There are a couple of givens–requirements without which you will not succeed at a congressional interview:
- Be sincere. Let the committee see who you are and make a decision. A Military Academy is a big decision. If something comes out that excludes you–but you were honest–it might be the right decision. Trust the process. No one will be out to get you.
- Be prepared. Are you prepared physically, scholastically, mentally, medically. They’ll want to know. They’ll have your file and will know. Make sure you’re not wasting their time.
- Know what it means to apply for and be accepted into the Naval Academy. Understand the demands, the rigor, the expectations and the commitment you are signing on to. Know what you’re getting into and that it’s the right move for you.
- Know you can succeed in one of the toughest schools in the country. Few Universities require a physical and medical commitment as well as scholastic success. All the Military Academies to. Be absolutely sure you can succeed in this environment and communicate it to the committee. It’ll take more than words–lots of positive body language to back up your verbal.
- Be committed to the success of your country. Patriotism and loyalty aren’t trite words at Service Academies. Believe them and adopt them as yours.
If you get through this bullet list, here are some of the questions you may be asked by the committee:
- Why do you want to go to the Naval Academy
- What are your alternatives if you do not get into the Naval Academy
- Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years
- How are you going to handle the pressure of the Academy
- How are you preparing physically for the academy
- Tell us what you think of (a current event)
- What sparked your interest in the Naval Academy
- Who would you most like to be
- What is leadership, and what makes you think you can be a leader
- How have you handled failure and stress in your life
- What are your best and worst characteristics
- What do you know about the honor code?
Here are questions that the applicant in Building a Midshipman was asked. Print out the sheet and write your answers next to each question:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB and Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer.