Hey everyone, I have a hypothetical scenario that I was hoping to get some advice on in case it comes up.
Quick elevator summary about myself: 30 years old, good scores, STEM degrees and work experience, PPL. I’ve been lurking on the forums for a while and I think I’m fairly competitive for heavies. Been applying for about a year now and have had a few interviews but no offers yet, but I’ve been improving my interview skills with each one I get.
As everyone here is aware, the boards this summer were very sparse because of Covid. Many were postponed or cancelled. Because of the current climate I applied to almost all boards that were posted. After a summer of not getting any call backs, I was very fortunate in getting four interviews with heavy squadrons within a month.
The scenario I’m hoping to get some advice on is this. The first squadron I interviewed with is probably the one I am least interested in out of the four. In fact, I almost didn’t submit an application at all, but since times were so tough I threw it in last minute. The guys were great and it’s a unique mission but I don’t think the flying will be very interesting. I’m very interested in the missions and units of the interviews I have coming up. However, I feel like my interview with the first squadron went very well and I’m from the nearby area which also adds points in my favor. I feel like I have a decent shot getting a slot there, but I would really like to have the opportunity to interview with the other squadrons and try to get a slot with them. Unfortunately, those interviews won’t be for a few weeks and I’m expecting to hear back from the first one sometime soon.
I know I’m being very presumptuous in assuming that I’ll be offered a slot in the first place, let alone multiple ones. I know everyone else on here is also working very hard to earn that slot and would be happy to get picked up anywhere at all, and I don’t meant to sound like I’m gloating or that I think I’m some hot-shot candidate because I’m not. Like I mentioned, I’ve been applying for over a year now and still haven’t gotten in. I just feel more confident about the first unit because I’m local and I feel like the interview went well. But the other interviews will also be local so the situation can end up being similar. I just want to have some kind of game plan if the situation were to happen. Has anyone encountered this before? Is there a time frame you have after getting the call to commit to the unit? Can I still interview with the other units if offered a slot somewhere else before getting the paperwork started? Do I need to disclose it? Should I inform the unit that I have upcoming interviews and ask whether they would let me interview and make the decision later? If the span is weeks apart I feel like that won’t be a viable option. Also, there’s no guarantees that my upcoming interviews will go well and they could be a flop. I could end up giving up a slot and not getting picked at any of the other ones. Is it stupid to even consider it? Especially since time isn’t on my side either. Is it better to get the wings, fly for the unit for a few years and put in a transfer request? For any current pilots, how important is mission satisfaction for you and is it possible that I just have an outside perspective and maybe don’t have the full idea of what they do?
Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post. I’m genuinely concerned about how to handle the situation if it were to come up. I don’t want to burn any bridges and I don’t want to give up the opportunity for something I’ve been working so hard and so long for, especially if it’s my only shot. Any advice is very much appreciated.