Hired as an Account Executive in Seattle, WA United States Navy, E-5, Personnelman
I was not the typical Hire Heroes USA client. I transitioned out of the Navy back in 2003 and had been working in financial services until about two years ago, when I found myself out of work. Even after eight years in the field, I was having a very difficult time transitioning to another position within the financial services field.
It was my Veteran Transition Specialist’s (VTS) in-depth understanding of the hiring world which kept my spirits up. The resume was very helpful, but I really appreciated the time he took to talk to me and give me advice. He treated me more like a friend and less like a client. He also recommended that I do a few mock interviews. The volunteer mock interviewer was knowledgeable and prepared me for any possible situation that could come up in my interview, which was an enormous benefit. I felt extremely confident and ready to make a great impression.
For some time, I thought I would have to “start over” and go back to college. My VTS helped me keep my eyes on the prize and I eventually found myself in another career, not just a job. Now I’ve relocated to the Pacific Northwest for this amazing opportunity!
There are plenty of nonprofits out there that don’t do what they say they’ll do, then leave you in the dust. Hire Heroes USA is the real deal, and I’ve been sharing my experience with everyone. I can’t wait until I’m successful again and can give back to this amazing organization!
Hired as a Human Resources Supervisor in Forest, NC United States Army, E-8, Recruiter
I recently separated from the United States Army after 23 years of service. As I began searching for jobs, I was totally overwhelmed by the resume requirements, various formats and feedback from hundreds of different job search resources.
I registered for services with Hire Heroes USA and was connected with a Transition Specialist, who helped me completely rework my resume. The Volunteer Program at Hire Heroes USA also connected me with a mock interviewer, who worked with me on interview skills and social skills to ensure I could deliver an effective, integrity-laced interview. When times were tough, the words of encouragement and actual job leads provided by my Transition Specialist helped my job search seem manageable. As a result, my confidence increased, my personal branding improved and, ultimately, working with the team at Hire Heroes USA led me to my current job.
I received a job offer from Meritor as a Plant Human Resources Supervisor and Safety Director. The resume my Transition Specialist helped me develop directly enhanced my ability to obtain this job, and my interview took place one day after the mock interview that the Hire Heroes USA set up for me. I can’t remember the last time I felt this sort of relief, happiness and excitement all in one fell swoop! I learned so much through this process and the professionalism, patience and direction provided by the team at Hire Heroes USA were completely instrumental in my success.
Hire Heroes USA is a MUST for any transitioning military member, veteran or military spouse. Other transition programs, while great initiatives, are not enough. You need someone to join the fight with you, providing customer service, mentorship, direction, and genuine care that will assist in guiding you to a great career. My Transition Specialist at Hire Heroes USA and his crew did that, without any question.
Hired as a Veteran Outreach Specialist in Los Angeles, CA
United States Marine Corps, E-4, Infantryman
After four years of service with the United States Marine Corps, I separated from the military in 2007. I heard about Hire Heroes USA as I was wrapping up an internship, and it seemed like something I could recommend to the transitioning military members and veterans I was working with in that role. First, I wanted to try it for myself. The timing linked up really well, because I was just finishing school and looking for a full-time position.
I was unfamiliar with the job market, how to tailor my resume and what to expect in a real job interview. I was also concerned about my confidence going into job interviews, because the process was completely new to me. When I connected with Hire Heroes USA, we hit the ground running. I was a little uneasy at first because most of their services are delivered through phone and email, but those concerns were quickly put to rest after I got started in the process. I was blown away by the resume my Transition Specialist helped me create and when I found the job posting for my current position, he helped me tailor my resume for the application. I also did a mock interview with a Hire Heroes USA volunteer, who provided great feedback on the answers I gave to each interview question. Working with her helped me prepare for a real job interview.
After working with Hire Heroes USA, I landed my current role as a Veteran Outreach Coordinator at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Now I go out of my way to tell every unemployed veteran I come into contact with about Hire Heroes USA. I have come across many other organizations that offer similar services, but none of them are on par with Hire Heroes USA. It is the best option for anyone transitioning out of the military or looking for a new job.
No matter how many job interviews you’ve done, they can still make you feel sick to your stomach. So why do we get so nervous? It could be because you feel the interviewer has power over your future; power to determine whether you are the right fit for the job, and that’s nerve racking! Or maybe it’s because you have no idea what to expect. Whatever reason it may be, let me give you the top three tips for overcoming nerves during your next job interview:
Practice with a Professional
The best way to overcome those pesky nerves is to come prepared. The better equipped you are, the less anxiety you will feel. AtHire Heroes USA, we offer a mock interview service that will get your ready you for the tough questions you will face. Our volunteers will provide you with feedback on how to improve your interview skills.
One of the most difficult questions you will encounter are situational/behavioral interview questions. For example, “What was the most complex project you oversaw? And what would you do differently next time?” These types of questions can be heart-stopping if you are not sure how to answer. I can guarantee you will outperform your competition if you are more prepared than they are.
Hire Heroes USA offers mock interviews over the phone and at our in-person workshops and Career Opportunity Days.
Strike a Power Pose
Often right before an interview even starts, we are hunched over our phones, shrinking in our chairs, or crossing our legs trying to look prim and proper. Those body positions are the exact opposite of what makes us feel confident and powerful.
Amy Cuddy is a lead Harvard researcher who has studied the effects of power posing on high-stakes social evaluations, particularly interviewing. She found that performing power poses encourage feelings of power and dominance, action orientation, pain tolerance, and testosterone (the dominance hormone), while simultaneously reducing stress, anxiety, and cortisol levels. In turn, participants who performed power poses before a job interview displayed more confidence, passion, and enthusiasm.
Watch Amy Cudder’s 6-minute Power Pose video:
Increase Your Concentration
Sometimes the issue isn’t whether you’ve practiced, or how confident you are in your skills and abilities. Occasionally, it’s the fact that your heart is beating in your ears, and you just can’t focus. Meditation is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Studies show that meditation both decreases stress and increases the ability to focus. Make it your goal to spend 5-10 minutes a day meditating to significantly boost your ability to concentrate.
Give these tips to interview success a try today: practice with a professional, strike a power pose, and increase your concentration. If you are a transitioning service member, veteran, or their spouse, then let Hire Heroes USA provide you with the career transition assistance you need!
Posted by Cassie Olson
Cassie Olson is a Veteran Transition Specialist with Hire Heroes USA. Both of Cassie’s parents are retired from the Air Force with 45 years of combined service. Cassie has over 6 years of experience within the career services including a couple years working as the director of career services within a university.