Interview Tips

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by banshee, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. banshee

    banshee Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an interview scheduled regarding my application for a congressional nomination. Any tips or advice?
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    Prepare by reviewing what you've learned, said, and done in advance; Practice responding completely and concisely to anticipated questions; Identify appropriate questions for your committee; Remind yourself to listen actively, carefully to questions; Pick out your wardrobe well in advance and have it cleaned, pressed, with shoes shined, hair neat and trimmed, nails clean; Run multiple copies of your resume to provide should they ask, with separately IDed information, additions, test updates, etc. that you may have achieved since submission of your information; Be able to communicate why USNA vs. others (and NOT ..."oh I'll be happy with anything."); Put on your smile and work at looking at your questioner and your audience. Remember ... style AND substance. For any general statement/responses be prepared to provide specific illustrations. For example.

    "What is the most significant leadership experience you've had?" "Why?" "What challenge(s) did you face? How'd you respond?'

    What is your great strength? Can you give examples of how that's benefitted others?

    Etc.

    No need to avoid general answers like "I am a leader in most of my activities" to the degree that you can be specific in your leadership, why you're in those, what you've done, what diff it's made, etc. You get the drift, I'm sure.

    Relax, don't be stilted or phony, and do your best. And pray for godly guidance and help. :wink: Go get 'em and tell us how it went! Remember this ... Michael Jordan didn't learn to shoot fouls w/out shooting lots of them. :thumb:

    P.S. Get a time table for what, when, how this part of the process will be completed.
     
  3. banshee

    banshee Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate the tips!!! I was thinking I would have more time to prepare due to the fact that I just turned in my application however my congressman is retiring so the process has been expedited.
     
  4. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    593
    To add my two cents to already great advice...

    (1) Think before you answer on the more difficult questions, it is okay to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts into a response.

    (2) Be confident, but not cocky.

    (3) I'm sure you have had many successes in high school, but be prepared to talk about your weaknesses and what you learned from it. This is a question candidates normally struggle with me on the BGO interview and it is likely you might be asked this or a similar question(s). If you never take time to reflect on shortcommings/weaknesses....how do you improve in life? (rhetorically)

    Good luck!
     
  5. Man2112

    Man2112 Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my opinion, having pre-written responses is great, but you have to be able to deviate from them. Don't be waiting for a question to fit your answer perfectly...it won't come.

    My advice:

    Know the main points on what you want to say about yourself, but don't have a script memorized word-for-word....it will sound more natural. Also, keep your answers long enough that it answers the entire question, but don't preach. Keep your answer concise to the question.

    Just my 2 cents!
     
  6. banshee

    banshee Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interview went well!!! No matter what happens I believe that I did all I could to prepare and present myself and my qualifications. Thanks again for all the wonderful advice. :shake:
     
  7. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    Did you get the timetable for submission? Will they let you know?
     
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    131
    One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Michael Jordan. When asked about his success, he said,

    I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
     
  9. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    Great quote, great lesson!

    I remember one of the most powerful sermons I heard in my early life was delivered by Bruce Thielemann, a prominent Pittsburgh Presbyterian pastor of the late 20th century discussing the importance of failure to success, it was entitled simply "Babe Ruth Struck Out 1,330 Times." That then-MLB record's been broken many times, but like Jordan, we certainly don't remember the Babe for his monumental mountain of momentary failures to perform, do we. Thanks for reminding us all of a powerful, important lesson.

    btw, reading a very fascinating, well written book by Walter Borneman appropriately titled "The Admirals" that reveals and weaves together the lives of the USN's only 5-star Admirals in its history, awarded in this order ... Wm Leahy, Ernie King, Chester Nimitz, and Bull Halsey (The author contends, that like the Army's decision to award a 5th star to a 5th general post-WWII, Spruance SHOULD have been awarded such, but because of his humble desire to stay out of the spotlight and politics of such things, was not.)

    My point in this relative to our topic of "failure," is simply that it becomes apparent that NONE of these men may have been heroes in today's Navy. They all screwed up in big ways, ways that would have gotten them booted out or severely hampered in their progress. And none would have been available to become some of the greatest figures in U.S. Naval history.:thumb:

    Of course, many have argued that this is one of the Navy's great problems today, i.e. while overstated, that ensigns are to start out nearly perfect and improve from there. Certainly they are not allowed to remain in the line-up enroute to 1,300 K's!:thumbdown:

    One modestly disparate thought about the 4 5-stars and their intertwined careers. Of course they were all relatively of the same time ... but it is a great exposition of the importance of relationships and the "network." They constantly bumped into each other in their career paths, and those random bumps often led to unrandom contributions and assists to each other. And THAT might be at least one "argument" for those wondering about the ultimate value of a USNA beginning vs. OCS and/or ROTC. USNA is not exclusive in enabling and building one's personal net that supports and sustains careers, but said another way ... don't ignore the lifelong value of becoming a "ring-knocker!" :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  10. subvet

    subvet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reading same book. Must be a case of great minds etc. :)
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    454
    For future interviewees, do your utmost to limit the use of the word "like." I've had a couple of BGO interviews this year that went something like this (no pun intended):

    Me: "What do you do as team captain?"

    Candidate: "Like, I . . . I make sure that like everyone comes to practice and like I also like organize the fundraisers, like to make money for the team."

    Me: "What did you like best about Summer Seminar?"

    Candidate" "It was like totally great. Like, I really liked sea trials because, like, you got to work as a team and it was like really challenging, like all the push ups and stuff."

    Seriously. I understand it's a generational thing but it is VERY VERY annoying to adults to listen to conversation such as that described above for 45 minutes and makes it hard to concentrate on the substance of the response. The word "like" should only be used as a simile (i.e., the road was like ice [as in "slippery like ice"]) or as a synomym for enjoy/love (i.e., What did you like best about NASS).

    You may not even realize you're using "like" every other word. And it's also probably a case of nerves. But it can derail an otherwise great interview so, if it's something you're prone to doing, work on answering questions without using the word "like."
     
  12. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    131
    I agree! It definitely is an indicator of a lack of articulateness.

    In fact, I think overusing "like", as you indicated, is worse than long pauses with "uhhhhh" or speech that is repeatedly punctuated with a barrage of uh's.
     

Share This Page