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  • My RFA SIFT interview...

    I got back from Portsmouth the day before yesterday. It's a really nice place and I'm glad I had a few hours to explore during my stay.

    Back on topic though, I didn't pass my SIFT interview. They gave me some good feedback, apparently I gave great teamwork examples and I had plenty of scenarios to draw on for giving presentations/handling a crowd and I painted a good picture of who I am and what my strengths are... Unfortunately I didn't provide enough good examples of leadership, even though I showed that I understand the principles I was unable to show that I have ever implemented them (mainly because I haven't).

    It seems to me that I have a couple of options now... I can do all of these applications again next year, maybe expand the number of companies I try for or I can aim a little lower and go in as a rating with the RFA. I really want to work at sea but maybe I don't have what it takes to be a leader, or maybe I'm just coming down hard on myself after a rough rejection. The last thing that I want to do though is just give up all together.

  • #2
    Don't put yourself down because of rejection, it's a learning experience and you'll succeed much better next time having come out of it.

    As far as the RFA goes and with the UK armed forces in general they place real emphasise on the fact that they believe 'leaders are born, not made' and I know people applying for the armed forces have been knocked back not because they lack the skills or ability but because they don't have practical experience of leadership, for example... patrol leader in the Scouts, treasurer at the youth club, organising fundraising, mountain climbing expeditions, head boy at school. They have literally been told 'go take charge of something, then come back to us in a year'.

    I would suggest this is what they are looking for. Are you desperate to be an officer? Are you willing to go and do something like this and put it off for a year? Depends how interested in the RFA you are? Is it that side of shipping you are interested in or would you just be happy to be at sea.

    I know someone who was too nervous to go into the RAF as an officer as they lacked the confidence and went in as a rating... while they appreciate learning from the bottom of the ladder and working their way up, they find themselves pretty bored and unmotivated now having realised that actually they probably should have aimed a bit higher. I don't know you though or what your motivations are, this is just an example? I also think there are few officers who have the chance to start out at ratings level these days and it would give you a much better education and appreciation of the wider scheme of things.

    It would also be worth finding out how many ratings do become officers... funding can often limit the opportunities and it's worth finding out if this is actually a real possibility, I know of people in the armed forces on a waiting list who are ratings as there is no officer places for the next two years (more complicated than that but you get the idea). Also they might consider you've bailed out and go for the easier option on not trying again for an officer application.

    Doesn't really matter what I say though, it's your life and your decision. Are you willing to try again in a year? How much do you want to work for the RFA? Is the RFA what you want or are you willing to compromise? Are you willing to gain some practical experience of leadership skills and delay your career?

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    • #3
      Bizarrely enough I was knocked back from the RFA because I'm a dual national (British/Irish citizenship). They said it was a conflict of interest. Total nonsense. I pointed out that I was eligible to join the armed forces so why couldn't I join the RFA. They did not have an answer.

      Apply to other companies and chin up, you'll get there in the end! Best of luck.
      Check out the blog!

      http://www.rudder-nonsense.blogspot.co.uk/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dazandymat View Post
        I got back from Portsmouth the day before yesterday. It's a really nice place and I'm glad I had a few hours to explore during my stay.

        Back on topic though, I didn't pass my SIFT interview. They gave me some good feedback, apparently I gave great teamwork examples and I had plenty of scenarios to draw on for giving presentations/handling a crowd and I painted a good picture of who I am and what my strengths are... Unfortunately I didn't provide enough good examples of leadership, even though I showed that I understand the principles I was unable to show that I have ever implemented them (mainly because I haven't).

        It seems to me that I have a couple of options now... I can do all of these applications again next year, maybe expand the number of companies I try for or I can aim a little lower and go in as a rating with the RFA. I really want to work at sea but maybe I don't have what it takes to be a leader, or maybe I'm just coming down hard on myself after a rough rejection. The last thing that I want to do though is just give up all together.
        I failed my RFA SIFT the first time, went back about 8 months later, resat it and now have my AIB dates for July (: If it's what you want to do, don't give up! Practice what they said you were weak on and keep a positive attitude!

        For the leadership thing, I recommend throwing yourself into local projects and stuff, swing by a college and ask to lead a PT course or something to that effect? Use the principles of leadership that you know and actually implement them!

        Best of luck if you go again.

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        • #5
          Thanks a lot for the input guys, I didn't expect such a wave of support and I'm truly appreciative.

          Right now I am having a good think about what I want to do and why, I think it's difficult to decide when still reeling a bit from the rejection but I thank you all for the comments, I will take them into consideration and, whatever I decide to do, I have no intentions of simply giving up.

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          • #6
            Don't let rejection get you down. Keep applying while momentum is on your side. Rejection is a bitch but you will succeed in the end. Try Clyde Marine Training, SSTG, Maersk, Carnival etc
            Check out the blog!

            http://www.rudder-nonsense.blogspot.co.uk/

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            • #7
              Sorry to hear this Daz, judging from your posts you are a good guy.

              Personally, I know that if I do not get in as an officer then I will try as a rating.

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              • #8
                I applied for the rfa in 2010. Done the AIB and failed. Told to come back in 12 months. They introduces the SIFT interview by the second time so attended this and passed and given a new AIB date. Failed again. Same score as first time. Was told i was literally a couple marks away from a pass. Told to re apply. 3 years later and a lot of stressing out I am now starting as a rating in september. Moral is: dont give up. If its what you want you will get there in the end. Just be prepared to wait and take the knock backs and turn them into positives.

                Sorry about the essay and one long sentence

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