ACA Interview - tips?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by oneday, May 26, 2010.

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  1. Hello folks,

    I sent off an Army Interest Form to my local careers advisor a few weeks ago, and have since arranged for an interview to be held next week. The careers advisor however does mention that the interview is more like a chat, relatively informal, and as such I am not sure quite what to be expecting. There is a lot of information on the AOSB briefing / main board in this forum, but not so much on the original ACA interviews.

    Even though it is an "informal" interview, I assume the dress code is still (relatively) smart - I was planning on a suit, minus the jacket.

    Obviously I will have my own questions to ask the interviewer, but are there any questions I should be expecting that would require preparation? Or anything else I should be expecting?

    I was never a member of the OTC or any cadets and have never visited a barracks before (where the interview is being held) - are there any etiquette do's and don'ts I should bear in mind?

    Thanks to all who can help.
  2. Wear the full suit. Don't entertain any ideas otherwise.
  3. Just really think about why you want to do the Army officer job, and which regiment or corps you are interested in.

  4. Stay off the grass, do not wander across the middle of that big thing that looks like a playground.
  5. It is, just like the letter states, informal. It's primarily to assess whether you meet the basic entry requirements and is not a formal assessment of officer potential; that all happens at AOSB.
    I agree that a suit seems the only way to go and be prepared to answer the basic questions you'll be getting throughout the process: Why the Army? Why and officer? What do you see makes and officer different from a soldier? What do you interpret the role of an officer to be?
    They aren't looking for model answers, just an indication that you've put some thought/ research into your intended career.

    Don't get overly hung-up on etiquette, just remember that you are speaking to a senior officer (likely retired) and act accordingly. I hadn't a great deal of military experience either but seemed to get by ok by just throwing in the occasional 'Sir' and being as polite as in any job interview.
  6. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Treat it like you would treat a meeting with any potential employer. In this sense, 'informal' means that neither of you is making any kind of commitment yet: it's a 'scoping' chat to explore whether you are likely to want to go further and what the process will be if you do. Be polite, open and honest; ask any and all questions that you have and don't hold back.

    Dress recommendation: suit and tie, or jacket, tie, pressed shirt, trousers (not jeans) and polished shoes.
  7. It has been hammered into me that if the word "interview" is used then you should wear a suit. My initial interview was at my uni careers service. I was penciled in for the first interview of the morning so the waiting room was empty. When I came out the next would-be leader of men was waiting. He was in jeans, t shirt, scruffy trainers and had a few days growth on his face. The look on his face as he saw my well scrubbed self walk past was priceless.
  8. Track suit bottom, white beer stained vest, chewing gum and a ganstar walk.
    Oh yea and make sure you address your ACA as either 'Bruv' or 'blood' and finish all your sentences by 'Get me?'
  9. I don't know if you have had it yet but my advice: Wear a suit and treat it like any job interview.

    I made the mistake to turn up at the careers office for the first time in jeans and a T-Shirt - Was fine for the squaddies but it did nothing to impress the Lt.Col. that happened to be visiting and was the one that was going to be doing all my interviews and reports!

    Formal is the way to go!
  10. I had an interview with my ACA last week. Definately wear a suit but the questions are relatively informal. Hobbies/ Interests, Family/Friends etc. The 2 main questions are going to be why do you want to join the army? and what do you think would make you a good army officer?. I think you need to have some very sound and compelling answers/thoughts on these questions.

    Also have a think about what regiments/corps you want to join and make sure there realistic. It might also stand you in good stead if you do a little basic research about those regiments/corps.

    In short it was basically a chat that was all, main aim of it is to see if you are army officer material and whether you are ready to start selection process (your ACA should put together a timeline for you with regards to this).
  11. Hello gentlemen, I just wanted to say thank you! As I have my interview in a couple of days and I was wondering what to wear, not like I was going to wear jeans but I was originally thinking smart casual, I now have my suit and tie out and ready.

    Sorry to hijack the thread but I have two quick questions in the same area and see no point in starting a fresh thread.

    1) How should I address the person interviewing me? I know its going to be a woman so do I still call her "Sir" or do I call her "Ma'am"? (yes I have no experience in the military and it will be the first time I meet anyone in uniform) or do I just avoid addressing her at all.

    2) I have searched around for other threads about interviews and they all say have good answers to questions. The only one I am not sure how to answer is if she asks me "what I would do if not the military?" I actually have several other options including law school abroad and a fully paid for masters, but I am not sure if I should say so. Should I just say all I want to do is join the military there is nothing else, or should I tell her I do have plenty of other (clearly more profitable and safer) options but am simply choosing not to take them. I feel one way I look prepared but not committed and the other I look committed but not thinking ahead!

    Any advise would be great!
  12. Answer truthfully. Call her Ma'am.

    For what it's worth, I've never given a good, concise answer to the question 'why do you want to join the army?' and it doesn't seem to have done me any harm. The truth is the best answer you can give provided you explain it properly.

    The ACA interview doesn't really matter anyway, so just relax and treat it as an opportunity to find out more about the army.
  13. If this is phrased as "what would you do if you didn't pass mainboard" I would say try again in 6 months or join the TA to gain experience. Shows your committment to the army cause and that you're not going to give up at the first hurdle so to speak.

    I have my mainboard in September and got a Cat 1 at briefing and I'm pretty sure that I went to see my ACA in jeans, however, she was a 'Mrs' and not military and I suppose it depends on who your ACA is. Better to be smart I guess but it's not going to affect whether or not they recommend you for briefing. What will affect that is your confidence and passion about wanting to become an officer, just as in briefing and I imagine at mainboard, they will be able to see if you have potential and the necessary want to succeed.

    I hope this has helped and good luck, you'll be fine!
  14. 1) I never had need to address them as Ma'am or Sir.
    "Hello, I'm here to see *insert rank and name*" and after that I was talking directly to them and they didn't seem fussed about adding Sir afterwards. If you do need their attention at any point then I would just use rank ("excuse me *rank*..."). I could be wrong but if it is your first interview then they aren't too fussed.

    2) Tell the truth - if they say "what would you do other than military" then tell them. When asked I think I replied along the lines of "I'm not sure as I've not given it too much thought but I would most likely try to get a job as...".

    Good luck!
  15. You get asked the question about what you'd do if not the Army throughout the selection process. I'd say that far from making you seem undedicated, having a solid backup plan shows maturity, sound planning, and that you have a variety of skills. I'm sure they'll be impressed to hear that you've got a sound plan for persuing a career in law.