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114FW Try to stay somewhere near the airport. For someone who doesn't know the area, there's not too much to do. The unit: Very friendly, very relaxed. I was surprised at the number of commuters. (Mostly airline pilots, living where there are direct flights to Sioux Falls.) There was a social the night before, where you had the opportunity, should you choose, to meet just about everyone in the unit. The interview: Standard questions. Somewhat shorter interview times (30-45 mins) than other boards, most likely due to the 'getting to know' portion of the social. Feedback should be offered, otherwise it should be no problem asking. 8/13/2008
114FW Interviewed 2009. Drove and stayed at a local hotel within 5 minutes of base the night before the interview. I brought someone along with me on my interview and that helped a lot with my nerves the night before and the morning before the interview. Showed up to the interview about 10 or 15 minutes early. Interview started off with meeting the 4 pilots on the board, all Lt Cols. Interview started with me telling them about myself. How did you make it here in front of us today? What do you know about the UPT training process? What is your greatest accomplishment to date? What seperates you from the rest of the applicants? How do you feel about using the aircraft to it's fullest potential? How would you feel if you were responsible for innocent civilian deaths? Why should we invest 6 million dollars into you? How did you hear about us? Why us? Talked about criminal history (speeding tickets, etc.). Would you be able to leave with a short notice? Does your family/spouse/employer support your ability to leave for 2 years? All Standard questions. No Social. 5/18/2010
114FW Interviewed with the 114th in April 2012. Stayed at a cheap hotel just off base the night before. Had a 0900 interview, showed up at about 0840. They welcomed me at the door and walked me to the interview room. Three pilots on the board. They thought I was at 1000 so I kind of caught them off guard. Sat down at the table, very relaxed atmosphere. They did a good job at calming me down (I was freaking out on the inside before hand). Started with asking me if I had been through a board before, I said no so they told me how the interview was going to go. The first question was the standard "Tell us a little about yourself". Asked me about how I feel about using the F-16 to kill someone. Asked about a time when I found myself in a difficult situation and how I dealt with it. I used a time when I took off from Santa Fe and found myself in clouds, at night, over mountains, ice forming on my 172. Then they asked what I learned from that situation. Asked about my grades (They sucked..i mean really sucked for my first half of college)and what happened. I talked about how I grew up and made a huge turnaround and started making deans list (with the exception of calculus, they got a laugh out of that). They joked about how could I possibly not have a single infraction on my driving/criminal record. I told them I though I had gotten a ticket for an accident a long time ago, but I think they go away after a while. They may have asked me one or two others but I can't remember. They asked if I had any questions, any real questions, not the one or two that most people write down just so they can say they have a them, DON'T DO THAT. I said I didn't have any (A current AGR pilot made me throw away my piece of paper with my two or three questions the day before the interview). Then I thanked them for giving me this incredible opportunity, told them "I really want this job" (direct quote) and thanked them again. Shook hands and was on my way, one of the pilot walked out with me and we talked a little more (he went to school in the same town that I fly skydivers). After that, I got a hold of a crew chief that I knew and he let me tag along with him for the day. Got to watch launches and recoveries, they had two fini flights that day too, ate lunch with everyone and went to the retirement party for the fini flight guys. Got to meet and talk to a lot of the pilots. I must have done something right because I got a phone call around 1700 the next day saying that I had been selected!!! I am living proof that you don't need good grades, or an incredible resume to get selected. Study for you interview, have an idea of how you would answer various questions but don't have them scripted out. Be yourself and stick around. Meet everyone you possibly can (Officers and Enlisted, remember the enlisted guys are the ones making sure your jet is safe)and get a feel for the unit (you have to like it if you want to work there). Don't turn down any invitation and don't be afraid to look stupid, one guy joked with me when I fist walked in "We're not buying whatever you're selling". You are standing out in a good way. The more I was there, the more I wanted the job. I am still in shock that they want me to fly an F-16. 4/15/2012
121FS Interviewed with the 121st last year. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just outside the main gate...DO NOT STAY THERE! Unclean! As far as the interview went, there were 7-8 pilots (ranging from 1Lt to LtCol) in a small office. It was one of those fun ones where they had you sitting in a chair with no desk to hide behind! The questions were pretty standard, asking you why here? why this airframe? how does the spouse (if any) feel about it? These guys didn't ask any of the famous odd-ball questions, everything was very straight forward. Everyone hangs out in the pilot bar before and after the interview. Last year there was a social event following the interview, which was a blast. Great experience to interview there and everyone is offered personalized feedback after the selection is made. Good Luck! 10/13/2009
121FS This unit seemed to bring in almost entirely military members of one sort or another. Even military members with somewhat weak packages were there. Interview by 4-6 pilots Capt to LtCol. They said they would normally have a get together afterward, but had a schedule conflict this year. Book billeting early, they fill up or find a decent hotel nearby. Get the ops desk number before you go, the SQ is behind the flight line fence and you will need to be escorted in. Very standard questions, why here, why f-16, Would you drop us if we got heavies. How you answered seemed to matter more than what exactly you answered. Good luck to all. 2/10/2010
125FW I stayed at the Clarion Hotel Airport Conference Center, within walking distance from JAX. You will probably want to rent a car for driving on/off base and getting meals, but won't need it for extensive driving. The unit: Very friendly, very relaxed environment. The interview: You'll be asked not to bring certain items, i.e., a gift for the bar etc. Questions are pretty standard, with one or two off-the-wall. I was not selected, but offered feedback. Take it, since you won't even have to ask for it. 8/13/2008
132FW 11 interviewed out of 70+ applicatants for possible 2 pilot slots. 6 pilots on board 5 Lt Cols and a Maj. Questions asked: 1.Explain as much as you know about the AMS/UPT/Guard Process 2.What three words would your friends use to describe you? Why? 3.What has been your biggest success to date? 4.What has been your biggest failure to date? 5.Is your girlfriend supportive of your desire to be a viper pilot? Does she know what it means for you to be a fighter pilot (i.e. 2 years of training, TDYs, Deployments, etc.) 9/8/2008
132FW Interviewed on Saturday. Why do you want to be an F-16 pilot? What do you want to do in the wing? What would be the biggest question on our mind if you were in our shoes? What books have you read recently? We kill people, how do you feel about that? What were your strengths and weaknesses of private pilot training? When have you and how do you face adversity? What sports do you like to play? What does your fiance think about 2 years of pilot training? What do you do in your spare time? And like that it was over...Good luck to those who got picked, and to those who will be there next year. If things work out, I will be there too :) 9/18/2009
161ARW This was a pretty relaxed interview. There was a board of 3 people but I've seen them have 7 on the board before. Here are the questions they asked: Tell us about yourself. Life story, not business. How do you feel you will fit in with our culture? What are you career objectives? 6/2/2012
163ARW They now fly UAVs. What a great unit! I interviewed with these guys a couple weeks ago. They were laid back, but very professional. Standard questions like, what are your weaknesses, strengths; what do you do for fitness; what is your idea of officership; what will you do if you don't get this job; tell us about a time when you had to think on your feet; and the popular, tell us about yourself and why this unit/airframe. 7/19/2010

General Interview Tips for Guard/Reserve Hiring Boards

Interviews are usually on Saturdays, during a UTA weekend, but they might not be - we've heard of units holding interviews on Thursdays as well.  Some units just have candidates show up, interview, and leave but others plan more extensive activities - including, say, a social event the night before the interview.  Needless to say, you should avail yourself of any opportunity to get to know people in the unit and to make a good impression!

The interviewing board typically consists of 4-10 members.  To give you a general idea, a board for a C-17 unit included 10 members ranging in rank from MSgt to Lt Col, and included the commander, chief pilot, asst. chief pilot, an Air Reserve Technician, a well-seasoned loadmaster, a recent graduate from UPT, and other key people from the squadron.  Interviews last about 30 minutes.

If you are currently in the Air Force, Guard, or Reserve, should you wear your blues? The consensus on our forums is yes, wear your blues and report in.

Should you send a thank-you letter? It seems that most people don't do this, but the consensus is that if you do so, you should just send one letter to, e.g., the squadron commander, rather than writing a letter to each member of the board.

Think about questions you are likely to be asked beforehand, and be prepared, but don't have canned answers to recite.  Take some time to listen to the full question, think about it, and then give a short response. As one of our users posts: "Nobody is really interested in how you really really really really really wanted to fly since the day you were born for 6 - 9 minutes." Be relaxed, but not so relaxed you aren't respectful of the board. You're looking to strike that elusive balance between confident and cocky.

Questions Asked -- Here are some of the questions reported by interviewees on our forums:

  • Why do you want to fly? Why us? Why this airframe? Why this location? (As one of the posters remarked, make sure to do your homework! Look out for things like BRAC causing a unit to change airframes...)
  • Why hire you? What are your weaknesses/strengths?
  • Would you take an anthrax shot?
  • Give us an example of when your integrity was challenged.
  • Give us an example of a time your judgment was challenged and how did you handle it?
  • If you never fly for the military, what will you plan to do?
  • What kind of civilian job would you have when not with the Guard?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • Do you drink?  
  • What was the most difficult class you took in college and why?
  • If you're currently flying an airframe, questions about systems of that airframe.
  • How much flight time do you have? Follow-up questions based upon your level of flight time or ratings.
  • As for any interview/application situation, if there's something (good or bad) that jumps out of your file (a low GPA, low AFOQT score, etc.), you want to think about how you're going to explain it, what you learned from it, etc.

Got more general tips/interview questions? Click the "Be a Team Player" link to update this content!


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