Wednesday, September 10, 2014

29 Questions Every Hiring Manager Should Ask Veterans

Many managers have a standard set of interview questions they use when hiring a new team member. And while these tried-and-true questions certainly have a place in an interview, hiring managers may want to incorporate some additional questions when interviewing veterans. Veterans bring a unique skill set and set of experiences that may best be understood through questions that go beyond "Name three weaknesses." These questions will help managers glean how a veteran's military experience translates into civilian qualifications.

Below is a list of interview questions hiring managers interested in hiring veterans may want to add to their repertoire. These examples will help give you a solid idea of how a prospective employee's military experience pertains to the work for which you are hiring, even though you may not understand all the military nuances.
  • Describe a time that you have:
    • Failed
    • took a risk
    • handled conflict
    • led a team through a challenging situation
    • demonstrated creativity
    • took initiative
    • worked without a lot of direction
    • sold an idea to another individual
    • set a goal for yourself, and the steps you took to achieve it
    • experienced your greatest failure/made a mistake
    • experienced your greatest achievement?
  • Who is your favorite leader and why? How did they handle conflict?
  • Have you ever had a mentor? If so, what did he or she do for you?
  • How would you characterize your leadership style?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a poor performer.
  • Describe a situation in life where your request or demand was rejected. How did it feel? What did you do?
  • Describe an experience in which you felt you gained something because you persisted and saw it through to success.
  • Define stress. How do you relieve stress?
  • Define pressure. How do you relieve pressure? Is pressure different from stress?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
  • Would you prefer to follow the rules or make the rules?
  • What has been the toughest decision you ever had to make?
  • What is the most difficult aspect of your military career?
  • Why have you been successful in the past?
  • Under what conditions do you work best?
  • What do you consider your most significant achievement?
  • What is the most stressful situation you have encountered in your military career? How did you handle it?
  • What are the two toughest decisions you have had to make? Which was the best/worst decision?                      
  • What is the most important thing you learned from your last job?
Interview questions like these can help bridge the gap between civilian hiring manager and veteran and illustrate just how valuable an employee you have to gain. For more information on best practices, strategies, and techniques for hiring veterans, click here. 

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