Stage 2 - Interview and online verification

Online verification test

Candidates who are selected to progress to interview will be required on the day of the interview to undertake a supervised online test to verify their original cognitive ability test results. This will take place at FRNSW’s State Training College, Alexandria, Sydney.

The original cognitive ability test score and the supervised test score then undergo a verification check by the external psychometric testing provider. The purpose of this test is to verify that the initial test was undertaken by the applicant, to eradicate cheating.

Candidates test scores must verify in order for their application to continue. The verification result will not be available to FRNSW until after the interview has concluded.


At interview applicants will be required to demonstrate through a structured behavioural interview that they have the skills, knowledge, values and experience to succeed and join permanent firefighter ranks.

The interview process involves candidates facing four two-person panels and answering a series of behavioural-based interview questions. The questions are designed to allow candidates to demonstrate their motivation for wanting to become a firefighter and the qualities, skills and experience they can bring to FRNSW. The divergent opinions of the panel enable better decision making, to determine the best candidates for the job. Each panel member will score the candidate’s response on a 1-5 scale enabling an overall interview score to be determined.

Candidates should also be prepared to answer 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).

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.

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 bring original and certified copies of documents as well as a copy of their current resume. The documents include driver's licence, driving record and educational qualifications, please refer to the ‘Essential requirements’ section of the Candidate Information Pack on page 8 for further information.

Employment checks

Employment checks will be undertaken at interview and after. Employment checks include: 

  • Reference checks – referees should be a supervisor/manager within a work environment
  • Criminal history check – this check is conducted on candidates who progress, following the interview stage
  • Driving history check – this information will be requested at the interview stage.

Stage progression

At the completion of the interviews, candidates who have verified in the supervised cognitive assessment will be ranked according to their 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 and female candidates will be invited to move forward to the next stage of recruitment – the medical assessment.

For example if FRNSW requires 130 candidates to move forward – 65 male candidates who have the highest interview score will progress along with 65 female candidates who have the highest interview score.

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 FRNSW. Due to the technical nature of the garments a long leadtime is required to enable correct sizing and manufacturing.