All those hours spent tailoring your resumé, networking on LinkedIn, and applying to career opportunities has finally landed you an interview. Congratulations! You would be a valuable asset to this company. It is time to help them see that and determine whether or not they are a good fit for you.
Maybe you’ve been in this position many times before due to frequent moves and changing positions or maybe it’s been a long time since your last interview. Whatever the case, it is always essential to prepare for an interview.
Do you ever wish you had interview advice tailored specifically to military spouses? You’re in luck, read on below!
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice makes perfect! It might be sound cliche but the reality is you will interview better if you get those interview jitters out first. Interviews are social situations most of us don’t normally encounter in everyday life, so it makes sense that they can feel a little strange.
There’s really no way around this except to actually practice. Practice answering potential interview questions in front of a mirror or with a friend. Meet with a mentor ahead of time by participating in a mock interview.
Better yet, track down someone in your current hometown or from a place you used to live that may have a business that you could reach out to. Try asking them, “I’m getting ready to interview for the first time in a long time and I know you run a successful business and hire people. Would you mind spending a few minutes on the phone or Zoom with me to ask me some good and tough interview questions to help me get prepared?” The vast majority will say yes and they may even introduce you to one of their HR folks
What about those “sticky” questions?
Do you reveal that you’re a military spouse? That’s the million dollar question. If you’re applying for a job where your milspouse status may help you in the eyes of your employer, go for it. Examples where it may help you could be jobs that explicitly prioritize hiring military connected individuals, connections through milspouse employment organizations, or specific milspouse partnerships. Revealing your status as a military spouse could also be beneficial for remote positions as it may showcase your flexibility, self-motivation, creativity, and ability to adapt to change.
Unfortunately, some other roles may discriminate against you for your milspouse status because they worry you may move away. You are not required to reveal this part of yourself to employers, and you may want to consider choosing not to if it will not be beneficial to you.
So what do you do if they ask “what brings you to the area?” Remember, this job interview is about you, not your spouse. It is not dishonest to choose not to reveal information that may be used to discriminate against you. It’s okay to say something along the lines of that your family relocated due to new opportunities.
They may ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” There’s no need to mention you may move twice in the next 5 years to answer this question well and honestly. Consider focusing on the skills you want to develop instead of where you want to be.