BGO Interview Questions

MichaelW22

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2017
Messages
50
Hello all,

I have read through past posts and racked up some good info on what to think through, prepare for, etc. However, would it be appropriate to ask my BGO to help me with my personal statement essay at the end of our interview? The subject of my essay is very personal and I would prefer not to go through an editing process with my parents. I also think that the essay will shine some light on my commitment to USNA and help my BGO get to know me as a person. I guess what I'm asking is: Should I ask for help on my essay? Should I bring it up before or after the interview? Does anyone have last minute tips on the interview, nerves, random advice, anything?

I appreciate all of you on the forums for your help. With the class of '21 already at the Academy, we (applicants to '22) are up next. Let's get ready for a wild ride.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
I think it would be perfectly fine to say, "I have my personal statement close to final form, and am curious what you think, or if you have any suggestions. Is it alright if I ask you to review it?" The BGO will ask, at some point, probably at the end, if you have any questions. That may be the time.

Keep in mind, the BGO may not be a great writer, so have others review it as well.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
2,750
To be honest, no one has ever asked me the question ....perhaps because I usually do the interview after the personal statement is completed, but agree with Brovol...certainly reasonable to ask , particularly with your explanation. However, as a BGO I would look at it from a big picture perspective and give general comments about message and impact. I would not get into the details about wording, specific sections, etc. (i.e. attack it with the red pen like I used to did with my daughters )
 

cabarle

10-Year Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
91
To be honest, no one has ever asked me the question ....perhaps because I usually do the interview after the personal statement is completed, but agree with Brovol...certainly reasonable to ask , particularly with your explanation. However, as a BGO I would look at it from a big picture perspective and give general comments about message and impact. I would not get into the details about wording, specific sections, etc. (i.e. attack it with the red pen like I used to did with my daughters )

I always ask for a candidate's personal statement prior to the interview.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
6,282
Folks, do NOT let your personal statement hold up your application. USNA isn't Harvard or Brown or Duke in that USNA is NOT looking for you to come up with something totally unique in your statement. The questions haven't changed for years and the answers probably haven't either. USNA knows it will get mostly the same answers from candidates -- that's not a negative.

I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't put thought into it, shouldn't proofread it, etc. Of course to all that. But don't worry about "standing out" in your statement the way you would want to for most schools that have essays.

Over the years, I've had <10 candidates (of at least 200) show me their statements and only 2 ask for my comments before they sent it. As someone above stated, it's a big picture review. I look for two things. First, does it sound like the candidate wrote it or does it sound like it was written/heavily edited by parents or others? Second, is it decently written -- understandable, answers the question, good grammar and sentence structure, etc.?

The bottom line is that you should write it yourself, have someone proof it for you, do your best and TURN IT IN!
 

Cerberi

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Messages
749
Your BGO is evaluating you and forming a perception if you would make a good Naval/USMC officer. They also want to know if you are applying to USNA for 'the right' reasons' (i.e. is it you are your parents). Whether or not they want to review your personal statement and provide feedback would be a case by case basis.

BGOs have different perspectives, but I would not be asking my BGO for feedback on MY personal statement unless I actually knew that person well. As USNA1985 wrote - get it done, make sure it answers the questions and is clearly written with proper grammar (take it to your English instructor).

My perspective is based on my DD's BGO meeting - the spent a few minutes together at StarBucks - that was it. Her ALO for USAFA interviewed her for 3 hours as clearly USAFA requires significantly more (though not necessarily more valuable) paperwork. (She received appointments to both schools)

I am sure many BGO's would be willing to help, but it is not their role to help you complete your paperwork.

Plus - I don't think the personal statement carries all that much weight unless you have a compelling and unique story to tell.
 
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