SIFT Help?


A week today I have my SIFT interview at my local careers office. I've applied for the role of Engineering technician and I was just wondering if anybody can help me on the sort of questions I will be asked based on the Royal Navy, e.g. Name 3 types of ships in the fleet, or questions along those lines? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


War Hero
You won't be having a Sift Interview if you are joining as an Engineering Technician, you'll be having a Competency Based Interview & the precise detail is in the interview letter.

If you are joining as an Engineering Officer, you will have had an initial officer interview after the Recruiting Test & will have been fully briefed on the content of the Sift Interview.


Mate I sat mine at the beginning of the year. Sounds like I went into it thinking pretty much the same as you, that I was going to be questioned on most things Royal Navy but as soon as we sat down I was told that the interviews are now a 'Competency Based Interview' and have changed from those sat by pretty much everyone I spoke to before I went in.

The only questions I was asked requarding the RN were about the training; Where is it, what will you be doing (phase1/2) and where might you end up after. Apart from that the remainder of the time was spent talking about me; Work, school, sport, proudest moments in life, ever worked as part of a team and how did it make me feel. etc, etc, etc. Im sure if you use google there will be some example questions out there somewhere.

All I think their looking for are well rounded people with an open mind and a want for progression. Just make sure you answer their questions and speak the truth, their smart enough to spot a lie having served their full time. Just dont be nervous and youll be fine Im sure!


If you are joining as an Engineering Officer, you will have had an initial officer interview after the Recruiting Test & will have been fully briefed on the content of the Sift Interview.

Hi Ninja, I've got a sift interview as a Logistics Officer in a couple of weeks but I wasn't given an initial officer interview after the RT (but I did have to fill in an Officer Applicant Questionnaire at the start of my application) and I haven't been sat down and briefed on the contents of Sift. All I have is an email that says this:

"This will be a formal interview to gauge your suitability to attend the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB). You will be assessed on your communications skills, leadership and teamwork ability, and your motivation for wanting to join the Royal Navy as an Officer. It is vital, before attendance at interview, that you fully research your chosen career path and the training pipeline that you will be expected to complete. You will be expected to have a thorough knowledge of current RN affairs as well as Initial Officer Training (IOT) including the fitness requirements and terms of service for RN officers. Additionally, irrespective of specialisation, you will be expected to know about the Fleet including the roles of warships and aircraft as well as the weapons and equipment found on them. You will also be expected to know about the Submarine Service, the Royal Marines, the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary."

Does that sound right or should I call my AFCO? Will I still need to know a great deal in detail about ships, aircraft, weapons systems etc or is it just the rating's interview that has changed?


War Hero
That looks like a Sift interview letter and yes, you need to learn about all the elements mentioned in the letter, if you don't, there'll be a longer wait for AIB.

You should have had an initial interview to determine the way ahead - if you're not happy going straight to Sift you could call your ACLO but to be honest, I'd crack-on and state from the outset this is the first interview. If you need more consolidated research beyond than that already indicated in the letter, you'll be briefed and repeat the sift if needs be. Good luck.


Thanks Ninja,

Will I need to know things like the displacement and length/ beam/ exact propulsion mechanisms and makes and variants of sensors on all the different types of ships, or would it be more worth my time getting a really good grip on their roles, weapons systems, and how the fleet all works together as a military machine etc.?


War Hero
You needn't get too bogged down with dimensions & manufacturers, but you need to know armaments, sensors & roles of ships, aircraft & submarines - and be able to identify them by type.


I sat my SIFT a couple of weeks ago and passed, as preparation I wrote a list of likely questions I thought would come up in the interview and then found the answers. The question list is below, if you get stuck on an answer PM me and I'll give you a hand. Good Luck.

[h=1]Sift Interview Possible Questions[/h][h=2]Guaranteed Questions[/h]Why do I want to join the armed forces
Why the Navy in particular?
Why do you want to be a Royal Navy Officer
Why does the Royal Navy need Officers / Leaders?
Are you familiar with the RN policy on drugs
How do you feel about taking a human life
Would you consider working on a submarine
Why do you think you would be a good leader?
Would you be able to drop a bomb on someone if civilians were nearby?
How do you feel about making decisions which may cost lives whether it is the enemy, your men, civilians or yourself?
What does the RN do with the assets at its disposal!!
[h=2]RN trivia questions[/h]Who is the 1SL
Difference between a frigate and a destroyer
What classes of sub does the RN operate
What is significant about the Vanguard Class of sub
Name as many types of vessel in the Royal Navy
Name their powerplants, weapons systems, crew no. etc.
Where in the world are the RN currently on operations
What does NATO do
How many countries are in NATO?
How much is the annual Royal Navy Budget?
Name the UK naval bases?
What is the name of the military operations in Afghanistan?
What is the displacement of the QE aircraft carrier?
How many naval personnel are there approximately?
Which is a CIWS?
What does SSBN stand for? How any are there?
What is the RN’s motto
In what year was the battle of Trafalgar?
[h=2]FAA trivia questions[/h]When was the FAA formed
What aircraft does the FAA operate
[h=2]RM trivia questions[/h]How many sections of RM are there
How many men in the RM?
What is the corps motto?
What is the Corps birth date?
[h=2]Personal Questions[/h]What is your family’s view on you wanting to join the Royal Navy
When have you set yourself a challenge
What extra-curricular activities do you partake in?
If so what is your role?
Give an example in your life when something went wrong
Ever had a time in your life when you have had to deal with Racism?
How did you find the fitness test?
What was your training for the fitness test?
Positions of responsibility?
Have you ever been in a dangerous situation?
Have you experienced or witnessed bullying?
When have you set yourself a challenge?
Give an example in your life when you have had to lead a group of people
Give an example in your life when you have had to organise an event
Given an example in your life when you have been given a budget to stick to.
When have you worked in a team to achieve a goal?
Give an example when something went wrong in the team
Has leading a team ever gone wrong?
Have you ever lead a group who were deliberately difficult?
When have you worked as part of a team?
When have you experienced a set back and what did you do about it?
[h=2]Warfare Officer Pipeline[/h]How long is the initial commission as an officer?
How long is your second commission? (Was asked this question in the interview and didn't know it.)
What happens to injured recruits during training?
What is involved in the first two yrs of training as a young officer etc?

[h=1]Sift Interview Pointers[/h]Show good communication skills
Show good teamwork skills
Show good leadership skills
Show motivation
Approach it as a formal interview
Talk through various experiences – eg times when you’ve set yourself a


Hi Peak,

That's really helpful, thank you very much. Do you remember which questions and sort of questions came up on the day?


All the guaranteed questions came up.
Third to a half of the trivia questions.
Two thirds of the personal questions.
Most of the officer pipeline ones.



Do thorough research, but part of the interview I certainly found is to push you until your knowledge runs out- don't be surprised if there are some things you can't answer, provided most of them you can.

I'd agree with learning the answers to all of Peak's questions, as well as certainly as many competency based interview questions as you can- give me examples of times when you've planned something and it's gone wrong, when you've led a team, when you've implemented change etc.
Have examples ready and to hand.

On top of that, it doesn't hurt to know as much as you can about the RN technical details. I was (at the time) going for RM officer, but the Lieutenant interviewing me still raised his eyebrows when I admitted I didn't know the propulsion system of a Type 23. Learn Lengths, beams, displacements, propulsion systems (!) and armament- there aren't that many classes of vessel, it doesn't take too long. Good luck!


War Hero
Hi everyone,

I have my sift interview tomorrow and there is just on question I am struggling with: "would you consider working on a submarine?"

I want to be a pilot in the FAA and obviously that means no I don't want to work on a sub. However I'm worried that if I say no it would be viewed negatively.

Anyone have any idea how I could phrase this?


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