The Actual Interview
Veteran employment seekers should arrive at their interviews on time, looking sharp and feeling confident. If you have researched and studied the company and the position, the interview should be a breeze.
Traditional interviews are one on one, where the boss, hiring manager or recruiter asks you questions.
But in order to save time, many companies have now moved to conducting group interviews. In group interviews, several interviewers question you at once. Questions can come from any interviewer at any time, and each member will evaluate you. In a group interview, be sure to always address the interviewer asking the question, but try to maintain eye contact with several members of the group while answering questions.
There are also observational and performance based interviews. These types of interviews are often used when it is a prerequisite for a job candidate to have the necessary skills or knowledge in order perform the job. The interviewers may ask you questions that probe how well you have dealt with situations and challenges in the past. Interviewers may call on you to give a demonstration of proficiency in desired skills. It is for these reasons that résumés should be truthful and honest when discussing previous work experience.
It doesn’t matter which kind of interview you have, the same basic principles apply to all interviews. Here are a few tips to help you with preparing for your interview:
- Relax- Breathe. Remember that your interviewer is just a person, and probably not half as intimidating as your boot camp instructors or your former E-7’s.
- Sell them on YOU- Think of yourself as a brand. Figure out how this company needs you and sell the interviewer on how they can’t go on without you. This goes beyond just stating your qualifications.
- Be enthusiastic- This cannot be faked. You must find something about the company or position that you would truly be excited to come to work every day for. Tell the interviewer specifically what you are excited about. They want people who want to work for them.
- Be Remembered- Stand out from the crowd. Without dressing flashy or gaudy, use your personality and charm to impress the interviewer. Avoid using cookie-cutter phrases about being a “hard worker” or a “go-getter” by using action words to describe your work and your work ethic.
- Be Aware- Know that you are being judged by how you look, not just what you say. Sit up straight, avoid frowning, make eye contact (without staring), don’t be afraid to talk with your hands (it helps express your enthusiasm, and clenching your hands makes you look nervous), and again, don’t forget to breathe while you are speaking. Your tone can hurt you if you sound scared or nervous.
- Be Honest- As a Veteran, you have no need to lie to make a hiring manger like you better. If you are found to be dishonest, during or after an interview your credibility with the company will be shot. Along with this, you don’t have to divulge any negative information about yourself unless you are specifically asked.