Advice on interviewing?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by patrickhopkins, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. patrickhopkins

    patrickhopkins Member

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    I know that you have to go through a couple of interviews throughout the process, I am only 14, and I have a lot of time to improve, but sometimes things just feel awkward when I talk to people I don't know. Can anyone give me advice on how to do well in an interview?
     
  2. Arizona

    Arizona 2017 USAFAPs appointee

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    Be very respectful but not scared.

    Keep good posture and stay somewhat "Relaxed" to the point that you can speak clearly and get your point across but do remember you are not chatting with your friends and keep your language professional.

    Avoid fiddiling with hands and remember to keep eye contact.

    Know why you want to join the academy, what you want to major in and why!. Stay confident!

    Practice is key video tapping a mock interview is a good start and even if you can get parents/family members to conduct a mock interview it would be great, but be sure to treat it like the real thing and keep humor out of things.


    Remember to be truthful and stay confident!
     
  3. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I had never been to an interview before when I went into my service academy interviews. These are the best tips I can give.

    1. Don't rehearse what you're going to say. You won't remember it, it will come out wrong, and it'll cause you to stumble during the interview.

    2. Related to #1, stay relaxed and treat the interview like a conversation. Yes, it is more formal than just a "conversation," but if you go in with that mindset then you won't be freaking out about everything you say.

    3. Look and act professional.

    4. Don't be afraid of eye contact. Be confident.

    5. Don't be "that guy" that shows up with a laptop and presentation. You're not leading a meeting, you're being interviewed. (The guy who interviewed before me at one of my interviews did this and I didn't get the vibe that the interviewers enjoyed it.)
     
  4. georgewashingtonrocks

    georgewashingtonrocks New Member

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    You may think that the interviewers are there to interrogate you and make you feel scared, they aren't. My first interview, I was super surprised at how nice they were and how interested they seemed in what I had to say. They know that all the students they interview are going to have the same AP, Honors sports qualifications so they are just looking for a genuine attitude and personality. Just try to have fun!
     
  5. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I second this. :smile:
     
  6. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Patrick, I get where you're coming from....

    but spend more time studying math and science and less time on here worrying about details of the application process. The applications and the interviews will be here soon enough for you, just work on preparing yourself to get good grades and 700+ SAT/30+ ACT scores. :thumb:
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Know your goals and why you are applying. Be polite and honest. There are few right or wrong answers, other than things that aren't truthful.
     
  8. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Some questions that came up during my daughter's interview:

    1. what does a career in service mean to you
    2. what does the honor code mean to you
    3. why do you want to attend USAFA
    4. what lessons in leadership have you learned from your activities

    I think that having some rehearsed (not memorized) answers to some of these basic questions can make you feel more confident going in. During dinner, or in the car, I'd ask her questions of all sorts and it gave her confidence that she could handle what could be thrown at her.
    Good luck!
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You are 14. Be a kid, get good grades, be in sports. As you mature your concerns will change. Your Jr and SR yr in HS will be stressful enough. Go and have some fun now.

    Nobody ever looked back at 18 and said I wish I practiced interviewing questions when I was 14.

    I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to say life is short. Enjoy it, don't rush your life away.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    One question I always ask. I have all these applicants.... why should I pick you? You'd be surprised how many applicants don't know why THEY should receive an appointment. Other than because they WANT one.

    There's a line between confidence, pride in your accomplishments, and arrogance. Don't cross it.
     
  11. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

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    I completely agree with everyone saying that you shouldn't worry about this quite yet. One piece of advice though... if you are applying for more than one SA make sure you remember which one you're interviewing for.

    I was in a situation where (for my nominations) I went straight from my USAFA interview to my USNA interview to my USMA interview. When my USNA interview board asked me why I wanted to go to USNA, my response was: "I want to go to the Air Force Academy because..." Fortunately, I was able to keep my composure and talk my way out of it and I ended up getting a nomination to all three of the SAs that I applied to.

    Moral of the story: even if you screw up, it's not the end of the world if you can keep your composure. And get your interviews straight
     
  12. JWebb1379

    JWebb1379 New Member

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    Respect. Know your stuff.

    You have to know that, at least for my district, that the people interviewing you are of military background. I had a Naval Academy Grad, a couple current enlisted men, and a couple other retired folk. They know what the academy expects and definitely know how the military runs. BE RESPECTFUL and CALM.

    Once you get into the interview it isn't too terribly bad. A lot of questions to the effect of "Why do you want to go the academy?" "What leadership roles do you feel have prepared you to become an officer in the Air Force?" "How did you first become interested in the academy?"

    Just make sure to KNOW YOUR STUFF. Don't ramble on citing anything that you may've heard somewhere along the line. Be direct and do all your research before going in.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am ready to be flamed.
    :rocket::guns::banned1::yikes::rant2::blowup:

    I am sorry, but I have to say it.

    This kid is 14. He is in 8th grade Repeat 8th GRADE Will say it again...the OP is in 8th grade

    He has NO SAT/ACT yet.

    HS classes will require him to speak in front of peers, and he can get over it.

    However, posters, in kindness are giving interview guidance to an 8th grade 14 tr old

    Everybody is giving interview guidance, which will not occur for at least 3 yrs., but not addressing the big things.

    Is the OP in sports?
    Is he taking advanced courses, i.e. Math, science, foreign language?
    His cgpa?
    Is he living life to fill the squares?

    Like I said flame me, I am ready for it, but as a Mom, it is really scary reading a post like the OP did. 14 and they are looking for interview advice. I repeat again, 3 yrs from now. Not next yr.(9th) Not the yr after that(10th) Not even the yr after that(11th), but 1 more yr before they interview with an ALO or an MOC.

    They are not being a kid. They are plotting their life and worrying about crap that when in HS and doing presentations in class will be resolved.

    I have to say, what we are doing to our kids is frightening. We are basically saying that they are behind the power curve at 14.

    Off my soapbox...flame on. I am okay with the flaming. My kids knew they must go to college, it wasn't an if. Yet, I stand by my position 14 yrs old and worrying/questioning about an interview is not in my wheel house.

    Trust me I know my opinion/post is setting posters off. I just had to say it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  14. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    +1 Pima. Anything I would have done over or changed about my high school years has to do with studying math and science more intensely and not with trying to master the application process.

    Not every high school requires presenting in front of class, and not every opportunity to do so offers feedback. IF he gets to his junior year and he's still freaked out by interviews, I'd take some of the advice of the previous posters.
     
  15. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I'm sure some lurkers can glean some useful information from this as well. :smile:
     
  16. patrickhopkins

    patrickhopkins Member

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    Haha, I'm not worried about anything at all! I'm enjoying my sports, my schoolwork, and my friends at the moment. I've just never had much experience in interviewing, and I understand that you have to go through some interviews to become appointed to the service academies. Nothing big, just some advice.
     
  17. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    You're at the beginning of your high school career. Most of the stuff you're going to talk about in interviews hasn't even happened to you yet. So relax! Study hard, join activities, and have an interesting life. The rest will take care of itself.
     
  18. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    I think the OP shows maturity and self-awareness in identifying an area where he thinks he needs to improve over the next few years. So maybe it's a good idea not to get caught up in the answers to the big questions right now, but rather practice being comfortable with people you don't know. Make a point of talking to your parents' friends who you don't know that well; chances are likely they'll ask you all kinds of questions! Look for jobs/volunteer opportunities where you need to speak with people you don't know to help you overcome your shyness/awkwardness. Take a presentation/public speaking class if offered at your school. Just brainstorming...good luck, and enjoy these next few years!
     
  19. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    To the OP...

    It's awesome that you already have some goals in mind for your future. And kudos for having the maturity to start exploring them already. Congrats.

    There are lots of things you can do to help prepare yourself for ANY future endeavor. As has been pointed out here, that includes studying hard, participating in sports you love, being part of clubs and activities you care about,.... and experiencing life in general.


    As for interviewing, here's a tip that might help you with all of the above... strongly consider joining your HS's ROTC program next year if they have one. Not only will you have fun, but you will certainly have a chance to take on various leadership roles, most/all of which require interviews with your peers and teachers.

    Again, congrats on being the early bird and so dedicated. But remember you have lots of time. Enjoy being the age you are and have some fun too.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    While it is good to be 14 and thinking ahead; I think Pima is correct that worrying about interviews is quite premature. A weakness a 14 year old thinks they have today, many times won't be there a year or two from now. These are very formidable years.

    If the individual thinks interviewing and such could be a weakness, then incorporate this into your extra-curricular activities. E.g. Join the speach or debate team. That will allow you to practice speaking in front of people. Join clubs and work up to being in leadership positions. This too will help improve and develop your confidence and ability to speak to others. Don't worry about the actual academy interviews with your ALO or MOC at this time. Your whole way of thinking is not going to be the same 3 years from now. For all you know, you may not want to even apply for the academy 3 years from now. Maybe you become the 4.0gpa student with kick butt ACT/SAT scores, and you get accepted to Stanford, Princeton, harvard, etc... Maybe you become a great athlete and some excellent schools offer you a scholarship to play sports for them. You never know. Yes, I know, some people say: "I've wanted to go to the academy my WHOLE LIFE". Well, hate to say, but many of us have seen people who say that who actually receive an appointment and they QUIT in the first 6 months because it's nothing like they thought it would be and it's not want they want any longer. Not trying to discourage you. Simply pointing out that what you want today might not be what you want tomorrow; and what you worry about today as a possible weakness in your application process might not be a weakness 3 years from now. Concentrate on what you CAN AFFECT TODAY. Not what you MIGHT have to encounter in 3 years.

    As Pima and others have suggested, concentrate on the things you have control over. Your goals: 1) 4.0 gpa. 2) Excel in leadership, 3) Prepare for varsity sports and excel in those and work towards being team captain, 4) 36 Composite ACT and 2400 SAT. 5) Have fun and enjoy your life. These are the things you can affect, work on today, and control. An interview, 3 years from now, is totally out of your control. Your weaknesses and limitations today will not be the same for you in 3 years. In 3 years, public speaking, confidence, interviewing, etc... could easily be one of your strongest traits.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

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