/ Asked by Nathan
I am a United States Army Veteran. I am currently in transition to become a civilian after four years of honorbale service. I have multiple interviews with a company in my home town next week, does anyone have any tips or suggestions to have a sucessful interview. This is my first time being interviewd for a job so naturally I am a little apprehensive.
Answered by Michele, Hiring Expert at ADP, on Thursday, June 26, 2014
Let me start by saying "Thank you for your service"! 
The best advice that I can offer in preparation for your interveiw is exactly that, prepare!  Be sure to spend time on the company website.  Also, if available, review the job description so you know what qualities you possess that  will be important for you to cover thoroughly.  Candidates that come to an interview well prepared, are showing the company that they are very interested in the position, and that they are inclined to work hard towards a goal. 
Secondly, be sure to dress for success, and bring a few extra copies of your resume.  Have questions well thought out for that segment at the end of the interveiw.  You can also bring a pad and pen to take notes during your interview.
Best of luck to you next week! 
Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Friday, June 27, 2014
I echo Michele in expressing a heartfelt thank-you for your dedicated service to our country! Please know how much it is appreciated.

I think all of her advice is correct, and the best interviews I have ever conducted were with candidates who took the time to thoroughly reflect on the role, the company, and their own level of experience. So definitely carve out some time to dig into this, and practice talking the details over with maybe a friend, or family member. It’s key that you are able to articulate how your skills line up to the needs of the Hiring Team, and that you appear comfortable, genuine, and enthusiastic during next week’s conversation.

Exploring the company’s website is a great way to start, and I would maybe print out their info directly, and then take generous notes. You can also ask your recruiter or Hiring Manager if they recommend any reading material about the organization before the interview. It’s possible that they will be prepared to provide company fact sheets, links to certain parts of their website, relevant industry publications, etc.

Also, examine the job description closely. Try to brainstorm examples from your training or military career that directly tie back to the qualifications and overall needs of the position. For example, if the description cites that they want someone who can be agile and dependable during significant business changes, be prepared to discuss times when you had to lead a team with both flexibility and loyalty, or change your course of action at a moment’s notice under pressure, or maybe create (or adapt to) new orders when critically-important situations arose.

I think a huge part of being successful in any interview is knowing how to describe what you’ve seen and what you’ve done in a way that makes sense to the interviewer. As much as possible, endeavor to explain your military experience in civilian terms, and highlight any transferable skills. I’ve seen many candidates who are former-military with subject matter expertise and soft skills that potential employers absolutely admire, including a real sense of dedication, determination, and discipline.

A few other points which might help:

1) Definitely bring copies of your resume with you, perhaps in a padfolio.

2) Bring a short list of questions for the interviewer. You can search online for topics like, “Best questions to ask in an interview,” and find lots of examples which may relate to this role. Pick out the best ones for you to use.

3) Over-dress for the interview a little bit, instead of taking the risk that you could be dressed too casually. It’s always better to go a bit farther than the Hiring Team expects, and really showcase how serious you are about their opportunity.

4) Be prepared to talk about your shortcomings, and also your ambitions. If there are things you want to learn more about, or build more experience in, don’t be afraid to discuss this during the interview. Part of what happens in an interview is that they are assessing where you stand right now, and what you bring to the table immediately. But the other part is that they are trying to figure out if you may be a teachable fit, i.e. a good investment for the future. You want to be seen as capable right now, and also a confident choice for the long-term.

5) Arrive at the interview early, but not too early, and know who to ask for. Usually 10 minutes is standard. If you arrive earlier than that, wait in your vehicle instead of showing up well before they expect you. I’d also recommend a practice run to the interview site, so you understand exactly how to get there, where to park, and what door to go into.

6) Smile during the interview, and make good eye contact. Try not to appear stiff or uneasy. If you need to, take a second to think about your answers before replying. Overall, show them that you want to be there, and that you can do the job well.. 

Hope this helps! 
Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, June 30, 2014
First, thank you for serving our country! I have had the opportunity to interview and hire several veterans as we are located close to Offutt Air Force Base and very active with their TAP program. Here are some suggestions...

Many employers use behavior-based interview models. The question may be phrased like, "Tell me about a time when you took on a cause all by yourself against many others." The hiring manager is looking for your to provide a Situation, Hindrance (or challenge you faced), Action (what action you took), Result (what was the result), and Evaluate (what did you learn from it). Employers will be looking for you to tell them more than "yes" and "no" - and elaborate on what you did specifically. Also, your examples don't have to be just about your military experience. If you have work experience or educational examples, those are fine too.

My other suggestion is to be self-aware you are in a civilian environment. What do I mean? Avoid saying "yes ma'am" or "yes sir" and standing to attention. Military training teaches you to follow orders as prescribed. The civilian world is wanting to know how you can think for yourself and demonstrate independence. Also, be careful not to be too rigid as an employer may interpret it as inflexibility. I have coached several veterans on these items.

If you haven't yet leveraged your TAP benefits, I encourage you to do so. I see a dramatic positive difference in those that have and haven't.
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Thank your for your service to this country.
It is understandable to be nervous or apprehensive for an interview. Follow these steps to enhance your interview:
Dress for the interview – this can be the first impression they have of you
Research the company beforehand so that you can better prepare questions for your interviewer such as on company culture.
Say thank you
If at any time you become nervous during the interview pause and take a deep breath to gather your thoughts. Be confident in your abilities and skills.
Good luck!!
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