Selection Interviews

Like many employers, we like to meet candidates face to face to find out more about them. It’s also a chance for you to meet our staff and ask any questions you or your parents may have about the benefits, responsibilities and potential risks of joining the RAF.

The prospect of being interviewed can be a bit daunting for some people. The best way to overcome any nerves is to be as prepared as possible, there won’t be any trick questions! Think of your interview as an opportunity to sell your skills and experience to us. Be confident and honest and you’ll do fine.

Getting to know you

In most cases, your first interview will take place at your local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO). Dress smartly and bring along your CV (if you have one), details of any qualifications you may have and jobs you’ve done so far.

We’ll probably talk about:

Your family – the interests you share and what responsibilities you have at home.

Your education – what subjects you studied and where, and which ones you were most interested in.

Your work – any jobs you’ve done, including voluntary, seasonal or part-time work. If you’ve undertaken any work experience placements we’d like to hear about those too.

Your leisure time – your special interests and hobbies; what you do in your free time. This might include out-of-school activities, or membership of clubs or societies.

Your interest in the RAF – Why you want to join the RAF and why you’re interested in the job you’ve applied for. We’ll want to know about any contact you may have had with the Armed Forces, and we’ll discuss what you already know about our training and lifestyle. You’ll only be expected to know things that are generally available to the public or that can be found in careers booklets, films or on the internet.

To arrange an interview at your local AFCO, call our careers information line on 0845 605 5555.

Specialist interviews

Some trades and branches require you to undergo a specialist interview or test about the specific career you’ve chosen. Specialist interviews are normally conducted on an RAF base where you can see and experience the kind of environment you’d be working in.

You will usually be interviewed by an experienced specialist and you may need to do a few further tests to confirm your suitability. We’re looking to see if you’ve got the particular skills needed to be successful in the job you’re applying for.

How we test you depends on the job. For example, to join as a Physical Training Instructor, we’ll need to make sure your fitness is of a higher standard than other recruits. The specialist interview may last between one and three days. We’ll take care of your travel costs and accommodation.

Officers, Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Non-Commissioned Air Traffic Controllers

You’ll have a further interview during your time at the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC). Your aim will be to demonstrate your potential to be effective as a member of the RAF team.

The first half of the interview is about what you’ve achieved at school and college; in sports; in your community; at work; and as a cadet, scout or guide. The second half will be about your motivation for joining the RAF – what you know about current affairs and the RAF’s role in the national and international arena. For example, you might be asked: ‘Outside the UK, what world events have caught your attention in the last 12 months?’

The interview, which will last about 45 minutes, will be conducted by two officers.

You’ll be assessed on your:

  • confidence and resilience
  • communications
  • influence
  • teamwork
  • motivation
  • awareness.

Project yourself with self-confidence and give answers that highlight your qualities and achievements. It’s also useful to have a good basic knowledge of news and current affairs, so do your research: news websites, RAF websites and publications, and the Ministry of Defencewebsite are good places to start.