There are a wealth of websites and books that can help you prepare for a job interview. However, nothing works better than practice. Don’t forget; you are there to get a job, not to make friends. Remember, just like you learned in the military, you perform what you practice.
“Well, I was heading up the port side ladder to go the head when I ran into seaman Smith. Smith had been gone for over 45 minutes. The reason, he decided he wanted a smoke break and was out on the smoking sponson.”
For example, you may have lived on bases, ships, or subs. You ate in chow halls, or in the galley… or even M.R.E.’s. You shopped in commissaries or exchanges.
Practice translating your military experience so that a civilian is able to understand. You’ve worked in very specialized environments. These environments create very specific military cultures.
Not sure how to translate your military experience into a civilian application? According to the Military Benefits Association, you should use one of the numerous online military skills translators that are available. This will help you describe your experience in a way that hiring managers can better understand.
Now that you have an idea of what kinds of questions to expect, the next step is how to answer them. To give a complete answer to a behavior-based question, you must, first, reflect on specific situations that you faced while working (include any volunteering or internships), then, describe the specific action you took, and, finally, the outcome as a result of your actions. The interviewer will be looking for concrete examples not generalities. A helpful hint would be to remember the initials “PAR” for “Problem, Action, and Results” such as “PAR for the Course.” Heres an example: Problem: Local newspaper subscriptions were declining for the area residents and large numbers of long-term subscribers were not renewing contracts. With the majority of the newspapers revenue generated from subscriptions, this reduction in renewals would have an enormous affect on the future of the paper, especially employment.
Action: Evaluated original subscription rates and designed a new promotional package that offered special rates for all renewal subscriptions. Results: Increased renewal subscription by 25 percent over the same period last year. This promotional package not only increased renewal subscriptions and maintains job security for the staff, but also enabled the office to replace a badly needed piece of equipment that could no longer be serviced.
Question: Describe a time when you went above and beyond your job requirements. What motivated you to put forth the extra effort? What was the result of your effort?
Question: Tell us about a time where you worked independently without close supervision or support.
Question: Tell us about a time you briefed a supervisor or senior management official about bad news and/or results they did not like, along with recommending a different course of action. How did you persuade them to move in a new direction? What were the results?
Tip: Make sure you read over the job announcement closely, especially the duties and specialized experience sections. Then review your own resume and previous experiences, paying particularly close attention to anything that makes you unique.
Preparation is key to soothing those pre-interview jitters. When you’re prepared, you’ll feel relaxed and confident so the conversation can flow naturally.
Prepare For An Interview By Recognizing Your Emotional Intelligence
To make the best impression in a PBI, it helps to have in-depth, complete responses that offer insight into not only your accomplishments or your shortcomings but how you achieved your successes and responded to your failures.
These kinds of answers rely on your emotional intelligence, or your ability to recognize motivations for your behavior and imbue your responses with a sense of self-awareness and empathy that PBIs are designed to elicit.
As you consider your potential responses, take time to pay attention to interactions around you. Listen to what others are telling you through their words, body language and facial expressions. Observing the way people use and react to emotion can help you fine-tune your own emotional intelligence.