Sift interview and AIB

#1
I know there are a few other threads with similar questions but I am new to this and thought I might make a new one where I can ask a few questions of my own.

I have my sift interview soon (in a month) and hope to pass that and move onto the AIB after.

I'm pretty confident on my maths/literacy/geography and any other paper based tests I might expect, however I'm a little wary of my navy knowledge and what background knowledge I need for the two interviews.
-In what detail do I need to know the ships?
-Do I need to be able to identify any ship from a picture? Or is identifying the type and class enough?
-How formal/informal is the Sift interview? (I have read varied answers to this)
-Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks, Alex


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#2
-In what detail do I need to know the ships?
Usually, and this will happen at the AIB too, they will keep asking you more detailed questions until your knowledge doesn't cover it. E.g. if you can name the ship they will ask you it's role, if you can name the role they will ask you its systems, if you can name the systems they will ask you its compliment etc etc. Keep in mind it's better to know as much as possible.
There's a really good book called "The MOD Handbook, The Definitive MOD Guide", this will help you loads but the information conflicts with the RN Website and Wikipedia(The sources at the bottom) in terms of crew and tonnage etc but this is -Most Likely- because of retrofitting, I doubt you'll be in trouble if you said a T45 had a crew of 190 when some of the sources say 187.

-Do I need to be able to identify any ship from a picture? Or is identifying the type and class enough?
As above. The RN website has a little page where it lists the weapons on the ships, it's pretty handy, but I went a step further and made little crib sheets for each one. I couldn't remember everything on each ship but it really helped, my Sift interviewer said I had an ability to remember small details which was an ability I didn't realize I had until I was rattling off the length and beams down to the decimal place, here's an example: (All info in the following picture is from sources available online)

Type 23 Frigate.jpg
-How formal/informal is the Sift interview? (I have read varied answers to this)
You probably get varied answers as it's not really the same across the board. This question doesn't really matter as you should always dress in a smart suit and act professionally, the recruit test and fitness test are a sort of filter to cut out the chaff and I'd say this is the first real hurdle. My interview was quite intimidating but the moment I had passed he became my "best friend" and did everything he could to help me pass the AIB.

-Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Learn Royal Marine things and FAA things. My guy was in the Royal Marines and many of his questions were on the subject even though I was going for Warfare, Surface Fleet - he was quite right in saying that just because you aren't applying for the marines does not mean you should know any less about it than your chosen specialization.

Prepare for hard questions, a Sergeant at the AIB said he liked to ask people what their most embarrassing vice is. I'm glad I never got asked this anywhere because I don't think I'd give a suitable answer under pressure. If you can answer strange but difficult questions like these you should do ok anywhere provided you have the right knowledge.
 
#5
Take care when reading the MoD Handbook, as the most recently available edition was printed several years ago and quite a few of the ships mentioned in it are no longer operational; it also features the Harrier as the FAA's main air asset.

Navy News featured an excellent up to date poster showing the current fleet at the end of one of its autumn issues - check it out here on pages 40 and 41:

201309 Navy News Sep 13=

If you combine the above with current issues of Navy News, plus a look at Gunline if you can find it (Gunline is the house paper of the RFA) and the RN website, that should be a good start. If you would like to add an optional extra, entirely your choice, as the above combination is pretty adequate, you could add a small book on the subject of your choice - Maritime Books has a good selection:

Maritime Books - Specialist Publishers of Royal Navy books and Warship World Magazine

Many of the books are historical, but you might like British Warships and Auxiliaries 2014.

Also suggest reading a broadsheet every day, if you don't already.

Alex, Which job are you applying for?
 
Last edited:

Bluebird79

Lantern Swinger
#6
Speaking of 'Gunline' the 2013 edition has just been published and should be available online soon. Failing that, most of the RFA information you'd need for AIB is available on the RN website. FYI Engineers have purple on their rank insignia.
 

wannabejack

Lantern Swinger
#7
For the sift inverview it is important that you know about the role you are applying for. Be prepared to answer questions about leadership and be be able to give examples.
 
#8
-In what detail do I need to know the ships?
Usually, and this will happen at the AIB too, they will keep asking you more detailed questions until your knowledge doesn't cover it. E.g. if you can name the ship they will ask you it's role, if you can name the role they will ask you its systems, if you can name the systems they will ask you its compliment etc etc. Keep in mind it's better to know as much as possible.
There's a really good book called "The MOD Handbook, The Definitive MOD Guide", this will help you loads but the information conflicts with the RN Website and Wikipedia(The sources at the bottom) in terms of crew and tonnage etc but this is -Most Likely- because of retrofitting, I doubt you'll be in trouble if you said a T45 had a crew of 190 when some of the sources say 187.

-Do I need to be able to identify any ship from a picture? Or is identifying the type and class enough?
As above. The RN website has a little page where it lists the weapons on the ships, it's pretty handy, but I went a step further and made little crib sheets for each one. I couldn't remember everything on each ship but it really helped, my Sift interviewer said I had an ability to remember small details which was an ability I didn't realize I had until I was rattling off the length and beams down to the decimal place, here's an example: (All info in the following picture is from sources available online)

View attachment 8806
-How formal/informal is the Sift interview? (I have read varied answers to this)
You probably get varied answers as it's not really the same across the board. This question doesn't really matter as you should always dress in a smart suit and act professionally, the recruit test and fitness test are a sort of filter to cut out the chaff and I'd say this is the first real hurdle. My interview was quite intimidating but the moment I had passed he became my "best friend" and did everything he could to help me pass the AIB.

-Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Learn Royal Marine things and FAA things. My guy was in the Royal Marines and many of his questions were on the subject even though I was going for Warfare, Surface Fleet - he was quite right in saying that just because you aren't applying for the marines does not mean you should know any less about it than your chosen specialization.

Prepare for hard questions, a Sergeant at the AIB said he liked to ask people what their most embarrassing vice is. I'm glad I never got asked this anywhere because I don't think I'd give a suitable answer under pressure. If you can answer strange but difficult questions like these you should do ok anywhere provided you have the right knowledge.
Thank you very much for the detailed answers, I appreciate them. I will just revise the fleet as much as possible, can never be too prepared! I will treat both the Sift interview and the AIB with equal formality but I had just read somewhere that someone's Sift interview was very relaxed and wasn't sure what to expect. Again, thanks for the feedback


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#10
Take care when reading the MoD Handbook, as the most recently available edition was printed several years ago and quite a few of the ships mentioned in it are no longer operational; it also features the Harrier as the FAA's main air asset.

Navy News featured an excellent up to date poster showing the current fleet at the end of one of its autumn issues - check it out here on pages 40 and 41:

201309 Navy News Sep 13=

If you combine the above with current issues of Navy News, plus a look at Gunline if you can find it (Gunline is the house paper of the RFA) and the RN website, that should be a good start. If you would like to add an optional extra, entirely your choice, as the above combination is pretty adequate, you could add a small book on the subject of your choice - Maritime Books has a good selection:

Maritime Books - Specialist Publishers of Royal Navy books and Warship World Magazine

Many of the books are historical, but you might like British Warships and Auxiliaries 2014.

Also suggest reading a broadsheet every day, if you don't already.

Alex, Which job are you applying for?
Thank you for the response, I'll be sure to check those out, the Navy News autumn picture of the fleet sounds useful! I'll take that onboard. I have applied for the aircrew officer pilot role


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