ALO Meeting

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by futureAFA, May 28, 2010.

  1. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    So, I E-Mailed my ALO recently and he said he would like to meet me so we can talk about my future regarding to the Air Force Academy. He said he will "need to recommend/direct and properly conduct and document the necessary ALO interview (part of your complete application package), and you'll be able to find out more about that interview and the application process overall” what exactly does that mean? What kinds of questions will he ask me?

    Thanks for the help you guys! :thumb:

    PS. I volunteered at a camp last summer and I will again this year (its like a kids nature camp) and there are a lot of bio-studies labs around me that I could get a job at helping out (just very basic things that anybody could do) do you think something like that would look good when applying?
     
  2. navymidshipman2015

    navymidshipman2015 Prospective

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    He will ask you things like "why do you want to be an Air Force officer", "why do you want to attend the academy", "what will you do if you don't get an appointment", etc. Every ALO is different, but you can expect questions like those. And yes, those activities are great!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  3. Gasdoc

    Gasdoc Member

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    Dress appropriately...like for a "serious" job interview. Flip flops and shorts and you might as well forget it. Be familiar with all the info on the USAFA web site and come prepared with your own questions. You'd be surprised how many people can't answer the simple question "why do you want to attend the Air Force Academy"...and being a pilot may not be the best answer.
     
  4. Caveman

    Caveman New Member

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    Be prepaired to answer questions like:

    "Why USAFA instead of ROTC?" this can be a killer if he is a ROTC grad.

    Learn everything you can about life as a cadet, as your knowledge will be tested on this subject.

    "Tell me about your self?" No, the ALO does not need to know where you are born. He simply wants to know what makes you, who you are (interests, hobbies, etc...).

    "What is the strength of your character?" What is a time in which lying/cheating could have helped you, or saved you from embarrassment.

    And above all know what the question "So what?" means. Tell him what the end result is, why he should be impressed, and ultimately why it mattes.

    On a finale thought: keep your sense of humor. I know a ALO/Congressional board member who likes to ask applicants: "Would you like to date my daughter?":help:

    Good luck,

    Caveman
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you truly want the air force academy, and you truly want to be a commissioned air force officer, then you "Already KNOW ALL of the answers to the questions they are going to possibly ask you". Trying to "Prepare" for questions will make you give fake or canned answers. And every ALO can see right through that. All you need to do to prepare for an ALO interview or an interview of any kind, is to learn how to relax, how to be yourself, not try to B.S. the interviewer, and be sincere. If you do those things, you'll be fine.

    There are NO questions that will be asked of you that you need to go study or look up the answer, or even know the question ahead of time. Matter of fact, most question don't even have a Right or Wrong answer. HOW you answer is as important as what you answer. And god forbid, don't sound like some Miss USA contestant. "If you could have one wish, what would it be?........ I'd wish for World Peace". (Barf, Gang, choke, puke). And if you try and pull out all the cliches and buzz words to "Sound" patriotic and proud of your country, you're going to sound like you have canned and rehearsed answers. You can definitely be patriotic and proud; just don't be corny and sound rehearsed.

    Bottom line. Don't try and figure out what types of questions there will be. And don't try and figure out what type of answers you'll give. Practice speaking. Practice enunciation, pronunciation, and diction. Practice looking the interviewer in the eyes. Practice not fidgeting. Practice not saying: Umm, yea, ya know, like, etc.... Practice saying Sir and Ma'am. Practice being "Professional". Whether it's for an interview with your ALO, congressman, job interview, college admissions, etc... these are the things you should practice. If you're practicing questions and answers you will BOMB!!! Why? Because you can't anticipate every possibly question. And because you've tried to learn certain answers, you're going to try and adapt one of those answers to the question presented you. If you do that, you will bomb. Again, there isn't 1 question that the ALO or congressman could possibly ask you, that you don't already know the answer to. Stop making this complicated. It's not. As long as you truly want the academy and the air force, then you already know the answers. Best of luck. Mike.....
     
  6. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    And remember, they want it to be as informational for YOU as for them. Come prepared with some questions (one that show you have done some research, though).
     
  7. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Best of luck to you.


    YES IT MEAN ALOT.


    RGK
     
  8. urbonman6

    urbonman6 Member

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    another interview tip

    one thing my ALO told me was that if you are being interviewed by more than one person, no matter who asked the question, continue making eye contact with both, or however many, people.
     
  9. xTxMANx

    xTxMANx Member

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    The meeting is also good practice for the congressman interviews you will have for nominations. My ALO meet with me a few times, just so I was more aware of looking at every interviewer and more relaxed in my mannerisms.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    From an ALO

    Okay...I've been watching the responses and they're very good; no surprise there, I know many of the posters! :thumb:

    I just thought I'd toss in a few comments.

    I am an ALO. I'm a rather senior one, sometimes that seems to intimidate folks, although I don't know why...I'm a marshmallow kinda guy; just ask Mike. :shake:

    When I decide to interview a candidate, I will have already done the following:

    a. Spoken with their guidance counselor
    b. Spoken with their coaches at school if I can
    c. Spoken with one or more of their teachers
    d. DONE RESEARCH on them...you'd be surprised what's out there

    After I've done all that, then I phone them if they haven't already phoned me. Hint...MUCH better if they've already called/e-mailed ME. It shows me they're actually interested.

    The interview...where will it be? I typically will ask the candidate: "So...where should we meet?" Your answer should NOT be: "Uh, oh I don't know sir, wherever you want is fine." While that may seem to you to be affording me the choice, to me it says you aren't ready to make the decision. Hint here: I WANT to see you make decisions, I want to know HOW you make decisions, do you make them quickly, do you make them at all? This is a biggie...

    I've done interviews at school, at the candidates home, at Starbucks, etc...etc...let's be clear on this, I'll interview the candidate wherever they feel most comfortable. They're going to be nervous anyway, why build on that? If you want me to come to your home, I'll be happy to do that. I'll interview you with your parents there or without, makes no difference to me other than this: if they're in the room, then THEY are fair game for ME to ask questions of THEM. Trust me, I will eventually anyway.

    Dress. I leave this up to the candidate. This is a job interview. If it's a school day, I expect you to be in "school clothes." Now, I've been doing the ALO job a long time, longer than a lot of the candidates have been alive...I know pretty much what "is" and what "is not" school clothes, even in these "21st century" days. Example: in AZ it's not uncommon for students to be in shorts and shirts. Hey, it's HOT here...and the schools allow this because most have their A/C set to 80 to save money and there are no fans in classrooms. Okay...BUT this is a job interview...I'm not expecting a suit, but...your clothing choice will tell me a LOT about YOU. SO...you make the call, just be happy with it. I won't say anything about it (to YOU, but it does go in my interview report)...unless you're REALLY "out there." If I'm at your house, again, you make the call but...I came there and trust me, I'll be in Service Dress (think formal uniform, blouse, etc.) Some ALO's will be in the short sleeve uniform, some in a "non military" slacks and polo shirt we ALO's have. ALL are acceptable uniforms for ALO's to perform their duties. In AZ we wear the blue uniform most of the time; I just prefer to make this a formal affair, at least from my perspective. It keeps my head in the game.

    Now the "meat" of this question you have: WHAT WILL HE/SHE ASK ME?

    The answer? Pretty much anything that we want to. MOST ALO's have a set series of questions that they've developed over time. Some will use a "script" supplied by the academy for "newbies" to learn from. Some will make EVERY interview "impromptu" to see how things progress. There's nothing set in stone. The reason for the interview is for the ALO to learn about the candidate, to dig deep, and to be able in only 50 lines to fully describe the candidate to the review board so that THEY have a good enough picture to make a "YES" or "NO" decision when reviewing their file.

    Freebie here...what questions? Here are some of mine from times past...

    1. Why USAFA and not ROTC? (you've seen this one already) Have you applied for an AF ROTC scholarship?
    2. Have you applied to USMA/USNA/USMMA/USCGA? You DID, why?
    3. What interests you about the AF? What do you see as your career aspirations?
    4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (Most answer flying jets, etc.) Then I say this: "How about in Arlington?" Trust me, if the parents are there, this will STOP them completely.

    Pause...why do I mention death in the interview? Answer: Because the military fights wars and to be ready for war, we train as we fight, and that can be dangerous. Sadly this means people die. I have lost several good friends in combat and in training. It happens. It's almost happened to me; I've been lucky. BUT...I want the candidate to think about this and their parents...the military is a special calling; there are risks inherent to the military that are NOT there in any other career. I need to know how that knowledge impacts the candidate.

    Back to questions...

    5. I've checked you out, you're really amazing...but why do I want YOU as opposed to (here's where I drop the name of a student that the counselors have told me about that is a UBER performer and who the candidate will know)?

    I hope this gives you an idea of what I'm looking for. I need to KNOW you...all about you. Why you put that picture of you and your friends at a beer party on Facebook? Especially since you're underage, and shouldn't be drinking...and the language you used on FB...

    **OH YES, WE LOOK AT FACEBOOK**

    Etc...etc...etc...

    Does this help?

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. dsc18

    dsc18 New Member

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    Flieger89 did a fantastic job describing what's to be expected. I'd just like to throw in that this really shouldn't be your first time in an interview experience. It takes practice to learn how to begin answering a question in an appropriate amount of time while creating an outline in your own head of how you're going to answer it (to prevent rambling, repetition, looking around) in a thorough manner. Best way is to have your parents/guidance counselor ask you questions in a mock interview. It won't help you know what questions are going to be asked, but it will help you become more poised in an interview environment.

    It's sort of like presenting...

    Also, facebook: The default setting has a lot of your photos/info available to the public. Change this ASAP to only friends. This isn't only important for an ALO interview; employers/cadre/anyone/faculty will sometimes look you up on facebook/myspace to see what kind of person you really are.

    Also, I've always found it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.
     
  12. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Flieger83, very informative!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  13. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    PUHHHLEAAASSSE!!

    1983...83....83....

    '89...I mean, really those KIDS....why, they didn't even have a "real" Hell Week, weak BEAST, etc...etc....
    (Said the REALLY OLD GRAD on this board)

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    That's as in EIGHTY THREE :yllol:
    :rofl:
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    ok first I’m going to say THANKS! :biggrin: your answers were AWESOME! They all helped a lot.

    Ok so you guys mentioned facebook, and I honestly think it would make me look better if he saw the pictures since the only pictures I have are from baseball, school, my Bar Mitzvah, middle school graduation etc. nothing I have to hide.

    Anyway flieger83 mentioned something that made me really stop and think when she said she mentions death when interviewing somebody. I think I would say something along the lines of “if its not me it will be somebody else”(because I actually believe that not because its “what they want to hear") but man would that stop me in my tracks not because I don’t know what I would say but because something like that is fairly hard to articulate correctly (for me at least).

    That thing about saying where you want to have the interview I will definitely keep in mind if my ALO asks me where I want to have the interview.

    And you mentioned attire but I’m just curious would a simple white polo and plain navy blue mesh shorts give off the right impression or wrong impression do you think?

    if my ALO talked to my guidance counselor or AAU baseball coach he would hear very good things, but if he talked to my high school baseball coach he might not get the best answer since I was injured for the first 2 weeks(rotator cuff and I am a pitcher).

    I think I addressed everything you guys mentioned if you have any more comments on what I wrote just reply :thumb:

    Thanks again!

    PS. I like that marshmallow picture!
     
  16. urbonman6

    urbonman6 Member

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    As for the question about "do you see yourself in Arlington in 10 years," I think that answer is acceptable, as long as you could say that you understand that that is a reality. For the attire, I would lean towards the overdressed side more than the underdressed side. For my ALO interview I just wore khaki slacks and a tucked in polo, and that was fine.
    If/when your ALO talks to your baseball coach, I'm sure your coach will give nothing but praise. Especially since the reason you missed was because of an injury.

    good luck
     
  17. urbonman6

    urbonman6 Member

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    más

    As for the question about "do you see yourself in Arlington in 10 years," I think that answer is acceptable, as long as you could say that you understand that that is a reality. For the attire, I would lean towards the overdressed side more than the underdressed side. For my ALO interview I just wore khaki slacks and a tucked in polo, and that was fine.
    If/when your ALO talks to your baseball coach, I'm sure your coach will give nothing but praise. Especially since the reason you missed was because of an injury.
     
  18. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    For the record...

    If my aging memory is correct, I've only had ONE coach give me "negative" feedback. And this was after I'd spoken with several teachers, etc., and gotten "nice" reviews.

    He told me, words to this effect: "...He lies. I don't trust him. I can't depend upon him, but he is a superbly talented athlete and likes to win. But I would NEVER have him as the team captain, and I don't give him much responsibility because, as I said: he's not trustworthy."

    That took me back so I really REALLY pressed the coach hard. And he gave me very detailed reasons, down to the date/incident, etc.

    I then went back to the other teachers and said "...I have an issue...I was told this...and it's totally different from what you said..."

    And each and every one of them changed their recommendations!

    Since then, I do a LOT of digging first before I speak with folks.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  19. DK6732

    DK6732 USAFA Cadet

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    I agree with the advice to overdress. At my ALO interview I dressed in a button down shirt, tie, and slacks.
     
  20. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    Ok, so would a plain white polo and khakis be fine? I think I will suggest to meet him in the town library, is that a good place (there are areas where we could talk without being disturbed)? What are some areas that might be better to meet?

    Thanks!
     

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