Have a veteran coming in for an interview? Though the information on a veteran’s resume or application may not read like other applicants, the interview should be remarkably similar to any other job interview with a few exceptions. Here are interviewing tips that can guide you from the first moment of your interview with a veteran:
- Start by thanking them for their service. A simple, “I read through your resume/application and I want to thank you for your service” sets the tone for the interview.
- Explain the expectations and goals of the position. Don’t summarize or generalize. Be up front about what is expected.
- Draw out their experience. Don’t ask yes or no questions about their past history. Instead ask “Tell me about…” questions that relate to their military service. For instance, “Tell me about your supervisory duties during your service” or “Tell me about your responsibilities when you served in that capacity.”
- Relate their job skills to your position. Look through the military words for job skills that relate to your civilian position. For example, a serviceman or woman working in transportation may have skills that relate to a logistical position.
- Ask them the same questions that you ask other candidates. Don’t feel you have to customize your questions, or that you need to treat a veteran any different than other candidate. Ask the veteran about their strengths, weaknesses, or any other questions you normally ask.
If you have any questions, do your research. The military has resources that can assist your human resources staff with clarifying military terminology and skills utilized by service members. When you are ready, follow up with the candidate regardless of whether you are offering them the position. If you have any questions about hiring the right employee or workforce staffing solutions, contact Nissen Staffing Continuum. We have staff members that can assist, and direct you to further resources that can assist your employment questions.
Be aware that veterans face unique challenges when transitioning from military to civilian employment. But veterans also bring unique skills to the position, including a sense of team, strong work ethic and flexibility. Educate yourself, prepare for the challenges—and the benefits of hiring the right employee for your position.