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Standard Interview Questions

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This topic will be pinned to top of forum to help out future interviewees. Please post any gouge on interview questions and ROE's that you guys have run into lately. I have been getting some questions to this effect and it has been 6 or so years ago since my interview. Any input is welcome. Thanks.

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A-10 unit

Why do you want to fly the A-10

How do you feel about killing someone

explain induced drag

whats your idea of a perfect day

do you wear pink shirts

do you have a fart can on your car

have you ever met an f-15 pilot, if so did he hit on you

favorite movie

biggest accomplishment

biggest failure

what do you plan to do for a job when you are a part timer

explain your speeding tickets

why did you get a C in calculus


Edited by Jalberts
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Brush up on your reporting in/out skills. I was required to report in during my last interview and I haven't reported in like that since ROTC.

Another thing, be prepared to go into the whole moral/ethical dilemma discussion. "If I and/or someone did this, what would you do?"

Edited by lagguer
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Guest jerseybum

Hmm Can you hook me up with a quick reminder? I've been sitting here trying to remember the full reporting process as I haven't done it since Basic Training saluting my TI. Or a link to somewhere its explained? Thanks

Brush up on your reporting in/out skills. I was required to report in during my last interview and I haven't reported in like that since ROTC.

Another thing, be prepared to go into the whole moral/ethical dilemma discussion. "If I and/or someone did this, what would you do?"

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Hmm Can you hook me up with a quick reminder? I've been sitting here trying to remember the full reporting process as I haven't done it since Basic Training saluting my TI. Or a link to somewhere its explained? Thanks

When told to come in, walk in, march at attention, face chairman of board, "Sir LT (or whatever your rank is) ### reports as ordered" while saluting, get your salute returned, drop and take your seat.

At the end, stand up at attention, ask "Will that be all sir", salute, "Good day sir", march out.

Some boards take this less seriously than others (I can remember hearing the story from an AMS classmate, who was going to fly pointy-nose fighters, that his board started openly snickering when he did it). But it's better to err on the caution, and hey, have some pride. You're in the military, none of the civilian applicants are going to know how to do it. Good way to set yourself apart.

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In regards to the whole "reporting in" thing, here's what you want to do...

When you turn your app in, ask the guy who is accepting the applications what the process is. Chances are that guy is a recent UPT grad and went through the process recently and knows the ROE. My unit does not require reporting in. As a matter of fact, you'd probably frighten us if you did. You should be calling the unit on a semi regular basis anyway, so just simply ask. If there is no coordinator, ask the DO, chief pilot or someone "in the know."

I know when guys visit my unit, I'll take them around and introduce them since they made the effort to stop by. Most of the time a member of the hiring board is kicking around and will probably identify themselves as such. By all means pick their brains a little. Find out all you can. Be tactful, don't ask what the questions are gonna be, but try to gain some insight into the process.

Remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

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Some of the favorite questions we like to ask:

I see your from XXXX State, why do you want to live in the North East?

Do you have any idea how much it costs to live here?

If so, what's your plan to pay for it? (Hint: "Guard Bum" is not the best answer you can to this question)

Does your wife/husband know that it gets cold and snows here during the winter?

(Note: Are you seeing a trend here with the first few questions?)

Why us and the C-130, and not the A-10/C-5/F-15/KC-135 Wing down the street?

What do you think UPT is going to be like? Have you done any research?

So we see here on your college transcript that you got an D- in XXXX 101, what happened?

And for god sake, proof read your shite. We had a guy who handed in a resume with an objective line that read:

"Objective: To secure a flying position with the Road Island Air National Guard"

Now I am not an English professor, and I can hardly spell my own name, which is why I take the time to have a second set of eyeballs scan everything for gross spelling buffoonery.


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Guest ACJ7464

--Why do you think you should get this slot over the other candidates?

--What is the toughest thing you have ever done?

--What is your civilian job?

--With you civilian job, how often will you be able to fly with us?

Then a few personalized questions from my packet....Normally these questions are drawn from the weaker points of your application. Explain them truthfully and if possible try and shed it a positive light by describing what you learned from those experiences.

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"Objective: To secure a flying position with the Road Island Air National Guard"

Hoping this wasn't me, but doubt it was as I got an interview/was one of your alternates... then again I'm not above doing retarded crap like that.

C-130's (alternate)

--Opened with the standard speech, then went around the room

--Tell us a little bit about yourself

--What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life and why

--Tell us about your biggest failure.

--What did you learn from it.

--Why the C-130

--Asked to tell a story about me doing something stupid in an airplane (one of my first cross country's = trying to land at wrong airport)

--How do you think your civilian aviation experience will fit into UPT

--How much do you know about the AMS/UPT process

--What makes you think you'll be successful at UPT

--What are your plans for civilian employment once you're back on traditional guardsman status

--Tell us about the "break" you took from life (referring to the time gap between high school and college, asked by the 0-5 in the room - zing)

--Closed with a brief statement, then got the speech about the waiting game

KC-135's (my new home)

--Opened with standard speech, then around the room again

--Asked to say a few words about myself

--Asked a few questions about my work history, how I got involved in a few jobs, etc.

--How would my best friends describe me

--What do I think is my biggest fault

--How did I finance an expensive aviation education

--How would I want to spend an 18 hour "layover" in Poland (think I managed something about a bar and polish beer & sausage)

--Define the term Leadership

--What does it mean to me to be an officer

--Biggest Failure

--What would be my dream aircraft to fly and why

--What are my career goals once on traditional status, ie, how do I plan on actually making money.

--What are my personal goals w/ family, etc

--How much do I know about the AMS/UPT process

--Why should I be chosen over other probably more qualified applicants

--A few personalized questions from my packet, how i financed some travel, some grades stuff, etc.

--Closed with a brief statement, then got the same waiting game speech.

I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, but those were the highlights. Biggest thing is to be yourself, answer honestly, and try not to be nervous. I am positive that the only reason I got the -135 slot is because I was absolutely convinced I had no shot at it going into the interview (was a last minute fill in for someone who had dropped out of the interviews.) I laughed and joked with a bunch of pilots for an hour and walked away with a dream job.

Good luck!

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Guest FlyingNetminder

I can vouch for DWCPilot's comments on his 135 unit..

Some other common stuff..

-Tell me about a time that you had a disagreement with a peer and how you dealt with it

-We've all heard negative news reports lately - how do you handle doing something that's unpopular?

-If we called X of your friends, what would they say about you?

-You will experience a decrease in pay (vs. my present civi job) as a 2LT. Are you prepared for this?

Other stuff from a recent interview..

-What do you know about the mission(s) and why do you want to fly this airplane? (or "planes" if a multi-aircraft board)

-What kind of car do you drive?

-How would you classify your college experiences?

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Guest CrewDawg1

My biggest advice is BE HONEST!

This first group of questions were from my interview the rest were compiled from friends who interviewed at other guard bases.

Viper Unit

- Tell us what service before self means to you?

- What if we switched to heavies?

- Tell us about some extracurricular activities you are involved with.

- Tell us about an emergency you had in the plane and how you handled it?

- What is our mission?

- Favorite and Least favorite classes in college?

- How many times a month do guardsman fly?

- Tell us how you go about teaching a student? (I was a CFI)

- What makes you stand out over all the rest of the candidates?

- Would you go active duty?

- If were required you to live withn 45 minutes of the base would you be OK with that?

- Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

- How do you feel about killing people?

- What are you going to do for a job when you get back from training?

- What do you know about the process to becoming a F-16 pilot?

- Describe your perfect day

- Ohio State or Michigan fan......... ( :flipoff::M16: Michigan!)

A probabaly a few more I can't remember.


1) Name a person who has had a lot of influence on you and why.

2) Why not Active Duty?

3) Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

4) Name someone who inspires you.

5) Are you married or do you have a girlfriend?

6) If you did not receive a pilot slot would you accept a navigator position?

7) Why don't you want to fly fighters?

8) Do you want to work for the airlines in the future?

9) Tell us a joke.

10) What is it about flying that you enjoy?

11) In two mins. tell us about yourself and your history.

12) Where do you plan on living in the future?

13) Do you have family in the area?

14) What do you know about our unit?

15) What comes to mind when we use the term "integrity

1. "What is your best quality?"

2. "What is your worst quality?"

3. "What makes you the best candidate?"

4. "This job is inherently dangerous, do you have a problem with the fact that you may have to kill or be killed?"

5. "What can you bring to the fight?"

6. "What do you see yourself doing in 20 years?

7. "What will your next move be if you are not selected?"

8. Here, I was asked to identify 4 aircraft by picture: They were pretty easy: F-22, F-16, MiG-29, F/A-18. The MiG almost got me...

1. Tell us about yourself...schooling, work experience, military experience...family members who have been in the military.

2. Why this unit...why this city?

3. What will you do if you don't get selected?

4. What are your long term goals?

5. What's the difference between a pilot and a fighter pilot?

6. Do you know what the F-16 is for? What is it for?

7. What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?

8. Do you have any problems taking the Anthrax Vaccine?

and finally,

Here's your chance...tell us why we should take YOU over the 50 other applicants.

Tell us about yourself.

Do you have a problem killing people?

Why would you make a good fighter pilot?

What?s your greatest accomplishment?

Tell us leadership roles you have had.

Tell us a leadership decision you had to make that was popular and one that was unpopular.

Have you ever had sex with a relative?

What other units have you applied to?

Why do you think you will succeed in UPT?

What will you do full time when you are a part timer here?

If you graduated UPT but failed IFF or something afterward of UPT would you consider a heavy?

Edited by CrewDawg1
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Guest Bender

I think this is a good thing. However, although I am not on one of these boards nor am I in one of these units...

I can smell a canned answer from a mile away. Be careful how you use this.

My Advice: Know your answer...have the points...don't have a statement.


9) Tell us a joke.

EVERYONE should have AT LEAST one in your pocket just cause.

Just humble advice.


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Guest CASmaster

Shack, Bender.

I never tried to memorize a canned answer to questions when I was going up for an interview. What I WOULD do was try to become familiar w/as many questions I could and while reading over those questions, I would try to come up w/at least two to three words that I wanted to use to answer with, i.e.

Why should we hire you over all the other applicants?

leadership, desire, motivated

I think this is a great technique to interview prep with (it worked for me.) You're studying questions and how to answer them, but when you open your pie hole your answer will flow naturally and won't sound like you're reading them off of a peice of paper.

Hope this helps.

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A lot of the questions listed here fall into the category called Behavior Based Questions - that is questions that are open-ended asking you to cite an experience in your life in order to answer the question.

For example: "tell me about a time when you...."

As several have pointed out - you don't want to blurt out a canned, robotic, memorized response. However, you do want to be prepared and speak inteligently -- i.e. pausing for 5 minutes while scratching your head and mumbling is NOT the way to go. The best thing to do is think about examples for many of these questions - and simply be able to talk at great length about them. Just like anything else, a little self-study, practice, and even rehearsal with someone will certainly help.

Here are a few more questions / examples fo behavior based interview questions

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I interviewed a C-130 unit in May. Most of my questions are pretty much listed, but here is what I can remember

1. Why the C-130?

2. what was a time in your life that was really stressful that you think would be similar to UPT and how did you get through it?

3. Why do you want to Fly military?

4. Some questions about my college and degree, why I transfered from ERAU

5. where i saw myself in 5 and 10 yrs

6. what kind of beer i like?

Then i interviewed with the squadron commander privately and he asked pretty similar questions

thats all i can remember right now

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  • 2 weeks later...

All great questions in the previous posts.

The absolute best thing you can do is visit the unit. A few visits and a few beers are equivilent to a thousand perfect answers. If you are local and have not visited they'll wonder why. On the other hand you are not expected to fly across the country prior to an interview but you will be a leg down on dudes that have been to the unit before. I remember showing up to interviews at the same time as other civilians, introducing myself while the guy next to me was getting asked questions about how his wife and kids were doing - obviously having met several of the pilots previously. Huge advantage.

Other than that know absolutely everything about the aircraft you want to fly. Know the history of when it was concieved and the evolution of the airframe over the years. Know about the mission. Know why the C-17 is different from the C-130, Know how the Hog mission is different than the Viper and if you interview with an Eagle unit know the difference between a pitcher and a catcher. Know the advantages and disadvantages of each mission and why you like one over the other. For fighters, know about the munitions each carry. Know about the difference between a GBU12 and a GBU38 and an AIM120 and an AIM9. Learn as much as you can about every weapon the jet can carry. Know which block aircraft the unit flys and the differences between the blocks. Do research on targeting pods and some of the capabilities of the pod the unit carries. Know some basic capes of the radar, detect and track numbers. Read about the deployment cycles, the last 2-3 they have been on and when they expect to go again. Research news of what the unit accomplished while overseas. Read Janes. Know some of the history of the unit, when they started and what planes they flew until today. Know the names of the people on the board and some of their history, where they went to school and what they have accomplished in the airforce. Know about the state and the city you are going to live in. Know about housing prices and some neighborhoods you might like to live. Know the rank structure. Know the evolution of your career and how you would like it to progress by certain years. Know about flight commanders, 2FLUG, 4FLUG, IP, Scheduling, Stan Eval, Weapons, know the difference between the OG, the Squadron Commander and the Wing Commander. Know who each of those people are in the unit. The DO wouldn't hurt either.

Is all this expected? Absolutely not but several people I know that were hired knew many parts of the above. When they ask Why this jet? "Because it looks cool and would be fun" is probably not the best answer. "Because a 4 ship can deliver 8 GBU 10's behind the FEBA unescorted with the ability to fight their way in and out....." Just be ready for the follow on of what a GBU10 is. Being able to answer that gives huge bonus points. This simple question gives you the ability to show how much you want it and that you really have researched the fact that you want to be there. When you interview with the Herc unit tell all the advantages it has over the C-17, while with the C-17 unit talk about it's strengths etc..

The internet is a wonderful thing. Take the interview the same way you would approach a test. Study. You are not expected to know much at all about tactics or even about weapons but there is a ton of information out there you can get smart on and really impress the board. This board is an awesome resource, many units have websites with the monthly newsletters - read every one so you can see what the unit has done over the years. F-16.net is a great place for Viper Gouge and I'm sure there are other sites for each airframe in the inventory.

Good luck


Edited by GreasySideUp
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  • 4 months later...

I'll tell you one thing, the next person who comes into our interview and doesn't know what planes are flown at SUPT is going to be told to send the next candidate in.


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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Ghost-Pilot

This one has prob been said, but i remember this from an ABM interview, "What are your thoughts on having the command of various people/aircraft, and ordering them to kill/destroy something/someone."

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Guest twinkle toes

This one hasn't been posted:


Some times bombs don't fall as planned and innocent people may get injured or die, how do you feel about that?

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  • 1 month later...

"How do you feel about the War on Terror?"

"We (ANG Spec Ops Unit) are officially a Traditional Guard Unit, but are activated significantly more than our Traditional role suggests. How are you prepared to handle that?"

"Tell us about yourself"

"Why should we hire you over all the other applicants?"

"Why us? Why here? Why this airframe and mission?"

"Do you think getting a C grade in a class is acceptable?"

"Were you working during your final year of college (where your gpa improved dramatically)?"

Also, though this isn't a question the board asked, I strongly believe that for civilians, there are a couple of things you should do...Get a haircut - short. You're applying for a job as a military Officer. Look the part. Also, new suit, pressed shirt, shined shoes. Shave against the grain but take care of razor burns and cuts. Look professional. Act relaxed. Be early for the interview.

-- This thread was invaluable to my preparation, as was studying the specifications of the airframe the unit flies, as well as the mission and history of the unit, the base, newsletters from the bar and the wing association, anything I could find. As a civilian, I halfway convinced myself that getting a pilot slot with this unit was a very tall order. At the beginning of the interview, one of the board members asked if I was nervous and I replied that I was, slightly. I was told in no uncertain terms to relax. I did, and as someone else on this thread said once, I then "laughed and joked around with a bunch of pilots for an hour and walked away with a dream job." Found out later that I was hired as a Pilot - one of the best moments of my life. Let the adventure begin!

Good luck! :beer::rock:

Edited by ATB
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  • 7 months later...

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