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Posts from the ‘Interview’ Category


Interview Prep – From Civilian Select "Natalie Johnson"

This was sent to me by a civilian select for a 2016 rated board, her fictional name is Natalie Johnson.  This is some great stuff!  Please continue to send me examples so future applicants can continue to benefit from this blog.

“The majority of the interview was spent going over my profile. I was asked to explain and elaborate on the work, volunteer, and life experiences that I had listed. It really helped to have a copy of the profile in front of me. I was able to reference my experiences and it gave me a good idea of what was going to be discussed next. As I was asked about my profile I tried to incorporate the possible questions into my answer. For example: when asked “ Tell me a little bit about working at___.” I would talk about how I was a leader, motivated others, and went above and beyond. I was able to take care of 3 questions off the possible list before they were even asked.  After going over my packet I was asked about my career choice.  What I knew about the career, didn’t know about he career, had I talked to anyone in that position. Lastly, I was asked  if I had any remaining questions.

The second interview was in person. It was a little more stressful because I didn’t know what to expect. I wore a black pantsuit with a button up solid colored blouse. I ended up not wearing the jacket because it was so warm in the offices. The interview started with questions about the core values, Air Force mission, etc. We talked very briefly about where I graduated from and my previous experience volunteering and working. At this point the interview really changed. It became all about my questions and my concerns. The focus was on me asking question and listening; being given advice from someone with experience who knows how to be successful in the Air Force. One of the things I was told about was how promotions work and what a career looks like in the Air Force.  It was very informative. As a non-prior if not given this information I would definitely ask about career trajectory.”

Officer Candidate Interview Questions
Describe yourself:

    •  Qualities –
    •  Strengths –
    •  Weaknesses –
  • What was your favorite job and why?
  • Who was your best boss and why?
  • Who was your worst boss and why?
  • How do you define leadership?
  • Describe some leadership positions you have been in.  Where did you excel?  Where did you fall short?
  • Tell me about your leadership qualities.
  • Tell me about your leadership style.
  • What are your goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
  • What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
  • What motto do you live by?
  • How did you hear about the Air Force and becoming an officer?
  • Why do you want to join the Air Force?
  • Why didn’t you enter the Air Force through ROTC/Academy?
  • Are you interested in joining any other branch?
  • If you could not receive an AFSC in line with your degree (or Pilot), would you still join the Air Force?
  • Rated – Which would you prefer:  join the Air Force as a non-pilot or be a pilot in another branch of the military?
  • Are you interested in applying for enlisted route as well?
  • Why should the Air Force allow you to join the team?  What do you have to offer?
  • Do you have anyone in your family with military service?
  • What does your family think of your desire to join the Air Force?
  • Do you enjoy traveling?
  • Who was the most influential person in your life?  Why?
  • How do you serve your community right now?
  • Have you done much volunteer work?
  • Describe your work ethic.
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • Name a time in your life where you were extremely stressed.  How did you handle yourself?
  • Did you receive any scholarships to attend college?
  • Have you ever received any major awards, certificates, or licenses not mentioned in your resume?  Athletics?  Academics?
  • Did you work while in school? If so how many hours a week?
  • Can you describe two current events in the world that pertain to the Air Force?  Is it important to stay abreast with what is going on?
  • How would you deal with generational conflict and differences leading enlisted leaders that are 20 years your senior in the Air Force?
  • What potential challenges do you see leading young enlisted Airmen that are the same age as yourself?
  • Have you ever been in a life or death situation?  Is so, describe your actions or decisions in that situation.
  • How would you motivate your subordinates?
  • How would you balance mission success over taking care of your personnel and their problems?
  • In the military supervisors have more direct responsibility for personnel in their charge and their personal lives than in the civilian world.  What would you do if one of your subordinates came to you and stated they were every stressed at work and at home?  What if they revealed that they were having suicidal ideations?
  • Rated – What makes you want to fly? What makes you want to fly for the Air Force versus a regular airline?  Any flying experience?
  • Rated – Have you ever had the opportunity to talk with other Air Force officers?  Pilots?
  • Rated – If you had your choice out of UPT, what do you currently think it would be?
  • Would you be open to other officer positions other than the ones you listed?  What would they be?
  • Are you familiar with the jobs that you listed and what do they do?
  • Are you familiar with remote assignments?  Do you have any problem with them?
  • Are you familiar with the Air Force core values?  What are they and what do they mean to you?
  • Have you researched OTS?
  • Any concerns with the program?
  • Are you familiar with the Air Force fitness standards?
  • What is your typical workout?
  • What do you find most appealing about the Air Force?
  • What do you find least appealing about the Air Force?
  • What will you do if you are not selected?
  • Would you apply for another board?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • Tell me about one of your failures.  What did you learn from it?
  • If you had a chance to go back knowing what you know now; would you do anything differently?


Effort to make interview:
Leadership potential:
Communications skills:
Work Experience:
Overall Evaluation:

Air Force 56 Interview Section:

Form Source:

Links to the rest of “Natalie’s” Application:
Letters of Recommendation
Application Profile
Personal Statement


Interview With Your Commander

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!