Veterans have a unique background that can often seem unrelated to the jobs they pursue after service. We’ve outlined the four most common job interview questions for veterans and why hiring managers ask them. Knowing your answers to these questions can help get you through the interview process and into the right company after your military career.
Why are you interested in this industry?
Making the switch from service to a civilian life can be challenging. When a hiring manager thinks of interview questions for veterans, they want to see whether or not you are bringing the same passion you brought to serving your country to their company. Don’t interview for a product or service you don’t believe in. Find an industry that you are passionate about. If you can bring the same dedication to your civilian career as you did to your military career, you would be an asset to any company. Hiring managers know this and ask this interview question to see just how motivated you are about their company.
What skills can you bring to this position?
Even though you’ve spent time in the military, it doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on learning the basics of technology. Just about every position in the military deals with high quality software and machinery. Spend some time doing research on how these interact with the corporate world. Are you detailed-oriented? Can you sift through data to find the meaningful outliers? Even though you can’t bring artillery skills to most careers, the skill it takes to aim and fire correctly is still relevant.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Although this is one of the most cliché job interview questions, it can reveal a lot about the drive of a job seekers. Particularly for veterans, hiring managers are interested in learning what career advancements these candidates are looking to achieve. Do you plan to stay in the same industry? Are you looking to rise quickly? Are you motivated to be a manager or leader? Just because the interview question is trite doesn’t mean your answer has to be. Take the time to plot out the career progression you want after your service. Just like your rank on a military base, jobs have levels that employees look to achieve. When it comes to discussing your five-year plan, highlight where you see yourself doing your best work. This is an opportunity for you to discuss with the hiring manager what advancement opportunities the company can offer you.
What is your ideal workplace culture?
Finding a culture fit is hugely important to both job seekers and hiring managers. When you’re going through the job search, take the time to set out what kind of environment you need to do your best work. What kind of management do you prefer? How do you work best with your team? What is the best way for you to prioritize products? Understanding how you work best can help you pick a company where you are an ideal employee and can help hiring managers ensure you will fit in with the rest of their company. Every person works differently, including veterans, so make sure you find a workplace that is a fit for you.