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Step 3. Three merit-based recruitment stages

Stage 1 – Review of targeted questions

Candidates who have successfully completed the Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) will have responses to targeted questions [from Application Gateway – Part 1] reviewed by a selection panel. This will determine which candidates will progress to the interview and online verification stage.

Stage 2 - Online Verification

Online verification test

  • Candidates who are selected to progress to this stage will be required to undertake a supervised online test to verify your original cognitive ability test results from the first online assessment. This will take place at Fire and Rescue NSW Headquarters.
  • The original cognitive ability test score and the supervised test score then undergo a verification check by an external psychometric testing provider. The purpose of this test is to verify that the initial test was undertaken by the same applicant.
  • Candidates’ test scores must verify, for your application to continue.

Stage 3 - Interview

  • Candidates will be required to demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge, values and experience to succeed and join firefighter ranks, through a structured behavioural interview. This is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment.
  • Candidates will face a series of behavioural-based interview questions from five different panels, each made up of two people, to ensure divergent opinions determine the best candidates for the role.
  • Each panel member will score the candidate’s response on a 1-5 scale enabling an overall interview score to be determined.
  • We encourage candidates to prepare for the behavioural-based / scenario questions. You may find research around the STARLA (situation, task, action, result, learning, application) interview technique beneficial. More information to help you prepare can be found in the FRNSW Preparing for Interview Guide (PDF).
  • Interviews are held in Sydney only, however candidates who are overseas or interstate can make arrangements to be interviewed through Skype.
  • Interviewees are required to e-mail FRNSW copies of the following documents upon being notified of an interview and PRIOR to attending interviews:
    • Proof of Australian Citizenship (e.g. Australian or New Zealand Passport, Australian Birth Certificate, or Australian Permanent Residency Visa) *certified copy required
    • Driver’s licence *certified copy required
    • One other form of identification e.g. Medicare Card *certified copy required
    • Educational transcripts (HSC, Cert III, Trades Certificate or letter of endorsement from Zone Commander re 5 years satisfactory service as a Retained Firefighter (must include date of commencement with FRNSW as a Retained Firefighter) *certified copy required
    • Change of name documents if applicable (e.g. Marriage Certificate, Deed Poll Papers etc.)  *certified copy required
    • Driving history (available from RMS)
    • Resume outlining your previous work history with contact phone numbers and email addresses of two recent referees that could comment on your work performance in your current position or a recent previous position   
    • Please refer to the ‘Essential requirements’ section of the Candidate Information Pack for further information.

Employment checks

Employment checks will be undertaken after interview for candidates who are being progressed to the next stage. Employment checks include Reference checks – referees should be a supervisor/manager within a work environment.

Stage progression

  • At the completion of the interviews, candidates will be ranked according to interview score. A separate merit list will be established for male and female candidates after the necessary employment checks have been completed.
  • An equal number of the highest scoring male candidates and highest scoring female candidates will be invited to move forward to the next stage of recruitment -  Medical assessment.

Uniform fit

Candidates selected to move forward to the medical assessment stage will be invited to attend a uniform fit. Attending a uniform fit does not mean you have secured a firefighting position with Fire and Rescue NSW.