outcome of what you can”. The Physical testing falls into this category so why wouldn’t you control the outcome of something so simple.

My PAT Process

  1. Boil it down into a training method of the “minimum effective dose” so that absolutely every minute of effort is propelling you towards the goal and zero effort is wasted doing things that will not contribute.
  2. Track execution of the plan and progress.
  3. Adjust if needed

This process allows us to sail through any Physical test and gives us the luxury of intervening before it’s too late if necessary.


Common Interview Questions Firefighters get Asked

Interview for Aviation Firefighter recruitment. 

(can be conducted via video interview)

Behavioural Panel InterviewThe panel interview has a panel of members who will be asking questions and assessing your responses and interaction.

Interview Tips:

The interview is easily your biggest opportunity in the entire process to beat your competition.

Podcast with my in-house interview coach

The interview is actually the least competitive aspect of the process as usually at interview they have culled hundreds of applicants.

Do not assume that if you reach this stage the interview is simply a formality; more candidates will be brought to interview than there are positions available. It is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment.

So at this stage you might only have to be better than 20-40 other applicants.

It is at this stage of the process I get really excited for the guys I work with because I know if they simply follow my training and show up to their coaching sessions they are almost guaranteed a job.

Group Activity

Airservices have a “Group Activity” in the aviation firefighter recruitment process.

See the video above so you have some awareness of the teamwork or group activity.

It is best to cover all bases and be ready for anything during the recruitment process to avoid any avoidable mistakes. The example video is a fundamentals video that applies to all fire services.


The aviation firefighter medical, If you have something you are worried about it will pay to speak to someone confidentially before your medical as there are things that can be done before it’s too late. I like to do this at the beginning with people I’m working with as it allows us to remove doubt and focus on more fruitful activities that will get us a job. Below are the listed medical issues, some of these conditions may rule you out before you start.

Click the button below for the current aviation firefighter medical for Air Services Australia

Employment Checks – Validations

Employment checks will be undertaken following successful interview and include the following:

• Reference checks – Make sure you have great referees

• Working with children check – I’d get this in advance

• Criminal Records Check – National Police Certificate