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What to expect from the interview?

Wulver

Newbie
Hey, so I've applied for the Communications Apprentice and been waiting patiently for months to get my interview date. I finally got it, been booked into a hotel and it's in the next few weeks.

What should I expect? I will be wearing a suit but how formal is the interview itself?

I've been told I could get asked general knowledge questions about the RFA so I've been trying to use the leaflet they sent along with the site to learn more about it, but will they ask me about RFA history, ships, port locations etc?

I've been asked some strange "curve ball" questions in the past at interviews to see how you react, do they like to do this?

Overall what's everyone's personal experience about life in the RFA? I've been told it would be great for me as I love to travel, I'm 21, single and have no real responsibilities tying me to where I am.
 
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Klanky67

Lantern Swinger
Type in RFA Interview in the search bar top right. You'll get loads of good info there. Once you've been through all the posts come back and ask some more. Not being funny matey but it is the best route to begin with.
 

Wulver

Newbie
Type in RFA Interview in the search bar top right. You'll get loads of good info there. Once you've been through all the posts come back and ask some more. Not being funny matey but it is the best route to begin with.

After a bit of digging through the posts I found most of what I was looking for so thank you. Was a bit shocked that someone said general knowledge of the RFA is 90% of the interview. Although no one seems to update their thread after their interview :/

I guess only my last questions stands. How has RFA life been for people serving or that have served? Threads with that question seem to be stock piled with bitterness and sarcasm, which I'm unsure if that's a good insight of the life or if it's just a minority on here. I have heard the RN can be an amazing career path from people who have served but I've only ran into one person from RFA and he was still an apprentice.
 
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Klanky67

Lantern Swinger
I am going through the process of joining. I did 7 years RN many moons ago now I'm looking to go back to sea. There was a saying then that probably stands now "Jacks never happy unless he's dripping" Yes I know RFA aren't Jack but with the small amount on here I get the perception that it's true. I've been on board recently and spoke to some apprentices and there trainer. They were loving it and they were mixed ages. Life's what you make it shippers. all I know is the more I look into it the more I realise it's the right career choice for me.
 

exJenny

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
As advised, use the search function. I'm on leave and going back to my pint.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
How has RFA life been for people serving or that have served?


I know an RFA Chief Engineer who started as a motorman. Another acquaintance is a Chief Officer and Advanced Command and Staff Course Graduate at about 33. He'll be a Captain by 40. He was a sprog 3/O when I first knew him.

The RFA is a meritocracy - although the odd bitter twisted hostile useless jealous idle bastard sneaks through- or grumbles constantly, festering, trying to turn everyone else against the RN.

The best RFA officers and ratings I know are those who make the RN think; fcuk me, these guys know their stuff and are better than us at doing our stuff.

As for what life in the Crew Bar is like, no idea.



 

Wulver

Newbie
As advised, use the search function. I'm on leave and going back to my pint.

You left your pint to advise me to do something I already stated I did with success? That's not very good drinking tactics.

@Seadog It was actually two lads doing an Apprenticeship with the RFA I ran into, although I only really spoke to one (heard the accent). Both were great lads up for a laugh (maybe they should give some drinking tips to @exJenny) and after what he said it is what got me interested in the RFA over RN, so it's good to hear that attitude doesn't die once your apprenticeship is over.
 

Sophia Johannah

Midshipman
I'm in at the moment as a Chef but the most of general questions are the same. They'll ask you the names of ships, what each class of ship does, they'll ask about the Tide Class, and they'll also ask how many people roughly would be aboard a ship. They also ask what the RFA do and if you know of any current operations that are happening and also, they'll ask about your job and how much you know about it, such as how long the training is, what BSSC involves etc.
 

exJenny

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
There are not many serving RFA members on this forum. Each of us has had different experiences of our time in the company. A lot of the lads I know do their 4 months on and spend the 3+ months on leave not wanting to think of work and certainly wouldn't be on here.
Whilst some trips are great foreign runs, there are going to be trips where you don't leave UK waters. My last trip I didn't leave the wall other than to move from one side of the jetty to the other and back again.
The crew bar can be a cracking place sometimes, depends on the sociability of the crowd, ships programme etc. There's times it'll be dead and you'll only get a couple of people popping in to grab a can of pop before heading back to their cabin. If you're alongside then most folk tend to get up the road, especially if foreign, to get Wifi or just to get off the ship. Some lads take an Xbox or similar, away with them and never leave their cabin outside of the working day. You live your life as you want to. If you are only drinking the odd can of pop, you should still help with the bloody beer lift. Those softies don't come aboard and get themselves in the fridge by themselves.
There will be those who've been in years and will say it's changed for the worst and drip about it becoming more and more like the RN, us ex-RN are never popular in some folks eyes, but times change and so has the requirement of the RFA. I hold my hands up to dripping like fcuk about the job sometimes, but having done my time in civvy street, I know it's a good job to have, I joined at the right time and I'd be a fool to walk out on it despite the lack of promotion prospects.
You have to keep in mind that there is no guarantee of a permanent contract on completion of your apprenticeship if you are successful. The number of ships we have has reduced, the new Tide boats are replacements, not an increase to the fleet.

Good luck with it all though.
 
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WelshJaffaCake

Lantern Swinger
Whilst some trips are great foreign runs, there are going to be trips where you don't leave UK waters.

I am wondering what can of things members of the catering department do on trips within the U.K? I assume you're referring to shore deployment.
 
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exJenny

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Same as when not in UK waters. Crew still needs feeding, cabins need cleaning, decks need mopping....
 

exJenny

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Take ships into refit, take ships out of refit, work ups, training, support naval training, FOST tanker...
 

Bluebird79

Lantern Swinger
My experience of life in the RFA has been good so far. Coming up to the three year mark in the company and it's gone by very quickly. Of my 13 months sea time, 7.5 of it has been spent in the UK. 3 in a dock yard and 4.5 as FOST tanker + going through FOST as well. As has been said, it's what you make of it - the people make or break a trip.
 

Paddy Boy

Midshipman
Considering applying to RFA would be taking a big pay cut initially and I realise there is no guarantee job at the end of an apprenticeship but are was wondering if anyone knows any idea of the people who are retained on completion of training
 

WelshJaffaCake

Lantern Swinger
Considering applying to RFA would be taking a big pay cut initially and I realise there is no guarantee job at the end of an apprenticeship but are was wondering if anyone knows any idea of the people who are retained on completion of training


The apprenticeships contracts were introduce late 2014 so the first lot of people on it will be just finishing end of this year so no one knows how many they keep or why. The optimists among us believe if you are not shit at the job and keep your nose clean then you will stay on.
 

WelshJaffaCake

Lantern Swinger
That's great thanks ! will still proceed with my application to see how things pan out

What you applying for?

Another thing to note what a lot of people here say is if you got a family, a other half or anyone who depends on you financially the 13g year is not going to be enough.
 
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