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October 20, 2016

Interview With Your Commander

by airforceotsguy

I was extremely lucky with my interview because I never really had one, in a formal sense that is.  As I talked about in my other post here I met with my commander to state my intentions and again to iron out details and both counted as my “interview.”  If I was a commander I would probably do it the same way, but I know many commander’s out there don’t have the time or see things differently.  For those of you who are going through a recruiting squadron, you will have a VERY different experience than mine.

Before I knew my commander would be so awesome about this I did a little online research about what I could expect from the interview.  At the time the only real source of information was from the airforceots forums but I got so frustrated by the glitches of that site!  (Update:  It looks like they just updated their site!)  Here is some info I gathered as I was preparing.  Since it has been so long I have no idea what the source is, so if you run across the authors let me know and I will credit them accordingly.

Saved 1:
Having just posted I thought I’d add more since I think the interview is VERY important. It’s probably the best way to shore up any weaknesses since you can verbally explain any weaknesses in your packet and it’s your chance to convince someone with influence to advocate for your selection if you can really win over the interviewer.
These are the questions I compiled looking around the internet at common interview questions as well as this forum. I then tried to tailor the questions to the Air Force. I didn’t have to answer many in my interview but the peace of mind and confidence of having solid responses helped me feel much more comfortable responding to the interviewers prompts. I really tried to think of good examples so that I could defend my answers of how I deal with situation X or how I possess quality Y.
1. Tell me about yourself (had a concise summary of my background and major points from my resume)
2. Why do you want a commission?
3. Give me an example of demonstrated leadership or success (had 3 pertinent examples)
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses and how are you addressing your weaknesses? (none of the “I try to hard” phony baloney)
5. Why should the Air Force offer you a commission?
6. How do you handle stress and pressure?
7. How do you deal with conflict.
8. How do you mitigate discord in a team environment?
9. How do you feel about deployments?
10. THE BIGGIE. If you were physically in front of the OTS selection board, what would you say to them in order to “sell yourself?”
11. What qualities do you believe a great leader should have? Which of these do you have?
12. Try to remember a time in your life when you had to deal with adversity. How were you able to overcome this?

Saved 2:
Had my interview a few days ago and it went pretty well.
Here are some of the questions that I was asked:
*Are you nervous?
*Tell me about yourself.
*Why do you want to serve?
*Why the Air Force? Have you looked into other branches?
*Would you have pursued a commission earlier, if you could have (I just recently became a naturalized citizen)?
*What makes a good leader?
*Give me an example of you successfully resolving a conflict.
*Why CSO? Are you open to other career paths?
*What are your strengths/weaknesses? He asked to not give him a BS answer such as “I work too hard” or “I care too much” and said he won’t include it in his recommendation.
*How do you think your weaknesses impact you as a leader?
*Did you face any difficulties moving to the U.S. as a child?
*What do you do to keep physically fit?
*Tell me about your MIP (underage drinking ticket that I received when I was 17). What did you learn from it?
I’m sure every interview is unique depending on both individuals. We got talking about hunting, family, and his background and AF career as well.
Hope this could be of some help, best of luck to those interviewing!

Saved 3:
I want to thank everyone for giving me sample questions. I had my interview yesterday and it went differently than it probably does for most applicants.
He printed out my BOT profile and he asked me questions about that (explain this, how many people for that, my volunteer work, scholarships, etc). Then he asked me some of these questions (not in order):
  • Tell me about your work experience.
  • How would you feel about living in a remote part of Greenland and being part of a Forward Operating Base (FOB?)
  • How do you feel about having to live in a tent?
  • What qualities should a leader have and which do you possess?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you looked into any other service besides Air Force?
  • If you were not selected, what would you do: Enlist, try another service, or go through this process again?
  • Why do you want to join in the Air Force?
  • How do you feel about moving every 2-4 years?
  • Are you a conscientious objector?
  • How do you feel about deployments?
  • What is your workout regiment like?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
Those are the main ones I remember…my interview was an hour long. I then was able to ask him some questions. Most of the interview was a back and forth conversation. I hope this might help future applicants with their interview!
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