As you may well know, the interview comes after the selection test. While there are no time limits in the interview, you may have to think in your feet a bit more but it helps if you know what to expect.
Once you have passed the AST, you will have a presentation. This presentation takes place at your AFCO and it’s purpose is to give you an insight into life in the RAF. You’ll watch a couple of DVD’s and you should be taking as many notes as you can. These notes will come in handy for the interview, as a lot of the information will answer a lot of the questions you will get asked.
You will also get a nice little information pack which will include two booklets (one on Basic Training at RAF Halton and one about Fitness) and a fact sheet telling you everything you need to know about the trade you’ve applied for. Pictures of all of these below.
Click on the pictures to enlarge
If you’re a bit of an RAF geek like me, and you like to know everything that’s going on, you’ll be fine. The interview was by far the easiest stage for me. I found the train journey to the interview more stressful than the interview itself.
Preparation is even more of an important factor here than it is for the AST. Mainly because the AST is largely testing your natural ability, and the interview is purely testing your knowledge and whether you’ve done you research or not.
This was my first ever interview for anything, which should have made it excruciatingly daunting, but it really wasn’t. I had started my research and revision about 2 months prior to my interview. As I mentioned, I am a bit of an RAF geek (aircraft especially) so I generally knew about all the main bases and aircraft before I started which put me in a good position. However, I still did plenty of research on these to back up my existing knowledge.
This amount of research is a bit excessive, but I like to know that I’ve done more than enough. You won’t be asked questions that go into anywhere near as much detail as you can see on my notes. Ignore the messy handwriting (It’s neater than that when it has to be!) and my drawing… I think I might have been a bit bored when I did that.
So what can you expect to be asked at the interview? Here are some of the questions I was asked –
- What have you chosen the RAF specifically and not the Army or Navy?
- How long have you wanted to join for?
- What influenced your decision to join?
- What steps have you taken to gain better knowledge of the RAF and the application/selection process? (Good idea to mention the RAF Careers pages on Twitter and Facebook. Check these out if you haven’t already, they answer a lot of questions!)
- What have you applied for?
- What does that trade do / What is its role within the RAF?
- Where is your training (Both phases, you should know where, how long for, and what it involves)
- What qualifications will you gain during your Phase 2 training?
- What have you done to prepare physically?
- What is the role of the RAF as a whole?
- Can you name some of the main UK bases? (Name a few main UK bases until they stop you)
- What do you know about the aircraft at any of these bases?
- Where are the RAF overseas?
- Why do the RAF have overseas bases?
- What operations are the RAF currently involved in?
- What qualities do you think RAF personnel need? (Remember R.I.S.E. – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence)
- What is your opinion on armed combat? (My interviewer then gave me a ‘scenario’ which went a bit like this – As a new recruit on your first tour, It’s likely that you’ll be put on guard duty at the gate. Imagine a car pulls up, a man jumps out with a gun and begins to fire in your direction, you have a rifle, so what do you do?’) I definitely had to think on my feet for this one as I didn’t expect it at all, but the answer seemed fairly obvious.
- What is NATO?
- When was it formed?
- How many member countries are there?
Obviously these are just a few of the questions. The idea being that these are the ones that you may have to do a bit of research for. All of the other questions will be about yourself. (Education, jobs, sports teams, responsibilities and your life in general).
Again, much like the AST, confidence is a big part of the interview. Look smart, be enthusiastic and confident, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing your interviewer and passing.
That’s about it for the interview to be honest. Make sure to ask any questions while you’re there if you have any. There will be an opportunity for this at the end of the interview.
Best of luck if you have the interview any time soon!