Preparing for the Interview

Preparing for interview

By Military Connection Staff Writer Joe Silva.

Part 5 of Veteran Employment Series

The most intense component of an employment search is the interview. Veterans are not immune to the terror of being judged and scrutinized. But unlike our non-Veteran counterparts, we have had extensive experience in the field, due to military personnel inspections. Veterans just need to think back to boot camp; standing at attention, for what seemed like forever, while their entire division endured a uniform inspection, complete with an “Irish Pennant” search, boot shine check, and Q&A under-fire from a fearsome looking instructor. As a Navy Vet, I can still remember hearing, “What’s your fifth general order, Recruit?!”

Employment interviews are very similar to military personnel inspections. The employer will judge you based on your appearance, ask you questions, and grade you on your overall performance. Interviewees will need to maintain their bearings and answer the interviewer’s questions with an appropriate response, in a manner that is loud, proud and confident. Because, just like in inspection Q&A’s, if you sound like you are not sure about your answer, even a correct one can lower your score.

Being well informed at an interview shows employers that you are intelligent, capable and serious about working for them. Veteran employment seekers would be wise to research not only the company, but also the position that they are interviewing for.

Company research can be done very simply by searching the prospective employer’s website. Special attention should be made to the company’s stated mission, core values and goals. Take special note, because if a company’s goals don’t coincide with your own, you might not be a good fit with one another. Veterans should try to include their knowledge of the company into their responses, in a way that is genuine, not forced.

Veteran interviewees should research their desired position, including what the duties, qualifications and standard pay include. A great resource for this search is the U.S. Department of Labor’s website for their Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just enter your position or title into the search window from the homepage. Many of the major job search sites also provide some helpful information, including average salary. Just make sure that your region or zip code are used in figuring out wages.

Equipped with the right skills and knowledge, Veterans found military personnel inspections to be a breeze. If Veterans put forth the same effort in preparation, employment interviews can be just as easy.