How to Interview the Right Way
It’s an often-overlooked component of the employment search, but it’s ultimately the deciding factor in whether or not you land the job. You might have the most polished resume around, an active LinkedIn profile and be able to speak intelligently about your industry, but if you’re falling flat at your interviews, you’re no closer to getting that job. An interview isn’t just a chance for you to showcase the skills you’ve spend your career in the military building. It’s also a chance for you to practice your interpersonal skills and to learn more about a potential job. Every interview is different and each company is going to have a different hiring process. Employers might require you to take tests, provide samples of your work or indicate references. No matter the interview format, the actual conversation that happens between you and the interviewer is a vital component to getting a job.
At the interview, your one goal is to demonstrate that your abilities and personality are the ideal fit for the role in the company. Your success on landing the job is going to be determined by this interaction. If you’re well prepared for either a traditional or behavior interview, you’ll have no problem feeling confident and ready to answer any questions asked.
No matter which type of interview you find yourself in, anticipate that the hiring manager is going to ask some kinds of questions relating to your military experience. This is to be expected, especially since so few of the American population actually serve. Some of the most common questions revolve around why you left the military and what you disliked about your role. Remember the civilian sector is structured completely differently than the military; the interviewer is expecting you to be open and honest in your responses. If the actual reason you left the military is because you were tired of zero-dark-thirty wake up calls and wanted to get back to your hometown, say that. But make sure to frame it in a way that paints you in the best light possible. So instead of, “I hate getting up early,” say something like “After serving four years, it felt like the right time to put to use everything I’ve learned in the military and begin a civilian career.”
Following these tips will help demonstrate your skill set and keep the interview stress at bay.
Do your recon.Check out the site of the interview the day before. Find out if you need change for parking or if there’s a lot adjacent to the building. Time the commute at the same time of your interview if possible.
Don’t skip your meals.If you arrive hungry to an interview, it’s going to show. You might not be aware of it, but you’ll come across as nervous or distracted because your stomach is crying out for food.
Move in the morning.Go for an early morning run, walk, or grab a barbell and do a quick complex. This doesn’t need to be a full on workout, just something to get the blood moving and help release your endorphins. When your brain is full of them, you’re happier, more confident, and will come across as being the ideal candidate for the job.
Smile.It’s the hardest thing to do because it might not feel super natural, but smiling is really important in an interview. It lets the hiring manager know that you’re comfortable.