civilian interviews

How should Veterans prepare for civilian interviews?

Transitioning from a military based background to the civilian career can be overwhelming and challenging at the same time for Veterans, and many are concerned about their interviewing techniques. Like military training, interview preparation is also essentials part of any civilian job. It demonstrates your skills and helps an employer identify if you’re suitable for the position.

Job descriptions include your character traits that a Veteran possesses from years like discipline, loyalty, integrity, skills, work under pressure, planning and on spot response.

Your goal during an interview is to demonstrate your abilities and personality are a good fit for the company. Military Veterans interview preparation strategies must include few tips:

  • Dress to impress, not in military attire: a proper civilian suit will do good and growing your military haircut to project as a civilian.
  • Arrive on time if you are unable to attend contact the interviewer and reschedule if necessary.
  • Use your gestures and voice to communicate enthusiastically.
  • Minimize distracting habits
  • Greet the interviewer
  • Get comfortable
  • Listen carefully to the questions and make sure you answer in a way that the interviewer can understand you.
  • Be confident enough to answer the questions and make sure you keep eye contact when you answer it.
  • Have enough resumes to go around.
  • Never speak negatively about a former supervisor.
  • Follow up verbally: make the follow-up call when the day the interviewer has suggested not earlier.

Hiring a Veteran is not a charity work instead these women and men possess extraordinary skills which are not found in a civilian, and these qualities make them the best employees. Military Veterans interview strategies are:

  • Research the company and job: knowing about the company and visiting its website can get you a great overview of the company and about the job you are applying.
  • Review the resume: think beyond the specific functions and identify the core value and expertise or skills you brought. Be prepared to speak about accomplishments that are on your resume.
  • Highlight your military experience: Describe your training, specific certification and other specialized experience; this would give an edge to you over other applicants. Completing a task with the presence of mind and discipline is a key character in the military that no one can overlook.
  • Write down the full picture of your experience: Include the following skills to make it stronger.
  1. Leadership skills: if you have any leadership experience or training in the military is valued by a civilian employer.
  2. Technical skills: technical skills acquired by you in your career must be included as it provides a strong impact.
  3. Interpersonal skills: working in the military requires working with many personalities from unit commanders to a high-rank officer, subordinates, and teammates. These skills are more valuable in the civilian workplace.

As a former service member it is important to pay attention to these differences that exist between military and civilian environments:

  1. Communication style: a veteran can be direct and formal and to the point, while civilians can be slightly different and more informal. Be sensitive to the communication styles of your co-workers.
  2. Flexibility: most of the companies around offer schedules and flexible hours. The corporates can allow its employees to a flexible work life.


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