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Episode 143 – The Six BIGGEST Interviewing Mistakes to Avoid in a Military to Business Transition
What are some of the biggest interviewing mistakes JMOs should avoid when transitioning to business? What are some tips for avoiding a verbal professional faux pas?
We can help.
After 50+ years of coordinating interviews with officers in our program and our client companies, we’ve learned a thing or two! Our team puts together five conferences per year, each averaging 500+ interviews over the span of two days.
The success rate of our officers?
For the past year, we’ve been sitting at 100%.
Every officer in our program receives a personalized transition preparation experience, ranging from individual career coaching phone calls to mock interview preparation.
However, we do know that interviewing comes with its challenges. We work hard to ensure officers in our program avoid some of the more common interviewing mistakes we’ve seen over the years.
These are some of the most common interviewing mistakes we see JMOs make along with tips on how to avoid them.
- Self-Deprecation. Be sure to avoid any phrases like “…I don’t have much experience in business…” and instead jump straight to “…I’m a hard worker and won’t let you down!” If client companies are interviewing JMOs, they know you don’t have directly relatable experience. Don’t undervalue your worth by falling into this mistake.
- The “…what can you do for me?” Mentality. In every interview, the decision maker has a problem—an open position. Your first priority in the interview is to help them see a solution to their problem (AKA: your ability and interest).
- Pronouns. In many cases, officers like to give credit to their teams using pronouns like “you” and “we”. This is definitely a good thing! However, the interviewer wants to know more about your impact. When interviewing, try to use “I” for a more powerful statement. For example, instead of saying something like “…when you lead a team, you should first…” say “…when I lead a team, I…”.
- Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF). When answering accomplishment-focused questions, use this BLUF method. Ultimately, the recruiter wants to know what you did and the final outcome of the situation. Leading your example with the bottom line gives a direct answer to the question, sets the scene for your story and helps you stay on track during delivery.
- Memorize the Method, Not the Answer. You don’t want to sound like a robot when delivering answers. This can be incredibly obvious to a recruiter. Once you know your methods backwards and forwards, it’ll be easier to color in the lines with personal experiences.
- Missing the Boat … you’ll have to download our Transition Guide for our final tip! And you won’t want to miss the boat on this one.
These are some of the most common interviewing mistakes we see in the military to business transition! Hopefully, our tips prove helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about how Cameron-Brooks helps with career coaching and interview preparation, contact us. We’d love to chat.
Cameron-Brooks is a Military-to-Business transition specialist that partners exclusively with Junior Military Officers to launch rewarding careers in Corporate America. Connect with us in the following ways.