Military spouses, wake up! The National Military Family Association is trying to hire YOU!
Unfortunately, as a hiring manager for the Association, my experience with interviewing many military spouses has been, well, quite disastrous. We military spouses love to share our lessons learned and I hope sharing some of mine will help you reach your employment goals.
Interviewing with the National Military Family Association can be your dream interview. We know you are competing for a position which may need to be flexible to your needs. Flexible in ways many other employers are not able to support.
We know that as a military spouse, you will likely relocate at some point. You will want time off to spend with your family when your service member returns. We need your experience as a military spouse. In fact, being a military spouse HELPS you get a job with us. We’re flexible. Many of us are military spouses, too.
I can be your dream interviewer. I want you to succeed. I want to hire you, but you have to be prepared to be hired. Here are a few tips and resources to empower you to rock the interview:
Resumes should be concise and interesting! Before I interview you, my first impression of you will be the one you create with your cover letter and resume. Because we move, our resumes can get to be a bit overwhelming. Choose a resume style that will highlight your skill sets and chronologically list your employers. Highlight the most important skill sets for the position you are seeking. Include volunteer positions in your employment chronology – those skills are important, too!
Dress for interviewing. Know your target employment market; if you’re unsure, a suit will do. Friends who work in the world of academia will tell me wearing a suit is a big no-no. For that, you may want to rock the tweed jacket. If you live in a humid climate, a light suit will do. But, I can assure you that even in the tech world, flip flops are never a good choice.
Do your research. Know about the company you are interviewing with. I don’t expect you to tell me everything we do, but know the mission of the organization. Know the major projects or clients.
Be excited! Show some enthusiasm! If you’re not excited about the opportunity, please don’t apply.
Apply your answers to fit the requirements of the job description and your past experience. I don’t expect you to be able to walk in on day one and know how to do the job. I do expect that you have the skill set to be successful and to learn. It’s OK to ask for clarification of a question.
Be prepared to answer why I should hire you. This is your time to shine. This is your time to sell yourself. You know your skill set. Connect your skills to the position. You know why you are perfect for this job, so tell me. I can assure you the answer, “Because I’m awesome” is not an appropriate. Think that. Feel that. But, please, don’t say that.
Ask two or three questions of the hiring manager about the position, the company, or the work environment. You are not the only one who’s being interviewed. You need to know if my organization is a good fit for you too!
And last, but most importantly, do not give me reasons why I shouldn’t hire you. I understand you want to be honest and upfront with a potential employer. You have to decide how up-front you want to be with a hiring manager. You may be giving reasons why you shouldn’t be hired.
I encourage you to take the time to review the resources out there. There are how-to-interview articles, YouTube videos, and other support available to you. Here are a few of my favorites: Interviewing Tips for Military Spouses, Do I Tell The Interviewer I’m a Military Spouse?, and Rock the Interview: 5 Tips for Military Spouse Employment Success .
What’s the best interview practice advice you would give a military spouse?