Interview Advice

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by soccerchic, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Hi! I've submitted all of my material for Early Action and have my interview tomorrow! Any last minute advice? Thank you!


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  2. JakeFromWisco

    JakeFromWisco Member

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    Having just finished up nomination interviews this morning, I would recommend making sure you can give clear, precise answers. At least for me, that was tough. I'm a bit of a talker, and it was difficult with one of the boards to know when to stop. In essence, why use many words when a few will do. Best of luck to you!
     
  3. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    I may be too late with this advice..

    -Use proper english when answering questions (Avoid uh-huh, nope and yep, that's "Legit" or other trendy words)

    -Maintain eye contact and be respectful

    -Have some questions to ask your interviewer.

    -Relax and don't try to over-impress. You want to make a good impression. Remember, the person interviewing you "Wants you to do well".

    -Whatever you do, don't try to BS your way through something. He/She will see through it. If you don't know, say "I don't know".


    Best of luck,

    Let us all know how you do!
     
  4. johnmac42

    johnmac42 Member

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    How much does the interview way?
     
  5. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Grevar

    Thanks for the tips! I think it went well! Commence the waiting!


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  6. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    Good to hear! The waiting will go faster than you think! Before you know it, the Class of 2019 will be reporting in and you will wonder "where did the year go?"
     
  7. USNA02

    USNA02 Parent

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    Goodness, isn't that the truth, Grevar!!

    Hope your DS is doing well.
     
  8. Cga-Hopeful

    Cga-Hopeful Member

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    Congrats soccerchic! Was the advice given helpful for your interview? Any other advice to give?

    Thanks
     
  9. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Hey! Yes, all of the advice! I would add that if you need a moment to think through the question, take it. It will help you not ramble and have a clear answer. Good luck!


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  10. Cga-Hopeful

    Cga-Hopeful Member

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    Pause, think about the response, and don't ramble. Good overall advice!

    Thanks
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Interviewers don't expect professional spokespeople when they interview candidates.

    My recommendations, totally off the top of my head.

    Before you even open your mouth, know about yourself.

    Know about the school. Know about the service the school feeds. Understand what will be asked of you at the academy and in the service. And then understand you can't really understand what's going to be asked of you. You will not have been broken down to the extent you'll be broken down at an academy. And you will not be built back up to the level you are at an academy. You will go on to fill positions at the age of 21-23ish where lives will be on the line, based on your decisions. Your decisions and actions will have long-lasting effects on people's lives and careers. You can't fully appreciate that at 16 or 17 years of age.

    No sweet, brown-nosing answers, give them the real deal. I'll give you an idea of my approach to those questions too, unique to me and my application journy.




    Q: Why do you want to go to the Coast Guard Academy?
    LITS A: I applied the same year as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. I wanted to serve to do my part. I felt like the attacks showed a vulnerability here at home, as well as overseas. I also liked the size of the Coast Guard and the fact that it had a peace-time and war-time mission set. I thought of the Coast Guard Academy as a little known, but selective (it had a 9% selection rate that year) institution, and I appreciated how Coast Guardsmen had been doing their jobs since 1790 with little fanfare or recognition (something I still appreciate).

    Q: If you don't get into the Coast Guard Academy, what are other options or desires?
    LITS A: I had applied to the Naval Academy and Merchant Marine Academy, and I had a NROTC scholarship (for which I had to apply to three schools, for me Vanderbilt, UNC Chapel Hill, and Auburn). In a nomination interview with Sen. Bill Frist's staff I was asked which school was my top choice for the NROTC scholar ship. I said Vanderbilt. It was a good choice (and was honest) because the Vandy's NROTC's commander was giving the interview. I was contacted the next week and told I had been accepted. But at no time did I not make it clear that I was considering multiple schools and had a desire to serve.

    Those are pretty basic.

    I knew this going into it....

    I was smart and I was athletic. At CGA I would have a fairly poor GPA and would find the PFE challenging. I had been challenged in the past, but I knew never to the extent I would experience at CGA. My mom and dad had yelled at me, but I never felt unworthy because of it, I would at CGA. I was an easy going, relaxed kid. I may be more on edge now, but I'm able to deal with stress better than before being pushed as a cadet and junior officer. I had a desire to serve. I had the smarts and I had done the work to get in. I didn't try to balloon my resume or talk myself up. I understood I didn't know everything (or half of nothing) but that that was OK. The interviewer knew I was a high school kid who wanted to go to an academy. They weren't looking for a Medal of Honor recipient Navy SEAL.... they were looking at successful, young high school students, and in my case, high school students who had just had their worlds rocked because of 9/11/01.

    When asked by one of the interviewers if bin Laden should be killed, I responded that someone is going to kill him, and it should be us. They liked that.


    Many words for a basic concept: be honest and be yourself.... your the person they want to interview. Don't try to be the person you think they want to interview.

    And HAVE FUN with it! They aren't there to beat you.... they're just as nervous interviewing as you may be, being interviewed.
     

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