The other night I conducted another round of interviews, and it occurred to me that I might give a few tips to our young friends on here, since it is the season for question/answer sitdowns... 1. Dress nicely. Like it or not, the interviewer will take note. You need not wear a tie, but a young man should know that a collared shirt speaks volumes. Young ladies, well...perhaps I'm dating myself here...whatever finery you wear, make sure it's pleasantly conservative. Plunging necklines and academy interviews do not mix. 2. Be early. 5 minutes early is on-time. Don't cut it close and be two minutes late, or even 30 seconds late. Especially if an officer is interviewing you. 3. We know you're nervous. Relax as much as you can, but don't think that being nervous will turn the interviewer against you in any way. Nerves tell us that you take this seriously. 4. Firm handshake. That's for young ladies and young men. 5. Smile. Be happy. As I tell my interviewees, my job is NOT to root out the reasons why Candidate X should not get in. It's to make sure the board has a nice, well-rounded idea of who the person behind the packet is. 6. Write your questions down. I can't count how many times I tell the candidate he/she can ask me questions about USMA and their nerves make them forget the questions they had in their head. We know you're nervous. Write them down. 7. Honesty, honesty, honesty. If you want to go to USAFA or USNA really badly, don't tell us USMA is number one. Be honest. It's your life, and we want to help you get to the right place. Lastly...the interviewer is there to help. Always. This is a volunteer gig that takes time away from our lives. If we didn't want to help you, we wouldn't be doing it!