Nomination Interviews: What to Expect?

benton23

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Oct 27, 2016
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I will be attending three separate congressional interviews for potential nominations, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to expect at these interviews? Is it similar to, for instance, the USAFA ALO interview (in terms of question types)? Anything anybody has regarding the interviews would be greatly appreciated!
 

tommyboy44

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Apr 12, 2016
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I will be attending three separate congressional interviews for potential nominations, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to expect at these interviews? Is it similar to, for instance, the USAFA ALO interview (in terms of question types)? Anything anybody has regarding the interviews would be greatly appreciated!
Hey, I just finished all three pretty recently. They, at least for me, were not at all like BGO or ALO interviews. The biggest difference is the fact that it is a panel of people rather than one-on-one. Rather than trying to get to know me and what I have done, they asked me questions geared towards showing what I had over the other candidates. As for advice, I would just say don't be intimidated by the amount of people, think of it more as a discussion rather than an interview. Another thing to do, or that I at least did, is have a sense of humor. I made a few jokes here and there about stuff on my resume which really helped me as seeing the panel members laugh really calmed me. Finally, and the biggest tip, be yourself. Honestly, they were not bad at all and in fact I actually enjoyed them and the people on the panels.
 

time2

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Lots of older threads on this site on that topic. Do a search and you can easily locate them.
 
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I will be attending three separate congressional interviews for potential nominations, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to expect at these interviews? Is it similar to, for instance, the USAFA ALO interview (in terms of question types)? Anything anybody has regarding the interviews would be greatly appreciated!
I just got done with my first interview 40 minutes ago. They asked me about what I expected.

1. How was your Summer Seminar experience? (I went to NASS)
2. What reasoning do you have for ranking your academies this way?
3. Why the military? What do you want to do in particular?
4. How would you feel being in the infantry? (From a Marine Colonel naturally!)
5. Why did you fill out all of the application essays when you only had to choose one of the four? (Ha. It was an accident.)
6. There are lots of qualified candidates here. What do you want us to know? (Kinda tough to think of something I hadn't already said in those 3,000 extra words I submitted. )
7. What questions do you have for us?

Lasted 20 minutes. Here are the most important things:

1. Know about your academies and service branches. Have some stuff in mind that you want say but also

2. Be calm, be confident! Makes a world of difference. Don't recite answers robotically and slow down if you need to.

3. Be yourself! That is who they want to see.

4. Talk to the people in the lobby – fellow candidates and staffers. You'll all clear your throats and get more confident speaking about yourself.
 
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I have also just finished my interviews and another thing I was asked was the honor code of my chosen academy. Make sure you know it and are able to explain it well in your own words.
 

tommyboy44

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I have also just finished my interviews and another thing I was asked was the honor code of my chosen academy. Make sure you know it and are able to explain it well in your own words.
^Cannot stress this enough. They asked me about this at every interview. It also does not hurt to have the mission statement of whichever academy memorized.
 

Cerberi

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Nov 22, 2015
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Every MOC that has an interview panel has its own personality and questions. TN-08 asked every candidate we knew the exact same three questions and each interview lasted less than 15 minutes from introduction to close. They had 40 interviews in a day. The TN Senators each had one person interview my DD 1:1 and none of her MOC sources asked for mission statements, history, etc.

The honor code is a frequent discussion point for BGO/ALO interviews. IMHO, the issue is a lot less about can you agree not to lie, steal, or cheat - the issue is how you deal with toleration and can you/would you turn in or discuss with a classmate their conduct. But, it is unlikely you will be asked to quote the honor code.

If you have made it to the interview, you have already been deemed intelligent. Don't stress about it, be relaxed and confident. Know why you want to attend an SA and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

It is not a professional knowledge exam, so don't think you have to quote mission statements and honor codes.

Your packet speaks for you as well, the interview often is just an opportunity for the committee that will recommend to the MOC who to nominate to put a name and a face together.
 

wrwildcats

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Nov 7, 2016
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How long is an interview generally? And how different is it with panels rather than one on ones?
 

anon2021

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How long is an interview generally? And how different is it with panels rather than one on ones?
The interview time lengths vary a lot. I have heard about 40 minute interviews, as well as 10 minute ones. The two that I have had so far have been about 10-15 minutes each, with panels of 3 people in a room. They ask you very honest questions about your intentions, your future, your grades, your life - everything to ensure that they can pick you as a quality candidate with attributes that can carry to success in an academy (and after). I liked the panel setup, because the interviewers would go through "rounds" and ask questions. I was asked a lot about specifics in my essays, along with "why i want to attend ___ as my #1".

Obviously, we can all ask about which questions they ask in each interview; however, each state and district is different, and memorizing "the good" answers will not help anyone. Make sure everything you say is from the heart! The interviewers are equipped and trained to know a genuine and motivated candidate from the crowd.
Best wishes.
 

laxer98

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Jan 25, 2016
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Specifically, in Maryland, Senator Mikulski's lasted for around 5 minutes. Congressman Delaney took around 15.
 
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My DS2 had his congressman interview yesterday for nominations to USMA and USNA. He participated in the interview by Skype, since he is out of the country this academic year. DS2 sent an email to me after the interview, reporting the panel asked him the following:

1. Are you willing to go into combat?
2. Define a good leader.
3. Why should people follow you?
4. Has your experience overseas changed your view of the US military?
5. How can you contribute to the military?
6. Would you accept a sponsored scholarship in lieu of a direct appointment?

Next Saturday, DS2 interviews with our Senators' selection committees by telephone (two hours apart).
 

tommyboy44

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Apr 12, 2016
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My DS2 had his congressman interview yesterday for nominations to USMA and USNA. He participated in the interview by Skype, since he is out of the country this academic year. DS2 sent an email to me after the interview, reporting the panel asked him the following:

1. Are you willing to go into combat?
2. Define a good leader.
3. Why should people follow you?
4. Has your experience overseas changed your view of the US military?
5. How can you contribute to the military?
6. Would you accept a sponsored scholarship in lieu of a direct appointment?

Next Saturday, DS2 interviews with our Senators' selection committees by telephone (two hours apart).
Question #1 reminds me of something that my Senator's group asked me. They said, "are you willing to fight after graduation," which puzzled me for a bit. I responded by asking if anyone who has applied has said that they would not, which was specifically admired by my Senator. I don't understand how people can want to go to a service academy, but not be willing to do their duty if push comes to shove.
 

cr062999

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Nov 13, 2016
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Honestly, be ready for anything! I had all 3 of my interviews for a nomination to USMA recently & I was asked some pretty odd questions such as favorite book, what is wahabism, & "what does your momma think of this". I have a good sense of humor & tried to convey my personality. If anything, be yourself & make sure you smell good[emoji12]. I sat next to a kid that clearly forgot to put on deodorant. The stress of the interview made him sweat a LOT & the stench was awful haha
 
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