The first impression in an interview is everything. I’ve seen it many times where a successful interview is able to bring an underdog to the top of the candidate pool. I’ve also seen very qualified people blow a chance at a seemingly perfect job opportunity because, well, they just didn’t talk about the right subjects, tout the right projects or show examples of how they’ve grown in a certain industry.


The pressure when interviewing can be intense – especially for military spouses. Knowing what to reveal in the interview – and at what point – can be challenging. As a military spouse you know all too well, unfortunately, that not all companies are military-friendly. This leads to a very uncomfortable interview dance where you sort of sway back and forth between wanting to reveal some of your needs and trying really hard to keep your private life, well, private.

The good news is there’s a new company in town committed to hiring veterans, their spouses and all members of their military family. That’s right — Health Net Federal Services, who administers Tricare’s North region as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Choice program, is one of the most military-friendly companies around. They’ve just opened a huge, state-of-the-art facility in Tampa, FL, where they’ll continue to offer health care services to veterans and military families.

The even better news is that they’re looking right now to staff their new, spacious Tampa office, and currently have 500 positions available! Everything from clerical to call center, administrative to management – check out a sampling of jobs right here.

When you know in advance that the company you’re interviewing with is 100 percent military friendly, like in the case of Health Net, it’s crucial that you bring it up in the interview. Emphasize how you relate to the military, the dedication you and your spouse have to causes outside your family, and the skills you’ve gained from being a military spouse (ahem, flexibility, ability to adapt to new situations quickly, able to see the positive in uncertain situations … you know this all too well).

In Health Net’s case, they flat-out tell you they want military families. In fact, their website states:

“Veterans and wounded warriors, their spouses and family members – you have an honorable and disciplined work ethic, and share a common understanding of serving or being in a family with those who have served.”

So what can you flat-out tell them back? How about that you’d love access to their onsite daycare center and state-of-the-art gym. Yep – Health Net offers a pretty sweet gig!

But whether you end up at a place like Health Net, or in another industry altogether, you’ll know you’re interviewing with a military-friendly workplace

if they:

 State on their website and collateral that they commit to hiring veterans and military spouses … and then ACTUALLY hire veterans and military spouses. Ask what percentage of associates are actually military families.

 Offer job opportunities that are strong, important and useful to the general public – and may be especially useful to veterans and their families. There’s a great deal of appreciation and a genuine sense of value placed on the experience and education that veterans and military spouses bring to the boardroom.

 Establish hiring practices and retention programs for transitioning service members and spouses seeking civilian employment.

 Cultivate a military-friendly culture, in which they recognize the unique personal situations and challenges that military families face.

 Are open to flexible schedules and telecommuting.

If you sense you’re interviewing at a company that isn’t so military friendly, don’t be discouraged. You have nothing to lose by being open with the interviewer, talking about your life and touting all the skills and leadership qualities that come with being a military spouse. Say, with complete confidence, that you can bring unique life experiences to the position – experiences that vet you as a perfect candidate for, really, every imaginable job.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HealthNet Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.