How to Get a Job at the Air Force
As a major branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Air Force takes the interviewing and hiring of new employees very seriously. On average, the Air Force hiring process takes about 70 days to fill civilian job openings. The Air Force also hires for military jobs, primarily through recruiters, internal promotion, and the Air Force Academy. Whether applying for Air Force jobs as a civilian or a current member of the military, applicants need to successfully navigate a series of interviews or other forms of assessment. The exact nature of the Air Force interview process typically depends on the status of the job seeker.
Expect Multiple Interviews
Civilians applying for Air Force jobs often encounter a formal, traditional interview process similar to hiring procedures used at large, private corporations. Applicants frequently go through multiple rounds of Air Force interviews, which tend to be conducted either one-on-one or by a panel of hiring officials.
Air Force Interview Questions
Interviewees regularly face questions like, “Do you feel passionately about the Air Force?” and “Why do you want to work in the Air Force as opposed to the private sector?” Other commonly used Air Force interview questions are scenario-based and ask prospective employees how to deal with certain people or situations regularly encountered on the job. Other interview questions, such as, “Can you think of anything that would obstruct your ability to fire a weapon?” and “Are you willing to die for your country?” remain military-based in nature.
In contrast to the evaluation of civilian job seekers, Air Force interviews for military jobs serve mostly as a cursory step in the hiring process, as most applicants become qualified and eligible to work automatically. The interview process for military job seekers thus consists primarily of completing the necessary paperwork, taking tests on information specific to the position, undergoing a battery of physical examinations, and passing a range of drug screenings. Many candidates initiate and complete the Air Force hiring process with the assistance of a recruiter or another valuable inside source, thereby diminishing the need for lengthy interviews.
Depending on the position desired, the Air Force hiring process for civilians may also include academic testing or physical fitness assessments.
United States Air Force Recruiting Assistant Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
U.S. Air Force Recruiting Assistant: As a first-year, 100 Cadet, I was appointed to the position of UCLA Recruiting Assistant, which means I go to all recruiting conventions and different events we may have in public. So, a couple of us go to these events in uniform and represent our detachment. As a first-year, I was contracted, which means I received a scholarship and I received enlisted pay, in order to train to become an officer. So, after I graduate in four years, I will commission as a Second Lieutenant. My job entails me to talk about the basics of what ROTC is at a college. It provides the training to become an officer while you’re also having a normal college experience at the same time. And, I’m in charge of helping my commander recruit incoming freshmen and younger.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
U.S. Air Force Recruiting Assistant: It’s very professional. While we’re at a university, there are many non-military influences that are around us. Uniforms and regulations and the way we go about doing our jobs are strictly military. We do our best to be professionals in all that we do and pretty much exude the Air Force core values, which are “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self,” and “Excellence in All We Do,” which are perfect to be found in any job, but it is our duty to exude those core values.
Interviewer: What qualities do you look for in an applicant?
U.S. Air Force Recruiting Assistant: Hunger is a great thing to look for. There are many young adults that are looking for a way to serve their country, and many of which have talents like I did coming into college, that want to use them for something greater than the private sector. They can use their talents in a way that protect the people they care about and defend the freedoms of this country. Our job is to say there is a way to do that as well as go to a university at the same time. If you’re unable to pay for it, and you’re good enough to earn that position, that job, Air Force ROTC will give you a scholarship to come to university and work in Air Force ROTC towards commissioning as an officer after four years.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
U.S. Air Force Recruiting Assistant: It’s a lot of moving around. While your job is secure, you don’t really have to worry about being fired the next day, if you’re doing your job correctly. There is a lot of moving around – you don’t know where you’re going to be next, necessarily. You have to be willing to adapt to different environments, and again, depending on what job you’re in, in the military, in the Air Force, it could be dangerous, depending on the political or social situations you’re in different parts of the world. You have to be willing to adapt and trust that the chain of command and everything you’ve been trained with is going to protect you and allow you to do your job effectively.