ALO Interview Dress Code

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by (916) Nate, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. (916) Nate

    (916) Nate Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know this is a frequently asked question, but here goes. What should I wear for my first ALO interview? Is my AFJROTC uniform acceptable, or should I go for something more casual, while still professional?
     
  2. Strike Eagle

    Strike Eagle USAFA Cadet 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMPO, wear a suit/tie. Shave, get a hair cut, brush your teeth, and look sharp! Show that you are serious about what you are doing and will look good when put into uniform.
     
  3. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    well I haven't had an ALO interview yet, but plenty of others. For a national girl scout scholarship, I most definitely did not wear my girl scout uniform. why? because it (in my opinion) would make me seem like i was a "been there done that" girl. Instead, i dressed modestly, but professional. for a girl, a nice blouse and slacks. a guy, a polo and slacks. Show that you are trying to look professional, think "what would an academy cadet wear to an interview, how would a cadet present themself?"
    Hopefully that helped a little, and good luck! :)

    Edit: Take this with a grain of salt, definitely take a cadets opinion over mine! :)
     
  4. xeonv2

    xeonv2 USAFA '15

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would look as professional as possible -- suit, collared shirt etc.

    Before the interview my ALO actually said no need to dress too formally, so in that case... I put the suit jacket away and just wore a collared shirt with a tie etc. :smile:
     
  5. SCcandidate2015

    SCcandidate2015 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the ALO gives you pointers, take them exactly as he or she says. Other than that, khakis and an oxford or dress shirt, perhaps with a tie, will work perfectly.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,799
    Likes Received:
    931
    Every ALO is different, and just take their lead. Suit and tie is over the top if they are going to come to your home or meet you at Starbucks. It is perfect if they invite you to attend a Daedalion dinner with them.

    In NC it is a laid back atmosphere. DS wore khakis, polo and boat decks.

    What is more important is how you present yourself. That you are comfortable in your own skin, and know this is your path.

    If you are a military child, most ALO's will care more about why than your appearance. Their fear is always that this decision is because of the folks and following in their footsteps. Their other fear is the answer to the traditional questions:

    Why the AF?

    ~~~~Since I was 6 all I wanted to do was fly fighters for the AF

    What if you can't fly?

    ~~~~Homina , homina, homina, I will be happy in anything they decide for me.

    In other words, I never thought about flying might not be an option. I have never researched the AF from that perspective.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Here's my opinion. "Not that it's any better than anyone else".

    WHAT IS AN "ALO INTERVIEW"???? You all can answer many different responses. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty bottom line.....

    "It's the JOB INTERVIEW of your life"!!!

    So; how would you dress for a "Job Interview". I'm not talking McDonald's. Unless that's you "Job of your life". A company just called you up and said that they'd like to interview you for a job where they provide you with all your education free of charge; that they will pay for all of your food and rent; and that after training, they will hire you at a starting pay of NO LESS THAN $43,618.08 per year. That's: $33,408 per year for your basic pay; $7,524 for housing allowance for a single person; and $2,686.08 for basic food money.

    Well; that's EXACTLY what the air force is offering you. And they are going to interview you. That's part of what your ALO does. So, you tell me.... How are you going to dress for this "Job Interview of your Life"????

    As many have said, each ALO is different. My son's ALO interviewed him IMMEDIATELY after we all came back from the base gym, where my son just completed his CFA. We were already on base, "Where my son's ALO worked", so we went to her office. Actually my son did. I went to Burger King and got us all something to drink. So; he was interviewed in shorts, sneakers, and "SWEAT". I'm not suggesting this, just that every ALO is different. Me personally, I don't want to see someone come in with their CAP, JrROTC, Boy Scout, etc... uniform on. I'm not hiring a boy scout or civil air patrol cadet. The "Real Military" is a way of life. It's not just a 9-5 job. Once you are in the military, you earned the privilege of wearing that uniform. You ARE part of this way of life. Scouts, CAP, JrROTC, etc... are very good extra curricular activities, but they aren't your life. They're just a couple hours here and there. The military IS your life. But that's not to say that some ALO's aren't impressed by your CAP, scout, JrROTC uniform. Just that I'm not. Matter of fact, I'd keep an open mind, but I'd be a little turned off by it. It's a little pretentious. Almost like: "Hey, I'm kind of, sort of, JUST LIKE YOU". Ummmm, no. You're not.

    Sorry for the long story. Bottom line: Your ALO interview, along with your MOC interviews, are your ONLY face to face contact with the "Job Interview of your Life". Dress accordingly. Which in MY OPINION is dress slacks, jacket, tie. If you don't own a jackets, still wear a nice shirt and tie with nice slacks and dress shoes. Women; Business suit, nice dress, pant suit, etc... The ONLY DEVIATION from this is if the ALO or MOC specifically says to dress down or differently. The military is all about "Attention to detail". That first impression is where people can see if you have attention to your OWN details in your dress, mannerisms, speech, confidence, etc... It's the job interview of your life. Make it count. best of luck.... mike.....
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    342
    CC is precisely correct! :thumb:

    I have been an ALO for over 16 years now...and I've interviewed candidates at the gym, at Starbucks, in school, at their home, and a lot of other places.

    I typically WILL NOT tell the candidate what I expect. That is up to them; as CC said: this is THEIR interview, it's up to THEM to take the initiative to determine what they believe will be proper. That's part of their "leadership skills" and is something I, as an ALO, will be watching.

    Is there IMPROPER attire for an interview? Yes. Can one be "overdressed?" I suppose, but I've never penalized a candidate for "going the next level" because they were concerned. As CC said so eloquently: "This is the interview of your life" and it should be treated seriously.

    But as was also pointed out, all ALO's are NOT created equal and their interview methods/styles are different. Take me for example. I'm in Arizona. If a candidate is scheduled for an interview at a place like Starbucks, or the mall, or wherever they're more comfortable, I will take into account that this is Arizona; we're a bit more casual than most due to the heat in summer. If the interview is IN summer, and it's 115 outside...and we're at Starbucks...I think a wool suit is a bit much. Casual polo shirt, dress shorts, and decent AZ type shoes...I'm not going think much about it; that's "the norm" here.

    BUT...in fall, in school...or at their home, where I'm an invited guest...and I'll be in USAF Service Dress uniform...

    Yep...this is your FIRST leadership challenge. :eek:
    (but do NOT let it give you an ulcer)

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. jetset15

    jetset15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    6
    I was interviewed at the end of August, which, where I live, is H O T.

    My ALO did not tell me what he expected, so I went with a nice top, light sweater, and slacks (I'm a girl, btw). I definitely didn't lose sleep over what I wore, but I made sure I looked put together and clean. We met at the library so I figured it wouldn't be too intense... then he showed up in a suit (he's AF Retired, so technically a civilian... I think?) and I about had a heart attack. By the end, however, I realized that I hadn't needed to wear "business" attire as long as what I was saying was intelligent and I looked "sharp".

    Long story short, if your ALO gives you a guideline, FOLLOW IT. If not, use your best judgement and make sure you won't be embarrassed by what you wear. If you have a go-to staple for Sunday Church, I've heard that that's a good idea to replicate (as long as you don't go to Church in pajamas, which some people do and I don't advise for an interview...) My ALO told me that one potential candidate showed up for an interview wearing a hoodie and torn-up jeans. Needless to say, he told me, his marks were low for appearance (he ended up not pursuing the Academy anyway).

    As CC and flieger have said, this could be one of the most important interviews you face, at least up to this point. Let your ALO know that you know that.
     
  10. Mattsmom2015

    Mattsmom2015 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our DS interviewed in July at Starbucks and definitely wore a suit. His ALO was in full uniform. While he did not make the Academy this year he did receive an AFROTC scholarship. There is no way he would have worn anything else!
     
  11. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57

    My DS wore a shirt and tie with dress pants for his interview at school. He was interviewed on the same day as 3 other students at the high school. Getting back to the original poster, the 2 other students were in CAP and did NOT wear their uniform. The ALO will know if you have CAP or AFROTC as part of your history. You don't have to show it by wearing your uniform. Others have posted that they did wear their uniforms to the interview and they were comfortable doing so. I'll let CC and Flieger let you know their thoughts on the uniform question. Hope this helps.
     
  12. johnd9090

    johnd9090 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just my opinion but wearing your CAP or JROTC uniform is a little much. I wore my blues air force uniform but that's only because it was blues monday, and it was right after i got off work. I'd wear a polo shirt and khaki pants, something along those lines. Nothing too crazy fancy, but not your casual clothes. :thumb:
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,799
    Likes Received:
    931
    Honestly, every yr it appears next yr candidates questions pop up earlier and earlier.

    By the time you meet your ALO this thread will be deceased, and someone or many someone elses will revive it.

    I understand the excitement, but reality is you will not meet an ALO for at LEAST 3 months. ALO's don't get their candidate list until end of June, early July. I highly doubt this thread will survive for the next 12 weeks, unless there is a prankster out there just to prove me wrong.

    Right now get your teacher's emails in line for your recs. Study for your AP/IB tests. Take the June SAT and/or ACT.

    The outfit is something even with 6 hours notice is not a biggie. Common sense is when all else fails wear attire you would wear to NHS induction or church on Sunday.

    Don't wrap yourself up on the little things, because if you do, you will lose out on the big issues. If you can only afford a polo and khaki's do you think the ALO is going to hold against you not wearing a suit and tie? Of course not. They will hold it against you if all you have on your resume is a perfect SAT and 4.0 uwgpa, but no ECs, no outside life and you tell them that you want to go only for the free education, with no knowledge of what an SA life is about or types of careers that are in the military.

    The big issue is not so much your attire, but the conversation that occurs. If you don't wear a suit or tie, and plan to wear one, than I suggest you wear it a couple of times prior, because nothing is more irritating in an interview than to see someone squirm and mess around with their attire since they are unaccustomed to wearing it...AGAIN, conversation matters, hard for the ALO to listen to what you are saying as they see you adjusting the tie every 10 seconds and yanking at your neck.

    Same for girls if you don't wear skirts or heels, hard to ignore the shimy you do yanking on the skirt or that look of my toes are pinching me so badly I can't think.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

Share This Page