Importance of an interview?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by twentyten, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. twentyten

    twentyten Member

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    Though USCGA says that an interview is "optional but highly recommended," is it truly optional? For many of the schools I'm applying to with optional interviews, having an interview can help your app but not having one won't hurt you. Is the same thing true for CGA or would admissions take a lack of interview as a negative? Thanks :smile:
     
  2. twentyten

    twentyten Member

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    Sorry I forgot to add- does anyone have numbers as to how many applicants are generally admitted with/without interview?
     
  3. Weather

    Weather Member

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    Yes, it is optional. My son received an offer during RA, and his package did not include an interview. However, the interview is another opportunity for you to show that you should be offered an appointment to the Academy.
     
  4. scdad

    scdad USNA Parent

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    Son requested an interview and was even at the CGA for Cadet for a Day Program but was never granted one.
     
  5. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    maybe that means they have already decided that an offer will be extended! Try not to worry about it. Hard to do, I know, but worrying won't help.

    By the way, I didn't follow my own advice and worried myself to death throughout the long process.

    Good luck. :smile:
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, they are optional, but recommended. Not interviewing is not seen as a negative.

    There are some candidates that are getting appointments no matter if they interview or not - the 1500+ SAT, football captain, #2/400 class rank, SGA VP, Eagle scout - the ones deemed by Christcorp as "no brainers" as they would get in if they showed up to an interview wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and Birkenstocks. They look so good on paper that an interview makes no difference.

    Then there are those who, despite having an interview, have no chance. I wouldn't say that there are many in that category, but every year we hear stories about the candidate who is only there for his father (ex-Academy grad) or Cadet Kelly who really has no clue about the USCG (Really? It's in the military?) and does not have the stats to make it even if she did.

    For those in the middle, or specifically those on the bubble, an interview can make a difference. Being able to talk at length about motivation and desire (among other things) allows you 1 more chance to speak to the CCEB through the report submitted by the AAP. There are some things that do not come across on paper, and having a friendly voice to advocate on your behalf can be very positive.

    I recommend everyone who has not interviewed yet to contact their Admissions Officer as soon as possible so you can interview before the dealine of 1 February.

    Not sure if your "sc" in your name refers to South Carolina, Southern California, or has nothing to do with your location, but there are enough AAPs in most of the country to accommodate all interview requests. And if there is no local AAP to do it, an Academy Admissions Officer can conduct a phone interview, which are not authorized for AAPs. Have your son call his AO again to follow up on his interview request.

    :cool:
     
  7. scdad

    scdad USNA Parent

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    Not sure if your "sc" in your name refers to South Carolina, Southern California, or has nothing to do with your location, but there are enough AAPs in most of the country to accommodate all interview requests. And if there is no local AAP to do it, an Academy Admissions Officer can conduct a phone interview, which are not authorized for AAPs. Have your son call his AO again to follow up on his interview request.

    Luigi - We live in South Carolina. If he was deferred for RA is an interview still possible? He was just assigned a new AO. His previous AO replied " Interviews are arranged local to your home. I will put a request in for you." He will certainly follow up with his new AO regarding an interview. Thank you for your advice.
     
  8. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    scdad,

    My son was given what I believe was "bad" advice, that interview was optional and that there were not enought interviewers. His AO was "down" in our area (one town away) at an Academy night, son could have interviewed then, but we didn't press the issue.

    When he was deferred from EA to RA, he asked his AO, besides updating scores, etc, how could he make his application package stronger, AO said: Interview!

    So, now he is trying to secure an interview. Wish we had done it sooner. Wonder what the Academy thinks of the request coming so late!!!

    Good luck!
     
  9. Gen2

    Gen2 Member

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    Last year our child's application was sent into the RA stack from the EA stack. One of the things he scrambled to do was get an interview. Nothing else changed in the meantime-no new test scores, no more grades, etc.

    At this point, do everything possible to make the application stronger!
     
  10. sandhills

    sandhills Member

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    Doesn't AIM provide as good or better view for the CGA of the potential cadet than an interview?
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    No, not really.

    The primary purpose of AIM is not for the USCGA to evaluate the candidate (although some evaluations are done), but rather for the candidates to evaluate the USCGA.
     
  12. lmchatt

    lmchatt Member

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    I have to say, we are very thankful for our daughter's AO. We misunderstood and thought that having the LOA meant that an interview was not necessary. Thank goodness he suggested the interview when she called to find out what she needed to work on for RA. :thumb:
     
  13. Cartgate

    Cartgate Member

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    Our son had a very good interview with his host cadet when he spent the night. His host said he would be a very good fit and was going to give him high scores on his interview. Before EA, son called his admissions advisor to request an interview with a representative in our area and was told it would not be necessary. He was he was later deferred to RA, good grades and decent ACT scores but not as high as the average EA candidates. Is now updating his application as per the deferral letter. Would it be a good idea to request an interview in our area? We are in SE Texas.
    Thank you for your help.
     
  14. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    Only 64 of the 169 EA appointments to 2014 had an interview in their record...it really is an optional application item, so it's not a bad/negative thing not to have one; however, it can certainly help (or hurt) to have one.
     
  15. twentyten

    twentyten Member

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    Alright, thanks everyone. I think I'm going to not do the interview, it might look bad being scheduled this late..either way I'm not really the best interviewer. I trip over my words... ;)
     
  16. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    We were in the same situation as Cartgate. Although we called before she went for her overnight and admissions said an official interview wouldn't be necessary since her host would fill out some type of evaluation. The interview wasn't all that important for the 62% of EA appointments who didn't get one, but it may have been for other 38%. If you interview well you most likely have an advantage. In retrospect its disappointing since she was at CGA anyway for the visit. Unfortunately we weren't part of that 38% and now wait and hope with the rest.
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    There really is no way of knowing how many of those 64 would have received an appointment regardless, interview or not. Perhaps it was the deciding factor for half of them? Some of them? 3 of them?

    If Admissions states that something is "optional, but recommended" why would anyone avoid doing what is recommended?
     
  18. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    If asked and denied it is no longer optional. But your right, there is no way to tell how many of those 64's decisions were influenced by the interview, it could be 3 or it could be 64. Most likely somewhere between. However, by mere numbers it statistically significant. The question would remain if those that receive interviews have a advantage (albeit unintentional) over those who do not either by choice (in this case it is the applicants fault) or by no choice fault of their own (IE location).
     
  19. cgadreamer

    cgadreamer Member

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    Spoke to our admission officer a few weeks ago and requested an interview. Got a call from a local Coast Guard representative over the weekend and interview conducted today. Admission officer didn't initially indicate interviewing was a big deal when asked. However, when the request was actually made to have one the AO took care of finding someone to do the interview.
     

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