Six steps to your new career

You've checked your eligibility to serve in the Air Force and chosen a role. Now you are just six steps away from an exciting and rewarding new career.

What happens next?

We'll respond to your application with an information pack and an invitation to attend a Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) Session at your local ADF Recruitment Centre. Make sure you read and understand all the documents we send you.

In preparation for attending the YOU Session you need to:

  • Complete and sign the Application Form. If you are under 18 a parent or legal guardian will have to sign the Consent to Test Form contained within it.
  • Complete and sign the Medical History Questionnaire.
  • Complete and sign the National Police Checking Service Application / Consent Form.

If any of these documents is missing from your information pack please call 13 19 02.

Further reading

Before your YOU Session you should download and read:

Medical Process for Candidates Applying for Entry into the Australian Defence Force Guide to Aptitude Testing for Joining The ADF Back to top

What to bring to your YOU Session

Well before attending, pull all your documents together making sure you've completed and signed the forms (and obtained your parent or guardian's consent if under 18). Also, re-familiarise yourself with the details of the role(s) you're applying for.

The minimum you should bring with you is:

  • Photo ID
  • Completed Application Form
  • Completed Medical History Questionnaire
  • Completed National Police Checking Service Application / Consent Form
  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of secondary and tertiary education records and results
  • If relevant, details of employment history and any trade qualifications
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residency
  • Supporting medical documentation that you may already have related to medical conditions.

If any documents are missing from your information pack please call 13 19 02. If in doubt about how to have documents certified, download our Certification Guidelines.

What to expect on the day

Your YOU Session will consist of three components:

1. Aptitude Evaluation

  • Consists of a general ability or reasoning test, and mathematical ability test
  • Helps determine which position(s) you are most likely to be suited to

2. Medical Interview with a nurse

  • Includes a colour perception eye-test taken without contact lenses (problems in this area may restrict the positions you can apply for)
  • The nurse will also brief you on the acceptable Body Mass Index range of 18.5 to 32.9

3. Interview with a Careers Counsellor

  • Includes questions about your education, fitness level and sporting history and any relevant leadership experience you have
  • Also determines your level of interest in pursuing a career with the Air Force

Towards the end of the Careers Counsellor session you'll be given a Job Opportunity Report listing all the roles you may be eligible to apply for (subject to satisfying eligibility requirements), based on your aptitude test results. Depending on your suitability and level of interest, you may be invited to undertake further evaluation at a later date for some of these positions.

Can't attend?

If, for any reason, you can't attend, it's very important to let us know as soon as possible so that a YOU Session can be re-scheduled. Failure to attend a scheduled session without advising us beforehand will be recorded against your profile.

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Booking your Assessment Session

Following your YOU Session you'll be assigned a Case Manager who will guide you through the rest of the application process. This includes booking your Assessment Session, or arranging extra tests beforehand, which may be necessary for some roles. Your Case Manager will also help you prepare for the Session by running you through a practice interview over the phone, and talking about areas you need to review.

It's important that you are proactive about your application, keep in touch with your Case Manager, return all missed calls from them, and do not expect them to chase you for any missing documents. Your Case Manager cannot book your Assessment Session until they have received all the paperwork requested.

What to expect on the day

Your Assessment Session will consist of three components:

1. Medical Assessment

  • Head-to-toe examination requiring you to dress down to your underwear
  • Assesses your physical fitness and suitability to perform specific duties
  • Identifies any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect your ability to serve
  • Includes tests for flexibility and may include exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups

2. Psychological Interview

  • Asks about various aspects of your life including your educational and employment histories, family circumstances, social and sporting activities, and interest in joining the Air Force
  • Determines how you are likely to cope living within a military environment
  • Checks whether your values and life outlook are compatible with the Air Force
  • Assesses whether you will be effective in your chosen role

3. Defence Interview

  • Provides an opportunity for you to articulate why you want to join the Air Force and demonstrate what you know about the job or jobs you have applied for
  • Assesses your suitability for the position(s) applied for and your ability to withstand the demanding requirements of Air Force service

Preparing for interviews

The Assessment Session is much like any other job interview:

  • Present yourself well and dress appropriately
  • Speak clearly and fluently, as this shows confidence
  • Know your resume and be able to expand on it if asked to
  • Show interest and enthusiasm, as we want to know you want the job
  • Don't be frightened to ask for clarification if unsure of anything, as this shows that your interest is genuine
  • Be really familiar with all the details of the role you're applying for by reading and re-reading the job description
  • Prepare answers for some of the questions you might be asked such as 'why do you want this job?' and 'have you considered how it will impact your family?'

As well as researching this website and that of the Air Force, it's a good idea to speak to a serving member and preferably one who is doing the job you're applying for.

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Who attends an Officer Selection Board?

This stage of the application process is for those candidates who have applied for entry as an Officer. The Officer Selection Board determines leadership potential, the ability to influence and motivate others, and the capability to learn all that is required to become an Officer in the ADF.

What to expect on the day

Officer Selection Boards include:

  • A written exercise
  • An oral presentation
  • A group exercise
  • A practical exercise
  • An interview with a panel

ADFA candidates spend a number of days in Canberra giving them the opportunity to explore the campus and meet potential classmates.

Preparing for the Board

You'll already have carried out plenty of research in preparation for your Assessment Session but it's well worth doing even more for Officer Selection.

  • Learn as much as you can about the Air Force online, by visiting air shows, and by talking to Air Force personnel
  • Familiarise yourself with Air Force air bases and aircraft
  • Read and re-read the job description memorising your duties and the qualities we demand of our Officers

Potential outcomes

At the completion of the Officer Selection Board, you will be advised whether you are recommended or otherwise. If recommended, you will be considered in competition with others to receive a letter of offer. Should you not be successful in obtaining a position based on your competitiveness you will be able to re-apply through DFR for entry at a later date.

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Why take a fitness test?

To operate at peak capability, the Air Force needs you to be physically prepared. You must have a base level of fitness to cope with the physical demands of initial military training and to guard against injury. Then throughout your career, good standards of physical fitness will be necessary for you to effectively carry out operational tasks.

You'll need to take and pass this Pre-entry Fitness Test in the four weeks leading up to your scheduled enlistment.

What to expect on the day

This is the least challenging fitness test you are ever likely to experience in the Air Force. It constitutes our minimum standard for entry so you must be able to achieve the following in order to enlist.

  • 10 push-ups for males and 4 push-ups for females
  • 20 sit-ups (legs held)
  • A shuttle run to Level 6.5.

Ground Defence Officers and Airfield Defence Guards must achieve 15 push-ups, 45 sit-ups and shuttle runs to Level 7.5.

What's a shuttle run?

Shuttle Runs are composed of a number of 20 metre sprints. As the test progresses, the time allowed for each shuttle reduces, so you have to increase your running speed to complete the shuttle in the time allowed. The test begins at a speed just above a quick walking pace and increases to a full running speed by the time level 7.5 is reached. The test to level 7.5 involves 56 shuttles (1120 metres), and takes approximately 6 minutes and 30 seconds to complete.

Find out how to prepare for a shuttle run and adopt the correct techniques for sit-ups and push-ups on the Fitness in the ADF page.

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If you've reached this part of the application process you'll soon receive your official Air Force job offer along with joining instructions.

Your Enlistment Coordinator will organise your Enlistment / Appointment Day. The ceremony is a very proud moment as you become a member of the Australian Defence Force, so we encourage you to invite friends and family along to watch you undertake the official oath or affirmation, to find out more about what lies ahead for you, and to say a proper goodbye.

Before the day you must ensure that:

  • Results from any requested blood tests have been received by Defence Force Recruiting
  • If relevant to your position and included with your Letter of Offer, the Security Pack has been completed and returned

Has anything changed?

It's very important to notify us if, since your interviews and fitness test:

  • You have suffered any illness or injury, or
  • There have been any additions or changes to prescribed medication, or
  • You have been involved in an incident with the police, or
  • You have an outstanding court action, or
  • You have received a conviction or penalty.

A second Criminal History Check will be performed before the day of your enlistment or appointment.

What to expect on the day

  • A final medical check
  • The completion of final administrative procedures
  • The Enlistment or Appointment Ceremony

At the conclusion of the ceremony you will head straight to initial military training to start your exciting new life with the Air Force.

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