The interview process can feel stacked in favor of the employer, but that isn’t necessarily the case if you come prepared with interview questions and answers. I encourage veterans to realize that their time is as valuable as a potential employer and to enter the interview process with that understanding.

I’m not advocating that veterans approach the experience with arrogance but with a sense of confidence about what they offer and how to communicate their expectations.We see a lot of typical job interview questions that seem to be standard protocol, the goal is preparation!

The interview process is a two-way street that should give both you and the potential employer a sense of what the other can offer. Master the 5 things to do to prepare for a job interview  to increase your chances of getting hired and WIN the dreaded interview process.

1. Research

Research is one of the first things you do when preparing for a job interview.Either before or as soon as a company has scheduled an interview with you, look up the company and do some in-depth research. You want to establish a couple of things:

Creditability – on a very basic level, is this a company you can verify as relevant and trustworthy?

Company history – what are the origins of the company and in what direction does it look like it is headed?

Work they have accomplished – what kind of work have they produced, who did they partner with in order to get it done? Are these affiliates you’d like to partner with or consider any possible conflicts of interest.

This can give you a few advantages. First, before you even head out in the car you can evaluate the likelihood of candidacy they will have for YOU. Think of this a way of scanning their resume. Second, you arrive to the interview further prepared and knowledgeable.

2. Have Questions Ready

What type of questions do you ask on an interview? That all depends. You can accomplish this, as the title suggests, by seeing your interview as a way of interviewing the potential employer. List your questions ahead of time. Be sure to include questions on topics that are important to you as a person as well as an employee. These can be typical questions concerning work-life balance, health care needs, telecommuting and education benefits. Additionally, you may want to pose questions that help you get a feeling for the things like workplace culture: What do you consider to be this company’s strongest asset? Read  8 Common Interview Questions.

3. Take Notes

This can show a potential employer that you are serious and thorough, but it can also help later when you sit down to consider competing offers. This can also serve as a good jumping off point for conversation as you reference the questions that you brought with you.

4. Articulate Your Expectations of the Job

While it is good to prepare your salary expectations, there is a lot more to job satisfaction than only compensation. What are your expectations of this position? For example, are you willing to travel locally but not nationally? Be ready to communicate these stipulations in clear and respectful tones.

5. Your Time and Experience Are Valuable

At any point that you are heeding the above suggestions, you may find yourself questioning if this a position even worth considering. There is nothing wrong with this, especially if you are conducting a search on limited time and multiple interviews. If you realize the job or company is not right for you, contact the interviewer and politely and appreciatively cancel. Be sure to cite your reason and mention what kind of position you would consider from them if it ever became available.

On the other hand, if you do get to the interview room, realize that not every position or company will be a good fit for you, or you for them. Be realistic and be ready to evaluate these things. Just as a potential employer has the right to pass on choosing you, you have the right to pass on an employer for something that is a better fit for you, your family and career.

We aren’t here just to get you a job. Though we do have the best career resources for veterans  on writing a “civilianized” resume, getting an interview and accepting a job offer, we also cover everything you need to know about the corporate environment and progressing in your career. We got your back the whole way through. If you are still in a “hunting” mode and not sure what industry or company to attack, Dan Fazio, our managing editor of G.I. Jobs, wrote a great editorial piece to help you find the hottest jobs available in 2015. Click the link below!

Top 20 Hot Jobs for Veterans 2015


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