Posted on Mar 24, 2017
Danielle Gray
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As recruiters, we research and read all about how we can better adapt interviews to correlate with military experience. I'm curious to hear directly from military members what I can do to make interviewing a better experience.
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Responses: 15
LTC Kevin B.
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Edited 4 y ago
Most of the responses so far have focused on recruiter/interviewer knowledge of military jobs, work experiences, skill sets, organizational structure, and terminology, but I'll take a different path and focus on interpersonal interaction. I wish recruiters/interviewers had a better understanding of the concept of "military bearing". I've heard numerous people mention that military people come off as direct, curt, stoic, cold, blunt, stiff, etc. I wish that civilian recruiters/interviewers understood that the military setting isn't an environment where people "beat around the bush", pontificate, avoid giving direct answers, pal around with bosses/co-workers, act overtly jovial, etc. They are almost overtly professional and laser beam-focused on accomplishing their jobs. In the private sector, this often comes across as being too stiff for many organizations when assessing them for positions. However, just like most service members evolved throughout their careers to adopt that demeanor, it can also be "unadopted" once they take off the uniform. That military bearing, and its misinterpretation, is often most problematic at the point when a service member is transitioning out of the military. Before long, that will subside when stepping into a work setting that is more relaxed than a military setting. I wish more recruiters/interviewers would take into account the work culture people are leaving when assessing them for the fit within the work culture they are trying to enter.
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MSG Mechanic 2nd
MSG (Join to see)
4 y
sir dead nuts, civilians just don't understand the work ethic of the military we can not be laxidaisical about our jobs, as we go out into the private sector we bring that same attitude, get the job done, for some of use the work ethic continues but we are a little less rigid, I know my latest promotion can attest to the work ethic, civilians also need to take in to account leadership we have, may not have the college degrees in business management, but we have the training, and can get the job done.
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Danielle Gray
Danielle Gray
4 y
LTC Kevin B. , you make a very good point. It can be misinterpreted during an interview when, really, that laser focus is an amazing advantage to have.
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Capt Brandon Charters
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Great question Danielle Gray. Just as the recruiter wants the veteran candidate to know more about the company he/she is applying to, I would want my recruiter to know a little bit about the various kinds of military experiences that are out there & that veterans have a very wide range of skill sets and leadership capabilities.
Just a basic understanding of service branches, military specialities, and rank go a long way in my book. I saw the Farmers Insurance team build a great knowledge handbook for their recruiters to use with similar information. This kept their whole team in the know on how to have helpful conversations with veterans. Big salute to Lucas Buck & Michelle Titus for setting the example.
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Danielle Gray
Danielle Gray
4 y
Capt Brandon Charters , that is a fantastic idea! I've been simply googling different terms to learn more, but having a quick resource sheet would be so helpful. I am going to look into that more. I agree that part of the responsibility should fall on the recruiter to have a basic understanding of military experience.
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Michelle Titus
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Hi Danielle - My opinion when I meet military candidates is really to get them to talk about what they did in the military in laymen's terms - this helps you as the recruiter help them to see the correlation from their military role to how it translates into the skill sets you are hiring for. This also helps them as they go into interviews to start talking "civilian speak" rather than military acronyms that some recruiters may not understand.
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SFC J Fullerton
SFC J Fullerton
4 y
The key is to get them to talk about their skills and attributes. Being in charge of a mortar fire direction center is not the same as being a warehouse supervisor. But the skills and attributes to be successful are the SAME in either job
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Danielle Gray
Danielle Gray
4 y
Michelle Titus, that is very good advice. Same idea as when you're looking at translatable experience across industries.
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