Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liaison Officer Interview

I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire
-Psycho Killer - Talking Heads

The formal interview with The Major (my Liaison Officer) was today. I messed up the time zones, I thought I was an hour behind when it was actually 2, which put the interview at 7 am. I was awake at 5:40. It lasted about 2 hours, with a brief interruption thanks to my almost uncharged cellphone.

The Major called my cellphone, which I wasn't expecting. In fact, I was going to turn the thing off to avoid interruptions. Even worse, halfway through one of my answers, the damn thing's battery died. Halfway through the interview. I had to look frantically through my e-mail to find his number and call him back (on the normal phone).

Some of the questions were, as he put it, canned questions, others were his own. TM means The Major made it up, C means it's canned. It's easy to tell the difference, and the ones he made up give more insight into the candidate than the others, which were the kind of questions anyone would expect in a similar interiew.

How would your best friend describe you (TM)?
She thinks I'm insane, I warn her it's contagious. Actually, I didn't really answer that one, but I sent her a message asking her to describe me, and I'll e-mail her answer to The Major. One answered back: "Independent, friendly, like to accomplish the goals she sets herself. Eccentric." The others haven't answered (at 9am on a Sunday, they probably aren't awake)

What do you think being an officer means (C)?
Responsibility, being in charge of other people, giving orders and having them followed. If anyone messes up, it's your fault as much as (if not more than) theirs.

What's your strongest point (C)?
Math, writing. I like to write. I like math. My future, though, is definitely in engineering.

What's your weakest point (C)?
Definitely the physical.

What's something you really regret and how would you re-do it if you could (TM)?
My answer: not taking advantage of summer vacations to study, work out, do something useful.

This is true, but a truer answer is: We had a really hard physics test. Students were saying they'd be happy if they got over a 50 (pass grade is 70, scale 0-100). I said I probably got an 80. One of the smarter students laughed, a lot. Then told everyone else what I'd said and they laughed. He got the test back, graded with something like a 50. I got my test back: 85. I gloated, and might have rubbed it into his face. He congratulated me sincerely. I felt like a complete and utter rat for gloating. I wish I could go back and be less petty. On the other hand, he's beaten me on every test since then. Serves me right.

I considered giving this answer, but for some reason didn't feel like I should. It's a bit hard to explain, and inconsequential.

He told me a bit about his job. He was deployed and described that, as well as what it's like to be in the Air Force. Apparently, only something like 5 other candidates are applying from Central and South America. I bet we're all vying for the coveted Vice-Presidential nomination. Almost related: he usually talks to the candidates in person up to 5 or 6 times before the actual interview. This is the only time I've actually spoken to The Major.

He also told me about an interesting web site: Air Force Times, and he'll send me some more links later, which I'll post as I get.

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