Elusive ROTC Interview

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by vivaldibabe, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. vivaldibabe

    vivaldibabe Member

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    The time has come for me to have my ROTC interview.
    I read somewhere that "you should prepare well for your interview!".
    :confused:
    First of all, do you need to prepare? And HOW do you prepare?
    I guess I'm pretty lost. Any help would be great.
    Thanks.
     
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    When my son prepared for his MOC interview, we had some friends of ours who interview in business come over. One of the men had a son at AFA, the other worked in homeland security. They grilled him for a couple of hours...many of the typical questions...why do you want to do this, why should we pick you instead of one of the others, why is a strong military necessary...you can find sample questions online, or by searching old threads.Ask your parents if they have friends who might help you...also, teachers, scout leaders, etc..
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS had his ALO do both the AFA and ROTC...It is pretty much like MOM3boys said...why do you want to do this...what if you don't get your dream slot in the AF...do you realize that for the next 9 yrs you belong to the AF? Where do you see yourself fitting in the AF?

    You will do fine:smile:

    They are accustomed to kids that are nervous, be yourself, and see them as your favorite teacher/gc...they are not in any means the gestapo. They walk in trying to help you get your dream...the minute you realize that is the minute you become friends.

    Our ALO was outstanding and I know he would hate to think anyone was afraid of him.

    Good luck keep us posted!
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    vivaldibabe -

    to which branch are you applying for a ROTC scholarship? Army, AF or Navy?
     
  5. vivaldibabe

    vivaldibabe Member

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    Just_A_Mom-
    Army ROTC.
    Thanks everybody- I'll keep you posted.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    OK great! Army, AF and Navy all run their scholarship applications and interviews differently. What may apply to AF and Navy may not apply to Army.

    The AROTC scholarship requires an interview. This interview may take place a College battalion that is considering offering you a scholarship or the Battalion nearest to your home. Hopefully, you are/will apply to the school where you are interviewing.

    The interview is generally conducted by the Professor of Military Science - usually a Lt Col. At my daughter's interview the Prof. of Military Science, enrollment officer (a Captain) the Battalion NCO and several cadets were there.

    Interviewing early is a bonus - this puts you in a position of an early offer. Remember though you still need to be accepted to the college.

    AROTC is looking for scholars, leaders and athletes. They want to be sure you have the ability to be accepted to the school, have leadership potential and the ability to pass the APFT. Varsity athletics in high school is a plus as is the desire or willingness to participate in athletics in college - either competitive or intramurals.

    They will ask you why you chose Army ROTC, your feelings about your Army commitment, your activities in and out of school, including any jobs you held.
    My daughter prepared a resume detailing all of her activities and accomplishments - she passed out copies and kept one for herself and it really helped her to remember what she wanted them to know.
    At her interview they also had her bring PT clothes and ran her through the APFT - it was just to see how well she did. It didn't count.
    She also got to talk with some cadets and got a tour of the school.

    First offers don't officially go out until the fall. Some units don't make any offers until late winter or spring - when they know if the student has been accepted. Other battalions use a sort of rolling admissions and the early bird gets the worm - esp if you are highly qualified.

    All other interview recommendations apply - do your homework, check out the website, learn names. Shake hands and look at your interviewer when answering questions. Relax. In this interview they are selling their school and battalion as much as you are selling yourself to them.

    Offers of a scholarship are at the Battalion level. They in effect are competing against each other. There are 4 offer dates - I forget exactly but roughly Nov, Feb, April and May. If you are offered a scholarship early you may accept it and then decline it later if another school makes an offer. You may accept only ONE offer per offer date.

    One more thing - it's not elusive - it's fun! My daughter had a blast at her interview.
    Good Luck!
     
  7. vivaldibabe

    vivaldibabe Member

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    Awesome!
    Thanks for the confidence boost!
    I will follow in your daughter's steps and write up a resume. Hopefully I can get my older sister to interview me and help me solidify what I want to say.
    Can you be awarded a scholarship before you have/pass the DoDMERB?

    And I found the dates you referred to:

    Oct 10th: 1st round of scholarships
    Dec 10th: 2nd round
    Jan 10th: 4yr app deadline
    Feb 15th: 3rd round
    Feb 28th: missing items deadline
    Apr 21st: 4th round
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    yes you can be awarded a scholarship before DoDMERB - it will be conditional upon becoming qualified or receiving a waiver.

    My daughter had her exam right around the time she had her interview - we KNEW she would be dq'd for history of asthma. This is something that freaks out some people so I told her not to discuss it - at least not to bring up the subject. Waiver decisions are made at Cadet command - not the battalion level.

    After her exam she had a bunch of remedials - incl the asthma. The PMS called - he got the exam results. It turned out since she had to do a head injury questionairre he wanted only to know if she had ever lost consciousness. She had indicated aviation in her interview and apparently losing consciousness causes a dq for aviation.
    She was awarded her scholarship in Oct but didn't get a waiver until April.


    Scholarship rounds - Okay so if you are offered a scholarship in Oct you may accept even if it isn't your first choice school. Then if you get another offer in Feb you may accept that and turn down the Oct offer. If you get TWO offers in Feb then you may accept only ONE of the two. Get it?
     
  9. molloy09

    molloy09 Candidate

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    Is it a bad sign that I am being interviewed at a university that I am not applying to? From the list of schools that they gave me to choose my interview location, I am applying to none. Does this mean that I am not competetive?:confused:
     
  10. sealion

    sealion Member

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    It is not a bad sign. I think it's as a convenience to you so you don't have to travel too far.

    In addition, Army ROTC changed their decision making process this year regarding scholarship recipients. A central board approves and awards the scholarships now rather than being awarded from individual units so the inital interview is all the board needs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Sealion - thanks!
    I should clarify with my daughter the scholarship offer did come from cadet command - the PMS at the college sent her name up.

    Do you know - are the Professors of Military Science still sending names to the board?
    Sealion - when the board makes an offer is it for a specific college?
    For instance, my daughter was awarded her scholarship by Cadet Command but it was for Temple University.
     
  12. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    A central board is a pretty big change in the way the Army awarded these- at least thru this year (incoming class of 2012) the decision was made by the individual unit which held their own boards (although Cadet Command made the actual offer). I hope that the untis continue to have substantial sway in who gets awarded the scholarships and that they don't go the way of the Navy process which seems really bureaucratic and inflexible to me and is far more focused on scores rather than intangible things that are often more apparent at a lower level of decision making - (just my opinion!)
    As far as the interview- I am certain that offering an interview at a local school is for the convenience of the individual- (which since the Army isn't reimbursing you can save both time and money!).
    A few tips on your interview prep : we spent a lot of time working with my son to prepare for interviews- in large part because it is the one area that you can control completely on your own- you can't go back and redo your grades or your extra curricular activities from years past- but you can learn to put them in the best possible light, and a good interview can really set you apart from your peers. So - the way to do that is practice. I suppose my son had something of an advantage as both my wife and I have >20 years of commissioned service in the Army- but aside from helping him with Army lingo and Army career progression I don't think that gave him an advantage over what any high school kid can do with a little help- interview techniques are the same in or out of the Army. We conducted mock interviews in sequence over the course of about 2 months with me (USA ret), his grandfather (ret USN), a friend (USMC ret); and two business acquaintances of mine (who he did not know well)- with the whole purpose being to focus himself on has strengths, his desires (why do you want to be in the Army and why does the Army want you?), his understanding of the Army, leadership and mangement and to take out the "teenagerisms" ("Uh, "I guess so", "like.." etc...). He did very well on his interview I'm certain- at least well enough to get an Army ROTC scholarship at his first choice (VMI). So I would suggest that if you are getting spooled up to pursue an ROTC scholarship- arrange for several practise interviews, and have a couple of those with people outside your immediate comfort zone. This is going to help you not only with your ROTC/Academy quest- but will carry over into your basic college search as well as future employment interviews.
    Good luck
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Bruno - I could not agree with you more.

    Good tips for interview preparation. Don't be afraid to accentuate the positive and turn "negatives" into positives - there are always lessons to be learned.
    I think there are threads devoted to interviewing - both in ROTC and the Nominations forum - basic suggestions that would be helpful.
    Mostly be yourself. Know what you are getting into.
     
  14. sealion

    sealion Member

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    Excerpts from the letter that was received from Cadet Command in Virginia:

    "We have decided to return to conducting centralized board processes in lieu of the decentralized selection by our Professors of Military Science."

    "A board of three to five Army Officers will review your file one time and one time only. You will only be required to conduct one face to face interview and verify your application is complete prior to this file review board."

    "This means that there are important pieces of information that you alone are responsible for completeing in order for your file to be reviewed by the board."


    "Please be aware that your file will not be reviewed by the selection board without this information."

    The letter is from the candidate's POC. (What does POC stand for?) Who is available for questions and help.

    I was told where the board meets but I didn't manage to remember specifically. I stored it as "somewhere in the Midwest at a fort." That could easily be incorrect.

    I was also told by the Colonel who interviewed my S that several scholarship offers will probably be made for different schools. As opposed to Navy where only one school is offered through a scholarship.

    Honestly, since this the first year to return the decentralized process my sense is that many people in the information chain are adapting while waiting to see how it will work out as the year progresses.

    I don't know if individual PMS's are sending applicant names to the board. I do know that PMS's are able to look at applications as they are in process.

    It does make sense to offer scholarships to candidates - based on stats - where they are likely to matriculate. The PMS's will have a good grasp of who can attain entrance at their college. I would like to think that the PMS's are consulted but I don't know that for a fact.

    If anyone knows otherwise - please post.


    Helpful?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    POC = Point of contact
    At first look I thought this sounds awful - but maybe not.

    A couple of thoughts:
    If multiple offers will be made - will they be made all at one time? Or could they be made throughout the year?
    I guess what I am wondering is - what is the flow - when the application is made the candidate lists several schools. Does the "board" just certify eligibility for a scholarship or are they deciding between say a scholarship at Penn and one at Lehigh?
    What happens if you list 5 schools, get one offer and don't get accepted to that school? can the scholarship be transfered?
     
  16. vivaldibabe

    vivaldibabe Member

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    Thanks, Just_A_Mom. :thumb:
    Thats good to know because I just had knee surgery.

    Also, do you know if a scholarship potential will be considered by the board before the PFT?
    Or are only complete profiles reviewed?
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Your welcome but you really need to thank Sealion - she knows more that I!

    I don't know if your PFT needs to be done - make sure you get everything else done and call your point of contact. explain the situation. If you get a notice to get your Dodmerb physical done - do NOT delay that. Get it done.

    Good luck with your knee surgery - do your physical therapy and get back in shape!
     
  18. vivaldibabe

    vivaldibabe Member

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    I'm happy to say that my interview went very well.
    I won't say flawlessly, but I'm quite pleased with how the pieces fell.

    My interviewing officer and I had a great time, and I think he had just as much fun with the experience as I did.
    Thanks for helping me prepare, everyone! :biggrin:
     
  19. Poetic_Mind

    Poetic_Mind Member

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    I am applying for the scholarship right now. I know 100% that there will be 5 offers made should an applicant be selected for the scholarship. The PMS I spoke to said the top 5 schools on the school of intent list on my application. And of course you need to be accepted in the school for the scholarship to even be valid.

    The decision board will look at the initial applications this Sept. and put everyone on a OML( Order of Merit List). They will select the candidates at the top of the list. At the next board meeting, they look at any new applications and put them on the OML. Now, the new influx of applicants can bring another applicant up the list or down the list depending on how strong the new applicants are.

    However, my interviewer told me the OML is irrelevent. He said everyone last year that was merely qualified for the scholarship recieved it provided they were accepted to the school they wanted to use it at. The PMS said the OML is irrelevent because there is an increasing demand for commisioned officers via congressional authrorization.

    This is just a little bit I learned from piecing info together from a variety of PMSs, literature on ROTC, etc. I have a strong grasp on what to expect when my application is boarded this Sept.
     
  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The Army's budget for Commissioning officers has definitely increased. There is a huge shortage of Jr Officers. The only way they can get more is through ROTC or OCS. I would not be surprised if every qualified student who wanted a ROTC scholarship got one.
    I guess they definitely have changed the process - OML matters in that you will be awarded your scholarship sooner rather than later. Come late April you will want to be putting down a deposit on your school.
    When my daughter went through it in 06-07 - her PMS told her that they had x # of slots and he would go after more scholarship money in the spring. I got the impression that every student who wanted a scholarship got one - some later on - even in late summer to early fall.

    Hopefully, completing the application will dump you in the dodmerb system - it used to. If you have to wait then you could get caught up in looking for a medical waiver into the summer.

    Good luck on your applications!
     

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