Photo Credit: US Army Africa
The interview process can be daunting, and oftentimes leaves anybody (let alone a military member) feeling vulnerable and unsure as to which questions employers can and cannot ask during the process. Your resume will get you the interview, but the key to success during any interview process is being prepared ahead of time.
Check out these sample interview questions for a military veteran:
- What branch of the service were you in?
- What rank were you in the military?
- How many years did you serve?
- Did you go overseas?
- Why are you getting out of the military?
- Why are you interested in our company?
- Why do you think you are a good fit for our company?
- Do you think you meet the qualifications for the position?
Ensuring that you can properly answer the questions above shouldn’t be a challenge for you. Most are common sense and require a bit of research on the company at hand. Conversely, what employers CANNOT ask are the following:
- What type of discharge did you have/do you expect to have?
- Will you be deployed soon (if a Reservist/Guard)?
- Do you have PTSD?
- Are you physically or mentally disabled?
- Do you have brain issues/injuries?
- Do you visit a mental health professional?
Employers cannot ask about the type of discharge you are getting, unless it is a non-federal job (like a contractor) and it requires a security clearance which you don’t have (they can ask in pre-employment process). Federal contractors can also ask about the type of discharge status, but it has to relate to the “veteran preference” hiring.
As well, employers should know that it is against the law to discriminate against anybody who is in the Reserve or National Guard. If they see on your resume that you are in one of these programs, they are not permitted to make a judgement on hiring based upon that (nor allow it to affect eligibility for promotion).
It is strictly forbidden to ask any questions about your physical or mental status. Employers can ask if you thoroughly read the job description, ask you about training and education, ask about your role in the service, whether you think you meet the minimum requirements, etc. But they cannot judge you (good or bad) based upon a physical or mental ailment.
Keep these sample interview questions for military veterans in mind as you go through the interview process. Not so that you are able to halt them as they are asking you questions, but so you have a general idea of what is and what is not acceptable. There is also a chance that the person interviewing is not aware what they are permitted to ask (even though they should be). Thus, it may be up to you to help them better understand as part of the learning process.