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So I had my interview yesterday..

ward0043

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My interview went well, they said I had really good answers, and my knowledge of the profession (Infantry Officer) was outstanding. I was told that my strength was my motivation, and character.  One of my weaknesses was my CFAT score, they were only average, so they recommended trying to boost it if I am not accepted when they call back in 6-9 weeks. Furthermore, they told me that I should work on getting official leadership experience.

Questions

1. Does anyone have some practical ways to get leadership experience outside of a manager position at a job? (like coaching, or even the reserves)
2. Does anyone know if they value personal character and motivation over CFAT Scores?
3. Anyone in a similar situation right now!?
 
A

aesop081

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ward0043 said:
2. Does anyone know if they value personal character and motivation over CFAT Scores?

You interview and your CFAT are important and both help set you apart from other applicants. Now that you have completed both, there is not much more you can do until you find out of you are selected or not. There is no magic bullet here. You may have had an outstanding interview but so will other applicants. A low CFAT score will not help your case.
 

Ayrsayle

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Just the way you are wording your statements makes me think you had the same interviewer (laughs - PM me if you remember his name).

Official Leadership Experience is difficult, but not impossible - outside of promotion in your job an area to consider would be volunteering in various organizations. I'm not sure if it had much of an impact, but I volunteered/worked as a climbing coach for years - you might consider volunteering your time as a coach for youth?

Just an idea.

I still have no idea how I did on my CFAT - sorry!
 

abc123

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My situation is similar to yours, but somewhat the opposite. My interview was a bit shaky but my CFAT scores were very good. I had my interview for Infantry Officer in June. My interviewer maintained a very serious tone throughout the whole thing...grilled me pretty hard and challenged a lot of my answers. The level of intensity just kind of threw me off and I buckled a bit. Afterward he gave me feedback and we spoke for a long time about a number of things. He told me I did OK but could have done better - mainly by bringing the intensity and showing more assertiveness toward him. During our discussion, he told me my CFAT score and mentioned several times that it will help me in the selection. I have no idea how a selection board weights various criteria, but my interviewer did tell me not to get too down about my interview and that my CFAT/education/sports history were impressive and should help my overall score.
 

Ayrsayle

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As an added comment - My interviewer was an absolute professional (and next to impossible to read). I left under the impression he was not impressed at all with my interview (and I felt I had done well, but his outward demeanor seemed otherwise).

No panic - this is why they have so many different layers to your application.

I wonder if I can have access to my CFAT scores now that I've been selected...... still no idea about them
 

ward0043

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Ayrsayle said:
I wonder if I can have access to my CFAT scores now that I've been selected...... still no idea about them

My interview was little more casual, at least compared to what you guys (Ayrsayle, abc123) have described. I had a new captain, he was still learning how to interview, so we had a second captain sitting in. We took a break about 3/4 way through, so that the second captain could talk to the interviewer while I was out of the room, it ended up taking over an hour while I sat outside, so when I finally came back in I guess they appreciated my patience and so helped point me in the right direction for self improvement. Which I am taking to heart, I just signed up to volunteer as a coach for a local soccer club, and signing up to volunteer with Big Brothers and Sisters, and am doing some research on books I can find to help me study for when I re-do my CFAT in three months.

Right now i'm working under the assumption that I have already failed, and I'm not going to lie, I got down on myself for a night. But i'm not going to let it keep me down, this is the time in life where you have to fight for what you want, so that's what i'm going to do, not sit on my thumbs crying about it!
 

Ayrsayle

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I was informed of my weaknesses in my application as well - did not stop me from getting a call less then a month later. (Part of the reason I was wondering if we had the same interviewer, as I got a detailed run down regarding what he thought my strengths and weaknesses are/were - I disagreed with him, actually, but that is another story).

It might just be that the "positives and negatives" part of the assessment are a part of the interview process - I figured I was unique in this regard.

Edit - removed some personal experiences from this post.
 

ward0043

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Ayrsayle said:
I was informed of my weaknesses in my application as well - did not stop me from getting a call less then a month later. (Part of the reason I was wondering if we had the same interviewer, as I got a detailed run down regarding what he thought my strengths and weaknesses are/were

Yea it makes sense, how are we supposed to improve if we don't know what we did wrong, or what we lack. I hope it really is less then a month to find out the results, because volunteering comes with it's own time commitments - Big Brothers and Sisters requires a year, and coaching soccer requires a season.
 

lethalLemon

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They don't distribute CFAT scores:

1) They won't help you with anything

2) They should have told you in your interview what trades you qualify for according to your CFAT performance and what areas you didn't do too well in (because very little people know that you can actually re-write your CFAT at anytime - however if you score lower and it's under the threshold for your trade, they can advise to have you transferred to an different MOS that meets your score. If you score higher at a later date - you can obviously upgrade).

3) They don't usually move you on to the medical and interview phase unless you passed the CFAT.

You should already know what areas you struggle in (cognitive abilities, math, speech and literacy etc) and be continually improving on it.
 

Ayrsayle

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lethalLemon said:
They don't distribute CFAT scores:

1) They won't help you with anything

2) They should have told you in your interview what trades you qualify for according to your CFAT performance and what areas you didn't do too well in (because very little people know that you can actually re-write your CFAT at anytime - however if you score lower and it's under the threshold for your trade, they can advise to have you transferred to an different MOS that meets your score. If you score higher at a later date - you can obviously upgrade).

3) They don't usually move you on to the medical and interview phase unless you passed the CFAT.

You should already know what areas you struggle in (cognitive abilities, math, speech and literacy etc) and be continually improving on it.

Purely for personal interest - not to argue for or against anything (I just like to know where I sit). I was told I qualified for all of my selections, and that was about it. In fairness, I suppose that IS all I needed to know, at least as far as my application was concerned. There was no discussion as to what else I qualified for outside of my listed three however - might have been different for others.
 

lethalLemon

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Ayrsayle said:
Purely for personal interest - not to argue for or against anything (I just like to know where I sit). I was told I qualified for all of my selections, and that was about it. In fairness, I suppose that IS all I needed to know, at least as far as my application was concerned. There was no discussion as to what else I qualified for outside of my listed three however - might have been different for others.

Well, it depends on the interviewer. My file manager actually right after my CFAT pulled out a form and highlighted all the trades that I qualified for (the only thing that wasn't highlighted were medical trades and I didn't care for anything in the Officer zone).

They won't give you your score, even for personal interest.
 

Nauticus

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ward0043 said:
My interview went well, they said I had really good answers, and my knowledge of the profession (Infantry Officer) was outstanding. I was told that my strength was my motivation, and character.  One of my weaknesses was my CFAT score, they were only average, so they recommended trying to boost it if I am not accepted when they call back in 6-9 weeks. Furthermore, they told me that I should work on getting official leadership experience.

Questions

1. Does anyone have some practical ways to get leadership experience outside of a manager position at a job? (like coaching, or even the reserves)
2. Does anyone know if they value personal character and motivation over CFAT Scores?
3. Anyone in a similar situation right now!?
What it sounds like it boils down to is, you sound like a good leader but do you have proof?

If not, get some.
 

ward0043

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Nauticus said:
What it sounds like it boils down to is, you sound like a good leader but do you have proof?

If not, get some.

Exactly! I just contacted a local soccer club (who I have experience playing with and refereeing with) to volunteer as a coach. I also am working on applying to Big Brothers and Sisters, there are group things that would allow me to demonstrate leadership.
 

SOES_vet

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ward0043 said:
Right now i'm working under the assumption that I have already failed, and I'm not going to lie, I got down on myself for a night. But i'm not going to let it keep me down, this is the time in life where you have to fight for what you want, so that's what i'm going to do, not sit on my thumbs crying about it!

Good on you for keep chugging along. That is all you can do if you want to keep seeing success.

As a bit of perspective, Officer positions are all fairly competitive and this was expressed to me several times during the application process. After I was sworn in I was able to talk with one of the other Officer candidates and it turned out he is in this 30's, an engineer, and has had successful career in both Canada and the United States working for a major automotive company! If I applied 3-4 years ago I don't know if I would have had enough to get selected.

Keep at it and don't be too discouraged!
 

AERO2012

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ward0043 said:
1. Does anyone have some practical ways to get leadership experience outside of a manager position at a job? (like coaching, or even the reserves)
2. Does anyone know if they value personal character and motivation over CFAT Scores?

I am of the view of CND Aviator that you should wait for the outcome of your application process because it is never over till it is over. However, since you want to activate a plan B, I thought my post could be helpful in that regard. I will rely on the info gathered from the web and through my interaction with the CFRC personnel. I will pause here to underscore our obligation to stick to the facts and not overwhelm this wonderful website with speculations, rumors, sarcasm, and other unnecessary posts. Otherwise, the search engine would have no choice but to deliver results according the Garbage In, Garbage Out principle. For the sake of clarity and to prepare the ground for my suggestions, key terms and concepts are defined in accordance to the well established references and pertinent literature. Relevant references are provided below in support of my post.

- The effect of CFAT score

All applicants are assigned a Military Potential rating (between 1 and 90) once the interview is completed. This rating is based on all the information generated during the recruiting process and is the outcome of a mixture of factors/variables, including the CFAT, leadership potential, military potential, education, education and experience. Mathematically speaking, this ranking is computed by means of standard linear model that assigns a weight factor to these factors/variables. For instance, the CFAT, which is not an evaluation of personal character, nor the motivation, is used to assess an applicant’s competitiveness for the military as well as for the chosen trades. Therefore the lower the CFAT, the harder it will be for an applicant to be selected. In addition, a moderate CFAT limits the choice for the trades.

To improve the CFA skills, a good preparation is needed in the Spatial Ability and the Problem Solving areas of the test. Spatial Ability (or spatial reasoning) is defined as “a test that predicts the ability to work with complex plans by mentally rotating two dimensional representations of three dimensional shapes. It is needed in engineering settings, architecture and interior design.”  I would suggest the following link to explore similar tests of the types of CFAT: http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/tests/spatialtest.htm

To improve the problem-solving abilities, I would propose to take the GMAT computer-Adaptive Test which is available online (http://www.gmatexampracticetests.com/).


- Leadership potential

Leadership often means different things to different people, and the popular literature dealing with this paradigm is replete of confusion and many contradictory definitions. For instance a generic and value neutral definition of leadership is :

Directly or indirectly influencing others, by means of formal authority or personal attributes, to act in accordance with one’s intent or a shared purpose.

To unravel some of the confusion and to move away from traditional definition, the Canadian Forces Leadership Institute (CFLI) defines an effective CF leadership as:

Directing, motivating, and enabling others to accomplish the mission professionally and ethically, while developing or improving capabilities that contribute to mission success.

More specifically, this definition implies that “Effective CF leaders get the job done, look after their people, think and act in terms of the larger team, anticipate and adapt to change, and exemplify the military ethos in all they do. The CF leadership model is a value-expressive model, one that gives shape to the professional ideal of duty with honor.”

Therefore, an understanding of principles and concepts regarding the military leadership is the key to develop a strong military leadership potential. In this contest, I would suggest:

1. Volunteering for the National Defence Cadets Program in your region (www.cadets.ca);
2. Getting involved with volunteer activities through your alumni association;
3. Volunteering for high schools under the “Adult volunteer tutors” program.

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References

Canadian Forces Leadership Institute (CFLI), http://www.cda.forces.gc.ca/cfli-ilfc/introtoleadership-eng.asp

Manual of the Leadership in the Canadian Forces: Conceptual Foundations.
www.cda-acd.forces.gc.ca/cfli-ilfc/doc/dndcon-eng.pdf
 

Intrepidus

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Ayrsayle said:
Purely for personal interest - not to argue for or against anything (I just like to know where I sit). I was told I qualified for all of my selections, and that was about it. In fairness, I suppose that IS all I needed to know, at least as far as my application was concerned. There was no discussion as to what else I qualified for outside of my listed three however - might have been different for others.

Shouldn't you have a good idea of what you got?  When it comes to test you should know you're right.  If you guessed a lot of questions you probably got them wrong, unless you had them narrowed down to 2 possible answers not 4.

I can honestly say that I got 30/30 on the math section.  Very easy questions there.

I've done aptitude tests for apprenticeships and those spatial ability questions troubled me.  I think I got 5-7/15 on the spatial section.

And most of the words in the verbal section were very obscure.  I thought my vocabulary was decent, but the english language is much too broad.  So, 5-7 on the verbal section.  Total score about 40/60.  I doubt that many people score over 50/60 on it.

 

Spooks

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Where do you get leadership experience outside of job promotions, reserves, etc?

I know that question is very daunting when you have tunnel vision and are only thinking of leadership in terms of 'motivating troops to follow you into battle' (and the best answer for that, in my experience, is 'lead by example'). So where have you lead before? Leading can be done in many ways, such as:

- planning and executing various tasks such as planning school dances, organsing decorating for said event, or anything else where you are the initiator
- Boy Scouts, cadets, youth leadership or the like where you are in charge of a group of people
- Sports seemed to be a big one when I was interviewed. Were you a team captain? Did other members of the team look up to you for reassurance or guidance?
- At work, although you may not be in a management postition, did you propose ideas to your boss that would be implemented such as company get-togethers, customer appreciation events, charity sponsorship, etc?
- Did you do anything aside from sitting around or doing solo-activities? Did you convince your neighborhood to all run in a Terry Fox Run together?
- Were you a councillor at a summer camp? Did you have to run and/or plan activiies for the kids? Were you placed in a position of responsibility?
- Did you go out of your way to make changes to something you enjoy? I had trouble finding words for this one, but I was thinking if you helped clean-up the hiking/bike trails you enjoy every spring so that you and others can make use of them for that season?
- Were you put in a position of care over the safety of others? This can be positions like ski-patrol or a lifeguard.

There are lots of ways that you can acquire leadership skills outside of the obvious routes. Most of the time you don't realise they are leadership tasks at first blush. There aren't too many 18yo kids signing up that are managers or junior managers. Not too many reservists sergeants out there either who are 18 as well, yet the CF recruits citizens at that age still. Therefore, there is way that the CF can find measurable leadership potential elsewhere.
 
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