FFR Interview - Next Steps

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jliu2021, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. jliu2021

    jliu2021 New Member

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    Hi - I'm wondering what happens after an FFR interview with a candidate. Does the FFR simply call the RC with his findings/interview performance or does the FFR have to submit some written review of the interview performance?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. brovol

    brovol Member

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    The FFR prepares a written report and sends it to the person who is in charge of FFR's for that region, who reviews then forwards it to admissions. Someone can correct me on this if I am not accurate. Then you wait. As long as you didn't say anything real bad you should be OK. FFR's primarily provide information about the process, make sure you and your family know what you are getting into, answers questions, and gives a general assessment to the academy. Ours told my son that he cant get him an appointment, but could probably keep him from getting one. My son's FFR interview was very early in the process. Probable only a couple weeks after his portal opened, but it didnt show up on the portal for a long time after. Patience is a real virtue in this process. You will see.
     
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  3. jliu2021

    jliu2021 New Member

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    Thank you very much for the detailed response, Brovol.

    Can you tell me what didn't show up in the portal? It sounds like there's some flag or indicator regarding an FFR interview was completed. Where does this get indicated in the portal? Please clarify. Thanks again.
     
  4. GreenMountainPatriot

    GreenMountainPatriot Member

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    My DD's interview with her FFR was in the late September time frame. She reached out to him early (Feb) and they had a few phone conversations and exchanged emails over the summer. They met face to face for the first time at a USMA information session in early September, at which the FFR told my DD the interview with him was optional. Perhaps he got enough information from her on their phone calls. Nevertheless, during the face to face, my DD set up an interview date.

    It may be beneficial to do the interview later especially if you go to SLE or NASS, or do a candidate visit. This will give you another topic to talk about when you interview.

    If your FFR interview is optional I would not recommend skipping it.
     
  5. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    There is no place on the portal for FFR interview. It is optional and therefore there is no box to be checked or status for it on the portal.

    I think its importance depends on the FFR. For my 2019, the FFR did not contact her. She contacted him a few times to try to set up an interview. He ended up sending someone else in his place. The format was not an interview at all and was more or less a session to ask questions if DD had any. It was very nice, but not necessary. For my 2021, he had zero contact with FFR and did no interview.
     
  6. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I think I am confusing this with one of the other academies. Everything else is accurate, but it sounds like there isn't anything confirming the interview in the USMA portal. May even be confusing it with rotc. Perhaps I shouldn't have drank all that caugh medicine this morning. Lol.
     
  7. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    My cadet did not have a FFR interview. So, not everyone will have this as part of their application process.
     
  8. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    An FFR interview has no real influence on the selection process. In some areas, a FFL could be on a MOC selection panel. FFR have we a wide breath in experience, some are WP alum, a WP parent, a member of the public who wants to be of service. The interview from a FFL has no influence over a student being selected. They may have a relationship with an RC and can make recommendations. If a student attends SLE a Cadet will conduct an interview as part of the Cadet leadership requirements. In many communities across our country there are just no FFR available. A FFR has limited access to a students file. It will show how much is completed on their application and may ask you about your school resume. An FFRs opinion on your competitiveness is based on their experience and comparing your file to what they may know of other students who are applying. A FFR is there to encourage you, offer advise and motivation. The RC is the power piece to the selection process. Your RC can see your whole file, including MOC nom, progress reports from civil prep schools, MAPS and whatever information submitted from you if you are attending a college. In other words the more correct information given to your RC that pertains to your WCS the better your opportunities with the forethought of class composition goals.

    In other words, follow the guide on USMA.org, ask questions here, ask question to your FFR if available, work on your academics, athletics and leadership.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  9. rbp67

    rbp67 Member

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    So true .. the FFR may have a relationship with an RC and can make recommendations. FFR, a retired Lt Col from West Point, interviewed my DD towards the end of July last year after FFR received an e-mail from RC. DD received her LOA few days after the interview. My DD had been meeting with the FFR since she was a sophomore for updates/guidance on admission process since I do not have a background in the service academies.

    With USNA, interview with the BGO is part of the admission process and there is a box in the candidate's portal.
     
  10. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I would not necessarily agree with this statement in entirety. I would treat your interview with your FFR as a job interview in that you should treat the rep as a person that will recommend you to the academy. You do not need to show up with a suit and tie but I would look professional; nice pants, shoes, shirt and a belt. Be ready to ask questions that show you have a basic understanding of what the academies' mission is and how your goals align to that mission. The FFR will complete a report and have it sent to the admissions group. The results of the interview cannot get you an appointment but negative feedback can definitely raise a red flag. This is the one actual person who will sit down and interact with you as an academy representative. He may talk with your parents some, but will want one on one time with you to ensure you are doing this for the right reasons. This is also a good opportunity to talk about anything unusual in your application. There may be special circumstances related to class selection, overcoming a unique challenges, etc. My DD did a second interview with her FFR as a re-applicant and covered her college class schedule. It didn't look like a normal plebe schedule since she tested out of most first year classes and replaced them with other advanced classes. Again, that didn't get her an appointment, but it headed off any potential questions later in the process.

    I agree with everything else Tug_Boat has posted about communication with your RC. Your FFR can only give advice on what he has seen before and not where you actual stand on your slate or potential for an offer from the NWL or as an additional appointee. This is where the RC comes into play and he is the power broker in the equation. It is most important that your RC knows who you are and has a positive opinion of you.
     
  11. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    USMA1994 has a very good point. High school kids in general have very little experience knowing how to communicate with adults. They can communicate well with peers and siblings. They listen to their parents, followed by an eye roll. Teachers in their lives communicate as mentors and educators. But learning to listen and talk with adults is a whole different ball game, that is a very important skill set. The interview with MOC, RC, of job can be rehearsed but the ability to think and "talk on your feet" is a gift. Look for opportunities to talk with adults about anything, technology, sports, current events to gain confidence in yourself.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
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  12. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Oooopsy, correction "USMA.edu"

    A very rare moment, LOL

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  13. marian

    marian Member

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    My son applied to all 4 academies and got his appt to USMA in January, EA Waitlist at USCGA and waiting to hear from Navy and AF. In my opinion, any and ALL interviews should be taken very seriously. We invested in a new navy suit with adult dress shoes, light blue shirt and conservative tie. One never knows how well connected your interviewer is to those in the Academy-their opinion/impression could count more than you know.

    My son got compliments on his attire at every interview...Congressional, Senatorial, B&GO, on down the line. This is your only opportunity to put your best foot forward. If you are not totally comfortable thinking on your feet and making small talk, practice, but BE YOURSELF (assuming you're not a jerk). Get comfortable asking questions, and be able to use 3-4 concrete experiences in more than one way, to answer a question. Have those "stories" ready to go in your brain, so they can morph into a multitude of answers. Practice with your parents, and into the tape recorder of your phone. Why do you want to be an officer? Why do you want to serve? Why will you be a good leader? Be natural and don't seem "rehearsed", but you can't totally wing it, either. Ultimately, I think the suit differentiated our son from the parade of navy blazers and khakis and looked more serious and "adult".....just sayin'. All the best.
     
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  14. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Never underestimate the influence that a FFR has on the selection process.
    A FFR can make you or break you.
    I have seen it both ways.
    I've seen candidates lose any chance for an appointment because of their interview.
    I've also witnessed a FFR who really, really pushed the RC on a candidate who had a big hurdle. He got the appointment.
    RCs listen to the FFRs as they are boots on the ground. A candidate can look like Captain America on paper, but not even close in person. A lot can come out in an interview that doesn't show on paper.

    Candidates - if you have a FFR interview, take it seriously. Establish a good relationship with your FFR. Besides the interview, FFRs have direct input into who gets AOG scholarships.
     
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  15. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    So, those who do not have access to a FFR are at a disadvantage? An FFR should develop a rapport with the RC if they want to be a valuable advocate for students. However, in my opinion, only "recommendations" should be offered. Anything else could be questioned as favoritism or biased towards a candidate. Its the RC and his staff who should make an impartial final selection with class composition goals at hand.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  16. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Honestly, I've been surprised at h0w much influence FFRs have in the selection process. But, if you think about it, it makes sense.
    Why have a FF if they have no bearing on the process?
    Of course, their opinions are recommendations and RCs make the final call, but those recommendations are valued.
    Why? The RC sees the candidate as one dimensional - stats on a piece of paper. The FFR, through an interview, sees the 3 dimensional candidate - the whole person. The whole person is hard to see on a piece of paper.

    For example, seasoned Army officer/WP grad/FFR interviews 'walk on water' candidate. From the interview, seasoned Army officer/WP grad/FFR determines that 'walk on water' candidate, is not WP cadet/Army officer material and does not recommend this candidate for an appointment.
    Should the RC disregard the recommendation of seasoned Army officer/WP grad/FFR who knows, through their own personal experience, what it takes to be a successful cadet and Army officer? Is this bias? No - it would be biased if the seasoned Army officer/WP grad/FFR recommended this 'walk on water' candidate (even with the reservations he had about this candidate) because maybe the candidate was the son/daughter of a friend, or candidate went to their church or candidate went to their kids' school, etc.

    On the flip side. A candidate is interviewed. They are not a 'walk on water' candidate, but classified as competitive. It comes out in the interview that candidate has had a rough life, through no fault of their own. They have overcome many obstacles and have persevered. They are not bitter about their circumstances, they have a good attitude and they have worked hard, in spite their circumstances. FFR thinks those qualities make good cadets and Army officers and highly recommends candidate. FFR communicates with RC the situation that this candidate has lived with (which is not evident anywhere in candidate's file), that this is a great kid and has what it takes to be a great cadet and future officer. FFR really believes in this candidate and keeps open communication with the RC about candidate. Is that favoritism? I don't think so. I think that is a called being a good advocate for your candidate. FFRs are an extension of the admissions department. They want the best candidates for WP. If they see one that they think would be a great cadet/future officer, then is it wrong to be enthusiastic about said candidate?

    To say that 'An FFR interview has no real influence on the selection process' or that 'The interview from a FFL has no influence over a student being selected.' is simply not true.
    To indicate such is misleading to candidates.
    If interviews had no bearing on the admission prospects of candidates, then why have interviews.
    If RCs had no interest in the opinions of the FFRs, then why have interviews.

    I want to avoid the situation of where a candidate believes that their FFR interview has no influence on the selection process or their prospect for admission and they go into the interview with this opinion -because they read it on SAF. It could be detrimental to their chances of an appointment.

    As you can tell, I feel strongly about this, which is why I am pushing back on the notion that FFRs have no influence in the admissions process. It's a big responsibility and humbling to know that you have a voice in a candidate's future. WP would not give FFRs a voice if they didn't want to hear it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
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  17. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

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    Great post! My grad's MALO met with him in our home for 45 minutes and he graciously made the point of saying he did not want parents present. He used some of the time to get caught up on grades, sports, and other activities since the last time they had talked. However, my grad said the majority of the time was spent seriously talking about the realities of West Point and a career in the Army. He was so serious about it that it really made an impression on my son. We felt like it was a very important step toward his appointment.
     
  18. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Good post. The RC has some discretion in awarding (or not awarding) WCS points for areas not specifically quantified on the application, such as an activity that doesn't fit the standard list of activities or feedback from an FFR whose judgement the RC respects.

    The FFR submits an electronic report that has space for comments and sections with check boxes or rankings on a numeric scale. One of the scale rankings is "Overall Rating" with Top Candidate at one end of the scale and Not Recommended for Admission at the other. Is the interview important? If the RC respects the FFR's judgement, you bet it is.
     
  19. cavu

    cavu Member

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    Field Force Reps follow a consistent format in conducting interviews. The interview form is uploaded to the CC's file and becomes part of their admissions record. Additionally ongoing comments are added as necessary to the CC's file through the field force portal, typically after any contact with the CC. You are correct that the FFR does not have access to the CC's entire file, but can see most of the relevant info in their portal. They can also see status (risk, competitive, admissible, etc). FFR's, and particularly State Coordinators have direct access to RC's and MOC staff members and often provide input on candidates. They are your front line access to info regarding your admissions process but can under no circumstance provide any definitive answers regarding whether you will receive an appointment. It is probably in your best interest to treat them as you would any other admissions representative- that is with respect and integrity.
     
  20. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

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    Just so the new folks know.....buff81 is a Field Force Representative.
     

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