The Interview

A prospect today asked about the interview process, and I realized I hadn’t written a blog post about it yet, so here we go. One of the 4 requirements to get your file board ready after you submit your application for the 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship is to conduct an interview with a Professor of Military Science (PMS). Here is what your letter of instructions will probably look like regarding the interview:

You must complete a face to face interview with the Professor of Military
Science (PMS) at a university of your choice or from one of the five universities
listed on the last page of this correspondence. These listed schools are in your
geographical area; not necessarily schools in which you are interested in
attending. Travel to and from the interview is your responsibility. You must
contact one of the individuals on the PMS’s staff to make an appointment for your
interview. If you do not appear for the interview, you may be eliminated from
further competition.

Here is my advice

Where should I interview?

Conduct your interview at a school you are interested in, and preferably one that is listed on your application. If it is just not feasible do it at one of the schools close to your home, but be aware that the interviewer has less invested in you if you don’t plan to attend their school. If you interview at a school that is likely to be your destination that interviewer will go the extra mile to make sure you have a successful interview. Additionally if you don’t receive a scholarship offer you will still be on that PMS’s radar, and may be considered for any campus based scholarships that may become available.

What will they be looking for?

Here is the checklist that the PMS will use when she/he conducts the interview. The PMS is looking at your Scholar/Athlete/Leader attributes and is awarding points based on what you tell them. Obviously you won’t be lying to pad your points, but make sure you account for all your accomplishments, and make sure you get credit. If you are short in one of the SAL areas, make sure on the back the PMS can give you extra points for something else. For example, you’ve never played team sports because you have had to have a part time job throughout high school to help the family make ends meet. You won’t get points for athlete, but on the back the PMS can annotate your circumstances and give you full points for personal qualities and potential.

What should I wear to the interview?

Use your common sense. Suit and tie is not normally required. Collared shirt, Khakis, and nice shoes will work. It might be good to ask the person that arranges the interview what to wear. We have conducted interviews in the field before, so a suit and tie would have been inappropriate. We have also had JROTC cadets wear their uniform to the interview (nice touch, but not necessary). Just don’t show up in ripped jeans and a grubby tshirt, and you’ll be fine.

Should you bring a resume?

Again, a nice touch but not necessary. You should have submitted all the information that we need prior to the interview. I have had applicants bring resumes, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and scrap books complete with gym club card and handgun licence. Don’t need all that stuff. Again, ask because some schools might want to see a resume.

What type of questions will be asked?

Depends on the PMS. Some PMS’s may be more formal than others. Some may want to have a discussion and answer your questions. Some may want to hear what is motivating you. Some may get off on a tangent and talk about something you both have in common. You should have a short concise answer prepared to the question “tell me a bit about yourself” and you should be able to explain why you want to be an Army Officer. Take a look at this post for some ideas regarding themes you can talk about such as Army Values or Soldiers Creed. Remember that no matter how informal the conversation appears to be, you are still being watched and evaluated. If you call him dude, and spent 20 minutes discussing the best band at this year’s Warped Tour you may think you hit it out of the park, and the PMS may be checking the “no scholarship for this guy” block.

Remember your manners

Yes sir, No sir or Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am will definitely score some points. Yeah, bro, and dude will loose you some points. It is also a good idea to drop the PMS a note or email after the interview thanking them for their time.

That’s my take on the interview. Hope it helps. Make sure you let me know how it goes.

The half way report

First off I wanted to report that 2 new 2LTs, 3 cadets and one cadre member helped out at this year’s New York Boy’s State at the end of June. All the cadets/LTs got the opportunity to develop their leadership skills during the week working as Junior Counselors, and we made sure that the boys were exposed to the Army and Army ROTC opportunities. The traditional Thursday Military information day was a big success. We were given an opportunity to set up an information table and we were able to talk to many of the boy’s about the Golden Knight Battalion and Army ROTC opportunities.

LDAC

Looking at LDAC 13 of the 24 attendees have completed the training. The evaluations we can see back in Potsdam indicate that our cadets were trained well and are meeting expectations. The cadets that deployed to the later regiments are continuing to raise the bar. Cadets Wilsey and Zanghi both scored over 300 on their PT test and there have been some solid land nav scores (although none have been perfect). Cadets Cummings, Garza, and Wilsey scored in the mid 90s on land nav.

All the cadets still at camp have made it through land nav and PT, so it just a matter of getting their 6 leadership positions out of the way.

Finally, congratulation to Cadet Chris O’Connor for earning Recondo at camp. Well done!

To earn Recondo, cadets must:
Execute all confidence training presented to the prescribed standard, to include water safety tasks.
Have no non-medical waivers on any event throughout LDAC.
Score 270 or above on the Army Physical Fitness Test, without retest, with a minimum of 90 points per event.
Achieve a score of 80 percent on written and practical Land Navigation proficiency tests without retest.
Complete the following First Aid tasks to specified standards: CPR, evaluate a casualty, manage the airway, and control bleeding.
Pass both Squad STX lane evaluations with a minimum rating of satisfactory or higher.
Successfully complete Warrior Forge without a performance waiver. Medical wavers are acceptable.
Receive satisfactory or higher summary ratings for all 16 scored leadership dimensions and values, as reported on the Cadet Command Form 67-9, Cadet Evaluation Report.
Meet height/weight or body fat standards IAW AR 600-9.

Summer Camp Update

With one more wave of MS IIIs going to camp at the end of the week, and the first wave closing in on finishing up early next week, It’s time for an update. It’s also the week after Boy’s State for me, so I finally have the time to look at the camp evals. Looks like top PT score so far is Cadet Austin, with a 296. I expected PT scores to be a little higher, but LDAC will shave a few points off your score. No one has failed to date. Cadet OConnor is the only other cadet in the 290’s so far and Cadet OC also has the highest Land Nav score to date with a 97 (out of 100).

There have been a couple stumbles at Land Nav, but everyone still seems to be on track. I’m also seeing some Es for garrison and FLRC evals. Keep up the good work Cadets.