Congressional Nomination Interview help

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by pldinh6, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. pldinh6

    pldinh6 Member

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    I have my Congressional Nomination interview in two weeks and am very nervous. Could you guys give me a few tips for the interview and what type of questions will they ask me? Thanks.
     
  2. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    I think this is a hard question for anyone to answer for you. Every committee is different. My son was asked some basic questions such as "why do you want USNA (or USAFA or USMA) over the other academies?"

    also things like "what accomplishment are you most proud of?"

    the odd question was "what's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?"

    The most important thing is to be yourself. Show them who you are. They know you will be a nervous teenager but your personality and drive need to shine. Good luck!
     
  3. lillian

    lillian Candidate

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    There is a lot of information about the interviews in the nominations forum. I would suggest reading through some threads there.

    Anyway. My personal advice is to be calm and confident and recover well if you fumble. Be friendly. Make eye contact with each of the interviewers and be sincere and honest. Use good grammar, but don't try to use a lot of 'big words.' And do not nervously spit out generic responses. Be yourself, but be professional.

    Don't say 'um' or anything of the sort. If you need time to think of an answer then use a filler phrase like 'that's a good question...' Don't let brief silences make you nervous and end your responses decisively..don't continue to ramble or mumble random extra things because you think you didn't say enough. Answer the question, give an example, then finish your response with a short conclusion, then be done and wait for the next question.

    As far as specific questions go, make sure you have solid responses for why you want to attend USAFA and what you want to do in the air force after you graduate....and. You should go in with a strong opinion on at least one current event. Have concrete details to back it up.

    Specific things that would be good to think of ahead of time include: any ethical dilemma, a leadership experience, etc. Be able to talk about what happened and what you learned from it.
     
  4. lillian

    lillian Candidate

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    I definitely agree with this. You really need to remember to be yourself.

    Be flexible and ready for anything. Don't let a weird question catch you off guard. Take a deep breath. Think for a moment. And respond honestly.
     
  5. CannotBeDisplayed

    CannotBeDisplayed Member

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    I was in your position a few weeks ago. I have to say that preparing for my interview was one of the most stressful and nerve-wracking times of my life. But you can prepare for it to make it easier. Between the advice given to me by my family, my ALO, and SAF, I was much more prepared than I would have been simply winging it. Most of this post is just paraphrasing everything those sources taught me.

    First, make sure you have a general idea of what to say to the common interview questions: e.g. tell me about yourself, which academy do you wish to attend, what's your planned major and what career field are you interested in after you graduate...most applicants are asked these types of questions.

    I happened to be staying with my aunt during the weekend of my interview (I had to drive 400 miles to interview). She interviews people as part of her job at a local hospital. The best piece of advice that she gave me was, "if you feel like you're going to freeze up, then tell them a story." I definitely used this more than once during the interview. Interviewers in general like to have background knowledge of you. Give them something good that they can't find in your file.

    My ALO (who regularly sits on these nomination boards) could not stress enough that I should try not to flat out say "I don't want to enter career field A because I want to do career field B and career field B only" when they ask you about your planned major and post-grad career field. In his words, you should always appear open to any and every opportunity at the academies. I used this in my interview, as well. I was asked what I wanted to do after I graduated from an academy. I told them if I attend USNA or USAFA that I want to be a pilot, and if I attend USMA I want to enter the intelligence field. There was an Air Force captain on the board who then asked me "So, you wouldn't want to enter the intelligence field at USAFA or USNA?" I replied with something along the lines of "It's not that I wouldn't want to do it. I would certainly be open to it."

    In short, be open to everything that the academy has to offer.

    The most important thing that SAF and the interview, itself, have taught me is to relax! I was really nervous when I entered that room, but the interview board understands, and they certainly made me feel very welcome.

    On top of everything I just wrote, I have read that other people have been asked military knowledge questions during their interviews. I was not asked any of those kinds of questions. My interview happened to be on the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and I wasn't even asked about that. I would suggest that you do try to know a little bit of military history, though. It honestly can't hurt - and it didn't hurt, seeing as I didn't need to use that knowledge that day.

    I wish you the best of luck! :smile:

    EDIT: The toughest question that I was asked was "Now, take as much time as you need to think about this, but if you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?"
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  6. coastiefam

    coastiefam Member

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    DS was asked an ethical or character question on each interview so you may want to think through some possible answers. Also be familiar with the Academy's honor code.
    He was asked what he would do if he observed his best friend cheating on a test. Another was what would he do if a friend tripped and fell during a race they were both running.

    Hope this helps & it goes well for you!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  7. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    My two favorite questions I liked to ask when I was a member on the board was: What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it. 2) What are your long/short term goals? I'm only letting these two questions out because I've heard some very good responses that was well thought out, on the other hand, candidates took too long to ponder about it and we could tell at that point on a lot of the candidates felt like they failed the interview due to lack of a good response. Hint: If ANY questions gets you stomped...don't take too much time thinking about it...respond as best as you can....and move on to the next question. etc...
     

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