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5 Tips on How to Successfully Pass a Job Interview Being a Veteran

5 Tips on How to Successfully Pass a Job Interview Being a Veteran

When you’re on your way to make the transition from the military to the civilian sector, things are not easy for you. Everything is different. You were used to discipline. You had things planned. Now, people tell you to relax. When you attend an interview, the hiring managers want part of your personality. “Military” behavior can make you look stiff.

How do you pass a job interview when you’re competing against more experienced and “livelier” candidates? You can do it! You just need more preparation, that’s all!

Let’s go through 5 hacks on how to go through an interview when you’re a veteran.

Clarify Your Career Goals Before You Show Up

When you’re just out of the military, it’s not uncommon to lack a clear idea of what you want to be. That’s why it’s important to find your dream job and apply for positions that will lead you to it.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

That’s a common question that interviewers ask candidates from all walks of life. When you think about the situations you’ve faced, you’ll be tempted to answer something like “Alive, safe, and providing for my family.” That’s a great goal. However, it’s not something an employer wants to hear. The employer wants to know how this particular job fits into your career goals. Through this question, they want to see how you’d make the company grow.

Define your career goals! Express them in the cover letter itself. When you have them on paper, it will be easier to talk about them during the interview. If this is hard for you to do, hire a professional writer from Rush My Essay. They will help you find the language to express your goals in a way the employer would like.

Focus on the Target

One of the greatest advantages of being a veteran is that you know how to focus. It’s a skill you’ve been polishing out for ages. And it’s something the employers in the civilian sector certainly appreciate.

When you determine the type of positions you’ll apply to, determine the target for the interview, too. Show up prepared and focus on each question they ask. Think about those questions. Give relevant answers. Show that you’ve analyzed the company’s website and you know what you’re getting into.

Don’t Get All Fancy with Military Terms

Most civilians don’t know what NCOIC means. You’re used to these shortcuts because they made communication easy in the military. However, they are just slang to everyone else. You don’t want to say things that the hiring manager won’t understand.

So speak plain English. It’s time to go back to it.

Be Professional, Not Stiff

Oh; this is a hard balance to achieve. One of the biggest disadvantages of veterans as job candidates is stiffness. They can’t abandon the military bearing. Yes; there is something like being overly polite and too professional. And it’s an extreme that most employers don’t like. Such a stiff attitude intimidates them and it makes them feel like they couldn’t work on daily tasks with you.

So it’s time to work on that attitude. Don’t worry; you won’t look fake when you try to relax. You’ll just be your usual self. Try to be as relaxed as you are when talking to your friends. Of course, you won’t use any inappropriate language. However, you won’t act like you’re talking to your captain, either. You’ll have to find the balance between too friendly and too professional.

Use the Opportunity for Small Talk

Hiring managers like to engage job applicants in informal chitchats before the real interview begins. “How are you doing today?” is a common way for them to start the interview. Sometimes they even invite the shortlisted applicants to a restaurant or a coffee shop. That informal setting helps them see the true personality of the candidates.

Small talk during an interview is not as small as you might think. The interviewer will pay attention to everything you say or do. They are trying to picture you as a future member of the team. That’s why they might want to know your opinion about the latest random news or even the weather.

Small talk doesn’t have to be brilliant. In fact, it’s never wise or extraordinary. It should just be natural and real. Pick up the interviewer’s pace and use this opportunity to show your great personality.

You’ll Make It!

The most important thing to do is relax. That’s not as easy as it sounds, does it? With enough preparation for the interview, however, you’ll get there. Some practice with a friend or family member can help. Tell them to ask the most common interview questions and think how you’d answer them.

Let’s be honest: you’ve faced far scarier situations before. You’re certainly strong enough to handle an interview. Believe in yourself! You’ll make it! 

Visit our job board regularly to find companies that have positions available offering veterans jobs, and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.