Prepare for Your Interview with Confidence


Going into a job interview equipped to answer the questions that are most likely to be asked will not only boost your confidence but will also make a positive impact on your prospective employer, giving you an edge over others seeking the same position.


According to Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, a practice manual for job-hunters and career-changers, there are five basic questions that will most certainly be asked in the course of an interview. Knowing what these questions are, and preparing your answers beforehand, will give you a definite advantage in your job search and enhance your employment opportunities.


The research process can oftentimes result in consulting an overwhelming number of resources. However, by narrowing your focus to the five questions most likely to be posed during a job interview, you will be covering the basics of what most employers are interested in learning about you. Not only will this save valuable time, but will also serve to ease any apprehension you may have in preparing for an upcoming meeting with a prospective employer.


Practice answering the following five questions to align your thoughts and nail your next interview:

Q: Why are you here?
A: In order to answer this question effectively, you must know why you are interested in working for this particular organization. Tell them why you want the job and demonstrate your knowledge of the company by giving specific examples based on your research. This will surely make a favorable impression on the employer.

Q: What can you do for us?
A: An employer will always want to know what you, as a prospective employee, can do to benefit the company. Provide them with detailed examples from your past experiences and relate them to the position you are seeking.

Q: What kind of person are you?
A: During the course of a face-to-face meeting, an employer has the opportunity to evaluate your personality and observe how well you carry yourself. Having prepared your answers to the five questions and being well rehearsed prior to the day of the interview, you will exude self-confidence, giving you an overall appearance that is sure to impress the interviewer.

Q: What is it that distinguishes you from other people who can perform the same job?
A: When a prospective employer asks you what it is that makes you stand out and sets you apart among the other 19 candidates applying for the same position, your response should include qualities and specific achievements relative to the job. By making an impact on the employer in this way, they will likely want to hire you immediately.

Q: Can I afford you?
A: If an employer asks you how much you want to be paid, it is best to state your answer as a range. This will keep you from pricing yourself out of the market for the job. Prior to the interview, be sure to research the appropriate salary expectation of your geographical area.

Have fun, and good luck!


What is Quick Hire?


There is good news for military spouses looking for employment. With the “Quick Hire” program, which went into effect on September 11 of 2009, husbands and wives of service members will find the process of attaining a job, whether short-term, part-time or permanent, easier than ever.


This “noncompetitive hiring authority” was devised for the purpose of assisting “certain military spouses” in landing a position within the competitive service more quickly. According to the final ruling of the Federal Register, the goal is to help military spouses move into Federal civil service as part of an effort to recruit and retain skilled and experienced members of the armed forces, and also to honor the service of those injured, disabled or killed in active duty.


The term “certain military spouse” applies to you if:

- You are married to a service member who served on active duty for at least 180 days, provided you moved to the new permanent duty station.
- You are the spouse of a retired service member with a disability rating of 100% at the time of retirement.
- Your husband or wife is a former service member who retired or was released and has a 100% disability rating from the VA.
- You are an un-remarried widow or widower of an armed forces member killed while on active duty.


Eligibility is based on the following:
PCS (Permanent Change of Station): You must be married to a member of the armed forces and accompany them to the new duty station by way of PCS orders. Your eligibility is limited to the geographic region indicated on the orders you receive. (This includes the duty station and surrounding area within reasonable commuting distance.) You must show a copy of the PCS orders confirming that you are authorized to accompany your service member as well as proof of marriage.


Disability: This applies if you are the spouse of a service member who retired under Chapter 61 of Title 10 of the United States Code with a 100% disability rating at the time of retirement. Spouses of retired or released members who have a 100% disability rating from the VA or related branch of service also qualify. You will need to have documentation that confirms the rating and shows that the service member was discharged or released due to a service-connected disability. Again, proof of marriage will be required.


Death: A spouse qualifies under these circumstances when his or her service member was killed in active duty. The surviving spouse must be unmarried to use the authority. Proof of marriage will be needed as well as confirmation that the service member’s death occurred while on active duty.


In all three cases, you are eligible for noncompetitive appointment for up to two years from the date of the PCS orders; the date it was verified that the service member became 100% disabled; or the date of documentation confirming he or she was killed on active duty. Use of this authority is under discretion by Federal agencies.