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When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.

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Mistakes made in an interview can cost you a job offer

Mistakes made in an interview can cost you a job offer

That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview. Here are three areas of performance that should be considered dangerous and deadly:

1.Poor nonverbal communication image

• Show confidence by believing in yourself and showing it (head held high and shoulders back).

• Good eye contact is essential (note the color of the interviewer’s eyes).

• Connect with a good, firm handshake (no limp noodles or bone crushers wanted).

• Posture is a key indicator of confidence. Sit and stand erect (slumping = lazy attitude).

2. Poor verbal communication skills

• Good communication skills include listening and letting people know you heard what they said.

• Observe your interviewer’s style and pace, then match it.

• Use appropriate language. Beware of using slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual preferences (no "You guys...").

• Telling the interviewer more than they need to know could be a fatal mistake. Too much information, especially personal information, could get into some areas that are best not discussed in an interview.

3. Not asking questions is a big mistake.

• When asked if you have any questions, do not say "no" -- WRONG answer!

• Asking questions gives you the opportunity to show your interest. The best questions come from listening to what is said and asked during the interview. Ask for additional information.

• Asking questions gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place to work. This is your chance to find out what goes on in the company.

What’s the best way to know whether you are breaking any of these rules? Get feedback that is straightforward and honest. Otherwise, you will keep making the same mistakes.

Give yourself every advantage by preparing and practicing before the interview. Be aware of your verbal and nonverbal performances, and the messages you are sending. It could make the difference between a job offer or not.

Article courtesy of Military.com

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