Sift Interview for a Weapon Engineer Officer

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by ComplexConjugate, Jan 27, 2015.

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  1. Hi all,
    I've got my Sift Interview coming up in a week or so, and so I wanted to pick the collective consciousness of all those who frequent this place to make sure I'm as prepared as possible, and it might help any others going in for something similar

    When I received the email from the AFCO I asked whether there would be any available material to study in order to prepare myself, and I got a (somewhat generic) response:

    "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."
    Now, this looks like a slightly different interview than what FreedomTea had in his topic "From picking up the phone to Britannia - A guide to Officer Selection", as it seems that the RN is looking more for the soft skills required for leadership and management than what weapon, radar and propulsion systems are available on the type 45 (for example), however the general questions about motivation to join would be good for anyone to reflect upon. This seems to be backed up by the thread "SIFT Interview". However Unicorn_91 did mention that the RN is asking less leadership questions, which would be at odds somewhat with the correspondence I have received from the AFCO and the Competency Assessment part of the Recruit Test form (which I assume is what I'll be asked to expand upon). Additionally, my uncle (ex Navy, now RFA) said to prepare for questions such as succession lines (Charles William George Harry Andrew).

    So, after that rather large wall of text, here is what I know!
    • Comms skills, leadership and teamwork ability
    I've got a ton of these from the past couple of years thanks to work placement and job interviews. I have a lot of stuff written down in the format required to answer questions such as "Tell me about a time you led a team, what were the conflicts within that team and how did you resolve them" etc, so I think I just need to review what I wrote down for them and use them as a basis for my answers on the day (unless anyone has the actual pool of questions they may ask ;) )​
    • Motivation for wanting to join the Royal Navy as an Officer
    During my final year I started looking at potential graduate jobs. On Gradcracker I saw that among the advertisements for more typical graduate jobs (sit in an office for 40 hours a week) that the Navy were recruiting for officers. I decided to investigate the possibility of joining, asking some ratings who were in my lectures at uni and becoming officers via the upper yardman scheme, looking on-line on both the Royal Navy and other military themed sites (such as this one). I also mentioned it to my uncle and cousin, who are both in the RFA to ask their experiences (slightly different to the RN I know but interact with the RN a lot). I found that the RN would allow me to have a job in an industry I wanted to join, with top class personnel, training and educational prospects and not only enable but encourage me to travel the world and help other people.
    • Why not the RAF or the Army?
    Having family in the RFA and going to uni in a naval city (Portsmouth), I feel like I have a stronger connection to the Naval service more so than the other defence branches. In addition, it was the Navy that I saw the advert for in a specialisation that I found interesting and attainable.​
    • Expected career path and training pipeline/ IOT requirements
    As laid out on the RN website, if accepted into the RN, I can expect 8 months at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, consisting of ten weeks each of Militarisation and Marinisation. I had found a thread that suggested that the IFT was undergoing changes and would no longer be 10 weeks, but it seems nothing much has changed as of yet (as of this thread), and saying that IFT is 10 weeks won't be grounds for not getting let in. When I start the IOT I will be expected to redo the psychometric tests (to make sure that no one took them in my place), the 2.4km run in under 11m 09s (in order to make sure my fitness hasn't slipped- cardio is VERY important in the Navy) and in addition will have to do a couple more fitness tests- a minimum of 23 press ups in 2 minutes, a minimum of 39 sit ups in two minutes, a 5x55m shuttle run in under 59s, and a swimming test consisting of 2 minutes treading water, followed by swimming 50m all without touching the sides until exiting the pool.
    Assuming all goes well for the IOT, after passing out I will specialise in my chosen field at the Maritime Warfare School at HMS Collingwood before my first deployment. From there I will have the opportunity to go back to university to study a Master's degree, while also completing various aspects of the Maritime through Career Development framework based on rank and speciality, from a cadet all the way up to commodore. All training provided by the Royal Navy is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and so I will have ample opportunity to become a chartered engineer.​
    • Where are the Royal Navy currently active?
    As shown in the January edition of Navy News, the Royal Navy have had commitments over the past month in the Gulf Region (Bahrain especially), Singapore, West Africa (Sierra Leone), Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Antarctica, Chile, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as training and deployments around the British Isles. I'll try and get a hard copy of the Navy News so that I can read up on deployments properly, but a lot of the ones shown on the map seem to be mostly standing deployments in areas where the RN have been needed a long time to support and defend its interests and operations.​
    • Terms of Service
    As an officer my initial commission will be for 12 years, although after 3 years it can be ended early by giving 12 months notice. After the IC I can apply for a Career Commission whereupon I will be taken on for another 20 years, and then a Full Term Commission can be applied for after that.​
    • Role of a Weapon Engineer Officer
    This is where I'm most unsure of what to answer. Looking through the forum it looks as though I'll be spending my time sleeping or getting a bollocking, though the official channel doesn't offer much more in the way of "what you actually do". As far as I can tell the role of a Weapon Engineer Officer is to primarily look after the Weapon Engineers below him, making sure that they are all working towards the same goal, whether its the guns, comms systems, radar and electronic warfare systems, IT systems etc. (all laid out here). As an officer I will be expected to specialise in one of the systems on board, but there is also the possibility of taking on boarding operations- going ashore (or other boats I assume) to gather intelligence with a small team. At a higher rank I would be in charge of the entirety of the ship's inner electronic workings and answer directly to the captain when something does (or doesn't) work. Most of a WEO's work is done before operations, so when at see I guess I'll have more of a reactionary role to anything going wrong on the ship
    Phew, that was rather a lot. But I guess its better to be over prepared than under, and I think that most of this is broad enough in scope that anyone going for an officer's sift interview might be able to benefit from this. If you've read through everything I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you all very much in advance for your help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. I have my SIFT in 11 days and this post has really set my mind at ease as it confirms all the information that i have collected, thank you
     

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