WITH employers actively seeking service spouses and family members through the new Forces Families Jobs website, we’re hoping that many of you will make their shortlists. When you get to the next stage, how do you nail the interview? We asked Recruit for Spouses, the social enterprise that helps military spouses find work, for its advice…

Take the time to prepare
It’s essential. Good recruiters will know which candidates have taken the time to do their research and can tell if you’re trying to wing it.

Make a good first impression
You can start before you turn up for interview by creating a cover letter and tailored CV. Ensure you’re smartly dressed and be ready with a good handshake and engaging smile.

Don’t throw out stock answers
Commonly asked questions like ‘tell us a bit about yourself’ look simple, but you still need to demonstrate an understanding of the job requirements. They’re an opportunity to explain how you match the position, the company culture and demonstrate your motivation.

Practice your answers
An interview often includes behavioural competency questions where you’re asked to give examples of when you’ve demonstrated skills such as communication, planning or problem solving. Practise talking these through so you’re fluent but not scripted.

Don’t be negative
The interview is not the place to be sharing your bad experiences. You want to be honest, but going into too much detail will leave the decision makers with doubts. An interview is the time to be positive about your experiences.

Be specific
If you’re looking for a new challenge then explain what that involves. It’s common to be asked why you left your last job; the interviewer is gathering information about your decision-making process and what motivates you.

Childcare arrangements
Your childcare arrangements are no one’s business. Good recruiters won’t ask this question; they’ll make sure every candidate knows the requirements of the job – hours, work patterns and shifts etc.

Leave a positive lasting impression
Consider having a 30-second pitch or statement to explain why you’re suitable. Remember to focus on the information that recruiters need to make the decision.

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