Deck Officer (Cadetship) Interview


I have my AIB in late January of next year, and I was wondering what to expect from the final interview? I'm fairly confident with facing the leadership exercises and fitness, but I could do with a brief run-down of the stages of the interview and maybe some of the questions I'm expected to answer.

So far I have;

History of the RN,
History of the RFA,
My Role,
My Qualities,
Career Progression,
Course Structure,
Current Operations,
Ship names/classes/roles and designations,

Anything I'm missing?

I could also do with some expansion and clarification on Career Progression and Course Structure if anyone on the forum is currently a Cadet, it would be great to hear about your experiences.

Thanks in advance. :)
Hi Torch

You pretty much have listed everything that you have needed to know to get to this point which will help you at AIB for sure. The final interview is the very last thing that you will have to do at AIB and is your opportunity to show the board your qualities (and the only opportunity you will have to address the full board whilst at Sultan). You will discover if you are successful or not immediately after every person in your AIB group has been interviewed and the board usually contains one RFA officer (usually a 2/O).

During the AIB you will be tested on leadership etc, but during the interview you will be asked competency based questions around something called the C2DRIL (google this) and will dig into your motivation for joining, what skills you think you have compared to other candidates, be asked to name 3 or 4 vessels on the wall (RN and RFA) and expect you to know what quals you will work towards achieving as a deckie and where you will study for them.

I am a deck cadet who has just finished at BRNC which is an 8 week course. After completing this (no mean feat, but dont worry about this tjust yet!!) you will undoubtedly go to Fleetwood Nautical College to study for either Foundation Degree in Maritime Operations depending on if you have over 180 UCAS points or HND eqivalent for below. This is for approx 3.5 years where you will study and go to see in different "phases" and study for MCA quals too. As for career progression, depends on your ambition really. You will need to proactive and use your appointers to your advantage to progess your career the way you want it to go. There is generally a lot of competition.

Good luck hope this helps!
I did an RN AIB so it might differ slightly (perhaps Silverfox can confirm) but I had the two officers question me before the board president. The first asked me about why I wanted to join the RN for a career at sea rather than a private shipping company or cruise line. So think about why you want to work for the government and take some personal risk rather than do the same job with a company that lets you be a bit more laid back.

Then there were questions about previous experience in teams and as a leader and for these you need to have decent examples. They've got a scoring system that means you can seem really switched on but it's got to be quantifiable, they have to justify it with 'he said this'. Just don't be too modest to talk yourself up.

I remember the second officer asked me to describe a time I'd encountered racism in the workplace and how I'd responded to it in as much as I was in a position to do so. Then she asked me to give an example of something I'd achieved recently which was a bit tricky on the spot. Something that took a period of commitment in your free time is good, like going through a tournament with a sports club.

Then the president covers anything that's left and is a bit more friendly, possibly to get a feel for you as a person.

RFA career progression requires you to have sea time plus the tickets you need for promotion so you'd take time out to train for these, pass your exams and then if a space came up you might get promoted. Supposedly takes around three years for you to pick up the tickets and sea time needed for each promotion plus you owe a return of service of three years each time you get one.

Course structure is time at college interspersed with time at sea. In college you'll learn things like sea survival, firefighting and prevention, elementary first aid, how to use GMDSS and navigational aids. At sea you learn about RAS operations and get practical experience in ship operations, safety, watchkeeping and so forth.

So advice-wise - have examples of times in your life when you displayed your excellent qualities and feel free to tidy up your anecdotes so they fit your agenda.

And more generally... Don't forget the knowledge test includes a lot of Royal Marines and fleet air arm info (but don't panic too much as the test accounts for a small fraction of your score).

Also Speed Distance Time | OASC: RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre has a test that is really good for practicing for the planning exercise. They'll ask you to tell them what time a boat will reach a destination in a given scenario, which is simple, but only when you can confidently convert distance into minutes of travel and then add them to the time of departure while under pressure. Rule of 6 etc.
Torch, take note of aquabon's post it explains in much more detail and is spot on.

2cool, yeah full time studies with accrued leave time to be taken usually around xmas. easter etc or just after leaving a ship.

PS - Aquabon - I assume that you have completed BRNC? If so, how did you find it?
I did indeed and I very much enjoyed it.

Best parts for me were when we got mixed in with the RN for the exercises. Makes you feel more like you're in a branch of the service and gives you a chance to test your mettle alongside the military (did someone say leopard crawl?)
Yeah I agree, but did you have Sgt Buckley? What a happy soul! Got told to take control of my carcass on many occasions, especially on BLD and ABLE!!! Miss that place would deffo do it again given the choice. Or to go back and be the DO in a few years...
My hardest question was having to identify a time when I was scared and what I did to overcome it. I also had a question on bullying on what I did to prevent it happening.

You will be asked to point out on a map where the RN and RFA are operating in the world. The map is not normal. Imagine a standard map (America's on the left, Asia on the right) and then chop it in half and swap them over. This makes the pacific ocean in the centre of the map as apposed to running of the ends of the map. That really threw me.

I thought it was only 150 UCAS points for the HND and diamond epaulet rather than 180.

@Silverfox84, do I take it that RFA cadets no longer do ABLE?
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I can assure you that RFA cadets do ABLE, but a slightly different version to the RN officer cadets. Having just arrived back from the RN ABLE about an hour ago you will prefer the RFA version.

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