I hear a lot about the BoR being like a job interview – even in my own unit – but, to be honest, no job interview I ever had was anything like my various Boards of Review. The only similarity was that, for my Eagle BoR, I was talking to a bunch of folks I’d never met before. Otherwise, I was talking to various members of the troop committee, and I knew most of them from various interactions in the troop context. They were pretty genial, and weren’t trying to figure out whether or not I was worth the investment of hundreds of hours of training.
Most job interviews I’ve had weren’t really like an SMC, either. Our SMCs when I was a youth were far more conversational, and might have been more like a performance review (e.g. “What are your goals for the next quarter?”) than an interview.
I have far more informal conversations with the junior engineers in my office than formal ones. I think that becoming comfortable with having an informal conversation with senior people (whether older, or just with more experience in the field) where you’re sharing your concerns, asking for/offering advice, or suggesting alternatives/improvements is a really important skill. I try to make it clear that the scouts (or our junior engineers, as the case may be) can always come to me with a concern, even if it’s a concern about something I did, because that’s part of the way that we improve as a team. That is very much the way I see (and try to implement) the scoutmaster conferences that I provide.