Serving Those Who Have Served—and How it Can Serve You

Some weeks ago I appeared on a podcast that helps JMO’s (Junior Military Officers) transition from their branch of service to the corporate world.

Why was this particularly fun for me?

Well, as some of you know my husband was in the Air Force, my brother is a former Marine, my nephew is in the Navy, and a second cousin once removed (yes, that’s a real thing) is in the Army.

Anything I can do to help those who are serving/have served our country is a privilege.

Why did the founders of the podcast feel I would be helpful?

Because military-types are trained to stick to the point and keep their thoughts to themselves—which serves them well in the military but can make it difficult for recruiters and future employers to connect with them in an interview.

My job was to help them express their Wow factor.

What kinds of suggestions did I make?

The same kinds I make to anyone who finds nervousness leaves them personality-free:

Embed answers to questions such as, “What’s your greatest strength?” in a story. This will take your response from, “I’m a great leader,” to “I enjoy leading teams. For example, one time my team was put in charge of X project…”

Telling stories makes your voice and face come alive, and studies show that people remember stories longer, trust them more, and repeat them more accurately.

What’s another way to make sure your physicality is supporting your message?

Videotape your responses and watch yourself with the sound off. Do you want to hear what you’re saying? If you do, chances are the recruiter will, too.

For these types of tips (and oh, so many more) have a listen.

And when you see an active-duty service person or a Veteran, please thank them for their service.


How can what you learned in the military super-serve you in an interview? Take a look at, “You Got the Call—Now What? 3 Quick Wins for an Impromptu Interview”