Blue and Gold Officer Interview

My daughter has applied to the USNA and has a Blue and Gold Officer coming to our house tonight to interview her and speak with my wife and I. Any suggestions on what to prepare expect and how to respond to the BGO both from our daughter's perspective and my wife and my perspective?
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
There are alot of threads here talking about the BGO interview Bottom line, we are all different and experience with one BGO does not necessarily reflect another BGO. (For example, I do the BGO interview at my office, and rarely meet with parents unless they ask for it). As to how to respond ...just answer the questions--don't try to second guess and tell the BGO what you think he/she wants to hear. Also, keep in mind, we are interviewing and evaluating the candidate , not the parents. It's fine to say hi, ask any questions you my have, etc, but at some point, if you aren't asked, bow out and politely take your leave.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Some BGOs like to do interviews at the candidate's home. As with Old Navy, I don't, but it's a personal preference.

I suggest the following: Have your DD answer the door. She can state that her parents are available when the BGO wants to meet them. Or, you can be in the room where she brings the BGO and meet him/her right off. If you have any questions about the process or about USNA, this is the time to ask. Just to ease social awkwardness, I suggest you come up with at least one question. :) But it's not mandatory.

Also fully agree that, if there is a pause, you say something like, "Well, I'm sure you don't want to spend the entire night talking with us. This is about [DD]. We really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you, blah blah, blah." Well, don't say the last. :p And take your leave. Meaning go to a place that is far away from where the interview is taking place so it doesn't appear you're eavesdropping.

The key is that the BGO believes this is your DD's idea, goal, desire, etc. and not yours. He/she may also be gauging if the parents are supportive. However, even if you think her attending USNA is the worst idea ever, that isn't necessarily a negative. I've had quite a few successful candidates over the years who've told me their parents were everything from apprehensive to outright disapproving. So, in that regard, be yourselves -- IOW, if you have fears, concerns, whatever, it's ok to express them w/o harming your DD's chances.

There is no need to provide food and doing so can be a bit awkward (BGO isn't into cookies but feels compelled to eat one just b/c you made them). It is nice to offer a glass of water or a soda, but that too isn't mandatory. Per my sticky above, your DD should dress as if she were going to the BGO's home or office (no bare feet, no gym clothes). You should wear whatever you would normally wear at that time of the evening, provided it isn't your PJs. :) Dressing up too much IMHO suggests that you (not your DD) are the focus of the meeting/interview when you're not.
 
Great advice from all! My daughter and I informally met with 3 different ROTC reps at colleges this summer. She gave them her resume which was helpful. Hopefully, that prepared her for USNA interview as that is her top choice. I told her eye contact, firm hand shake, asking good questions, why military, why USNA, when did you decide to do military, options if rejected from USNA would be likely questions to prepare for. I told her not to be modest about her accomplishments and interests and that she knows more about herself than anyone else and to remember that while she really wants USNA that she has a great package to offer - near perfect test scores, STEM focus, lots of activities, etc.
 

Lazyboy

Member
My son's interview was this morning. I had to work today, so my wife drove him to a fast food restaurant to meet our BGO (about an hour away). This is where they met us for an informal family interview two weeks prior. It sounds like it went well. One step closer!
 

hesantone

New Member
Ours is doing an “informal interview” with parents and son too. I am unsure what to expect. What to wear? Any advice?
 
Ours is doing an “informal interview” with parents and son too. I am unsure what to expect. What to wear? Any advice?
I wore a nice, modest dress but it was not super formal. My BGO wore khakis and a USNA polo. I am no expert in the men's fashion department, but I would say it is always better to over dress than under. With that being said, he can probably wear khakis with a button down and tie (can any men in this thread weigh in?). The advice I give candidates I have helped is to be yourself and do not be nervous. I was super nervous leading up to the interview, but it turned out to be a great conversation with my BGO and we have gotten to actually be close now. Something I wish I would have known is that the BGOs are here to help you, not find details that will make you a bad midshipman and future officer. I felt I had to be a perfect candidate in my interview when I started, but I then relaxed and was able to be myself. Also know that they are people and have humors, so do not be afraid to smile. As long as your DS has an answer for why he wants to go to the Academy and be in the military, he should do just fine. They are all somehow related to the Academy whether it be alumni, parents, etc. and are there because they love the Academy and want to help candidates in any way they can as volunteers. Good luck!
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
With that being said, he can probably wear khakis with a button down and tie (can any men in this thread weigh in?). The advice I give candidates I have helped is to be yourself and do not be nervous.
> Had to laugh about a man weighing in , as the best advice in this Forum on the subject comes from a woman -- something like "dress like it is an important part of your day.." (hat tip '85!). To some degree this is regional. I don't expect candidates to wear a tie, but they should look professional. Bottom line, it's hard to be over dressed and easy to be underdressed...but there is a lot of space between the two, if you occupy the middle ground, it really isn't going to make that much of an impact either way.

Something I wish I would have known is that the BGOs are here to help you, not find details that will make you a bad midshipman and future officer. I
> I start of my interviews telling the candidate that one of my objectives is to let USNA Admissions know the "rest of the story." By the time I interview, they have completed most of their application, including filled out their Activities record and personal statement, so I ask them to tell them something about themselves that USNA doesn't already know. I try to look for the person behind all the stats and numbers that make up the WCS. We are here to provide advice, answer questions, and help USNA identify good candidates, but do not (or should not) try to promote a particular candidate over another.

BGO's are not screeners, and certainly don't have "veto" power over any candidates (or conversely, the power to get anyone an appointment). No one knows how much weight the BGO interview carries.
 

ders_dad

Member
We had water bottles out for DS and BGO for their interview (DW and I made ourselves scarce after introductions). I noticed DS nervously opening his water bottle, taking a swig, and closing it before every answer (he got better after a couple of minutes). Just an FYI that no matter who you are, it is a challenging encounter for a 17 year old and unexpected nervous ticks arise.

BGO interview was a venue for DS to discuss his leadership experience in detail. His BGO wanted to know what he did as a leader and what he viewed as important attributes of leadership. At the end of the interview (when DW and I were asked to reconvene) the BGO told us that he learned a lot about DS's leadership that couldn't be described in the word limit of the application.
 
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