Interview Tips for Veterans


In an earlier article I gave some tips about searching civilian jobs. In this article, I am going to list some of the points that will help you during and after the interview. I believe every veteran is very clear that civilian interviews are not at all like defense interviews. It is a whole new world. In this article, I am going to summarize some of the points that were mentioned by Greg Wood and Tom Stein, authors of The Hire Tactics.

  • Don’t be Buggers

There are many articles that I have gone through which advice readers to contact their HR, on regular basis after the interview, if they don’t hear back from them. Well, some people take it a little too seriously. There is a fine line between keeping in touch with the HR and bugging them with regular calls.

After submitting your resume or after the first round of interview, if you don’t hear from them again, send a mail or call them up after a week. If the contact has gone cold, try to stay in touch with them through social network or mail. Limit it to a mail a week. You can also ask them for recommendations or referrals. If your interview had been good, then HR might be able to refer to you other possible good job opportunities.

  • Negotiation

Defense personnel are not accustomed to negotiations. The defense rules and principles do not allow for negotiations. “What salary are you expecting?”—is one question without which any civilian interview is incomplete. I believe it is a way for the HRs to evaluate the value that the candidate. Veterans should keep in mind, that even though the question requires a specific amount; it is always better to provide a range. Be tactful and diplomatic in answering this question.

If it is asked in the beginning of the interview, postpone the answer of the question till the end of the interview. If asked at the end of interview, provide a range that is carefully researched. This is also where prior research helps; getting to know what is the going rate in the industry; for the kind of responsibilities mentioned will help in negotiation.

  • The Resume

It is really very necessary in the corporate world to have an introduction letter, and in corporate world, this letter is called ‘The Resume’. It is not something that is going to be the final nail in the coffin. It is just a professional representation of your skills and your accomplishments.

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