First of all...congratulations on getting so far! It`s a competitive game and to get this far is pretty damn good.
Although I`m not in the ROV game myself, I am working with a couple of ROV techs. I`ll have a word with them tomorrow (Thursday) and see if they can give any pointers as to what you may expect. Can`t promise anything, but I`ll definetely make some enquiries for you mate.
I had a word with the ROV guys I spoke about. They also said that you have done well to get even as far as the interview stage!!
Generally, their advice is to sell yourself as a team player. I know that sounds a bit PC, but they both stressed that if you are off shore, you will be stuck in a confined space with two or three other guys for prolonged periods of time! It is probably nothing you haven`t been before, but the idea is to let the interviewer KNOW it.
There is a hellava lot of procedure to learn if off shore, so the ability to take in information and use it later on is another selling point. Not being afraid to make a decision is another quality they may be looking for.
You may be questioned on your technical/mechanical knowledge, but this is not as important as being part of a team. You probably have doine a shedload of research into this anyway.
Above all, the lads said, be yourself...don`t waffle, exaggerate or bluff....you will be found out. Apparently, your service background goes a long way in the plus column!
Good luck mate, and maybe post in here and let us know how you got on.
After sixteen years in the job my view is as soon as you're trained up, and have sufficient experience and reputation, then bin the employer (nicely) and go freelance. Better money, if you rate being kept busy, and when they ring up and say, "Tomorrow you're off to Port Harcourt," you can say, "No, I'm not." Unless you're one of those nutters that actually likes working off of Nigeria, that is.
You have to manage your own tax affairs and eschew sick and holiday pay and fork out for your own medicals and survival refreshers but, depending how you set yourself up, those can be written off against tax. It won't take much asking around your colleagues to find out who the best marine tax accountants are. Ditto the best agencies ("body shops" in industry vernacular).
That being said, if you choose to stay "on staff" forking out a few quid a year for a specialist accountant is worth it anyway if you're looking to get your days in to qualify for the seaman's income tax rebate.