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Behavioral Interview Preparation

Like military training, interview preparation is essential. One of the specific interview styles you should prepare for is the behavioral interview. Behavioral interviews are an opportunity for an employer to assess how you would handle specific work-related situations. Alternately, this also serves as an opportunity where you can clearly outline your unique skills and how they would be the ideal match for this position

While you may at first be intimidated at the prospect of participating in a behavioral-based interview, keep in mind that most of the questions being asked will be centered around the character traits that you as a veteran have years of experience with: discipline, managerial skills, and the ability to work under stress. During a behavioral-type interview, you have the opportunity to outline in detail how your military career can apply.

First become familiar with the types of questions employers will ask These are usually questions that encourage job seekers to tell a story. Interviewers ask these types of questions so that they can assess how candidates will conduct themselves in new positions. Here are some examples:


  • Describe a project that required input from people at different levels in the organization.


  • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills.

One of the challenges is that the term “leadership” means different things to different people. What exactly are “leadership skills”?

Well, in the basic dictionary sense, “leadership” means leading a group of people or an organization. However, most people see true leadership as something that goes beyond just managing people and projects. Here are some of the competencies typically considered “leadership skills”: taking initiative, communicating a vision, translating vision into reality, inspiring others, making tough decisions, motivating others, empowering others, and developing others.

Handling Conflicts

  • Tell me about a time that you disagreed with a rule or approach.

Your Biggest Failure

  • What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?