We spoke with Tara Carlidge, Recruiting Manager at Citi and former Personnel Officer in the U.S. Army, to ask her about the biggest mistakes that veterans make during interviews, which could keep them from getting a civilian / corporate job they are interviewing for. Here’s what we learned:
First, don’t focus too much on salary and how the job will benefit you – instead, focus more on the value and skill set that you will bring to the job. Companies want to hear how employing you will benefit them. While understanding how the job will benefit you is important – obviously, salary is one of the first things that you look at when applying for a job – it should not be the most important. It’s vital to understand that you need to market yourself to the company. Why should they hire you? What do you bring to the table that they don’t already have? What kinds of skills do you possess that would be an asset to their company?
Second, come prepared. Tara recommends researching the company and fully understanding the role that you are interviewing for prior to the interview, as well as making sure that you are being yourself. After all: in order to understand how to market your value, you must have a solid understanding of the company. By this, we mean that you should know what field of work the company / role is in, what the company’s mission is and what they stand for, what goals they are trying to achieve, and (if applicable) what products they are selling.
Finally, it is important to be yourself in your interview – as Tara points out, sometimes veterans can come off as stiff, which doesn’t always fit into the feel of the company. It’s essential to be relaxed and let your personality show, while maintaining professionalism.
This article is one of nine in a 9-part series WayUp has completed in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation and VOWS in an effort to help Veterans entering the civilian workforce. To sign up for WayUp and be discovered by employers, we encourage you to go here.