How to Best Answer Popular Interview Questions

Now that you’ve heard some of our tips to prepare for your interview, Danielle is back to share a few common interview questions and the best ways to answer them when they are inevitably asked.

Danielle says the first question most interviewers will ask is, “Tell me about yourself.” For this question, it’s important to have a 30-second elevator pitch ready to go. A 30-second elevator pitch should contain a little bit about who you are, what you do, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re looking to do. Let interviewers know why you’re there and why you would fit in well for this role.

Next, be ready to answer situational questions. Think of a few examples of times you showed great initiative, solved a problem, or accomplished goals and tasks. For those transitioning from the military, know that a lot of your responsibilities and duties transfer very well into civilian roles.

For example, if you supervised Airmen in your unit, that experience directly correlates to managing colleagues and excelling in a team-based environment. Also be sure to mention if you have experience in project management, working on budgets, or creating reports as these skills are all very valuable to your prospective employer.

Lastly, Danielle suggests having an answer prepared for the question, “Where do you see yourself in the future?” For this question, answer with any professional goals you have on the horizon. Whether you’re planning on pursuing a degree or completing a certification, now is a great time to mention how you see yourself improving and growing professionally.

AFA’s new jobs board can connect you with thousands of employers seeking applicants for a wide variety of available positions. Start your career search now at

Leadership Advice for Airmen

AFA's President Gen Larry Spencer, USAF Ret. shares his leadership advice on this next episode of AFA's Airman for Life podcast. Gen Spencer discusses the following topics on the podcast:

  • Transitioning from the Air Force to the civilian world
  • How to build and sustain relationships with fellow Airmen who may be separating from the Air Force
  • How the Air Force's core values continue to be key on the civilian side too
  • Advice on promotion within the Air Force,
  • Advice to young and mid grade Airmen on mentorship and being a mentee
  • The importance of diversity to build a stronger leadership team

The podcast is 24 minutes and well worth your time to take a listen.

Keep These Tips in Mind For Your Next Interview

Now that we’ve discussed how to craft your resume and master your cover letter, Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s HR Coordinator, is back this week to discuss a few key tips to keep in mind while you prepare for an upcoming interview to help you land the job.

First, Danielle says, it is still very important to dress professionally, unless told otherwise. Being “dressed for success” gives the appearance that you are willing to go the extra mile and put professionalism first.

Next, always have copies of your resume and cover letter printed and ready to deliver to your interviewer. Be sure to bring extra copies in case there is more than one person interviewing you.

Lastly, arrive to your interview at least 15 to 20 minutes early. This will give you enough time to find the location and mentally prepare for your big day.

Just remember, confidence and authenticity go a long way in an interview. So just be yourself!

Head to to take a look at countless available jobs specifically geared toward veterans and civilians and jump start your career search.

AFA is here to help you along your journey as an Airman for Life.

How to Master Writing a Cover Letter

Last week, AFA launched our new Jobs Board geared to help you find your perfect job and discussed a few key points to keep in mind while crafting your resume. You can view last week’s post here.

No matter what stage you find yourself in your job search, you’ve probably had to write a cover letter to submit along with your resume. Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s Human Resources Coordinator, is back this week to walk through the best way to structure your cover letter to help you get your foot in the door the next time you submit a job application.

Cover letters are extremely important in the interview process, they help hiring managers learn more about you by going into detail about your experience and explaining why you would not only be a great fit for the position, but for the company as well.

First, Danielle says it is important to tailor your cover letter specifically to the job you are applying for. Submitting a standard cover letter for multiple jobs may be easier, but won’t get you very far in the job process in the long run. Tailoring your cover letter shows hiring managers that you put time and effort into your work and it helps them see how your experience directly relates to the job description.

When it comes to structuring your cover letter, remember to use the “sandwich rule.” The first paragraph should be used to introduce yourself and address the organization directly, specifying the job you’re applying for. The second paragraph should detail your experience and how it applies to this position. Finally, your last paragraph should summarize your highlights, and show the hiring team why you are the perfect fit for the position over other potential candidates.

Danielle’s last tip also plays into last week’s discussion, make sure your contact information is correct and consistent across all documents. This way hiring managers will know how to reach you when they inevitably want to invite you for an interview.

So make sure you spend time tailoring your cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for. If you keep these guidelines in mind, it will greatly improve the application process and help the hiring managers see all of your qualifications for the role.

Head to to browse and apply to thousands of available jobs, curated specifically for veterans and civilians. Stay tuned for our next video, where we'll discuss important tips to keep in mind to prepare for your next interview. 


3 Tips to Build a Standout Resume

AFA has created a jobs board—a new member and community benefit—filled with thousands of job listings curated specifically for veterans and military spouses in the job market.

We know that transitioning from the military to a civilian career can be a daunting process and not having a polished resume can make it even harder. Let us help make your search a little more gratifying with tips to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Take a look below at the advice from Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s Human Resources Coordinator.

The first thing you need to do when crafting your resume, says Danielle, is to make sure your contact information is up-to-date, clearly visible, and consistent across all documents. Hiring departments typically receive more than 100 applications per open position, so make it easy for hiring managers to know how to get in touch with you.

Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for by using keywords and phrases found in the position description and listing any programs or systems you have experience using. This shows hiring managers that you mean business. Avoid using generalities and be specific.

Lastly, it is important to keep your resume concise. Keep it between two to three pages, recommends Danielle. Since hiring managers have so many to review, be sure to list the specifics and highlights of your career experience so they can get a clear picture of the extent of your knowledge but without getting lost in details.  

Once you’re able to make these simple changes to your resume, you’ll be ready to start or continue your job search with confidence!

Head to to browse through thousands of jobs posts curated specifically for you. Stay tuned for our next video, where we’ll discuss how to craft a great cover letter.

Emerging Technologies: Weapons of the Future

AFA's next episode in our Airman for Life Podcast is "Emerging Technologies: Weapons of the Future" sponsored by Lockheed Martin. In this episode Jack O'Banion, Dr. Mark Lewis and Scott Wierzbanowski discussed the exciting technology the Air Force is developing. The panel touched on DARPA's Gremlins program, experimental space planes, hypersonics, and 5th generation aircraft. Access the podcast on AFA's website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

Aerospace Sustainment: Keeping the Fleet Flying

AFA’s next episode in our Airman for Life Podcast is “Aerospace Sustainment: Keeping the Fleet Flying” sponsored by Lockheed Martin in this episode Lt Gen Bruce Litchfield, USAF (Ret.), Lt Gen Donald Wetekam, USAF (Ret.) and Maj Gen David Gillett, USAF (Ret.) discussed the important job maintainers do for the Air Force. The panel touched on where the Air Force stands after sequestration created deep cuts to maintenance and modernization as well as what Airmen can expect in the next generation of sustainment solutions. Access the podcast on AFA’s website or on iTunes or Google Play.