BGO Interview

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by navy22, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. navy22

    navy22 Member

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    My BGO interview is coming up and I was wondering if anybody had any tips for me or any insight on what kind of questions he will ask.
     
  2. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    Lots of older threads on that topic, might start there.
     
  3. Zeus

    Zeus Member

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    You may want to start with the top sticky in USNA forum titled: The Role of Blue and Gold Officers.
     
  4. navy22

    navy22 Member

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    Thank you
     
  5. THParent

    THParent Member

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    My advice: Don't be obsessed about "passing" this interview. It is more important for YOU to ask questions, because the BGO (probably) knows the answers and can set you more at ease about what you need to prioritize from this time forward in the application process.

    He or she has already seen some of the data on your application, and can offer guidance for continuing down this road to a commission in the Navy or Marine Corps. You will probably receive advice to have a "Plan B" and a "Plan C" as back-up (in case you are one of the MANY who do not receive an offer of appointment in the end). If what you ultimately want to do is be an Officer - there are several ways to get there - and all in the same four years that it takes to get through the Academy.

    If the BGO suggests that your parents attend the interview, they should be coached by you to not speak until spoken to, and to be succinct.
    This is your interview - and even though you're the perfect candidate - it's not the time for your parents to go on about how great you are.
    Sure, they helped you a lot to get you to this point in your life, but it's typically not them that the BGO is there to talk to.
    I say "typically", because in some cases, there are parents who are not keen on little Johnny or Sally joining the MILITARY. When this is a factor, a BGO can do a lot to set their minds at ease, and get out of the way for their son or daughter to do what they ultimately want to do with their lives.
    BGOs are good at this, because they are on a peer basis with your parents and tend to be listened to better than you as their baby!

    You might want to rehearse some questions to ask your BGO, but you really don't need to rehearse how you ask them. Just make sure that you ask questions that you really want answered. Don't ask questions that you think your BGO might want to hear. Just be you.

    Lastly, thank your BGO. He or she is a volunteer. They do this because they want to do this. They want to meet people like you, who are some of the best and brightest our country has to offer. They are looking forward to meeting you. How about that? :)
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Take the time to read every page, drop down and link on the SA website to get answers to questions, so you don’t ask ones that make you look like you haven’t done your homework.
    Don’t disparage, even jokingly, other services or SAs. For all you know, the BGO’s daughter is wearing the uniform of another service. Once you’re wearing the uniform yourself, you’ll know when and how to joke about your brethren.
     
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  7. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Actually, VERY little. See my sticky.
     
  8. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    The BGO will spend a fair amount of time — with your parents and with you alone — determining who’s driving the application to the academy. The right answer is “you and you alone.” You may be getting great support and encouragement from your folks; the idea may even originally have come from them. But ultimately, the desire to attend the academy must be driven 100% by you.

    Beyond that, have very strong, clear, genuine explanations for why you want to serve as an officer, why that academy and branch specifically, and how you’ve been a leader (impact, not titles) in your community, school, team, club, etc.
     
  9. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    Ask questions, be yourself and be honest! Just that simple.
     
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  10. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    It's often said to be yourself, that's not exactly great advice. If a person slouches, says um a lot, swears every other word, likes picking their nose (you get the picture), are not things one should do at any interview. An interview is not supposed to be a casual experience. The interviewer will want you to be comfortable, but you should be respectful and remain professional at all times. It is important to be calm and relaxed! That will come with confidence. Confidence can come with doing practice interviews. Interview with a teacher, and if possible ask your parents if there is someone you don't personally know and can practice interviewing with. That practice will give you confidence and learn how to respond to questions as well as talking about yourself. There will be the NOM interviews to be prepared for as well!

    So for the BGO interview, ask any questions you may have about the application process, life at the Academy, and what your future career may look like. Also find out what your best plans B,C and D should be.
    Finally describe yourself, your current accomplishments, goals, and why you want to serve.
    While you should be somewhat braggadocios, it is important to be humble at the same time.
    Be yourself (the prepared self)!
    Best of luck to you!
     
  11. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    The best advice is the sticky at the top of the page -- written by a BGO with lots of experience ! Some good advice here, but the caveat to "Be Yourself" is to be a confident, professional self. Poise and confidence are traits that I look for and comment on in my write up, and that is not something you can "practice " leading up to the interview, it's something that is developed over time. Don't try to put on an act and be someone you aren't -- trust me, it's easy to tell.

    Keep in mind, this is not a "pass/fail" thing, and there is a lot of commentary on this forum about how much weight is given to the BGO interview. The truth is, no one really knows for sure --but probably alot less weight than many think it does. BGO's are not "screeners" with a mission to keep candidates out ..our primary purpose is promoting USNA, and informing and advising candidates. We want to see good candidates succeed.

    I know it is difficult and perhaps scary for a candidate to come meet with me, a complete stranger, usually at my office with a large (for the area) law firm. We have a handful of mandatory , perhaps scripted issues to cover, but as USNA1985 points out, we really don't know alot about the candidates coming in, so its really getting to know you, what motivates you, and why you want to attend USNA more than anything else.

    As an aside and caution to up and coming candidates (and as an exception to the statement that we don't know much about you), one of the things I do do now is Google candidates. Most of the time all I see is newspaper articles with achievements, sports, etc. , but from time to time I see Facebook and other social media. Some people like to bare their soul on Social Media, but some advice to all young people --never post anything publicly that you don't want a potential employer to see someday.
     
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  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    My son pretty much quit posting to FB while he was a midshipman, having already learned Old Navy BGO's lesson the easy way for a change.
    The only thing I see now is pics from his western Pacific vacations with his girlfriend. Next up? Two weeks in Indonesia. Can't wait to see those pictures!
     
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  13. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I hire people, and I won't even give them an interview if their social media footprint contains stupidity of any kind.
    I worked in "Military Intelligence", so I know a little about stupidity. :D
     
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  14. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Another thing to keep in mind . . . BGO interviews are very different in purpose from MOC interviews. MOCs have a limited number of nominations and use interviews to help determine who should get those slots. Thus, there is an important element of comparison and selection in the interview process -- you are directly competing with the other interviewees (who are applying to the same SA).

    BGO interviews are more about providing information not otherwise available about the candidate to USNA to help in their selection. We aren't asked to rank candidates against each other and BGOs don't tend to look at interviews as a "competition" among candidates (nor are we encouraged to do so). Some BGOs may on a rare occasion say, "This is the best candidate I've interviewed in 5 years," but that is a statement in a vacuum -- representing only the small number of folks this particular BGO has talked to. As an aside, even if the BGO says something like this, it may have zero impact (I know this to be true from personal experience). I can guarantee you that, if the MOC committee thinks this, that candidate is likely to get a nom!
     
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  15. BBQ-Devil

    BBQ-Devil Member

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    DS had his BGO interview today.

    First the BGO took about 15 minutes to talk to my wife and I. More just to ask if we had any questions. I asked a few round the admissions process, how competitive the district we live in normally is (NC-13), advice on whether DS should retake the CFA (which he is though his BGO said he did not think it was necessary) From that point on he spoke privately with DS.

    Interview lasted for about two hours. DS thought it went well. All the feedback I got from the BGO afterwards is that he usually can lump candidates into two categories; competitive and hopeful. He said DS was competitive. He also said, as I have seen mentioned here, he believes there is a subjective advantage to getting everything done early. To him it shows motivation and determination. I'll take that as a positive and we can check this off the list. Now onto DODMRB, getting the essay done, then time to hurry up and wait......
     
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  16. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Speaking of “professional,” dress well and smartly. No jeans, T-shirts, shorts, sandals, revealing or suggestive clothing, excess jewelry. Treat it as a job interview — you’re essentially vying for your first job out of college. Doesn’t mean a suit, but it does mean clean, pressed, conservative clothing. Better to be overdressed than underdressed, even if the interview is at home. This advice goes double — kick it up a notch — for MOC interviews.
     
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  17. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

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    Would you suggest a sports jacket? I understand it may depend on the place..my DS was already planning shirt and tie with a nice pair of khakis..Should he wear dress pants?
     
  18. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Shirt and tie with pressed khakis should be fine. Adding a navy blazer makes it even nicer, except in areas that are tropical or uber casual (Hawaii, Florida etc.). In dressier areas (Washington DC, New York), crank up the formality to a conservative suit instead.

    A picture is worth a thousand words.....check out this old thread:
    https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/rotc-interview.57243/#post-568189

    Here is another good picture for both young men and women:
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Keep in mind regional differences.. I don't expect a candidate to wear a tie, particularly if they are coming from one of my more rural areas. There is no single right or wrong answer , other than the advise in the sticky about dressing like this is an important part of your day. Smart business casual is fine with me. (I'm a lawyer, and rarely wear a tie myself these days)
     
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  20. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Goes for the women also. For MOC panels, DD wore a cropped blazer, silk top, full-length pants and closed-toe flats. She looked like she meant business, without being stiff or stuffy. Said she felt very comfortable engaging with the men and women who were grilling her.