Interview Tips for Veterans Job Seekers with Disabilities
Conducting a job interview can be stressful, particularly if you haven’t interviewed for a while or this is your first time pursuing a job in the civilian sector. There are; however, some simple techniques you can employ to make the process easier.
- Do your homework – Research the company you will be interviewing with in advance. Look at their website to get an idea of the culture. This will also provide a better understanding of the position, as well as help you prepare questions to ask during the interview.
- Dress to impress –First impressions count, and one of the first you will make with a potential employer is your attire. While casual attire is acceptable in many of today’s work environment, the general rule of thumb for an interview is to dress professionally. Completely avoid sneakers or flip–flops, visible underwear such as bra straps, shorts, jeans, skirts that are too short, low–rise, or unusually tight pants, and blouses that are either low–cut, or too short. Be aware of the company’s policies on tattoos and piercings as well; if neither is looked upon favorably, make it a point to cover up or take out your rings.
- Highlight your unique experience – As a veteran, you bring unique skills and qualifications to the job – do not diminish your veteran status. Highlight the skills you obtained as a result of your military service, and reinforce key attributes – including your leadership skills, ability to work as a team and experience working in stressful situations. Also outline specific certifications, training, and other specialized experience that will you give an edge over other applicants.
- Be ready for the most common questions – Where do you see yourself? Why are you a good fit? Tell me something about yourself? How do you think your military experience will help you in this job? These are the types of question you will be asked and require a thoughtful response. Have your responses ready well in advance. Remember, a job interview is a conversation. So, be prepared.
- Remember to follow–up – Take the time to write a thank you note. Your note should thank the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest in the position, and the reasons why you feel you would make the best candidate. Also include your contact information again.
- Practice makes perfect – During the interview you will be assessed not only by how you respond to questions, but your general mannerisms, style and confidence. The best approach is the prepared approach. Ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview session with you. The better prepared you are the more comfortable you’ll be during the interview.