How should one dress for an interview?

DrParasite

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Many FD's do this, one around here gave specific instructions on where and how to park, went outside prior to the beginning of the test, made a list of the cars that were not done properly and then dismissed those people from the process.
That is, without a doubt, one of the stupidest reasons to dismiss someone from the testing process. There can be several reasons why they didn't park in the correct location (poor signage in the lot, directions were given in an unclear manner, or they were delivered a month ago and the applicant forgot because it's been so long), and to simply dismiss them without even asking for an explanation shows a clear lack of caring to their potential applicants, especially those who traveled great distances to apply for their department. Also, while lying during your interview is bad (and likely valid grounds to end the hiring process), if @KingCountyMedic's medical director doesn't want to hire me because my car is dirty, because I have been working two jobs to support my family and chase after my toddler who loves making everything a mess, than that's not an agency that I would want to work for.

however, when a FD has 100 applicants for every 1 spot, they have the luxury of being able to remove awesome candidates for trivially stupid reasons.

It’s hard to believe that this is actually a question
Why? it's a valid question, and considering the OP has never worked in EMS, and is applying for her first EMS job, I can understand why she wanted to ask.

Many people don't know how to dress for an interview. I had a person apply for a job where I work, guy in his 40-50. 15-20 years of experience. On paper, looked like a great candidate. He didn't get the job. why? because everyone else in the company wears a dress shirt and tie as their standard dress code (business formal), and he came in wearing slacks, a polo, and sneakers.

Many in EMS don't even know how to make a resume, and this includes people who have been in this field for 20+ years.

She isn't the first person entering the workforce who needs advice on how to dress, and based on what I have seen, she isn't the only person who doesn't know how to dress for an interview, including many who have been in the workforce for decades.
 

Chimpie

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It’s hard to believe that this is actually a question.
Many people don't know how to dress for an interview.
Many in EMS don't even know how to make a resume, and this includes people who have been in this field for 20+ years.
She isn't the first person entering the workforce who needs advice on how to dress, and based on what I have seen, she isn't the only person who doesn't know how to dress for an interview, including many who have been in the workforce for decades.
Agree! And as a community, we should be here supporting them, not making snide comments.
 

NomadicMedic

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Sorry you feel this is snide. If an applicant isn't astute enough to know that Google can answer the "how to dress for an interview" question I don't know what to tell you.

This is so far beyond ridiculous that I'm just sitting over here laughing.
 

DragonClaw

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Sorry you feel this is snide. If an applicant isn't astute enough to know that Google can answer the "how to dress for an interview" question I don't know what to tell you.

This is so far beyond ridiculous that I'm just sitting over here laughing.
A day without laughter is a day wasted. I'm happy you've found value in this conversation, even if it's different than mine.
 

VentMonkey

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It’s hard to believe that this is actually a question.
I didn’t take this as snide or snarky. I think in general it speaks of societal changes as a whole. Personally, I find it more sad than laughable.

That an OP needs constant reassurance on basic things in life that perhaps should have been discussed throughout their youth says to me at some point my generation—or the one before me—has failed to institute basic life fundamentals.

Coming on here for guidance regarding this field? Sure. But always posting things that should have been discussed in an “outside- of-an-EMS-forum” platform, or that can easily be sought out prior to posting (in all fairness, I don’t know if this was done) just reaffirms my decision to focus my priorities on moments with our kids and family dinners every night that I am home for table top discussions.

Sorry for the rant everyone, carry on...
 

DragonClaw

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I didn’t take this as snide or snarky. I think in general it speaks of societal changes as a whole. Personally, I find it more sad than laughable.

That an OP needs constant reassurance on basic things in life that perhaps should have been discussed throughout their youth says to me at some point my generation—or the one before me—has failed to institute basic life fundamentals.

Coming on here for guidance regarding this field? Sure. But always posting things that should have been discussed in an “outside- of-an-EMS-forum” platform, or that can easily be sought out prior to posting (in all fairness, I don’t know if this was done) just reaffirms my decision to focus my priorities on moments with our kids and family dinners every night that I am home for table top discussions.

Sorry for the rant everyone, carry on...
I mean, at school. They don't teach you about credit, about how to write a check, about managing money or debt, how to interview or management techniques. They don't teach you about buying a car, lemon laws, how to tie a tie or anything of that nature.

But mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

My parents... a pretty hands off method of child rearing with somehow combining it with helicopter parenting.

I can't cook, do laundry, turning on the oven was basically a capital offense. Be ready to run if you open the washer. But they were okay with us nearly killing each other hunger games style.

Sorry I didn't get taught this. But I can do some googling and ask for help of be okay with ignorance and then be even less prepared as time goes on.

I'm not afraid of learning, I'm afraid I'll be too embarrassed to ask the questions that need to be asked and I'll become like most other adults that are sedentary in life who lost their passion and got buried in failure.

I've seen that enough to know that's no easy to go. It's not living, it's dying. And I'll have plenty of dying to do once that time comes. So, for now, I do what I can.
 

mgr22

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This has turned into an unusual but worthwhile discussion. I think it relates to EMS, to the extent that we deal with patients and even partners who have some of the same disadvantages as the OP -- most notably, dysfunctional families (as the OP has described in several threads). I agree with VentMonkey that our first priority should be to make sure we're not compromising our dependents in any of those ways. Then we can consider how we come across to others and maybe make some adjustments.

I can think of a few good reasons for threads like this one: I believe the OP is sincere. I think she appreciates advice, even if it doesn't all make sense to her. And perhaps there are others out there who are going through some of the same things.
 

Peak

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I wore scrubs with spit up and Jordans to an interview once, and I got the Job. It was also an interview within our organization after I worked an over night in the peds ED. When I interviewed to work charge I was wearing gym shorts and a tshirt but we were also at the unit picnic.

I do think that you can overdress for an interview, if you are wearing a 3 piece suit or very formal dress for a staff position we are going to wonder about your decision making a bit.

We also typically ask our outside clincial applicants to wear scrubs or EMS appropriate attire because we will schedule them to shadow whatever job they applied for four hours after our formal interview, although we tell them that we can provide scrubs if they still wish to dress up for the interview. We want to make sure that our applicants think that we are just as good of a fit for them as we are trying to see if they will be a good fit for us.

If an organization is going to play games like sneaking out to your car to see how clean it is you probably do not want to work for them. If my truck is dirty because I just got back from the mountains or because my kids spilled their cheerios doesn't affect my ability to provide good patient care or community service.
 

DrParasite

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That an OP needs constant reassurance on basic things in life that perhaps should have been discussed throughout their youth says to me at some point my generation—or the one before me—has failed to institute basic life fundamentals.
Very fair point. My mother got mad at my brothers and I one day and told us she wasn't doing our laundry anymore. likely because we let it pile up to uncontrollable proportions. So we learned how to use the washer and dryer (everything is washed on cold water, on regular setting, except jeans gets washed on regular heavy). And we weren't happy about it. But when I went to college, guess what, I knew how to do laundry. But you asked me how to iron my shirt or pants, I would have no idea. Still don't.

I didn't know how to cook until college, junior year, when I had my own apartment. living in the dorms, there was no need, but when I got my own place, I learned some of the basics. It wasn't that hard (and def not as hard as people often made it out to be), but I could cook enough to survive and not live on fast food. Am I a world class chef? nope, but I can follow a recipe (side note: having pots and pans, a skillet, and a couple good knives are critical, and you can do a lot with aluminum foil).

While I do think that there are some definite generational differences (and the current generation always says their generation is the best, and the new generation sucks or is not as good, and the previous generation says the same thing about the current generation, don't worry, @DragonClaw's will say the same about the next generation, has been happening for centuries), much of it boils down to how the previous generation raised the current generation..... something to keep in mind

My dad can't cook. my step mom can't or doesn't cook. They eat out a lot. They are the previous generation, so take that for what it's worth.

I mean, at school. They don't teach you about credit, about how to write a check, about managing money or debt, how to interview or management techniques. They don't teach you about buying a car, lemon laws, how to tie a tie or anything of that nature.
Yep..... this is actually a common complaint, where school teaches you a lot of academic stuff that has little practical use in the real world, because that practical stuff was taught at home.


but some schools are trying to change that


 

joshrunkle35

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To the OP:

When you buy business clothes, buy something that can also be easily converted to funeral clothing and religious ceremony clothing. If you are in EMS long enough, you will get invited to other people’s kids baptisms and coworker’s (or their family’s) funerals. After you wear that outfit to interviews, immediately get it dry cleaned and leave it hanging in the plastic bag from the dry cleaner so it doesn’t get dusty or whatever and you can wear it on short notice to a funeral, job interview, etc., as those things pop up.
 

Chimpie

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If an applicant isn't astute enough to know that Google can answer the "how to dress for an interview" question I don't know what to tell you.
Yes, but when you Google 'how to dress for an emt interview', look what site is in the top two results:

Screenshot_12.png


Furthermore, as we want to our community to grow and be active, we should encourage people to feel comfortable to post questions they have.
 

KingCountyMedic

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if @KingCountyMedic's medical director doesn't want to hire me because my car is dirty, because I have been working two jobs to support my family and chase after my toddler who loves making everything a mess, than that's not an agency that I would want to work for.
Not the point I was making at all. He didn't care whether you had a dirty car or not, many folks would say "I have two jobs, a toddler that makes a mess, yada yada yada" tell him your car is dirty as **** and he'd be fine with it.

The point is you are asked a simple question and you answer it truthfully and you're fine. I think it's a great way to easily find out a persons character.
 

DrParasite

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https://www.emsworld.com/article/10708991/how-succeed-interview-process actually has some useful information. On the attire comment:
Dress for Success

To be a successful candidate you have to look and feel like a successful candidate. If any instructions on how to dress are provided (work uniform, dress suit, chicken costume) be sure to follow them carefully. If not, the rule is to wear a suit with dress shoes and a nice belt. Don’t forget personal grooming, including avoiding excessive makeup, cologne/perfume and jewelry.
 

Jim37F

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Yes, but when you Google 'how to dress for an emt interview', look what site is in the top two results:

View attachment 4557

Furthermore, as we want to our community to grow and be active, we should encourage people to feel comfortable to post questions they have.
One of my internet pet peeves is after being unable to find a clear or straight answer on Google, going to a forum and then the only answer being "Go to Google"...

Or when you go to Google, and someone posted a question on a forum somewhere 5 years ago asking the exact same question you have, and the only answer was "Ask Google". Well Google sent me here buddy...

I always wore a simple suit and tie. Nothing too fancy, a getup bought at Mens Warehouse. Also regularly worn for church, or other formal events not calling for uniform or black tie level attire (which I dont really have myself lol).
Unfortunately I know next to nothing about womans clothing styles so whatever their equivalent of a suit and tie would be.

Dont have to break the bank by any means. Make sure its washed and ironed (or taken to the dry cleaners to be pressed even)
 

Remi

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Wash your car and clean out the inside. Dr. C used to ask people if their car was clean inside/out and if they said yes he'd go out and look. If you lied about your car being clean you didn't get into school.
Yeah, that's pretty stupid. What if I'm an otherwise great candidate but my definition of a clean car happens to be different than Dr. C's?

Many FD's do this, one around here gave specific instructions on where and how to park, went outside prior to the beginning of the test, made a list of the cars that were not done properly and then dismissed those people from the process.
I can actually get behind that a lot more than looking to see how clean your car is. The ability to remember and follow basic instructions is a critical skill but one that is surprisingly hard to find, especially among younger folks without a lot of work experience.
 

jgmedic

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Yeah, that's pretty stupid. What if I'm an otherwise great candidate but my definition of a clean car happens to be different than Dr. C's?



I can actually get behind that a lot more than looking to see how clean your car is. The ability to remember and follow basic instructions is a critical skill but one that is surprisingly hard to find, especially among younger folks without a lot of work experience.
This is exactly why they did it. Their point was if you can't follow something as simple as back your car into a space in the following rows in the following lots, how will you be successful in an academy and on the floor.
 

KingCountyMedic

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Yeah, that's pretty stupid. What if I'm an otherwise great candidate but my definition of a clean car happens to be different than Dr. C's?



I can actually get behind that a lot more than looking to see how clean your car is. The ability to remember and follow basic instructions is a critical skill but one that is surprisingly hard to find, especially among younger folks without a lot of work experience.
Again missing my point entirely. Do I have to draw a map with pop up pictures for you guys?

The condition of the car was not the issue. The issue was your honesty in answering the question. This was not asked in every interview over the last 40 years. There were many other types of questions designed to get a read of the applicants character. I guarantee you no other Medical Director in history has done as much for the advancement of pre hospital paramedics than my now retired boss. No other training program could hold a candle to it when Dr. C ran it.
 
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RocketMedic

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dress Shirt, nice slacks, business colors. No crazy eyewear. Generally works out well.
 

Remi

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Again missing my point entirely. Do I have to draw a map with pop up pictures for you guys?

The condition of the car was not the issue. The issue was your honesty in answering the question. This was not asked in every interview over the last 40 years. There were many other types of questions designed to get a read of the applicants character. I guarantee you no other Medical Director in history has done as much for the advancement of pre hospital paramedics than my now retired boss. No other training program could hold a candle to it when Dr. C ran it.
No need to get so emotional, dude.

My post made it pretty clear that I understood it wasn't the cleanliness of the vehicle being questioned, so it looks like you are the one who needs things spelled out.

Guess what? I still think it's a stupid tactic.
 

RocketMedic

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Chaps without buttocks and Mohawks over a denim vest and cowboy boots, festooned with ornamental shrapnel, and a Klingon metal sash. Assert your dominance early.

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