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Military to Civilian

Get the job you interview for -- without ‘interview jitters’, embarrassment, or being stumped by trick interview questions.  Matt & Nan DeLuca and the job-interview.net experts will prepare you for your interview with the Complete Interview Guide.

  • Answers to more than 50 of the Toughest Interview Situations - follow-up calls & letters, illegal questions
  • Control your nerves and give natural, unrehearsed answers
  • Questions to ask the interviewers
  • Review hundreds of skills and abilities questions and answer tips
  • Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions


Recommended Reading

  1. How has your military experience prepared you for this position?
  2. Which skills did you learn in the military that will contribute the most to your effective performance in this job?
  3. What was the single most important lesson that you have learned in the military?
  4. Why did you choose the branch of the service that you served?
  5. What do you think will be your greatest adjustment in moving from the military to this position?


A detailed analysis of a tough interview question from Matt & Nan DeLuca, authors of the best selling "Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions" and "More Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions"

What makes you think your management experience in the military will transfer over as experience in the civilian workforce?

Besides being a question you may be asked, this is one that you should answer for yourself. Interviewer is looking for transferable skills.  Make a list of all the skills and experiences you are offering...match them to the job opening requirements.  Many skills such as communications, budgeting, managing, training...are transferable.  Give an example (on your list) of how you acquired and used each of these transferable skills.  Be prepared to tell (short) stories to illustrate how you used skills in military and how you can see yourself applying these same skills in the civilian workplace. This exercise will help you to focus on your 'selling' points as well as boost your confidence (you do have a lot of skills and experience to offer).

I am married to an Air Force officer and as such I move once every 3-5 years.  I dread the questions, "Why did you leave your last job" and "Where do you see yourself five years from now".  Are there any tactful or positive ways that I can tell a prospective employer that I won't be with them for the next election?

Your plight is not such a terrible one.  In fact in these times a stay of 3-5 years is considered a good track record and if in fact your past employers 
provide solid references many employers would be happy that they will have you for so long.

A couple of other comments.  First do not share more than you have to. When asked where do you hope to be in five years, make a career statement (" I would like to become a project manager in Information Technology and use the experiences as a programmer analyst to get me there,") or a personal growth statement ("I would like to have my business degree.")  Notice in both statements you do not need to mention where geographically you will be nor that it is a fact of life going forward that your husband will continue to be reassigned on the same basis he was until now.  If they ask what his prospects are going forward make a positive statement. In every assignment so far he has stayed at least three years and more typically has been in the same place for five. 

Separately, consider taking a job with a major employer and then when your husband is reassigned, you could apply for a company transfer.  Last, also consider telecommuting if and when your husband gets reassigned.  Many organizations do it and it would give them the opportunity to evaluate you before making that kind of commitment and it would show your flexibility.  Just make sure you do your homework before raising the issue.  Some organizations would not like the suggestion at all.


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