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Sift interview - Leadership experience?

barny187

Newbie
Hi all! This is my first post, although I have been on this site many times the past few months and its been really helpful so far. Ill get to my question though - basically I want to know how important leadership experience is to my application?

I have my SIFT interview coming up (applying as a warfare officer) and so far I haven't been worried about any of the elements of it. But yesterday the leutenant that will be interviewing me called me to discuss preparation for the day, which was fine. But then he unexpectantly asked me about my previous leadership experience. Now i'm 20 so I've never had any huge leadership roles. But I did tell him a couple of things i.e. supervisor at my previous job, and a couple of other small things. He only asked for a few words about it so that's what I gave him. But at the of the conversation he told me that my leadership experience didn't sound very good, and reminded me they are looking for leaders or people that can demonstrate examples of leadership.

I was sort of thrown by his comment because the way he said it made it seem like I didn't have a chance. It's got me quite concerned that this one element is going to throw a spanner into the works of my whole application. I would be lying if I said I had great leadership experience, but i truly believe I would fit the role very well. I'm well informed of the job requirements.

Can anyone advise me about any of this - about how in depth they talk about it during the interview? or what sort of experience others have talked about?

Thanks in advance!
 

Sogz

Midshipman
I had my SIFT interview last Thursday. I'm not going to tell you the exact questions, as that's breaking the game a wee bit, but I can give you some advice. Don't take it as gospel though, as I got the impression that each SIFT interview is different, so the amount of questions I got asked on a particular subject may vary greatly from the amount you will be asked.

I was surprised by the amount of leadership questions I was asked. Looking back, I shouldn't have been, because, as your Lieutenant said, the Navy is looking for leaders.
If you really sit and think about it, you will be able to come up with examples of leadership. Some people may have to think further outside the box than others for these examples, but you will have them somewhere in the depths of your experience. Once you've worked out these examples, make sure you've got them down mentally, so you can reel them off as and when you need them in the interview. I would aim to have around four or five examples, at least. Sod's law you won't need all of them, but then at least you've got them stored away for AIB.

Were you ever a sport's team captain/prefect at school? Stuff like that is good. Being a supervisor at work sounds like a pretty solid one, as long as you've got some good examples of acting in a leadership role. Looking at the Navy Core Values and thinking of examples that apply to them is also a good shout.

Hope that helps,

Sogz
 

barny187

Newbie
Thanks for the advice sogz. I was never a captain of a sports team or head boy. I went to 10 different schools as a result of moving around lots so never had the opportunity really. Plus the sports I did take part in weren't generally team sports.

Anyway I will take your advice try and think of some more examples. I guess anything goes? I mean I could talk about lots of things but I'm not sure how relevant they would be, and some are when I was in my younger teenage years. I don't want to seem desperate by talking about my 14-year-old self's achievements.

Chees though!
 

Olly013

Midshipman
Thanks for the advice sogz. I was never a captain of a sports team or head boy. I went to 10 different schools as a result of moving around lots so never had the opportunity really. Plus the sports I did take part in weren't generally team sports.

Anyway I will take your advice try and think of some more examples. I guess anything goes? I mean I could talk about lots of things but I'm not sure how relevant they would be, and some are when I was in my younger teenage years. I don't want to seem desperate by talking about my 14-year-old self's achievements.

Chees though!


Hi Barny,

You could use the fact that you moved around alot as evidence that you are flexible and can adapt well to new environments. Flexibility is a quality of good leader so this could be used as a good point I would think. I did quite a bit of working abroad in different cities and I cited this as an example of my flexibility and adaptability. I know it's not a leadership example as such but it's still a relevant point I would say. Food for thought.

Best of luck,
Olly
 
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