DFES Recruitment Process

The complete guide to DFES recruitment

For more information on how to become a firefighter in WA, please see our dedicated resource.

Cognitive Assessment

The firefighter cognitive assessment in WA is designed to assess your suitability to undertake the academic content of the Trainee Firefighter School and pass .

The current areas of the aptitude test include error checking, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and mechanical reasoning. Some of the reasoning categories are very similar but it pays to know what you’re going to be tested on in detail.

The Key – with any cognitive assessment the key is to 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.

Cognify (Game-Based Aptitude Test)

Cognify forms part of the cognitive testing. It has been used recently in WA so I suggest getting some exposure to this type of test.

This aptitude test examines your reasoning ability, and your ability to acquire, retain, organise and apply information. This assessment has a time limit. You can access example for the cognify practice test I have also created a whole cognify testing suite in the Membership Area

cognify practice test image

Click the picture to go to an in-depth analysis of cognify

The Key – The thing you need to understand about the “cognify” game based assessment is that you want to get exposure to the test before the day, “cognify” gives the recruiters a deeper insight into your actual reasoning ability as it records not only your answers but also your behaviour whilst attending the test.


Emotify test is an emotional Intelligence test DFEW has added into the mix recently which is a change in recruitment process if you are a previous applicant. You can see the emotify practice test and information.

Emotify test example image

Example emotify question, see more on the emotify page

Personality Assessment

The personality assessment is designed to help identify the candidates who possess the character traits needed to succeed in the DFES.

The Key with the personality test is you need to develop an understanding around the beliefs and attitudes of the preferred candidate profile DFES have come up with or more so the company DFES has hired at the time.

Once you understand this it allows you to avoid mistakes thousands of people make each year

The tests above can be accompanied by some strategic questioning as the beginning of firefighter recruitment in WA

TIP: Simply searching “Revelian test DFES” OR “Saville tests DFES” OR “WA firefighter test”    OR “free test firefighter” will usually prove a waste of your time and may even lead you down a path of being locked out for 12 months. Have a think about what the majority would do and don’t do that

DFES Physical Aptitude Test (PAT Test)

Honestly most applicants don’t pay a lot of attention to the PAT test which is a mistake unless you take into account the fact most of the people that take it for granted are the same ones who will never actually make it to the PAT anyhow.

The thing about the PAT, It’s a specific test to DFES WA so at a minimum familiarise yourself with it.


This is your first physical aptitude test, which should be done in under 17 minutes, while wearing a 14-kg weighted vest. According to DFES, these are the possible tasks:

  • Loaded stair climb
  • Simulated rescue
  • Ladder removal
  • Ladder underrun
  • Ladder rehouse
  • Horse drag
  • Heavy tool life

You can check the video below to see how these tasks are done or our detailed DFES PAT guide for more descriptive reference.

Working at Heights

After the circuit, you will go next with the working at heights test. This pass or fail test is designed to simulate the demands of the critical task of climbing a multi-story stairway while carrying essential firefighting equipment. According to DFES, you will have to climb a long extension ladder to level 1 before climbing again up to level 4. This is where you will perform a task before descending again to level 1.

Tunnel Crawl

This test 10-minute pass or fail test is designed to simulate the critical demands of the task of searching for a fire victim in limited visibility in an unpredictable area. This is a functional capacity test designed to test the candidate’s ability to work in a confined space. For this test, you will wear personal protective clothing and a breathing apparatus set with a restricted vision mask.

Beep Test

The beep test is a shuttle run designed to measure your aerobic capacity. You will run back and forth between two points marked 20 meters apart. The objective is to reach each point, keeping in time with the beeps which get progressively faster. You will be expected to achieve a score of 9.6 to pass.

Key Tip – when practicing for the BEEP test, train to score beyond 9.6. Try to make the pass mark a regular score for you, not a ceiling.

Our Process for the PAT at Fire Recruitment Australia

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 on a platter.

1. We 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.

Key Tip  Always “control the outcome of what you can”. The PAT definitely falls into this category so why wouldn’t you make sure you can control the outcome of something so simple.

Written Task Assessment

The written assessment task requires that you strictly adhere to a one-page response to the Application Questions. These questions address aspects of the firefighter success profile.


Common Interview Questions Firefighters Get Asked

There are 2 components to the interview for DFES Firefighter recruitment (Both can be conducted via video interview)

Format 1: Speed Interviews

Speed interviews work as follows – applicants are required to sit down 1-on-1 with an assessor and answer interview questions. Applicants rotate assessors every 10 minutes, 4 times.

Format 2: DFES Panel Interview

The panel interview has a panel of 3 – 4 members. You must provide your resume prior to this interview.

Interview Tips:

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

See this podcast for a free debrief with our in-house interview coach

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

Employment Checks 

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

• Drivers Licence check – you must provide Heavy Rigid B Class drivers licence

• Criminal records check – provide a National Police Certificate

• Reference checks – make sure you have great referees

• Working with children check


This test is the modern day PC version of DFES being able to recruit people who are physically capable of doing the job without specifying an individual reason i.e. Your too short

You are required to undertake a number of tasks that a firefighter might be required to do on any given day. The tasks require you to have good strength for specific tasks.

KEY: Listen carefully and follow your instructions to the letter. online eck your Online presence because they will

Medical Test

Understand what you will be subjected to before the firefighter medical test, 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 DFES is concerned with, they take each person on a case by case basis but these conditions may rule you out.

Click the button below for the current firefighter medical for WA