Questions for Nomination Interview

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by blackluster112, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. blackluster112

    blackluster112 New Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Greetings! First, I would like to thank you for visiting my thread.

    I will try to keep this concise.

    I am currently waiting for my Nomination Interview in December. I have the date and everything. They told me that there will be 2-3 veterans/academy grads for the interview, and they will ask me questions etc....

    More specifically, they will ask me about my "first" and "second" choice for the service academies.

    There's the small problem. I only want to go to the USMMA. Both of my parents went there and my father has shown me what the maritime industry is all about. I'v been on all sorts of ships, and even a real petrol tanker. After visiting the academy, I fell in love.

    I know this is my calling, and Its hard to think I could do anything else!

    So what should I say when they ask me about a "Second Choice" ?

    And what types of questions will they ask in general?

    - Thank You
  2. AMF

    AMF Member

    Jun 28, 2012
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    First off, good luck in your application process. There are several posts on this forum that touch on this subject. Our DS says, "be yourself, polite, honest. Dress professionally. Think about your answers." Sometimes interviewers ask questions more for how you handle them, than the specific answer you give. Depending on your state and MOC, there could be a dozen or more applicants, in some case much less than that. They are looking for those who deserve a free quality education and are willing to serve their country. The impression you make (IE did you look them in the eye, did you say "um" or "like" too often) is as important as the content of your answers. Our DS was not asked about 2nd choice, and I'm not sure there is a standard set of questions they ask.
  3. bearhunter66

    bearhunter66 Member

    Jul 15, 2013
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    I am not sure who "they" are that would have told you what specific question will be asked.

    That said, I would expect that the interviewers will review your nomination package and would ask questions about classes, grades, sports, employment, clubs, scouts, etc... Pretty standard stuff.

    They could also ask more thought provoking questions (i.e. what is your definition of honor, what was the most trying experience you have gone through, give us an example of your leadership capabilities, why do you deserve the nomination more than the next applicant, etc....). I posted last year on some of the questions thrown my son's way. There are no real ways to prepare for these except to be thoughtful, genuine and professional. In terms of technique, the use of examples is a great way to answer questions.

    I would expect them to possibly question you in such a way to discern your personal desire to attend USMMA. Other may disagree but I would not mention your parents attending KP. OK to state that you know people who went to KP, you have visited KP, you have done your homework on KP, etc... Differentiate yourself in a positive way from the next candidate. Example: if asked about KP, maybe find a way to work the 4 pillars into your response (Academics, Sea Year, Regiment and Athletics). This is your interview and it needs to be your desire to attend that they feel.

    I would be prepared to separate your desire to attend KP from a desire to work in the maritime industry. An example of a question I would ask you: Have you applied to any of the 6 state maritime academies? Why or why not?

    In terms of 2nd Choice, I don't see a problem with stating that you want to be a mariner and that is what KP produces. It is also OK to say you don't know if you want to sail/reserves or serve active duty/reserves and KP provides that choice. It is OK to say you were not interested in the other Academies. That said, there are also postings on this Forum where a MOC provided a nom to an Academy other than the one the candidate applied for.

    My son applied to USMMA, USCGA and USNA and they never asked him to rank them; they did ask about his applications to Maine Maritime and SUNY Maritime (FWIW, he told them he applied to them because of maritime education, NROTC programs and location).

    Finally, I counseled my son to read and re-read every word of his applications, sit straight, keep hands folded on table and look them in the eyes, listen attentively, and answer clearly and concisely. They will want to see you demonstrate confidence, respect and leadership.

  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog 5-Year Member

    Jul 25, 2009
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    I don't think your problem is a problem. As stated be prepared which obviously you are trying to do and answer professionally, concisely and as well as possibly. In the case of your "problem" you clearly have a reason for not having a second choice as to the other Federal Academies, in your explanation of that just explain it in the positive - it's not that you do NOT want to go to those other academies it's that you want to go to USMMA because ... As for not having a second choice if pressed you might consider indicting you don't want to take a spot away from someone who wants to go to and has been working for years to go to the other places, anymore than you'd want them to take away your chance to pursue your dream of attending USMMA.

    Other questions will as noted center on "the usual" especially if you've perhaps had challenges in STEM courses or some aspect of your standardized test score. You may also get some probing questions about whether you are doing this for you or your parents in light of the fact you indicate both attended the Academy. Some interviewers want to make sure you and other candidates have internal motivations as strong as any external influences that are motivating the applicants.

    Good Luck!
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2009
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    My answer would simply be that I don't have a second choice, that my efforts are solely focused on attending USMMA. That I know what it is about and I know that is what I want to do with my life so If I don't get the nomination/appointment, then I will worry about whether I want to putsue a second try for KP, or a second option for a school.

    The truth is always a powerful answer.

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