Okay, so I just spent my first day on a Senator's Service Academy Selection Committee and without getting too specific, I'd like to give two strong words of advice to candidates - very simply: SELL YOURSELF!!! Yes, we had a list of questions to ask, and yes, we skimmed over your accomplishments and class rank and ACT scores and essays before you walked in. We know all that. We can read. But when the committee asks you a question - always be POSITIVE! Had a couple candidates today point out negatives (what they HADN'T done, instead of what they HAD) that I probably wouldn't have noticed had they not brought them to my attention. When we ask if you have anything else you'd like to tell us - TELL US SOMETHING! Looking at the ground and saying "Nah" or "I guess not" does nothing to convince me why we should recommend you for the nomination. We've already formed a judgment of you before you walk in the room - this is your chance to convince us we were wrong (if it was negative) or that we were right (if it was positive) and most importantly...to convince us that you really, truly WANT to be at an academy. I realize this may be your first "job" interview. However, that's true for the other 100+ candidates you're competing against as well. And if you don't sell yourself...and they do...well, that's the end of it! I just can't believe how many candidates looked surprised at the question asking why they wanted USxA or when we asked why the senator should nominate them. We weren't asking "trip you up" questions - if you don't know why you want USxA, then why are you here? I guess what I'm trying to summarize is that a little bit of enthusiasm or motivation would go a LONG way! Good luck to everyone in their interviews!