15 July 2014

How to Have a Great Interview and Stand Out


Some say going into an interview is like going into a battlefield. Well, luckily here at RallyPoint there is no battle that we cannot handle. Interviewing is hard, it is draining but the reward of getting a job is completely worth it. As with the whole job-hunting process, interviewing takes time and prep work: you want to be dressed professionally, have copies of your resume, and anything else pertinent to the interview. So are you ready?

Here are some key steps to follow to be on top of your game:

Do your research: Not only should you know about the company that you are interviewing at, you should be interested in its future. One of the worst things you can do during an interview is not have questions about the job role and the company.

Ready to take it to the next step? Know who you are being interviewed by. With resources like LinkedIn you can find information about your interviewer that will give you the leg up. Maybe, you share something in common with them that you can bring up with them during the interview, making yourself stand out.

Avoid military talk: Despite it being difficult and a complete change of pace, you want to avoid military jargon during an interview. To a civilian employer, your military jargon is as rare and exotic as a Ferrari Enzo at a supermarket; but the leadership skills that you have acquired will fit right in. Don’t be afraid to do mock interviews with your (non-military) friends, because as you know, practice makes perfect. The last thing you want to do during an interview is get caught off guard – whether in military or civilian clothes, a stumped interviewee won’t take the cake.  

Be ready:  The military trains you to be ready at any given moment, but are you ready to answer questions about yourself? You do not want to be too rehearsed, but you should not be surprised when they ask you where you see yourself in five, ten years. Being from the military, there will be times you might be asked some difficult questions about your past service. Learn how to effectively answer these questions and use them as opportunities to showcase your skills. Chad Storlie, a regular contributor to RallyPoint and panel speaker at our upcoming RPx 2014 conference, suggests using the STAR format - Situation, Task, Actions, and Results:

1. Create a story that demonstrates the value you will bring to the company.
2. Show how your military skills translate and apply to the company and industry that you will work with.
3. Demonstrate how military leadership creates a foundation for successful civilian leadership.

Follow up: You might feel like you had an awful interview but always follow up afterward. You may have had a fantastic interview in spite of how you felt about it. Wait a couple of hours before sending an email thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to interview. This shows them that you are conscientious of their time and you are interested in the prospect of employment with their organization

Take advantage of the RallyPoint community and reach out to members on their experiences and see if they’ve interviewed at companies you’re applying to. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be for that interview.

Comment below or share advice here and connect within the military network.

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