News

OTL in partnership with ASC awarded defence force pilot selection contract

September 2015

For the third year OTL supplied the psychologist for the assessment of cadet applicants for an e.u. national air force. OTL also helped design the process. This very high profile national competition is open to applicants from school leavers to career changers in their late twenties. It represents one of the most sought after opportunities both to serve the country and also avoid the costly route of self financing into flying.

Not surprisingly given the sheer volume of applicants, there was a requirement to screen applicants on ability. So a rigorous, job relevant, cost effective screening process was devised. This involved both on-line and face to face assessment. As well as various aspects of ability a candidate’s psychomotor abilities were also explored, this included tracking tasks and decision-making under load.

Those surviving the part of the process were then assessed face to face in the ‘psychologist’s interview’. Here the OTL psychologist explored among other things, resilience, leadership (as the expectation was the successful applicant would become an officer), and motivation. The issue of motivation was particularly relevant. Many of the difficulties had been with candidates who were attracted by the glamour of flying but who had not really thought through whether being in the military was right for them.

The interview was deepened by applicants having completed Aviator, the personality test based developed by our sister company Tests-Direct.

The OTL psychologist then briefed the final panel, focussing especially on where they needed more reassurance from their interview. At the end of the panel interviews the OTL psychologist contributed to the final decision-making. We are proud of our contribution to this process. It is particularly humbling to meet young candidates who invariably combine exceptional levels of ability, with a marked humility and a very strong sense of duty. It is always a privilege to meet these candidates.