Military Spouse Employment: How to deal with tough interview questions
What brings you to the area?
If you’re like most military spouses, you know that this is one of the hardest questions to answer because you feel like you’re being immediately judged for being a military spouse. If you’ve read our recent post on why being a milspouse is actually an asset, you’ll know that you can and should answer this question honestly.
Some recruiters might be turned off by hiring a military spouse while others will be excited by the idea. Many HR managers recommend having two answers prepared and then using your
judgement to determine which answer to give. No matter what you say, make sure you’re being honest. That doesn’t mean you need to tell the interviewer everything about your life but it does mean being open.
Tell me about your weaknesses
This isn’t the time to tell the interviewer that you have no weaknesses because you’re infallible. This is the time to be honest and open. It’s not enough just to demonstrate self-awareness about the things you need to improve, but that’s definitely part of the answer. The real impact here is telling the interviewer how you’re working to make a change. Maybe you’ve always had a problem getting to places on time. Telling the interviewer that fact isn’t an automatic blackmark, so long as you follow it up with a positive benefit. When you’re asked this question, answer it as you would answer any other challenge – recognize it, manage it, and then solve it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Cue the laugh track because as a military spouse to either an active or veteran service member, this question is probably impossible to answer. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be living in even remotely the same area, but as with all questions during an interview, you need to be honest.
Instead of considering all of the unknown about this question, tell the interviewer what you do know. Keep your answer career focused. Think beyond the next move or the final move, or any move at all. Reinforce your skill sets and your development plans as a worker, not as a military spouse. By framing your answer this way, you’re showing the interviewer that you’re just as forward thinking as every other candidate.
No matter your industry, you’re going to have to tackle these kinds of questions. When you’re prepared ahead of time, and have thought out informed and detailed responses, you’ll feel more confident during the interviewing process.