By: AJE Recruiting Specialist
Transitioning from a military to a civilian career can be challenging for veterans, and like other job seekers, many are concerned about proper interviewing techniques. Like military training, interview preparation is essential. It not only demonstrates your skills to prospective employers but also helps them identify if you are a good match for the position. Most job descriptions include character traits that a veteran already has years of experience with: discipline, integrity, managerial skills, and the ability to work under stress. It’s your job to help the person interviewing you understand how you’ll integrate these skills at work. The recruiting experts at America’s Job Exchange, who specialize in diversity hiring like veterans jobs, offer some tips to consider when preparing for your interview.
1. Dress to impress, but not in military attire A conservative suit will do. Also if you are a man, you might consider allowing your military haircut to grow out to project a civilian appearance.
2. Highlight your military skills and projects. While it’s important not to get too detailed, describing your specific certifications, training, and other specialized experience will give you an edge over other applicants. For those who have little to no experience in the civilian job market, this is even more important.
3. Avoid using ranks, military acronyms, and other military jargon, and practice translating military language before the interview. Using a military occupational classification (MOC), veterans can identify similar jobs in the civilian workforce. For example, if a military officer was a budget analyst or cost analyst in the military they can translate these duties to a financial analyst in the civilian workforce. Also review the job description closely and match your military experience with the experience and skills required and discuss those attributes thoroughly.
4. Describe situations in the military in which you achieved your end goal. Employers always ask job seekers to tell a story about past job experience to assess how candidates will conduct themselves in new positions. Being able to complete a task from start to finish with discipline and preparedness is a key trait of people in the military, and one that no employer will overlook. Narrate one or two brief examples of how you put your skills into practice and how this kind of quick thinking will translate into your civilian job.
5. Emphasize your dedication to the job, in this case the military and time spent serving your country. You’ve just completed an incredible accomplishment that most people will never realize. Prospective employers are sure to recognize that your dedication and loyalty to your country will in turn make for a dedicated and loyal employee. Discussing these traits will leave a lasting impression and could give you a competitive edge.
6. Highlight your references. Most likely the majority of your references will be fairly impressive, so don’t leave these out.
Begin your search for a civilian career and register with us today at www.americasjobexchange.com.