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Discussing Prior Service With Interviewers

How to Discuss Your Past Experience With The Interviewers?

1. A lot of interviewers believe that a veteran’s past experience in the military resembles to what they have seen in the Hollywood movies. How to help a veteran overcome this perception, discuss.

2. As you switch from military work to a private job, it is very common to find a lot of people who, when they hear that you’ve served in the military start having an image of you being a trained sniper, working as a secret agent in other countries, injured due to heavy fire by the enemy, IED explosion, etc. They are not entirely wrong for this, as this is what they’ve seen Hollywood actors doing on the screen, and they start believing that this is what you did in the past too.

You certainly cannot term your interviewer as completely wrong, as they have a limited idea about your past experience, and the fact that you’ve worked in the military before, might sometimes be the only thing that they know about you. Thus, whenever, an interviewer, manager, or a coworker wants to know more about your past work experience in the military, or the reason for your disability or injury, understand that they only have a limited amount of knowledge about your field.

When you switch to a private job, remember that you should not add up to the imagination of people at your workplace. Thus, when you are asked questions about your past military experience by people that you do not know very well, or when you don’t know how much to reveal when you are asked about the combat-related questions, remember the below mentioned points to tackle them efficiently.

1.Do not go into the very detail of your job. If asked about your service in the past, just mention the post that you worked on and the area where you served. This should be enough in most cases.

2.Don’t tell them about things that can enhance their imagination. Things that are very confidential, overly-graphic, or technical in nature should be avoided. The atmosphere in which you’ve worked in the military is something that the civilians are not used to. So it is better to stay away from these details, especially during the interviews as they can be the last impression that the interviewer will have of you.

3.Be emphatic. Tell them that you do get asked about your past service a lot of time, and you’d like to share the experience as it’ll surely support the job that you are being interviewed for.

4 . Answer in such a way that you can end it with a question for the interviewer. You can say, ‘‘In my service I learned about managing my troops, working in highly stressful conditions, and motivating others. Are  these skills required for the job that I am applying to?’’

These suggestions will ensure that you are in complete control of the interview from your end and the interviewer should not go into much detail about your military experience. Assume that the questions that are being asked are in good intent, and your job is to provide them with a short overview of your past service.

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