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On this page: Diane Hudson Burns offers 5 tips for acing that interview that helps transition you into the civilian world.

5 Tips for Acing the Military Transition Interview

If you are retiring from the military in your early to mid-forties, then you may have never experienced an interview before, ever. You may be nervous, unprepared, or perhaps quite confident.

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Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a solid interview experience:

1. Understand the interview components:

If you are in an interview, then your resume has validated your expertise, and/or, you were referred by another colleague/contact, and together with your resume, the potential employer recognizes that you possess the skills required for the position. Consequently the components of an interview include:

2. Change military speak to corporate speak:

 3. Qualify and quantify military terms to help the non-military interviewer understand your credentials:

4. Develop scripts and practice interviewing:

Write scripts for the questions that may cause you discomfort, i.e.,

Then, write stories in the CCAR format (Context, Challenge, Actions, Results) format, for five to 10 of your most significant career achievements. Practice mock role-playing interviews with a colleague, on the phone or in person, to help you "get a feel" for the interview process.

You can never actually prepare for the exact questions that will be asked of you in an interview, but these preparations will aid in helping you glean from the example stories you created.

5. Carry a reference list

Bottom Line

As a member of the military, you learned the importance of planning and preparation and probably developed good skills. Apply what you learned to the civilian world, and you will succeed.


About the author...

Job-Hunt's Job Search Expert for Veterans, Diane is a military transition job-search strategist and career coach. She designs and composes military conversion resumes and helps position service members for employment in corporate or Federal America. Diane holds eight industry credentials including Certified Leadership & Talent Management Coach and Federal Job Search Trainer & Counselor and owns Career Marketing Techniques.