This is actually my favorite question to see on a raiding application, both as someone answering the question and as someone reading the response. The question isn't really about the nitty gritty of your class mechanics. Instead, it's about how you as a person think, operate, and play the game.
If I see someone simply say "This is the spec Elitist Jerks says I should be," I will probably ignore the application. I'm not trying to judge the accuracy of EJ's information, because their information is damned good and probably right. Rather, my concern would be that the player doesn't understand their own class mechanics, and is simply parroting a spec. In that behavior, they're likely not to perform up to par, and we're all suffering a big whopping disservice.
But what if that's my answer, really? This spec is the cookie cutter build, and there's not much variation on it. I would answer, "This is the leading-edge build according to EJ; it's built on a few important foundations of my spec, and I've not felt the need to modify it in any way."
What sources of information do you use about WoW?
You should only answer WoW.com, and leave it at that.
Okay, I kid. Most raiders use the same websites: MMO-Champion, Elitist Jerks, Tankspot, WoW.com, just to name a tiny handful.
But I would highly encourage you to also talk about in-game consultation. For example, I use the phrase: "I also constantly update my information with fellow tanks, because I like to be sure I'm getting the same real-world results as they are, inside the game."
Why do you want to join our guild?
This is probably the most important question on the raiding application. It's not because it's necessarily going to be what determines whether or not you're accepted into the guild of your dreams, but because it's going to set a lot of that guild's perceptions about you.
If you overstroke the guild's ego, you'll be perceived as a fan boy. I'll default to the "be honest" admonishment from before. Why did you choose to apply to this particular guild? Did their raid hours line up perfectly with your own? Are their accomplishments impressive, and therefore something you want to also do?
The obviously bad answers include "to get good gear," "I want to kill Arthas," and "I have a crush on your guild leader."
What are your primary professions? Would you consider changing your professions?
Some professions supply incredibly important stat boosts, while others might just be in short supply inside a particular guild. Since these items are listed on the Armory, there's obviously no point in being coy about it.
You should take a moment, though, and say why you chose your professions. It'll provide a little further insight to you as a player, as well as maybe helping the guild understand your choices.
When are you available to raid? How flexible is your schedule?
I can't say how many times I've seen new raiders completely flub this question. I don't understand it. To me, it seems like a fairly easy inquiry to answer, but I constantly see people fib or equivocate their answer. Please, please believe me when I say there's no point in being less than forthcoming.
If you can't make the raids, you don't tend to have a lot of business applying to that raid. If you know you're only going to have partial availability to the guild's schedule, say so completely up front. You never know; they might need a little extra coverage on the nights you happen to be free. But don't lie and set up bad expectations.
What is your age range?
I hate this question. It feels funny to talk about my age when applying to a video game guild, when even a real life company doesn't have the right to ask that question. However, what most people tend to mean is "Are you relatively mature, and able to fit into the group?"
Therefore, I admit that I go off-script on this question. My question would be "I'm a 30-something adult who works a regular day time job, I do some internet writing on the side, and am married with puppy. However, when new content drops, I tend to be online non-stop until I feel like I've mastered it." I try to describe that, while I'm fully dedicated to the guild, I also have a real life.
The whole "real life'" thing has a lot of funny connotations to any player who has previous baggage with other raid members not showing up, since "omg real life" tends to be the go-to excuse. Therefore, I spell out that while I have other obligations, I tend to be pretty thorough until everything's on farm.
The most important thing when applying to a new guild is that you need to be honest and thorough. Take the time to spell out what you mean. Instead of "I want to see content," say that "I'm looking for further challenge than the environment in which I currently play." Don't equivocate; if you're going to have scheduling challenges, be upfront and honest about that.
Good luck apping out there, folks. I hope you get in.
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