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Military Life 101

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Interviewing Tips for Spouses: Four Winning Tips for a Successful Interview

The interview is designed for one purpose: to find the "best" person for the job. Getting an interview is only a start. You must know how to win at interviewing. Follow our four proven winning interviewing strategies.

The first question most interviewers ask is "tell me about yourself." How you answer this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview. That is why you develop a one-minute resume.

Describe where you are from, your education, and what you have to offer.

One-minute Resume

Here is a good example of a one-minute resume:

I grew up in rural Western Michigan and I was active in sports and student government in high school. In addition to having the skill, talent and experience you're looking for, my life as a military spouse also reflects my being the right person for this job. The experiences I have had as a military spouse have boosted my education, provided learning experiences I've enjoyed through traveling and expanded my experience in relating to people of varying backgrounds and cultures.

Develop and practice your one-minute resume. You should do this for three reasons:

  1. It shows you are comfortable with yourself. This puts both you and the interviewer at ease.
  2. If you have a polished one-minute resume, YOU begin to control the interview.
  3. Civilians are interested in military personnel. A well-delivered one-minute resume will draw the interviewer in to you.

Be careful not to brag; simply tell a story about yourself

Positive Attitude

"This job is mine!"? All successful job hunters

The key to winning in an interview is a positive attitude. The good news is you have an advantage over the interviewer: the interview is about YOU and you know more about yourself than the interviewer does. The interview is your turn to show all that is great about you. Remember, resumes don't hire, people do.

Be prepared for difficult questions and unexpected events, such as delays. Don't let these affect your positive attitude.

Dress the Part

With business casual being instituted throughout corporate America, it is very difficult to give sound advice in this matter. We do recommend that you ASK the company you are interviewing with their dress code. If they say business casual, you should also ask if it applies to interviewing as well.

The important thing is to blend into the organizational culture. For example, if you were to interview with an Internet company, a three piece double-breasted pin-stripe suit would not make a good impression; it would, however, at a bank. It is important to check out the culture of the company before you interview. If the interview is a part of an off-site job fair, then you should wear a suit.

Write a Thank You Letter

After you conduct your successful interview, it is important to follow it up with a thank you note. Writing thank you notes are not an exercise in tradition; rather, it will allow you to highlight additional skills and qualifications that you may have for the job, it will show that you follow through and it will show that you have class. Your thank you note should also ask the employer when they expect to make a decision. An email thank you note is OK, especially for less conservative businesses.

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