Young Candidate

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Potential_Submariner, Jan 6, 2010.

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  1. Hi, I am new to the site and have searched for a relevant answer to my question but I cannot seem to find one so here goes:

    I just got back from my pre AIB interview with a marginal pass. I did well in all areas bar two. The first was my lack of knowledge of Naval ships and operations (I misidentified a ship and could not name the ship that is stationed in the Falklands), however this can be rectified with some serious revision. The second (and the one I require some advice on) is my examples of leadership/ challenges I have faced.

    If I explain a little about myself maybe it will help potential advisers understand my dilemma. I am only 18 and fresh out of doing my A levels. For most of my school career I was set on university and therefore did everything one would do to be a good candidate for that. I was chair of debate club, the head mentor, chair of the school council, etc. However I have had very little experience of any uniformed or sporting activity ( I was in the air cadets once but never rose to any position of responsibility). As for challenges I have faced none of any importance, whether this is because I have managed to avoid them or have led a relatively care free life is beside the point, I have no examples.

    I quizzed the Captain on what examples he gave when he joined at 18 and he listed enough to make me feel suitably small and worthless. Unfortunately I never had the money to go on any major school trip and I never joined any sports club as I focused on my academic studies.

    I know I have some natural leadership skills, I often led team projects at school amongst my other previous examples and I am very dedicated to getting in I am just at a loss how to present myself as anything but young and willing. Any advice on the matter would be gratefully received.


    P.S I am not above taking a friend to the middle of some forest or moor, breaking his leg, tearing up the map and personally navigating our way back by the stars whilst carrying him if this is what it takes.
  2. OK potential Sir, I think if you re-read your post you will find the answer staring you in the face.

    You say you have natural leadership skills and have often led team projects, what more do you want? The Navy doesn't expect you to be Admiral Nelson straight out of the gate, they do however expect you to be able to articulate your experiences and show examples of how you led, think back to a specific project, how you directed the team, did you assign different people tasks, coordinate their activities, overcome obstacles/challenges within the project? This is the type of thing your AIB was looking for. Do you think you were over thinking a straightforward question and expecting a Ramboesque answer to be the one required?

    Hope this is of some help, I'm sure someone who has gone through this process recently will be able to offer additional advice.

    Good Luck.
  3. Alacrity, thanks for your reply.

    What you said is what I thought when I went in and I did give these examples. However he said these were all school related and that I would need to produce more at the AIB, maybe I did not articulate myself well enough or maybe I had a particularly hard officer to please ( I suppose the former as he was very helpful). Also I still have the problem of a challenge I have over come. My examples of a showdown in the school council and my going from unfit and overweight to passing naval expectations do not quite cut it apparently. However much I would love to be able to give a 'Ramboesque' account of my heroic deeds I do realise this is unrealistic but hearing the Captain recall the expedition of some mountain he led at the age of 16 really did unsettle me.
  4. Just a thought.

    Have you concidered deferring from the AIB for a year and doing a voluntary scheme abroad which will help you grow as an individual and show you in a better light for your AIB when you get around to it.

    Something like World challenge expeds, Duke of Edinburgh etc. Or you could take some time out and work in an outdoor activities centre as a volunteer for a season which again will teach you some really useful communication skills.

    Basically it sounds like this would be a good grounding for you when you and you have loads of time to re-apply for the RN.
  5. Although my AIB was over 40 years ago, I can see what he is getting at. You have kept within your comfort zone rather than going out a seeking challenges. Don't wory not every one expects you to lead expeditions but they do want to see you challenge yourself a bit. As well as representing the school in two sports I had worked my way through scouts CCF and into the RNR, and had also been to Outward Bound School. Part of the problem may be you are not stepping forward and taking part enough at AIB, remember you are being watched all the time, all the staff will be reporting on you, not just the board. Now the sporty parth is not for every one but there are other arenas where you can get actively invoklved, charity work is always a good one for example.
  6. This is something I am considering if I am a marginal fail at AIB. However I feel confident that I can shine in the other areas of the AIB hopefully enough for them to forsake my perceived lack of experience. Personally (and I am sure all potential officers say this) I have a strong belief that I can do the job and that I have the relevant potential to be developed, it is just a matter of showing them that. I am confident in all other areas that I can show them but I do not want to delay my career for a year due to lack of example.

    I do have a further question though. Do people believe that it would be worth explaining what I have done but explaining that although I have no large examples I believe the others show I have the potential anyway OR just explaining what I have done with confidence without explaining it.
  7. I think the guys who have commented on your predicament including myself seem to be singing from the same songsheet in as far as it sounds like you ARE a good potential candidate but your not shining in the areas that are important such as taking charge and making important decisions. Lets be fair here you are a young man and as has been stated the AIB board arent looking for supermen who are good at everything but a well balanced individual who can step up when there is a need.

    I stand by my last comments citing that perhaps a bit of time away working on leadership courses would do you the world of good.

    Seeing as your from South London like myself have you concidered the RNR at HMS president to demonstrate commitment etc??
  8. All the advice here has been great and I have looked at things such as the RNR as well as the larger charity schemes. However the only problem is the fact that I have a relatively short time to AIB for these projects. There is one thing I have thought I could do though.

    My (decesed) brother has a charity that my mother does a lot of fund raising for and I have taken part in the past. I could plan and lead a fund-raiser for this such as a sponsored hike, run (not likely looking out the window), swim etc and get people on board. This is something that is achievable in the time restraints and is similar to other things that have been suggested. I could also still break my friends leg and carry him to the finish, unless we swim of course.

    Any thoughts on this idea would be much appreciated.
  9. I do not think you can get your AIB score adjusted. Hopefully Ninja S will be able to confirm this for you. I think there is a set time before you can resit and you will have to wait and see if you get selected till then. In the meantime prepare for a second AIB in case you need to, use what you have learned both about the AIB and yourself to ensure that if you have to resit you pass with a high score. If you resit they will look back to see what you have worked to change, if it is nothing it will not stand you in good stead what every your own opinion of yourself is, even if you are right. Interviews are about proving you are the right man.
  10. Sounds like a good idea. Just concider the options put to you in case your AIB isnt a success on the first occasion.

    Good luck with it
  11. you can also go and try getting involved with the cadets again giving a hand. there's always plenty of leadership tasks to be involved in and possibility of organising tournaments or events not massive things but all going to show you organising and leading people on your AIB.
  12. I work as an A.I with my local army cadets mainly running the adventure training stuff. Its quite rewarding even though the kids can seem ungrateful at times and has helped me get my confidence back after a long and tenuous illness!!!
  13. I did a night Navex with them before christmas and basically kept walking off in a different direction to confuse them but get them to trust their compass bearings. Great fun except when they failed to bring kit to change into after the walk and messed up the juniors hard work cleaning the unit before shutdown. I had a quiet word with them and it was sorted. No need to shout!!! 8)
  14. same mate was the boating officer before i left tought the little cretins sailing power and kayaking.
  15. I'm going to provide a completely different take on this:

    I passed my AIB 2 days before my 16th birthday, and was awarded a VIth Form Scholarship and University Cadetship* from that single result. I had never lead anything in my life, I had taken part in things (local brass band (I grew up in Yorkshire!), school plays etc) but had no major, starring role in any of it. I had decent results (including predicted GCSEs!) but not enough to get me to Oxbridge. In essence, I was fairly 'normal'; I did do well on my AIB, but I mainly contribute that to the fact I was bloody-minded enough to brief an entirely different plan to everyone else after the PLAN-Ex discussion.

    What is the point of this mini-bio? The AIB is about potential, and they are looking for the raw material they can make into a mid-seniority Lt RN or Capt RM. They most assuredly are not looking for the finished article! In sum, relax, don't try too hard and let you be assessed at the AIB. If you are not what we're looking for, then at least you know, but you are only 18 and have lots of growing (mentally and physically) to do. All this other stuff is well and good, but if you are only doing it to 'look good' on your AIB CV, then you need to have a word with the 'integrity' part of you.


    *Now defunct - the RN paid for me to go to Uni, and also paid me a wage whilst there. In an average year, there were between 3 and 5 awarded per branch.
  16. But to be balanced with that Stix, is the thing I hate most about this board - people obsess over what they should, or shouldn't do, at the AIB, almost to the point of dis-appearing down a hole of mutually contradictory advice and frankly b*llocks.

    Yes, the AIB may be looking for things, but looking around my Wardroom, I can only see 'normal' people, who have done 'normal' things as opposed the 'uber-candidate' that people on here are so intent on becoming. Perhaps because I'm the comfortable position of being an Officer, and passed my AIB nearly 13 years ago, I'm much more of the belief that 'talent will out'; not everyone deserves to be, or has the ability to be, a Naval Officer. If we were honest with that fact, whilst balancing this with a positive and aspiration attitude to the guys/gals coming on here, then perhaps these types of threads will wither away?!
  17. BTW - I would suggest the only SMEs are the Captain's AIB, it's their board after all!
  18. Congrats on getting your Corps commision by the way mate!!! :)
  19. Not an argument, but a discussion!

    Perhaps the potential Officers might want to jump in, offer their opinion....
  20. Yeah, thanks for all the advice but I am worried my OP may have been deviated from. Basically I am not intent on being an uber candidate ( I was joking about breaking my friends leg... kinda) , I want to just be myself. However the RM Captain at my pre AIB interview highlighted a weakness and I am seeking to rectify it. That was all. I have taken on board what people have said and will move forward with it.

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