By Debbie Gregory.
For many Veterans looking for their first post-military jobs, much of the process is new to them. There are workshops and resources for employment searches, and resume writing to assist with those aspects of the job hunt. There are also resources available for practicing for interviews. But even with preparation, interviews can be the most intimidating portion of the job search. That is why it is important that Veterans do all that they can to present themselves as capable and confident to prospective employers.
It is crucial that Veterans research the company they’re interviewing with, and be familiar with the company’s mission statement and values. It also goes without saying that Veterans should be prepared to answer questions about the industry and the position they’re applying for, in a manner that displays their capability to fill the company’s need. But what many Veterans may not be aware of is the need to ask questions at the end of the interview, in order to convey their interest in the company and desire to win the position.
In the military, asking too many questions was a bad thing. And most Veterans who held leadership roles would argue that, in fact, there is such a thing as a stupid question. But asking well informed and targeted questions at the end of an interview can mean the difference between getting hired or continuing the job search.
When you’re researching the company, its policies and values, if you should happen to come up with legitimate questions that were not addressed, ask them. These questions will show that you have done your homework.
One of the best questions you can ask is something along the lines of, “Is there anything about me or my resume that I can clarify for you to make hiring me an easy decision?” A question such as this will show your interviewer that you are truly interested in getting the position. It can also get you talking more about your strengths, abilities and experience.
Another question to ask your interviewer should be something like, “Can you provide me with an area that the company needs improvement in?” If in researching the company, you find an area that company acknowledges a deficiency, you could specify that area, and ask how the company is approaching that fix. Asking these types of questions shows your interviewer how you are already thinking of ways to make their company better. Be prepared to offer a solution, but only if you are asked for one.
One last question that Veterans should ask during the interview is, “What does your ideal candidate look like and what can I do to become more like them? This question is a good one for multiple reasons. First, it shows your desire to win the position. It also exhibits your willingness to improve yourself. Furthermore, if for some reason you don’t get hired for this position, an answer from the interviewer could provide you with useful information to land the next job.
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Military Connection: Questions Veterans Should Ask at Interviews: By Debbie Gregory