BGO Meeting

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 2012Cadet, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    I am meeting with my BGO (not formal interview...yet, anyway, but just a discussion/questions, etc. kind of meeting), and was wondering what kind of attire I should wear?
     
  2. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    It may not be a 'formal interview' but it is still an interview. Even when my DS went and met with various contacts, he always dressed in a suit. Two meetings were in their homes~one wore jeans, the other shorts. The AF meeting was at a Panera's.

    Only one chance to make a good impression.

    He also researched who he was meeting with so he knew their background and work history. When he realized that his uncle had worked in the same dept. of the Pentagon as the interviewer and mentioned that he had been to the Pentagon the previous week, the interviewer was amazed that DS had thoroughly prepared for 'a casual interview' and stated that in 15 years he never had an interviewee conduct 'a background check' on him.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    What you wear depends somewhat on where you live. In some locales, suits may be "dressing up" -- in other places, your best jeans may be fine. Your BGO lives in your community and thus knows what appropriate attire is. If you don't own a suit, don't go out and buy one.

    My personal view (and it's only that) is that the candidate should dress neatly -- nothing dirty or torn. Most wear pressed slacks and a collared shirt (or female equivalent). That said, the ONLY time I've ever taken a negative view of clothing is when I did an interview in a candidate's house and he came into the room in torn sweats, T-shirt and no shoes or socks. (I get that certain families/communities don't wear shoes in the house and that's fine -- altho this didn't appear to be one of those. But you can still wear socks so you aren't in your bare feet.)

    My first reaction -- EEK!

    As for researching your BGO . . . first of all, you may or may not be able to do it. And, quite honestly, it could really backfire. Here's my opinion -- again, only that.

    This interview isn't about me (the BGO). I'm not here to answer questions about myself. I'm more than happy to talk about my experiences at USNA, how that helped me in life, etc. But I'm very well might take offense if the candidate starts asking about things in my life that are unrelated to USNA.

    In my intro emails, I provide my candidates a bit of my background -- that info is fair game in the interview. What would creep me out a bit is if I thought the candidate had spent hours googling me and started asking questions about or talking about parts of my life that aren't related to the issue at hand -- that candidate's application to USNA. Seriously.

    As noted, the interview is about you. The BGO is essentially the face of USNA Admissions. Some candidates form close, long-lasting relationships with their BGOs. Others meet them for an hour for an interview and never see them again. Both approaches are perfectly fine. You absolutely do NOT need to be your BGO's best friend to have a great interview and to get a favorable writeup.

    Don't overthink this, folks. Be yourself. Be honest. Try to make the interview a conversation about your interest in attending USNA because, in the end, that's what it's all about.
     
  4. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    usna1985-thank you for your reply and concerns. All good points. Maybe 'background check' was too intense of a description. He simply googled for a general bio similar to what you send in your intro email.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Well, I don't include a bio per se. :smile: I merely tell them that I'm a grad, the year I graduated, my USN career field, the number of years I've been a BGO and what my current job is (what I do, not where I work). That's it. Given that my name is rather unusual, someone could easily google me and find out a bit more, none of which is relevant to my role as a BGO.

    The Internet is both a good & bad thing. If you're a candidate, there is absolutely no need to try to find out info about your BGO on-line or elsewhere. If you choose to do so, use that info wisely (as noted in my prior post) -- remember, we're not the ones trying to get into USNA, you are.

    Another thought is to use the interview to ask relevant questions. If your BGO hasn't provided you much info, you might ask his/her connection to USNA and build questions around that answer. Or, if you know the person was an aviator, ask about that. Of course, any question you ask should be one to which you really want an answer; don't waste your time or the BGO's time asking questions that you think will sound impressive but for which you don't really care about the answer.
     
  6. 777flier

    777flier Member

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    KP13Mom,

    While it is indeed helpful to obtain biographical information before any consequential meeting, the more important skill is in using the information in an way that does not indicate a "background check" has been done.
     
  7. nsiderbam

    nsiderbam USNA c/o '14

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    My BGO is coming to my house on Wednesday to conduct an interview with my parents present. I will be working until around five thirty, and don't know if I should dress in any way special because it is at my house and my parents will likely not be dressed up at all.

    Should I dress for the occasion or just wear what I usually wear (jeans, school sweater, etc).
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    As noted above, I suggest a collared shirt and pressed khakis or wool pants (depending on weather in your area), if you have them -- don't go out and buy clothes. While you won't get "docked" for wearing jeans, take the time to dress for the interview.

    Your parents aren't being interviewed, altho the BGO may talk to them. They can wear whatever they normally would wear around the house.
     
  9. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    I'm not sure you should go there...:shake:
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Yeah, I was going to say, "assuming it's decent," but figured that went w/o saying.:smile:

    Just to be perfectly clear . . . the BGO isn't there to interview your parents. Thus, it's ok if your dad or mom is in sweats b/c they're working in the yard, shoveling snow, etc. I expect the parents to be going about their daily routine and would not be at all surprised that they don't dress to meet me.

    You (the candidate) OTOH should make an effort to look decent. What that means for you may depend on where you live -- and, since the BGO lives where you live, he/she will know what's the norm.

    However, don't allow the fact that the interview is in your home to influence your clothing in a bad way. A suit is probably overkill (but acceptable). I recommend pressed slacks (or nice jeans if that's routine attire where you live) and a collared shirt. Please wear at least socks -- no bare feet -- and shoes, unless it is typical where you live or based on your ethnic background not to wear shoes in the home. Sweats, torn or dirty clothing, and revealing clothing (women) should be avoided.

    One final note . . . I recommend suits or coat/tie for your nom interviews. The only exceptions are: (1) you're told by the MOC's representative to wear something else or (2) you don't own a suit or jacket, in which case you should wear the nicest outfit you own. If you're unsure of the proper dress, call the MOC's office and ask.
     
  11. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    In our house, we felt that what you would wear to Sunday School is what you wear to the interview. Most kids in our town wear khakis and collared shirt (button down or polo), belt, casual dress shoes and long socks. My son doesn't attend Sunday School on a regular basis, but we all agreed that this was suitable attire. We didn't buy anything new, but he did get a haircut a week earlier than normal.

    A suit in your own home? That seems like overkill. I had on pressed jeans, heels, and sweater. Husband came home from the golf course during middle of the interview, so he was dressed accordingly....and sweaty and stinky!

    For MOC interview, son wore same as BGO interview. I was nervous, because most kids were in suit and tie or JROTC uniforms with enough medals to cover an entire side of the shirt. I asked son about what he thought afterward about what everyone was wearing. He said 'It's about me, the person inside, Mom. Not the show." He felt that he was dressed fine.

    He got the nomination, so I guess they saw the person inside.
     
  12. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    Didn't even think about wearing JROTC uniform. For BGOs and nom interviewer, would this be considered overkill? (not for this upcoming meeting, but official BGO interview and nom interviews)
     
  13. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    When we went to our senators' Academy Days, there were probably about 75 candidates from various years there for all the academies. I'd say I saw about 5-10 in uniform even for that (and there were kids there in t-shirts and shorts), so I don't think it would be overkill at least for the BGO interview. I know my son said he saw kids in uniform at the senator nom interviews so evidently appropriate there too, at least around here. You might want to ask your BGO his opinion before you went to a nom interview (in case he thought a suit would be "dressier") based on his experience in your area.
     
  14. mumsyto3

    mumsyto3 Member

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    You can search and find posts in the past about this subject. One common thread in these is some of it has to do with the region you live in. If you're in the city the attire may be different then if you live in a rural area.

    IMHO, you have only one chance to make a first impression. If I remember correctly cadet2012 is a sophomore or junior this year. This meeting with the BGO is really just a chance to make initial contact. Having said that, I would at minimum suggest that you wear a nice pair of khakis and a nice polo shirt. You have a couple of years to worry about your MOC interviews.

    Earlier this year our congressman had his Service Academy Day. The students that showed up varied from work out clothes, shorts, jeans (some with holes), tshirts, khakis and polos/collared shirts, suits, to JROTC uniforms. I thought that the suit was a bit much, but definitely felt like shorts and work out gear were a little underdressed (although I'm sure some of them had to wear their work out gear because they were just getting done with some sort of sport practice). When you have the staffers for the congressman wearing suits and the representatives for the academies wearing uniforms, I think it shows respect to them to at least make yourself presentable. I understand that this generation (wow, I'm making myself feel old) is much more casual than mine was, and mine is more casual than my parent's generation. I think for this sort of setting at least a nice pair of khakis and a polo is in order.

    As far as your parents attire, it obviously isn't critical what they wear, they aren't the ones being evaluated, but again something presentable and respectful would be nice. For my son's BGO interview, which was at the BGO's house, the BGO was wearing shorts and a polo (it was summer), my son wore nice khakis and a collared/buttoned shirt. The BGO asked for us parents to come for part of the meeting. My husband wore along the same lines as my son and I wore a summer dress (something nice enough to wear to church). For my son's ALO interview, which was at our house, my husband and I had just gotten home from work so my husband was in a suit and I was wearing nice work clothes. His ALO came in full uniform so I would have felt uncomfortable if I had on sweats.

    Again, IMHO, be respectful and presentable.
     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Well said. As a candidate, if attending a SA is important to you, make an effort to look decent because it's the right thing to do.

    I did an interview this past WE in my home. All day, I was wearing sweats and athletic shoes. I made sure to change into wool slacks, a sweater and "regular" shoes for the interview. I feel that I owe USNA to look decent as their representative and owe my interviewees the decency of looking appropriate when they are meeting the USNA rep -- maybe the only face of USNA they'll see until I-Day. We aren't told by USNA what to wear but I consider it disrespectful to look like I just came from the workout room.

    For the small number who disagree with the need to dress conservatively (and I know there are ONLY A FEW of you out there) . . . If taking a few minutes to pull on a pair of slacks and a collared shirt (or equivalent based on where you live) for any USNA or MOC event is too hard for you, you're going to have a really tough time in the military. And if can't leave your sports practice or other event 10 mins early to change into appropriate clothes for such an event, maybe your priorities need to be adjusted.

    Just saying.
     

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