Become A Firefighter By Passing The Firefighter Psych Test
Pass The Firefighter Psych Test
Note: A list of the most common firefighter psych and profiling tests are located at the bottom of this article
as well as a podcast where I interview an industrial psychologist so you get a better understanding of how these tests work
Every candidate that wants to become a firefighter has to go through physical testing and intellectual testing. Psychological tests seem like something to fear but in all honesty, the fear of failure is the major danger of these tests.
You can expect a few hundred multiple choice questions during the written exam; many of them seem very similar.
If you notice this during the test, you are doing well. For the most part these questions are the same! One big portion of the test is to find consistency in your answers, someone who is lying will have difficulty remembering to answer the same after a few hours of the exam.
For example you may notice that question 133 was “A morning exercise routine is the best way for me to get in shape. True or False”, question 192 was “I make time every ______ to exercise. A) Morning B) Afternoon C) Evening” and question 304 “The best way to describe my fitness plan is a strict early morning routine”.
All of these refer to morning exercises and if all your answers are consistent, even if you answer “B” to question 192 and false to the rest of the questions, your examiner will know that your answers are honest.
Don’t be surprised about the length of the firefighter psych test exam either. To wear away resolve, and to allow the short term memory of your answers to fade, these tests often last 2 or more hours. Be sure to be well fed and ready for a marathon thinking section.
The following test is not common in firefighter psych test but you should be aware
There may be an ink blot portion of the exam as well; there isn’t much preparation you can do for those. Try to avoid violent movies and thoughts before the exam, answering “Robocop’s gun” may give the examiner a laugh but may raise unnecessary red flags in your exam. Relax, think along the lines of unicorns and sunflowers, and avoid being too afraid of the test.
The other part of the firefighter psych test is an interview with a psychologist, this can be done on the same day, down the track or as part of your interview. Before the interview you may have to fill out forms detailing your family history, your biography and perhaps a personality test. When you’re being interviewed, remember you are being tested. You are not talking to the psychologist for a free session. There is no confidentiality agreement; this is not your regular doctor.
Answer the questions as briefly and honestly as you can. Do not offer details outside of the question being asked, and don’t be too honest. The psychologist will ask probing questions, and try to get your trust by telling you that he is on your side and wants you to succeed. Think before you speak, don’t chat, don’t ramble; but also don’t be cold to the interviewer. Finally, wear something appropriate, you are in a job interview to become a firefighter after all.
Anxiety is your worst enemy in the firefighter psych test. Fearing the test will be the most likely cause of producing a fail result. If you expect that you are a good candidate, psychologically speaking. Becoming a firefighter is a matter of being calm in tense situations, including psychiatric evaluations.
I will share some deeper insight here from my book – “Inside Personality Profiling” How To Beat The Firefighter Psych Tests
This book is available inside membership with all the in-depth courses we created to give you the edge for all firefighter psych tests across each fire service in Australia.
Firefighter Psych Test
1. What are firefighter psych tests ?, Why are they part of the firefighter recruitment process ? and How can I pass the firefighter psych test?
It’s not uncommon for job applicants to be nervous about job interviews as it can often be the most stressful part of the recruitment process. It can be very unnerving to enter a room of strangers and put on a great performance, ultimately convincing all of them that you are the best person for the job.
But firefighter psych tests adds a whole new dimension to the recruitment process and it can be quite mystifying to the untrained as to how it all works. Unless you’re a psychologist or recruitment expert, you probably don’t know much about the psych or personality testing process, but the good news is, you’re not alone, as most people don’t know much about the firefighter psych testing tools and methods.
Sometimes applicants are convinced that a psych or personality test will provide an inaccurate view of their personality, but it’s important to note that a bad attitude to the testing process can harm your chances of success. People who approach a test with distrust, scepticism or resistance might just find that they ‘fail’ the test before them.
How is the firefighter psych test different from the firefighter application, interview and written selection test or aptitude test? For most firefighter jobs, there are normally 5 fundamental elements to the recruitment and selection process: There are many nuances and variations you will want to be aware of in each state
1. Written application – This part of the process tests written communication skills, literacy and, importantly, provides an overview of a candidate’s skills and experience. Here is an article dedicated to the firefighter application.
2. Aptitude Test – The aptitude test is sometimes taken in conjunction with the psych test or at least evaluated against the results of this test. The firefighter aptitude test is the most commonly failed step of the firefighter recruitment process.
3. Physical Abilities Test – this is the specific firefighter fitness test to see if you’re up to the job in a physical manner as the title suggests.
4. Firefighter Interview – This part of the process examines interpersonal skills, communication and behaviour. you can learn more about firefighter interview questions
Note: The firefighter interview is the single biggest opportunity you have to beat the competition
5. Reference Checking – Checking references allows the organisation to directly speak with your current or previous employers to find out more about your skills, experience, and personal qualities. It allows allows then to assess what your references say about you against all the data they have collected through the recruitment process.
This process is usually carried out after a candidate has been selected as a last check about the person. Personality testing is very different to all of these other elements in the recruitment and selection process.
Personality tests aim to expose those less obvious characteristics about a person and they reach a much deeper level in terms of information about a candidate. Each part of the recruitment and selection process is important in its own right, and together they form a body of information that assists the selection panel to evaluate a person in a holistic way.
It’s almost like putting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together to form an impression and an opinion of a candidate. This ultimately helps the employer to select the best person for the job.
How reliable are personality tests? Sceptics often question the validity and reliability of personality tests, and they state that it’s impossible to extract genuine information about a candidate’s personality in this way. Other people think it’s only psychologists that actually believe in personality tests.
However, it’s important to recognise that personality tests can be a highly sophisticated and effective tool to assist in the job selection process.
The information obtained via the firefighter psych test must, of course, be evaluated in the context of all other information gathered as part of the recruitment process, for example, CV, job application and job interview performance. But personality testing can provide enormous insight into the potential candidates for a position, particularly the position of firefighter due to the risk involved.
Recruiters Case Study: Recently, I interviewed a candidate for a management position within a large telecommunications company. The position was a relatively low level management position, but nonetheless leadership and an ability to make decisions was important to the role. The candidate performed very well at interview and I was almost convinced that this was the right person for the role.
However, the candidate’s personality test results provided insight that could not have been gained through the application and interview process. The test revealed that he was lacking in confidence to lead a team and needed constant reassurance that he was on the right track. Now, this would not have necessarily been an issue if the position wasn’t a management role, but ultimately, he didn’t get the job because we were looking for someone to ‘hit the ground running’ and lead and manage a team effectively from day one.
3 Why do services use the firefighter Psych tests & Personality tests in the recruitment and selection process?
As already discussed, personality and psych tests can provide significant insight that is just not possible through the other selection processes. They also are completely objective. One of the great weaknesses of an interview is that it requires a judgement by a selection panel.
It’s subjective and not scientific. While everyone likes to think that a selection panel can be impartial and unbiased, and indeed many a selection panel operates in this manner, there still is the possibility for bias to creep in and this is a weakness of the interview process.
Psych tests are much more objective and this is great for test-takers as it means that the outcomes of the personality or psych test are not influenced in any way by bias, opinions or judgements.
Personality tests are fair in the sense that they are scientific and results aren’t influenced by anyone other than yourself. Results are most often analysed by a computer and can be completed online either within an organisational setting or remotely from a candidate’s home.
Recruiting the wrong type of person can cost an organisation thousands of dollars in overhead costs, so the testing process is often seen as a great investment.
The truth is, firefighter psych tests are becoming more and more popular, but up until now there has been very little advice, hints or tips available on the internet to assist in preparing for this type of selection process.
In comparison, there is a plethora of generic resources available about creating a winning CV, interview preparation and aptitude testing. Psych testing is a selection process that is here to stay, and preparing for this integral part of the recruitment and selection process is likely to increase your chance of success.
Unlocking the secrets behind personality & Psych testing
It does seem like test administrators and psychologists keep the cards of personality testing very close to their chest and, this is with good reason in that they want candidates to submit responses spontaneously without ‘overthinking’ each question.
There is an overarching assumption that the less the test-taker knows about the testing process then the more likely they are to submit honest answers, which will therefore provide more accurate and greater insight into their personality.
The main issue with this perceived ‘secrecy’ behind personality testing is that it creates more stress, anxiety and tension towards both the tests and the people administering them.
4 When people don’t know things, rumours circulate
The next thing you know you have advice coming from all directions about how to ‘pass’ your firefighter psych test that unfortunately is ill-informed and can impact on your test taking performance quite radically. You don’t have to look far to find this misinformation on different forums.
But why is it all so secretive? Because, quite simply, personality and psych tests rarely change over time, unlike aptitude and intelligence testing methods.
Some personality tests have remained largely the same since early last century, because introducing changes to the process are both costly and time-consuming and changing content within personality tests can dramatically diminish accuracy.
Recruiters are not likely to share much about your planned personality test and will often downplay the process. They will almost always fail to tell you the type of personality test that you’ll be subject to, and any information they do give you will be broad and vague so as to not influence your performance in the test.
It is very common for candidates to ask recruiters if they should prepare for a personality test and the answer to this is always ‘no’. This is not at all helpful to candidates and, yes, preparation can be useful.
Sadly, finding the information to help you can be outrageously difficult. But the great news is we have included some specific strategies in the book “Inside Personality Profiling” that will actually help you.
Personality test results are always kept confidential and not released to test takers. Often recruiters argue, that to release this information, especially to unsuccessful candidates, can negatively impact upon the candidate if they’ve performed poorly.
Sceptics, on the other hand, believe that recruiters just don’t want to share this information as it provides insight in how personality tests work.
As a candidate, it can be worth asking for feedback on these personality tests, even though the information is not always likely to be forthcoming.
Sometimes recruiters may provide general feedback that can assist you in future job applications, but ordinarily this information does not provide a great insight into what you could have done better to actually get the job.
Knowing when bad advice is bad advice
Recruiters love to roll out this classic quote to candidates preparing for a personality test: “Just be yourself – no preparation is required.” This is quite possibly the worst piece of advice you could ever receive.
Are you likely to ‘be yourself’ during a job interview? That is, wearing your everyday clothes, maybe responding with only yes and no answers, or, in contrast, drifting off into unrelated tangents talking the leg off a chair about things that aren’t relevant to the position? Well, no, of course you’re not.
5 We all make an extra special effort for job interviews
perhaps wearing a suit or at the very least professional-looking clothing. We anticipate possible questions and prepare our answers so we appear knowledgeable, coherent and highly skilled for the job we are applying for.
Similarly, in a personality test you need to emphasise your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. ‘Being yourself’ and answering in a completely spontaneous fashion isn’t likely to result in the best possible outcome.
As an example, if a colleague in the workplace snapped at you in an angry manner about your dishes being left in the tea room, you may feel like reacting in a negative way. Perhaps you had good reason to leave your dishes there as you were called away urgently by a manager for a meeting, and you feel the need to snap right back and defend yourself.
But reacting in an irrational way is likely to have a negative impact on you, and certainly people’s perceptions of you, and it’s mostly a better option to just respond in a rational and professional manner.
You should approach the personality test in this very same way. Some recruiters and psychologists argue that preparation for personality tests is impossible, as if a person displays a characteristic such as aggression, introversion or politeness, then the candidate will always respond in this way.
However, the reality of the complex nature of people is that behaviours can be influenced by a number of factors and are dependent on the context of a situation.
For example, a person who tends to be introverted can be more extroverted if he/she knows that this is required to carry out discrete parts of their job effectively, such as gaining sponsorship for the organisation or following up with sales requests.
Similarly, a person with an extroverted personality known to be outgoing, bold, and loud can show more refined qualities if they know that a client they are dealing with doesn’t respond well to extroverts.
Whilst people naturally have certain aspects embedded within their personalities, it is entirely possible to adjust these behaviours to suit the environment.
It is also possible to emphasise and focus on the strengths and to reduce the negative aspects of your personality, both in real life and in the context of personality testing.
Coping with Stress and Personality & Psych Tests
Feeling nervous or anxious about a personality test is completely normal and, like pre-interview stress, it is an entirely natural response to what is, quite simply, an uncomfortable situation.
You are being asked to complete a test about something that hasn’t at all been explained to you, you have no background and it’s very unfamiliar territory.
The fact that one of the only things that you do know about personality testing is that its purpose is to reveal things about your personality that are not overtly obvious, is another reason to feel intimidated.
But don’t let stress negatively impact upon your test-taking. Stress and anxiety influences your behaviour in four main ways so be aware of this and keep those stress levels down
I really hope you have found this article helpful and informative, If you would like a deeper insight into the tests your fire service is using as their firefighter psych test or personality profiling tool be sure to check out the in-depth training inside my membership area under “The Personality Profiler” Module. This training has literally made the difference between people getting a job or not.
Firefighter Psych Test Examples
Im Brent Clayton, this is Fire Recruitment Australia.
Firefighter Psych test types
Here are just some of the tests you may come across during the recruitment process that we specialise in helping with.
Emotional Intelligence testing – Emotify practice test
MSCEIT – emotional intelligence test
Work Safety Tests – work safety
Talent Screener Testing
Keirsey Temperemet Sorter
NEO Personality Inventory
Service Specific Firefighter Psych Tests – We have created courses around each services firefighter psych test, these are available to you as part of membership.
There are a number of tests used throughout the services but its about understanding the tests you are facing on a broad scale as well as understanding the role that you are looking to fill so that if you have not been successful you know exactly what you need to do in order to help gain an understanding of the test and get your real positive personality across to the recruitment team.
You can Listen to my PODCAST episode on How To Pass the Firefighter Psych Test here, in this episode I have a discussion with an organisational psychologist about how to approach the psych test.