Another SIFT experience...

Hi all,

As many have done before I thought I'd share my experiences of the SIFT interview.
I'm applying as a WEO.

Like others I turned up 10 minutes early, in a suit. After being taken to the interview room I was invited to sit down. Then after a quick briefing on the format of the interview we dived right in...

Typical Questions:

  1. Why would you like to join the armed services, and the Navy in particular?
  2. What does the Royal Navy do for the Nation?
  3. What does the engineering branch contribute to the Royal Navy?
  4. What do you think about the Submarine Service (AKA would you like to volunteer for submarines?)
  5. What is the RN drugs policy? What do you think about that policy?
  6. You may have to directly or indirectly kill someone in the RN, how do you feel about this?
  7. What does an officer do, and how does this differ from the role of a rating?
  8. Why do you think you are suitable to be an officer?
  9. What fitness activities are you undertaking to prepare yourself for Officer training?
  10. What is your training pipeline as an WEO?
  11. Give me more details on your training at BRNC? In each phase what would you expect to learn?
  12. What are your strengths?
  13. What are your weaknesses?
  14. Give me examples of when you have led a team?
  15. When have you briefed a large group?
  16. When have you contributed to a team?
  17. What team sports do you play?
  18. When have you failed as a team?
  19. When have you shown determination to succeed?
  20. When have you taken on something challenging?
  21. When have you made a hard decision? What were the consequences?
  22. Do you have any questions for me?
There were more questions but that was the majority. Overall the interview took 35 minutes, then a break whilst the Royal Navy made it's decision, then about 15 minutes of feedback and informal conversation.

Unlike other people in this forum I was asked no questions about current operations, equipment etc.
When I asked about that afterwards I was told the following (more or less):

The SIFT format has changed as of several months ago. We're no longer supposed to ask those sorts of questions and instead look primarily at competencies, experience and motivations.
For the AIB you should know where and why we are deployed, what uses different vessels and aircraft have, but not the specifics of systems, procedures and processes. That you will learn when you're being trained.

However he also told me that not everyone was following the new policy, so I would highly recommend you learn about current operations, vessel types etc. for your SIFT. Just in case.
Plus it will be useful for the AIB anyway.

I made up crib sheets on all the types of vessel, aircraft, vehicles and RM units, and also a custom Google map with current, recent and periodic deployments on it. Both of which have been really handy for learning.

I was also told that BRNC has changed, but this isn't on the website yet:
IFT and Marinisation have been merged into a single 20 week term. The IFT part is now only 3 weeks long due to a lack of suitable flagships, and the remaining 7 weeks will be used for more experience on the River Dart, lectures, battlefield tours etc.

In my opinion thats a massive shame, as IFT looks to be one of the best parts of BRNC. Hopefully this will be changed back in the future.

Overall I found the SIFT fairly enjoyable (for an interview), there was a good bit of humor and there were no trick questions. Afterwards we had a great chat before he had to go interview the next guy.

Anyway, I hope this has helped!

Good luck!
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Hey there,

My SIFT interview is on Thursday and I just thought I'd say thanks for posting this. With all the changes happening to the application/training pipeline at the moment it's great to hear as many different people's experiences as possible.

Good luck for AIB!

PS. Having just recently been down to HMS Collingwood, I heard it from the horse's mouth that the new 3-week IFT has been renamed the Initial Sea Acquaint. However there is now a Basic Fleet Time of 4 months between BRNC IWO (F) and MWS IWO (N). Also the Specialist Fleet Time has been reduced from 9 months to 6 months.

Thanks again and all the best!


Hi guys,

Awaiting dates for sift interview at the moment. Have found this post and similar ones very helpful and am using them as a basis for preparation for both SIFT and AIB.

Mike - just wondered how your sift went and how similar to 'Zakialwe' S experience it was?


Hi Jess,

I passed the interview. I found that these questions covered every base and the feedback I got was that I'd obviously prepared thoroughly. They didn't ask me all those questions, but about 80% of them turned up.

The advice I'd give anyone is just to prepare and memorise the examples you're going to use as answers to the questions. But if you want a pro-tip, when they ask at the end if you'd like to add anything, use the opportunity to outline your answers to the questions from this list that they chose not to ask you and that you therefore weren't able to answer. The feedback I got was that this showed a level of preparation and a determination to succeed that I should repeat at AIB.

The advice I was given for AIB was ultimately just to research in as much detail as possible every assessment and prepare for them individually in the same way as for the SIFT.

Other than that I couldn't have put it better than Zakialwe; for a job interview it was actually quite a nice chat. After all, they're not looking to fail anyone, they're actually trying to help you pass!

Best of luck for the future!


Congrats Mike!

Thank you so much for that. I'm going to do just that, using helpful posts about SIFT like this one, just prepare my answers and cover all aspects.

Good idea with the questions at the end too!

Thank you and all the best for you!
Just passed my sift interview for logistics officer. He asked a lot about leadership, personal values/motivation, and the specifics of the role i'd applied for. Nothing on ships/equipment but plenty of current deployments, where the Navy needs to be and why (e.g. on main shipping routes).

The interviewer was very friendly and put me at ease- it was not as formal as I had anticipated, but I still presented myself very "professionally".

My advice is research your chosen branch very, very carefully and read into current affairs/issues.

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