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New Zealand Firefighter Assessment Tests & Recruitment Process Online Preparation – 2024

Firefighter Job Test Practice

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, and you want to be a positive force in your community, you may be considering a career with the fire department. You can join as a volunteer, or become a career firefighter. National Recruitment runs twice a year in December, and in June. You will have 4 weeks in each recruiting season to submit your application.


What Is the Recruitment Process for Firefighters in NZ?

The first step to becoming a career firefighter in New Zealand is to attend an Information Day. This is not required, but it can help set your expectations and learn things about being a firefighter that you may not have been aware of. You can ask questions of experienced firefighters, and get a better perspective of the realities of the job.

It is also helpful to attend a Practice Day. Practice Days are often held in conjunction with Information Days. During a Practice Day, you get to see what the physical fitness test entails. There will be a demonstration, and if time allows, you will have a chance to try the practice course. This is helpful in deciding if you are truly ready to apply, or if you need more time to work on your physical prowess.

Once you have made certain you fit all the criteria for entry, it’s time to submit an application online. The application requires information about the past 10 years, including volunteer and unpaid work. You should be prepared to answer questions about why you want to be a firefighter, and how you have prepared to fill the role.

Once applications have been shortlisted, potential candidates will be contacted and sent the psychometric test to be completed online. You will be given the dates and locations in which to complete the Physical Pre-entry tests and practical assessment.

Once you have successfully navigated the various rounds of testing, you will be invited to interview. The interviews will focus on behaviour, and situational awareness, which are two key elements to becoming a successful firefighter. The interview will take around an hour.

After background checks are completed, successful candidates will receive an offer contingent on completing a 12-week training course. Before beginning the course you will need to complete one last fitness evaluation to ensure you’re still physically fit.


Aptitude & Personality Testing

Cognitive and psychometric testing is used by the Fire Department to make sure all candidates meet certain standards. These are both behavioural and competency related. Certain personality traits are better suited to the position, and critical thinking and reasoning skills are essential to firefighters. The two portions of the online test will not be given at the same time. You will first be sent the General Ability Screen, you will receive the Occupational Personality Questionnaire after completing the Physical Pre-entry test.

  • General Ability Screen- This general ability test is a brief test that focuses on several areas of cognitive ability: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning. You will have a practice test to complete before the real test begins. After this quick tutorial, the real test will begin and you will have 10 minutes to complete it. Learn more about cognitive ability tests.
  • Occupational Personality Questionnaire – This is a workplace personality test. You will be presented with a number of statements and will need to answer which are most similar to you, and which are the least like you. This test will help show your preferred work style, your ability to work as part of a team, and your workplace behaviours. Learn more about the SHL OPQ 32 personality test.


Physical Pre-Entry Test

The physical tests are made to determine if you have the physical strength and agility for difficult situations you may find yourself in. There are 8 tests specifically designed to evaluate job-related physical skills, and 4 to test your general fitness level. In addition to these, you will be tested in working in confined quarters and heights.


Job-related tests:

Hose Reel Advance

  • Simulated Ladder extension with 7-second hold (on both sides)
  • Coiled Hose Carry
  • Unweighted Stair Climb
  • Weighted Stair Climb
  • Horizontal Haul Aloft
  • Dummy Drag

General Strength:

  • Shoulder Press
  • Grip Strength
  • Deadlift
  • Press-up


Practical Assessment

This is a group of activities used to evaluate your ability to use the abilities you have been tested on in a practical (work-like) setting. You will have various tasks to perform, both on your own, and as a member of a team. You will have to show that you can follow written instructions, work with others to plan and implement solutions to different problems, and show the ability to work under pressure.


How to Prepare for New Zealand’s Firefighter Tests?

The best way to prepare for any situation is to practice. Fortunately, the New Zealand Fire and Emergency website links you directly to practice tests. Use this resource to learn the format of the tests, and to practise your speed at completing them. The practice tests are not identical to the tests you will actually be taking, but they can help get you in the mindset for test taking. As you take the practice test and learn your weak areas, strengthen them by practising arithmetic problems and chart reading if you are weak in numerical reasoning. Crosswords and reading, then testing your comprehension with questions you made up regarding the reading material are helpful for verbal reasoning. You can find puzzles that exercise abstract and deductive reasoning in app form.