ALO Interview Tips


May 3, 2023
Hey all, I am interviewing with my Evaluator ALO tomorrow and am looking for tips on question answers, insights into what questions to be ready to answer, and any common mistakes that come to mind. I expect to have to answer the "Why Military/AF/USAFA" question, news on national security, and what certain characteristics (integrity, leadership, innovation) mean, as well as what it means to be an AF officer. Is there anything else that should be on my radar and/or general advice?
Edit: I have looked over most of the congressional interview pages from the last 3 years as well as BGO and ALO pages and Capt MJ's advice since he has posted a wide variety of content on this topic.
Thanks, Southern
Last edited:
This is a very commonly discussed topic on SAF. Have you used the search function above to look for similar queries, whether it be for ALO or BGO or PMS or any other interviews? Tons of information to be found, with just a bit of effort.
- Grooming and attire. Well-cut hair, clean nails, no heavy body fragrance, no date-night make-up, no jangly jewelry. Well-pressed and well-fitting clothing. Shined shoes, if they are shineable, and no athletic shoes. There are several “interview” threads here on SAF you can search on what to wear. Use the internal Search function here on SAF or a targeted external Google search using variations on: congressional interview advice.
- Well-prepared. If you haven’t already, dive deeply into the SA website(s) so you know the basics. Be ready to articulate your “why.” If you can do a mock interview with a family member or someone else, do it. It’s essentially a job interview, on which there are infinite articles on the internet. Do your homework on all 5 SAs and be clear on why you are/are not applying to them. Recognize the SA is a 4-year waystation to the end goal of a commission and at least 5 years of active duty after that. Know the basics on what you are signing up for. Be prepared to address your alternate plans.
- Body language. Sit up straight. Figure out in advance what to do with your hands. Make eye contact - not the creepy kind - but when you respond to your interviewer, and if there is a panel, as you speak, you let your eyes shift naturally to other panel members. Handshake - firm and professional, no matter whose hand you are shaking. Not a bone-crusher. Not what you may have been taught to shake an older woman’s hand with (what I call the “limp fish” - save that for other settings).
- Don’t make a snarky reference to another SA or service, thinking that will score you points. If there is a panel, it is likely multi-service. Yes, service members trash-talk each other as family members do, but you are not in that club yet. And no, JROTC, CAP, Sea Cadets, while fine activities, do not give you status in that club. If you are prior enlisted, just be sensible.
- Re-read the essay you submitted, so you can respond to any questions and not contradict yourself.
- Be prepared with questions of your own, if you are given that opportunity. Don’t ask questions whose answers can be found on the SA website or with basic legwork by you. You can ask “Ma’am, I heard you say you attended the Naval Academy and became a helo pilot in the Marines. What were the main factors that helped you choose one SA and service over another?” “Sir, you mentioned you retired after 30 years. What made you stay in the Air Force for a full career? How did that prepare you for your civilian career?”
- Be yourself. Don’t be so over-prepared you sound like you are delivering canned answers by rote. Smile. Engage, read the room. The panel wants to get to know you a little bit, so let them see you.

There are all kinds of internet articles on high school and college interviews. Examples:

There are dozens like this. Look for what makes sense for your nom interview setting.
You can’t go wrong searching for Capt MJ’s take on these things.
This is a very commonly discussed topic on SAF. Have you used the search function above to look for similar queries, whether it be for ALO or BGO or PMS or any other interviews? Tons of information to be found, with just a bit of effort.
I did try as many varying queries as possible. ALO not registering as a valid term doesnt help when scrolling through results. I am using this information to share with my application prep group buddies.
One of my DS ALO interviews gave the feedback that this is one of the rare opportunities that you want to self promote, with humility, but still not a time to be shy about your accomplishments. There are many ALO's here who may have a different take and I defer to their experience.
Whether it’s ALO or BGO or PMS or MOC (for noms) — the interview principles are exactly the same. If you do a broad search for interview tips, you’ll see plenty of info.