AIB. All about Admiralty Interview Board - Officer Selection

Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
Morning guys,

I'm doing my AIB next month. This thread is useful, does anyone have any tips/advice/general pointers for someone conducting an AIB whos already in the RN (I'm going the UY not SUY route as I'm still only a damned JR) Is the interview different? Or are you just thrown with a load of civis and told to get on with it?
 

pompeyexpat

War Hero
Happy to be corrected by anyone with more recent knowledge, but I sat on the AIB as an observer in 2015 when 2 of my LET's had their papers raised (to see how different it was from mine) and UY's were placed in groups with Direct Entry Candidates. When I did my own AIB in 2009 SUY's were separated, but I believe that's changed now too.

As regards the interview; a major difference between my own AIB and the one I witnessed was the interview. We were asked questions all based on the Q101 form that we'd filled in as a part of our application - as were DE candidates whose boards were at the same time. The only difference was we weren't really asked any Naval Knowledge type questions. Now however (or at least in 2015) they are only mandated to ask one question - 'What is your motivation for joining the RN as an Officer/becoming an Officer'. After that they went where they felt like; some questions being based on observations they'd made during the testing processes, some on answers to previous questions.
 

Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
Morning guys,

I'm doing my AIB next month. This thread is useful, does anyone have any tips/advice/general pointers for someone conducting an AIB whos already in the RN (I'm going the UY not SUY route as I'm still only a damned JR) Is the interview different? Or are you just thrown with a load of civis and told to get on with it?
Well I totally forgot i'd used this thread so here is my experience (I did the AIB in Feb '20)

Turned up at 1100 on Monday (Day 1) - The first detail should have been an RNFT but for some reason this was cancelled. (I believe they have now started conducting the RNFTs again so must have been a temporary thing)

We were all introduced to each other and then split into two groups; two groups with four candidates in each. You're all given a tour of the building, shown where the boardroom is etc and then left to sort out personal admin for about an hour or so.

You're then taken to the PLT site and given a demonstration about how all the PLTs work. They are quite in-depth and complex so take notes as there are certain voice procedures and commands you must use (and will be assessed on) in your assessed PLT the following day.

Once you've been shown all the various PLT stances you're taken back to the AIB and you then attempt a practise planning exercise. This is very basic and not like the real one which you will conduct the following day. The practise PLANEX does not feature any of the questioning or loose minute writing that you will be conducting the following day, so in my opinion don't take much notice of the practise PLANEX.

After this (it's about 1600ish now) you're free to leave the AIB and 'socialise' Being a current serving matelot, I went to the pub.

Day two (Tuesday) starts at 0615. Breakfast is 0645 and then the assessments start from about 0700. The boards are split so whilst one board will do the PLANEX, the other will do the PLTs, then once complete, swap around. So this is where there can be a lot of waiting around. My board was unlucky in that we had the PLANEX first thing in the morning. It is very intense and I found it difficult (even being in the RN for 8 years at this point!) It is unlike anything I've done before. The actual crux of the exercise was easy, it was get a team from point A to Point B. But the detail of the questioning by the Board President was what made the PLANEX my least favourite part of the whole process. It is very fast-paced and in-depth questioning and the board president didn't suffer fools lightly! Make sure you have an answer, make sure you're always listening and if you don't know, say so!

The PLTs were next, they were incredibly easy and actually were a welcome refresher from the stress of the PLANEX! I had a wet task, which isn't as daunting as it sounds. You only get 8 minutes to complete the task so it is very unlikely you will complete the task. It's not completing it that is important, it's how you conduct yourself both in your PLT and how you contribute in everyone elses that you're assessed on.

Once you're all back to the AIB it's a round robin then for the psychometric testing. Whilst one of you is having your interview the rest will do the psyc. testing and you'll just keep doing that until everyone has been interviewed and also has completed the tests. Don't stress over these tests. They are post-degree level questions, but they only form a small part of the overall mark. I struggled in the psyc. tests but it din't matter because my mark elsewhere was good.

Finally, the best bit for me was the interview. It's totally at your own pace and you can be as descriptive or as vague as you like. The board really want to know the person you are, not the person you want to be. So I found that the questioning was more about my way of life, my thinking and my opinions on others rather than 'Where is the RN in the world right now?' I was asked about times when I'd had to deliver bad news, or be compassionate to another, or where I'd made a mistake (being a stoker I'd made a few hum-dingers!)

Once all of this is complete you're brought into the boardroom and given your result. You don't get much feedback straight away this is sent back to your AFCO (or for UY/SUY your unit).

I passed, first time!
 

TomMarley

Newbie
Well I totally forgot i'd used this thread so here is my experience (I did the AIB in Feb '20)

Turned up at 1100 on Monday (Day 1) - The first detail should have been an RNFT but for some reason this was cancelled. (I believe they have now started conducting the RNFTs again so must have been a temporary thing)

We were all introduced to each other and then split into two groups; two groups with four candidates in each. You're all given a tour of the building, shown where the boardroom is etc and then left to sort out personal admin for about an hour or so.

You're then taken to the PLT site and given a demonstration about how all the PLTs work. They are quite in-depth and complex so take notes as there are certain voice procedures and commands you must use (and will be assessed on) in your assessed PLT the following day.

Once you've been shown all the various PLT stances you're taken back to the AIB and you then attempt a practise planning exercise. This is very basic and not like the real one which you will conduct the following day. The practise PLANEX does not feature any of the questioning or loose minute writing that you will be conducting the following day, so in my opinion don't take much notice of the practise PLANEX.

After this (it's about 1600ish now) you're free to leave the AIB and 'socialise' Being a current serving matelot, I went to the pub.

Day two (Tuesday) starts at 0615. Breakfast is 0645 and then the assessments start from about 0700. The boards are split so whilst one board will do the PLANEX, the other will do the PLTs, then once complete, swap around. So this is where there can be a lot of waiting around. My board was unlucky in that we had the PLANEX first thing in the morning. It is very intense and I found it difficult (even being in the RN for 8 years at this point!) It is unlike anything I've done before. The actual crux of the exercise was easy, it was get a team from point A to Point B. But the detail of the questioning by the Board President was what made the PLANEX my least favourite part of the whole process. It is very fast-paced and in-depth questioning and the board president didn't suffer fools lightly! Make sure you have an answer, make sure you're always listening and if you don't know, say so!

The PLTs were next, they were incredibly easy and actually were a welcome refresher from the stress of the PLANEX! I had a wet task, which isn't as daunting as it sounds. You only get 8 minutes to complete the task so it is very unlikely you will complete the task. It's not completing it that is important, it's how you conduct yourself both in your PLT and how you contribute in everyone elses that you're assessed on.

Once you're all back to the AIB it's a round robin then for the psychometric testing. Whilst one of you is having your interview the rest will do the psyc. testing and you'll just keep doing that until everyone has been interviewed and also has completed the tests. Don't stress over these tests. They are post-degree level questions, but they only form a small part of the overall mark. I struggled in the psyc. tests but it din't matter because my mark elsewhere was good.

Finally, the best bit for me was the interview. It's totally at your own pace and you can be as descriptive or as vague as you like. The board really want to know the person you are, not the person you want to be. So I found that the questioning was more about my way of life, my thinking and my opinions on others rather than 'Where is the RN in the world right now?' I was asked about times when I'd had to deliver bad news, or be compassionate to another, or where I'd made a mistake (being a stoker I'd made a few hum-dingers!)

Once all of this is complete you're brought into the boardroom and given your result. You don't get much feedback straight away this is sent back to your AFCO (or for UY/SUY your unit).

I passed, first time!
Your experience is valuable and I will mostly note that the Planex is the main thing to practise. A few questions spring to mind which hopefully I don’t sound too dumb asking. With the Planex I have completed a few practise senerios and every time I seem to come up with a plan that’s not the best best way but completes the objective but with maybe some sort of risk that could have been avoided another way. so long as the plan I make is detailed and justified could you still pass or would you be slammed for making a poor decision?

Secondly the PLT sounds fun I am assuming key to success is complete it using the correct stance and commands.

Lastly the interview sounds good did you take notes in with you?

Hope I’m not overthinking it all, so far my fitness is good and I’m confident. Just want to go in with best chance and version of me possible as I am keen to change my career from a Banker to a Logistics officer.
 

Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
Your experience is valuable and I will mostly note that the Planex is the main thing to practise. A few questions spring to mind which hopefully I don’t sound too dumb asking. With the Planex I have completed a few practise senerios and every time I seem to come up with a plan that’s not the best best way but completes the objective but with maybe some sort of risk that could have been avoided another way. so long as the plan I make is detailed and justified could you still pass or would you be slammed for making a poor decision?

Secondly the PLT sounds fun I am assuming key to success is complete it using the correct stance and commands.

Lastly the interview sounds good did you take notes in with you?

Hope I’m not overthinking it all, so far my fitness is good and I’m confident. Just want to go in with best chance and version of me possible as I am keen to change my career from a Banker to a Logistics officer.
In my opinion the PLANEX wasn't necessarily about getting the objective completed (although that is the ultimate goal) it's more about how you express your plan despite any holes or obstacles that might be in it. It's more about not being influenced by the board when they are asking you 'Are you sure this is your plan?' rather than succeeding. The scenarios are completely fictitious, and they are so open to interpretation that there are several valid options to completing it, but nothing is without risk, and risk is sometimes what is required to execute a plan.

PLTs are fun, they are a bit complicated but the instructors guide you through the commands you need to use as well as the certain rules when using the equipment. You don't get a choice in what stance you do, it's all done randomly by the instructors so that you turn up and are immediately presented with your task.

You will not need any notes in the interview (I don't think you're allowed to take them in any way) as the interview is mainly about you. So, if you need to take notes on yourself, then use these notes to remind you about yourself, then perhaps a commission is not for you! ;)

Regarding the fitness assessment, these have now restarted again, so as I described above, it was clearly only a temporary suspension of the fitness assessment.
 

TomMarley

Newbie
In my opinion the PLANEX wasn't necessarily about getting the objective completed (although that is the ultimate goal) it's more about how you express your plan despite any holes or obstacles that might be in it. It's more about not being influenced by the board when they are asking you 'Are you sure this is your plan?' rather than succeeding. The scenarios are completely fictitious, and they are so open to interpretation that there are several valid options to completing it, but nothing is without risk, and risk is sometimes what is required to execute a plan.

PLTs are fun, they are a bit complicated but the instructors guide you through the commands you need to use as well as the certain rules when using the equipment. You don't get a choice in what stance you do, it's all done randomly by the instructors so that you turn up and are immediately presented with your task.

You will not need any notes in the interview (I don't think you're allowed to take them in any way) as the interview is mainly about you. So, if you need to take notes on yourself, then use these notes to remind you about yourself, then perhaps a commission is not for you! ;)

Regarding the fitness assessment, these have now restarted again, so as I described above, it was clearly only a temporary suspension of the fitness assessment.
Thank you. This makes me confident I will pass First Time, fingers firmly crossed. I thought PLANEX would be more about how you come across with your plan and how confidently you deliver it. The end of the day no one is perfect and the exercises are hard for a reason.

I only asked about taking notes into the interview as the company I work for at the moment didn’t give me a promotion as I didn’t bring notes to the interview! So they assumed I was less prepared than other candidates. Partly why I am leaving them for the Navy is after 5 years of working as a banker there’s been no promotion, mainly due to redundancies.

Thank you Paxman and good luck with your training ahead. Will maybe cross paths some day!
 

Smythy

Newbie
Any idea what the current waiting times are for AIB invitations? Passed my sift interview in August for surface warfare officer and chased up my AFCO a few times but no luck in finding out when I am likely to be invited.
 

MAXtmpu

Midshipman
Any idea what the current waiting times are for AIB invitations? Passed my sift interview in August for surface warfare officer and chased up my AFCO a few times but no luck in finding out when I am likely to be invited.
Keep pushing. I passed my sift in November and got my February AIB date in January. There is a backlog of candidates (or at least there was when I was waiting) so fingers crossed that you hear soon.
 
Any idea what the current waiting times are for AIB invitations? Passed my sift interview in August for surface warfare officer and chased up my AFCO a few times but no luck in finding out when I am likely to be invited.
I passed SIFT in January for Surface Warfare, I was told to expect about a 5 month wait.
Keep pushing. I passed my sift in November and got my February AIB date in January. There is a backlog of candidates (or at least there was when I was waiting) so fingers crossed that you hear soon.
What role are you going for?
 
Aircrew. It does appear that different branches experience different waiting times. I've been very lucky throughout my application.
Ah fair enough, I assume aircrew are prioritised. There's loads of candidates for Surface Warfare so that probably explains the backlog.
 
Has anyone else received the message sent today reference the AIB format during the Coronavirus pandemic? Is it really just a skype interview during isolation? Will this mean we are scored lower than other candidates? Any more info would be nice.

Regards

BOS
 
I suspect thats just to cover some ground, it wont be a full replacement of the AIB as you're assessed on Leadership tasks as well as a planning exercise. Something that can not be done over Skype :p
Why bother with it at all then? the whole point of AIB is that you're doing it at pace cramming in a load of evolutions to put you under stress.
If they're doing the interview part separately it removes that element for no gain. If they wanted to simply delay it surely they would have said were delaying your AIB until this date when they can just do the whole thing.
I suspect it is actually the whole AIB but the interview will be longer and covers more areas than the 20 minutes you would normally get at AIB. If you think about it how else are they going to be able to continue with recruitment during this whole Corona isolation episode.
I really want to know what the plan is I was supposed to be doing my AIB soon and the email they sent out is quite sparse in terms of details. Has anyone been contacted by them yet?
Regards,
BOS
 

Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
Why bother with it at all then? the whole point of AIB is that you're doing it at pace cramming in a load of evolutions to put you under stress.
If they're doing the interview part separately it removes that element for no gain. If they wanted to simply delay it surely they would have said were delaying your AIB until this date when they can just do the whole thing.
I suspect it is actually the whole AIB but the interview will be longer and covers more areas than the 20 minutes you would normally get at AIB. If you think about it how else are they going to be able to continue with recruitment during this whole Corona isolation episode.
I really want to know what the plan is I was supposed to be doing my AIB soon and the email they sent out is quite sparse in terms of details. Has anyone been contacted by them yet?
Regards,
BOS
Maybe it's a little test for potential officers to see who can conceive their own plans and make their own decisions based on the very little information there is available to them?

They can't delay it indefinitely as if this pandemic continues for more than 12-18 months all the people who had their applications deferred will then create a huge hole in the training pool both at officer and rating level. Training must continue. I would be very surprised if the AIB cell had the capability to conduct the entire AIB over skype, but seeing as I'm not at the AIB cell, I can't say for definite. However, it is very difficult to conduct practical leadership tasks over the internet.

By the way, when I did my AIB interview in Feb this year, it was 47 minutes, not 20 minutes. My AIB guide is further up the page, if you've not read it already you may find it useful.
 

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