What to wear to BGO interview....

mepeck1998

New Member
In preparation for my BGO interview, I would like to treat the situation as professionally as possible and wear a coat and tie, but at the same time, I don't want to risk the chance of overdressing my BGO. What are your thoughts about what to wear?
 
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My opinion ... wear a long sleeved collared shirt and tie. Wear a suit if you own one, or can borrow one. Otherwise, a nice jacket and slacks will work too.
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If you are in ROTC or JROTC, I think it is Ok to wear your best dress uniform there.
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This is not over dressing. This is a important occasion.
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Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I think USNA 85 has stated it best "Dress like it is important" or something to that effect. Wear what is appropriate for you-- a coat and tie is not necessary. Don't worry about "overdressing your BGO." -- Most of my interviews are at my office (law firm); I rarely wear a coat and tie, but certainly don't take offense if the candidate does.
 

Walman888

Member
Respectfully,
at least a jacket and tie. Does not have to be new. Needs to fit well, look neat, and conservative. Same for the tie. An interview is a significant life event. Respect needs to be shown for the institution, it's people and the process. This will probably be the first in a lifetime of interviews and presentations. This is one of the better habits one can have. When the interviewers recall the candidates, they recall presentation and deportment. Look sharp, look neat, be squared away.

Best of luck.
 

MidCakePa

Member
Agree with what's above. No need to buy a suit or blazer (or the female equivalent). If you don't have either, wear your best stuff. Make sure it's clean, tidy, pressed, and worn well. By that, I mean tuck that shirt in, pull those pants up, wear non-athletic shoes. But you know what makes a better first impression than anything you wear? A firm handshake and confident eye contact.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
First of all, the way you dress in and of itself is not going to be a deal-breaker. That said, it's the first thing the BGO (and MOC committees) see and thus is integral to making a good first impression. You want your BGO to think you care about the interview and care about being accepted to USNA.

Thus, as I've said in my sticky, dress as if the interview is an important part of your day. What that entails depends in part on where you live -- and keep in mind your BGO lives there too. In our area, that's at least a collared shirt and nice pants for guys. Most men wear long-sleeved shirts, some wear ties, some add coats, some wear suits. I don't expect suits because I know some men may not own one and I certainly don't expect anyone to purchase one. Women usually wear a skirt or slacks and a dressy blouse (something you might see in a work environment). Either gender may add a sweater in cold weather.

Things that convey a negative impression for me include gym gear, shorts, T-shirts, ball caps, torn jeans, and flip flops. And, for women, revealing clothing. I've seen all of the above. For interviews in your home, no bare feet -- wear socks even if you don't wear shoes in your home.
 

HCopter

Member
Unless specifically told NOT to wear a suit, i'd always default to a suit or something put together that is like a suit.
If you don't own one, see if you can borrow something, or if budget is an issue, buy a piece that can go with what you have/can borrow to have a finished look. Your school may have some jackets/business attire in their peace pantry or perhaps faculty/staff may have something you can borrow.

I don't have boys so let me think....be resourceful; where are there extra men's jackets......
Fancy restaurants - where they may have extras and would let you borrow one
Church
Courthouse! Yes, My court has about 20 jackets for people to borrow!

I keep 1 small bag of donated clothing items in the car for when I go to the mall - turn it in at H&M and get a 15% coupon. You could literally give them a bag with 1 pair of socks and still get the 15% coupon! They have some reasonable items and this is where all my girls' business attire is purchased, always with a coupon!
 
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tycarpen

Member
I would not worry about overdressing your BGO, it will reflect how important this is to you, so you can't lose. Absolutely the suit and tie (or jacket, dress pants, and tie), borrow if you need to, and be sure it's pressed/ironed. 😉

If JROTC/ROTC, definitely wear the uniform. Side note regarding ROTC/JROTC: BGO made a comment to my DS when he saw him at the Service Academy Night our MOC hosted. He said: "one thing that I don't understand are those in ROTC/JROTC that don't wear their uniform to the interview. If you have an opportunity to wear your uniform, it shows me your excited and proud of it. And I can read your story based on what's on it (ribbons, medals, etc..)"

Best of luck! You'll do great!!
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
f JROTC/ROTC, definitely wear the uniform. Side note regarding ROTC/JROTC: BGO made a comment to my DS when he saw him at the Service Academy Night our MOC hosted. He said: "one thing that I don't understand are those in ROTC/JROTC that don't wear their uniform to the interview. If you have an opportunity to wear your uniform, it shows me your excited and proud of it. And I can read your story based on what's on it (ribbons, medals, etc..)"
As I have said before , one data point doesn't make a rule. I have seen at least a dozen candidates over the year who were in JROTC/CAP/Sea Cadets etc., and only recall one person wearing a uniform. What may impress one BGO doesn't necessarily impress others. Frankly, at least to me, a poorly worn uniform is more likely to have a (negative) impression than a sharp uniform festooned with ribbons and medals. (I was in CAP as a kid, and realize that ribbons are handed out like candy -- I had far more ribbons for passing a test or attending an encampment than I earned on active duty). If you are going to wear a uniform, wear it correctly. The same goes for coat and tie; I have seen candidates who look so awkward wearing a coat and tie for the first time , and being comfortable makes them nervous. My bottom line (and remember, I'm just one data point), do what is right for you-- I really don't think anyone has been accepted or rejected by USNA based upon what they wore to their BGO interview.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
As I have said before , one data point doesn't make a rule. I have seen at least a dozen candidates over the year who were in JROTC/CAP/Sea Cadets etc., and only recall one person wearing a uniform. What may impress one BGO doesn't necessarily impress others. Frankly, at least to me, a poorly worn uniform is more likely to have a (negative) impression than a sharp uniform festooned with ribbons and medals. (I was in CAP as a kid, and realize that ribbons are handed out like candy -- I had far more ribbons for passing a test or attending an encampment than I earned on active duty). If you are going to wear a uniform, wear it correctly. The same goes for coat and tie; I have seen candidates who look so awkward wearing a coat and tie for the first time , and being comfortable makes them nervous. My bottom line (and remember, I'm just one data point), do what is right for you-- I really don't think anyone has been accepted or rejected by USNA based upon what they wore to their BGO interview.
Absolutely on target with me. If you're going to wear a uniform, it has to be clean and properly pressed and not looking shabby. The "hand me down" look or shabby appearance of some junior program uniforms might not make a good impression on an experienced military person. Now a NAPSter should definitely wear their uniform and it had better be sharp and squared away. I will absolutely judge them on the uniform and will be sure to look for it on any candidate from NAPS/MAPS/etc.
 

tycarpen

Member
Agreed one data point does not make a rule, forgive me for not tempering my response when sharing my experience. Can see that this was a question best left to the BGO's.:oops2:
 
maybe i'm in the minority, but i would not recommend wearing a JROTC uniform, this is not a JROTC function. likewise, i would not recommend wearing it to a MOC interview. your JROTC experiences and attributes gained will come across loud and clear in the interview.

what i do recommend is dressing as if this is something very important to you. that may be a jacket and tie, or might be khakis and a crisp polo shirt. shined shoes and dirty shoes both get noticed.

what makes a much bigger impression on me is how you handle yourself during the interview, and whether or not you give the impression that this is YOUR time, YOU are in control, and YOU are prepared.

just a few weeks ago, i interviewed what i expected to be a superstar candidate. i arrived at the front door exactly on time and knocked, and had to wait several minutes for someone to make it to the door. i was eventually greeted at the door by the PARENT, who led me inside, did intros and made some small talk. we were eventually joined by the candidate, who was dressed in what i would describe as leisure wear.

needless to say, this candidate did not start out on the right foot. all indications were that this was more important to the parents than it was to the candidate.

the candidates who make the best impression from the beginning meet me at the door before I knock, make good eye contact, give a firm handshake, and speak confidently and comfortably, and are clearly in control of the moment. when the parents eventually get involved, it's because the candidate is directing them when to join us and also when it's time for them to leave. (when we setup the interview, i let them know that that parents are invited to participate during the first part, then it's 1:1 after that) if the candidate seems to defer to me to direct the parents involvement, i certainly don't hold it against them, but i'm always impressed by the candidates who 'take charge'.

these are just my thoughts, others may view things differently

best of luck
 

time2

10-Year Member
This is often discussed on here and there isn't one answer that fits for every situation. BGO's interviews are often done at the applicants house and how many h.s. students do you know who wear a suit/tie when sitting around their house? If the interview is held elsewhere, you can never go wrong wearing good dress clothes suitable for where you live. In some parts of the country, there are different norms about what is acceptable to wear and you can't provide a one-size-fits-all answer.

Some families may also not have the financial means to purchase a new suit for one interview that may never get worn again. A bit of common sense goes a long way in determining what to wear.
 

Heatherg21

Member
Our son ordered this early this summer, I was skeptical, very affordable and fit very well. He has had numerous compliments on it. Made it through the dry cleaner and still fits the same. Far more 'custom' then the price would indicate.
 
We bought our son a navy blue suit about 1 year ago - $200 bucks at Macy's (on sale and with coupons), altered and out the door. $15 dollars for a dress shirt at Costco. Choice of my tie/belt/socks. He and my other son share a pair of dress shoes from Walmart.

He has now worn that suit no fewer than 15 times. Senior pictures, Homecoming at his and GF's school, Winter dance at 2 high schools, 2 MOC interviews, more interviews with all the SA Liaison Officers, and (sadly) 2 funerals for Grandma and Pap. Honestly, when he's all dressed up, you can't tell that we didn't shop at Brooks Brothers.

He complained only once saying that the Liaison Officer said is was to be "casual"...we still made him wear the suit. When he came home from that one, he agreed that it was better to be over-dressed (even though the officer was casually dressed).

Best $215 bucks we've EVER spent. We're not wealthy, but I looked at it as a very small investment for a very worthwhile cause (the interviews, not the dances...we're kind of done with all that!). I bet you could invest a similar amount for a young lady and be quite appropriately dressed.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
This is often discussed on here and there isn't one answer that fits for every situation. BGO's interviews are often done at the applicants house and how many h.s. students do you know who wear a suit/tie when sitting around their house?
I almost always do my interviews at the candidate's house and no, I don't expect my candidates to wear a suit and tie when they are sitting around their house BUT. . . I'm driving a significant distance and taking time out of the rest of my life to do the interview and my expectation is that the candidate who is serious about a service academy should invest the time to prepare for the interview. That preparation includes dressing appropriately.
 
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