Communications in interviews

I took a peek at a website which discussed communications in job interviews, and gave examples of some do’s and dont’s/ Being in the Navy for the last 19 years, I havent had a job interview to say, but I have interviewed for different positions. I also have an interview for a new position in the next couple of months. 19 years is a long time in an organization, and all good things must come to an end sonner or later. I have 8 more years left in the Navy and am already preparing myself for the transition to a civilian life. Competition for jobs is stiff in the civilian world, and having the Navy be the only thing that I have ever done can make it harder when I convert to the new lifestyle. Between the upcoming interview for my new position, and my eventual transition to civilian life, the tips I found here are useful.

1. Start with appropriate small talk- When I met my spouse the first thing I said to her was “fat penguin”- she looked at me very confused. I explained to her that I just wanted to say something that would break the ice. Corny joke, I know, but the small talk get me in to communicating with her. I would not start an interview with a joke, but starting with small talk to break the ice can remove any nerves that I may have.

2. Address the interviewer by name- This is natural to me. Being military we have learned our manners, and always treat superiors with the respect that is given; however, what I picked up from here is that instead of saying Sir or Mam, I can start with Mr. or Ms.. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere and brings everyone to the same level.

3. Match your communication style to the interviewer- Staying on the same level with them allows the interview to go more smoothly. If they are relaxed and you are serious, then the interview can be tense. Also, if you are relaxed and they are serious then they can think that you consider this to be more of a joke. Good tip!

4. Dont talk too much- As a supervisor in sales, and a former salesman myself I can see where this can be disastrious. I have witnessed my recruiters talk applicants OUT of joining the Navy. In this case you can do the same thing and talk yourself OUT of a job!

5. Avoid interrupting the interviewer- This is just blatantly disrespecful. not only that, if interrupting the interviewer you face the chance of not answering the real question. Assuming what the interviewer is going to say, and interrupting to answer is not a good choice. Let them talk, think about your answer, then answer.

6. Avoid jargon and acronyms- This will be the hardest for me to do when I leave the military. Jargon and acronyms are ourlifestyle and after 26-30 years of using them, just throwing them away will be hard. Besides half of my job relates to acronyms, some that I am not sure what they even stand for. It has just been the norm to call something a NRC or a IG. This will be my greatest challenge, but one that I am ready to tackle head on!


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