In the event that the recruiter feels that you are a candidate for the position, you will most likely be called for at least one interview. This is an opportunity to present yourself in the best way possible and it’s important to create a good first impression.
In preparation for your interview, it’s suggested that you:
- Research the company and the industry so that you go into the interview with a solid understanding of what they do, who their competitors are and how your experience is relevant.
- Clarify why you want the position and what you can bring to the role.
- Prepare for some common interview questions and prepare your answers.
- Prepare some questions for the interviewer to show that you are genuinely interested in the position.
Ahead of your interview, make sure you are aware of the location of the interview, how much time it will take you to get there and any parking options that may affect the time it takes to arrive at the appointment. It’s a good idea to arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview time, which will give you time to prepare as well as show that you are punctual.
During the interview, make sure you listen to the specific question and ensure that your answer and examples are relevant to the position or interview question. While it is important not to get too detailed, describing your specific qualifications, training and other specialised experience will give you an edge over other applicants.
Practice translating military language before the interview. A workshop with StoryRight can assist in preparing you for interviews and how to translate your military skills. Also review the job description closely and match your military experience with the experience and skills required and discuss those attributes thoroughly.
Employers often ask job seekers to tell a story about past job experience to assess how candidates will conduct themselves in new positions. Be prepared to outline one of two brief examples of how you put your skills into practice and how these skills translate into the job you are applying for. It is important to focus not just on the actions you took, but also on the outcomes you achieved.
It may assist you to use the STAR method to answer questions. Frame your answer by outlining the Situation, Task, Action, Result.
At the end of the interview, thank those people involved for their time. Final decisions and job offers are usually made some time after the interview (and there may be more than one) so be sure to give it time.
It’s good practice to follow up soon after the interview with a short but professional email. Address it to the interviewer/contact person and thank them for their time. Also use this as an opportunity to reaffirm your suitability and enthusiasm for the job. The email can be just a few lines but it will help to keep you in their mind.
After the Interview:
If you are contacted by the recruiter and you have been unsuccessful, remember that it is normal to feel disheartened when you don’t get a job that you have applied for, particularly if it’s a job you really wanted. Try not to take the rejection personally and give yourself some time to deal with any feelings of disappointment. Use the experience as a lesson by:
- Asking for feedback – both positive and negative feedback is worthwhile.
- Reflecting on your interview – think about what you could have said differently or how you might have presented differently.
- Practicing your interview techniques – you should consider practicing in front of a mirror, with someone you feel comfortable with or even recording yourself.
- Revising your approach – think about what you should change to improve your performance.
Try to stay positive and feel grateful to have had the experience. This will only help you further towards your employment and career goals.