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Tips for Veteran Job Seekers to Ace the Interview

ace the interview

By Debbie Gregory.

You already know your resume set you apart as a veteran job seeker because you have secured an interview. Perhaps your status as a military veteran aided you in this first step, because employers recognize the value of your military experience.

The one thing your military experience may not have prepared you for is the interview process when seeking post-service veteran employment. Polishing your interviewing skills can mean the difference between getting the job and being a runner-up.

Here are some great tips to guide veteran job seekers before, during and after the interview:

Before the interview do’s: Preparation is key. Know your strengths and weaknesses, your interests, and your career goals. Gear your resume to the particular job you’re applying for. Research the people interviewing you, the company, and the job itself. Know what does the company does, how they compare culturally and financially to their competitors, the company’s history, the requirements for the job, and how your experience matches those requirements. Practice interviewing with friends.

During the interview do’s: Arrive early. Offer a confident, firm handshake. Remember that you are, first and foremost, having a conversation. It’s nerve-wracking and highly formalized, but avoid stock responses. Communicate effectively with your interviewer. Mirror his or her communication style. Allow your interviewer to set the tone of the conversation. For example, if the interviewer seems all business, don’t attempt to loosen him or her up with a joke or story.  If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his or her interests. Often personal items on display in the office can be a clue.  If asked a direct question, answer directly. Maintain good posture, eye contact, as steady a voice as you can muster, even if you’re nervous, and a positive attitude.

After the interview do’s: Make sure the interviewer knows that you’re interested in the position, you know you can do the job, and that you will put forth 100% effort. Thank the interviewer for his/her time, and inquire what the next step is. Be sure to get the interviewer’s business card and send a thank-you letter.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Civilian Hiring Managers Value Veteran Employees, but Struggle to Understand Military Culture

Veterans in the workplace

By Debbie Gregory.

 

A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program found that while civilian hiring managers have great respect for veterans and see them as valuable recruits, they struggle to understand the culture.

The study, conducted between 2015 and 2016, surveyed 400 human resource professionals nationwide, as well as 1,000 veterans who have transitioned out of the military in the last five years on their perceptions during the recruiting and onboarding processes.

Hiring managers actively look to hire veterans, see them as ideal employees, and value the contributions they make. Managers listed military experience as one of the top three recruiting priorities for their firms, with 77 percent calling their skills an important addition to the work force. Eighty percent ranked finding employees with higher education degrees that same level of importance.

With that said, they also express some concerns about hiring veterans. More than half of the hiring managers surveyed said they had little to no understanding of military rank and structure, making it difficult to match veterans’ experience with appropriate jobs.

The study, which included interviews with 400 hiring professionals and 1,000 veterans, found that business leaders have helped make their corporate culture more welcoming to transitioning troops in recent years.

The Merck Foundation funded the study.

The study also revealed that HR managers overwhelmingly see veterans as more disciplined, collaborative and hard-working than their civilian counterparts.

While less than 25 per cent of managers think their workplaces have negative biases against veterans, nearly half of the veterans surveyed said they have faced negative attitudes and treatment in civilian jobs.

Retention still seems to be an issue. Veterans who left a job within a year of being hired cited difficulty relating to colleagues and the company’s operations and culture.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.