As part of my trip to Hungary this year, which I will eventually make its own post about, I needed a passport and, having previously never had one before, I needed to go for an interview.
At 10:15 on 29/03/2014, I had a passport interview in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England – United Kingdom.
I’ll begin with a little background, as some folks get confused otherwise. To start with, I was born in England from English parents and, as such, I have British/English citizenship. I am eighteen years old and I have never been outside of the UK. I have never, EVER held a British Passport at any point in my life. As a result of this lackofpassportconundrum, I was required to have an interview in order to make sure that I was who I said I was. That is the part that seems to be confusing. People will literally ask me: “Why have you never had a passport before?” And to this I turn around and say: “Because I’ve always been on holiday to Cornwall!” For some bizarre reason, the idea of going on holiday to a destination, wait get this, WITHIN YOUR OWN COUNTRY,, seems to be absolutely mind-blowing.
Anyway, the interview. Prior to turning up on Saturday, I had been online and had a look around to see if I could find out what sort of questions that I was likely to be asked. Wow, was I surprised. There were lists everywhere. Lists of questions, questions of questions. You name it, it was probably there. Needless to say, I was pretty worried that I would turn up, be asked the name of my great-grandfather’s pet hamster (I don’t even know if he had one) only for me to get it wrong (definitely a trick question) and be accused of impersonating myself.
Surprise, surprise. It was nothing like what I had expected. On meeting the interviewer (a very polite and friendly woman), she asked me how I got there (mode of transport, where I had come from stuff like that), she the asked me why I thought they held interviews like the one she was doing. I mumbled an explanation that it was something to do with identity fraud, she told me that I was right and went on to explain why they held interviews for people who had never held a passport before. Then she asked me to repeat my full name and then to spell it out. Next was my address. She explained that this was to ensure that my details were all correct for printing onto the passport and also for posting it to my house. The interviewer asked why I wanted a passport and I answered that it was so I could go on a trip to Hungary in July, as part of a Scouting event. She then asked me personal details such as my mother’s name, what sort of house I lived in, where was the closest shop, if I had any siblings, my father’s name – that sort of stuff. Next she asked about my education, what I was studying at college, where I wanted to go next. Then she asked about my trip to Hungary – EXPLORER BELT 2014 – and my involvement in Scouting and what I was currently doing within Scouting. The half an hour, more like 25 minutes, flew by and, before you knew it, I was there saying goodbye and she was telling me that I would receive my passport in the post during the next 8-10 working days.
That’s this little update and, if anyone stumbled across this looking for passport interview clues, hope this helps!