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Interviews are the part of the hiring process that will make or break your shot at a job. They are also the part that I look forward to most and you should as well. The interview offers you the chance to engage in a one-on-one conversation, and sets you apart from the piece of paper listing your credentials. Interviews are my strong point, however, for those who get rattled at the idea of a tough interview, here are some recommendations to help you prepare, from someone who has survived some of the toughest interviews in the business.
1. Be prepared. Your first objective once you’ve scheduled an interview is to research the position and the company; have a good command of the facts. Doing your research means being able to speak at length beyond some talking points about the company, its history, the job, the competition, and more.
Some employers may ask you why you want to work for their company. Be prepared to discuss what you’ve read about the company’s culture and work environment. Read through the position description and be able to articulate how you will succeed in that role and what you bring to the company. Be sure to leverage the unique traits that set you apart. You are a military veteran, which means you have real world leadership experience, can think and perform under pressure, etc. It is important to be able to easily articulate these traits, particularly if the hiring manager is not as knowledgeable or as warm to your veteran experience.
2. Know the job. It does not matter what you are interviewing for --- a job in the film industry, medical field, finance, or as a ballerina --- these professions all require training and commitment in their own way; they require endurance, and strict attention to detail. Sound familiar? You get my point that your military experience is applicable anywhere, it is all a matter of how you articulate it.
In preparing for the interview, get to know the job description inside and out and be able to explain how you are able to do each of the qualifications and have performed similar functions in past roles. If you don’t previous experience, that is okay. Demonstrate that the responsibilities you held in the military make you a good fit and that these qualities much harder to find in employees.
Also, make an effort to show that you have already taken initiative to learn whatever it is the job requires, such as taking a class, developing a new skill, or reading up on a topic relevant to the position. This will show that you are serious and committed to this role. Finally, although it is important to have a command of the facts, it is also acceptable to say you don’t know something. This is common when applying for a position that will be a new experience for you. You don’t ever want come across as faking it if you cannot reasonably explain the facts.
3. Know your interviewer. It is smart to research the hiring manager(s) online and look the person (or people) up on LinkedIn to learn who they are and their background (Be aware of LinkedIn settings to share users who has viewed their profiles). This process will help you tailor your comments, question and approach toward the person. If there is a school, geographical region, or any other shared experience between you and your interviewer, be sure to work that into the conversation. If you don’t know how to do this, ask someone to practice with you ahead of time.
4. Look the part. Dress for success! When you walk through the door, the hiring manager’s first impression of you will be based on what you are wearing.
It is critical to look the part of your desired profession. Actor Cary Grant once said, “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be and I finally became that person. Or he became me.” Learn to immerse yourself in the world you wish to enter. A potential employee will judge you all around, no different than Marines do when you step in front of them. Right or wrong, it is a reality. Think back to your military days, and how you responded differently to the non-commissioned officer or lieutenant based on his or her image.
5. Be confident. Confidence kills as they say, as does good posture and presence. Some excellent research by Anna Beninger on a concept called “power posing” that was made famous by Professor Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School, which says that basically stretching out your arms much like an athlete does in a celebration after scoring a touchdown increases your confidence. The research on “power posing” showed that your level of cortisone (testosterone) literally increases when you exert your posture. Hence, hold your head up, chest out, and stretch those arms out to get ready for an interview or presentation.
In the Marine Corps they had a saying to never to “go internal,” meaning, in the face of some harsh experience don’t ever cower inward. Walk into that interview room like you own it, never arrogant, just very confident.
These examples are not just for the interview, they should be used throughout the course of your life. Practice correctly, and practice some more until it becomes second nature.
MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington's commitment to NATO, a senior allied commander said on Tuesday.
Days after a NATO summit in London at which U.S. President Donald Trump called low-spending European allies "delinquent", U.S. Major General Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered on Germany, will be the largest of their kind in 25 years.
"This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO," Seguin, who oversees allied operations from NATO's military headquarters in Belgium, told Reuters.
Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
The top Pentagon watchdog has announced it would be investigating all deaths of recruits during initial military training over the past five years, the agency said in a statement last week.
In a Dec. 4 memo, the DoD Inspector General said it was changing the scope of an investigation it had opened on Nov. 18 that was titled Evaluation of Medical Resources and Guidance to Trainers at Recruit Training Centers in the DoD. Its new title, the IG said, would be Evaluation of Medical Protocols and Deaths of Recruits in the DoD.
While its original objective of looking into the medical resources available to recruits would remain the same, the IG said it would now also review all deaths of recruits at military basic training facilities between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The move comes in the wake of several deaths at basic training facilities over the past year. In April, the Navy announced a safety review after two prospective sailors died at its recruit training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois. Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles died after a fitness test that month; Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans also died after the run portion of the fitness test.
In September, an 18-year-old soldier died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has disciplined more than 20 Marines over misconduct at its San Diego boot camp since 2017, according to The Washington Post. The action came in the wake of a scandal involving the death of a 20-year-old Muslim recruit named Raheel Siddiqui, who fell 40 feet to his death at the Parris Island training facility, where he and other Muslims were targeted for abuse by their drill instructor (the instructor was later sentenced to 10 years in prison at court-martial).
According to the IG, Pentagon investigators will visit all DoD recruit training facilities and interview personnel from each service's education and training commands. They will also speak with personnel at military medical facilities, the Defense Health Agency, and those assigned at the Military Entrance Processing Command, which does the initial intake for civilians going into military service.
The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.
The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.
Marine Corps senior leaders have begun to express cautious openness to the idea of making the service's boot camps fully co-ed. But if Congress has its way, the service may be pushed toward full integration sooner than expected.
The final conference version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would require the service to integrate both its East Coast and West Coast entry-level training facilities within the next eight years.