Marines

Photo Information

Dave Walters, the transition assistance program coordinator and an interviewing techniques workshop instructor with the Career Resource Management Center, Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, explains the various types of interview formats during an interviewing techniques workshop at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center aboard the base, recently. The course taught service members, families, retirees and Department of Defense civilians a variety of topics such as how to dress appropriately, address challenging questions and avoid pitfalls.

Photo by Cpl. Jo Jones

Preparing for the future: how to have a successful job interview

7 Oct 2010 | Cpl. Jo Jones

Which of the following do employers look at the most when determining who to hire during a job interview?  Is it A) skills and experience; B) miscellaneous; C) appearance or D) body language?

Students who attended the interviewing techniques workshop recently, at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, answered these types of questions and learned the secrets to a successful job interview.

“Job interviewing techniques go in-depth into what you can expect from a job interview; how to prepare yourself; what to do before, during and after an interview and the various types of interviews.  It also addresses challenges and pitfalls, and how to avoid those,” said Dave Walters, the transition assistance program coordinator and an interviewing techniques workshop instructor with the Career Resource Management Center, Marine Corps Community Services, MCB Camp Lejeune.  “A résumé is designed to get you the job interview.  The interview is really the last step in the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ decision on whether or not you’re going to get that job, based on your performance.”

While there are a number of factors such as knowledge about a company, educational background and job experience that employers take into consideration when interviewing potential employees, Walters said the screening process actually happens in the first few seconds of an interview, solely based on the person’s outfit. 

“When you go into a job interview, the first thing the employer is going to see when you walk into that particular room is how you’re dressed, so it’s very important that you make a good first impression,” said Walters.  “You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you are dressed appropriately for the job you are applying for and that you have done your homework.  That employer has already formed an opinion of you based on how you’re dressed, before you even say one word.”

Walters recommended people dress one level up from the job for which they are applying.  In general, job seekers should wear conservative outfits such as business suits, and women should not wear excessive makeup or jewelry.  Portfolios containing copies of resumes and references should be well organized and be a solid color such as black or brown.

Whether preparing for a one-on-one interview or meeting with representatives at a job fair, Walters said it is important for potential employees to treat every interaction like a formal interview.

“When you’re at a job fair, you may not know if you’re talking to a recruiter or the (chief executive officer) of a company, so you never want to assume that the person at the booth is just a recruiter,” explained Walters.  “That person could have the final decision on whether or not you will get that job.  So, when you go to the job (fair) and you’re standing there, treat it as an interview and not just small talk.”

In spite of the pressures of interviewing and job searching, Walters stressed the importance of another key factor that would guarantee success.

“Be yourself and everything will fall into place,” said Walters.

Sgt. Elaine Rivera, a court reporter at the Legal Service Support Section, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, said she took this class to help prepare her for civilian life since she gets out of the Marine Corps in March.

“I’m trying to gain more information,” said Rivera.  “I’ve been in the Marine Corps for eight years, so the more education and perspective I can get, the better.”

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Locke, a utilities officer with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, will retire from the Marine Corps next year after 21 years of service.  He said the course taught him how to better market himself in a job interview, setting him up for success in today’s economy.

“It’s the details that are going to make or break you, and determine whether you get the job or not,” said Locke.  “The details will put you at a higher level than your peers.”

The interviewing techniques workshop is offered once every quarter to service members, families, retirees and Department of Defense civilians aboard the base.  It is free of charge and held at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center.

For more information about the interviewing techniques workshop, call 910-451-3212.