Thanks for reaching out! You can find the tips below. I’ve shared tips from both Kate Jackson, current Partner at Hanold Associates and former U.S. Army Officer, and tips from Ivan Perry, also a current Partner at Hanold Associates and former U.S. Air Force Captain.
Let me know if you have any questions!
From Ivan Perry:
- Tell them your war story. Every veteran has a story about when they were put into a position where they have had to make decisions that required a quick response whether in a deployment, sitting on a flight line, or in an operations center. The interviewer wants to understand your leadership DNA, this is something that no civilian can relate to.
- Do your homework. When you are going through the interview process you need to get as smart as you can on corporate America. Read the business books, be a subscriber to business magazines, and do your research on companies. Taking these steps will allow you to ask great questions and keep the interview flowing in a more conversant nature.
- Have you ever written a performance report? OER? EPR? OPR?* Regardless of the military acronym across the various service branches, the point is to give the interviewer the situation/ task/ action, result, and impact. You cannot have a good report for your commander without this structure and it is tough to have a good interview if you cannot put your experience in a format that will leave an interviewer saying “this is what I took away from our conversation.” (*officer evaluation report, enlisted performance report, officer performance report)
From Kate Jackson:
- Many of the interviewers will be rooting for you. Our veterans continual rank at the top of Americans Confidence Indexes and consider our military among our best and brightest. Corporate America loves the work ethic, team spirit and mission focus you learned in the military.
- Be prepared to give examples of the challenges you faced in adapting to the military, pushing past your physical limits, learning all the lingo (there are acronyms of acronyms!), and learning your military specialty. You may have a steep learning curve in this new industry, but your learning agility will help ensure your success. Demonstrate humility, acknowledge how much you will need to learn, reinforce your natural curiosity and ability to adapt. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to interview.
- Don’t overplay your leadership experience. Many job descriptions list leadership experience as required or desired characteristic, but it’s almost always one of many requirements. If you are lacking a critical skill, then having 200% of the leadership experience doesn’t necessarily make up the shortfall in the required area.
- Because you may be new to the industry, be open to what your first role in the organization might be. Companies want to bring you in at a level where you have a good chance for success. Ask questions about the potential career path and timeline for the typical next role. If possible, talk with some of your peers about the role. You are interviewing the company while they are interviewing you!