5 Tips to Help Veterans Prepare for a Job Interview

5 Tips to Help Veterans Prepare for a Job Interview
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The key to maximizing success at an interview is quite simple: proper preparation with a focus on why the employer should hire you.

Here are a few useful tips to help you get ready:

Do your homework. Consider this your intelligence preparation of the battlefield. Research the company. Review its website. Understand how the company fits into its industry/sector and know its major competitors. Look for biographical information on the interviewers and review their LinkedIn profiles.

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Review the vacancy announcement and job description. Be prepared to articulate why you are a great fit. Use the STAR (situation, task, achievement, and results) technique to match your knowledge, skills, and abilities to the position. Have three go-to stories ready that can be adapted to any question to highlight your main attributes.

Do a dry run. Make a reconnaissance of the area, route, traffic, parking, and building access procedures. Locate a coffee shop nearby where you can relax for a few minutes, review your notes, collect your thoughts, and check yourself in a mirror before you arrive at the interview site. When should you arrive for the interview? Arrive about five minutes prior - any sooner, and you might cause an inconvenience for them. And it should go without saying, but never be late!

Follow interview principles. Treat everyone you meet as the hiring authority. Organize your thoughts and translate your message into how the organization can benefit from your abilities. You want to show them how you can meet their needs and solve their problems.

Show you are the right fit. Remember, they already know you are qualified for the position from your résumé, and now they want to ensure you would be a good fit for the organization. Project enthusiasm, interest, and confidence. Be natural, and let the real you come through.

About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.