Say This, Not That: How to Land and Ace an IT Interview
For most people, the end goal of enrolling into a post-high school or college IT degree program is to be employed. However, getting that first job is always the hardest. You have no experience and little to no knowledge of how life in the world works.
To get a single IT interview, you have to mail/drop tens of CVs and application letters to the various tech companies. Landing that first interview is a hassle in itself. Acing the interview is a different story altogether, read on to find out more.
1. Prepare Your Resume
The first step to get a job is to have a resume that is tailored for the job you are applying to. Your CV will get you in the company for an interview but it doesn’t guarantee you a position. You have to prove or show your worth to the interview and convince them why they should hire you and not any of the 99 other applicants.
Ensure your resume is easily readable and presentable. Think of it like a website, every time you visit a website that is poorly arranged and hard to navigate, you have a high probability of getting off it even though it has the information you need. Make it easy for the interviewer to go through your resume.
If you not good at writing resumes, you can always hire professional resume services to write an informative and creative resume.
Your integrity is tested during the interview. Therefore, provide accurate information in your CV. Interviewers are always on the lookout for frauds, so ensure you only include details and activities which you are sure you have performed.
Typographic errors will tick off any interviewer. Therefore, be sure to go through your resume before mailing it or dropping it at the company. Managers will gauge your discipline by looking at how well your resume is written.
They will strongly favor resumes with zero typos.
2. Prepare for Your IT Interview Questions
Now that you have prepared your resume, sent it, and received a call to go for an interview, how do you prepare for the interview? How you carry yourself throughout the interview is a major determinant of whether you get the job. Here is how to ace that IT interview.
1. Know Your Audience
i. Spend your time researching about the company. Look for as many sources as you can find. Make Google your friend, talk to your contacts, friends, etc. If you know a few people in the company, you can also ask them what is expected and the kind of IT interview questions are typically asked.
Don’t just rely on the information you find on the company’s website and social media pages, instead conduct an in-depth search of the company. This way you will know everything there is to know about the company from the good to the bad.
ii. Get a sense of what the company is looking for in the interviewees. Begin by going through their website and social media pages. Understand the tone of their content.
Also, go through the blogs or social media pages of employees and try to figure out the kind of qualities that excel in the company.
iii. Since you are interviewing for an IT job, begin by understanding the kind of systems they use and the relevance of your IT skills. If hired, you will be required to create value for the users of the system and company as a whole.
iv. Use Glassdoor as a resource. Check for any reviews from previous and current employees. Use them merely as a guide and not as facts.
v. Know your interviewers, if it’s possible to find out who is going to interview you then do it. Learn more about them and the kind of attributes that intrigue them. Also, try to figure out the kind of behavior that is a turn-off.
Ask for the most commonly asked questions during an IT interview. Research more about the interviewer’s interest and focus in the firm.
2. Anticipate the Interview Questions
i. Regardless of how experienced you are, IT interview questions can really set you off. It’s not uncommon to see interviewees fumbling during interviews. Therefore, spend sufficient time thinking about your accomplishments, skills, and the answers you will give the IT interviewer.
You want your answers to resonate with the interviewers.
ii. Know how to go about the, “tell me about yourself” question. It’s one of the most commonly asked questions in interviews and chances are they will ask you. Research on how best to answer this question and prepare well in advance.
iii. Know how to answer the classic weakness question tactfully. Most interviewers will ask about your biggest weakness to throw you off. To answer it, think of something you are currently struggling with but you are working tirelessly to improve.
For instance, maybe you are not good at public speaking and have been trying to improve by taking on more leadership roles that require you to address crowds or meetups.
iv. Ask around for the type of interview questions that you are likely to encounter. Different firms employ different tactics; some will prefer to use standard questions while others will opt for brainteasers and case questions. You can ask the recruiter or HR contact.
Once you know, invest your time into learning the style of questions.
3. Do Not Memorize Your Answers
This is the worst mistake that you can ever make. You want your answer to come out naturally without stammering. Show the interviewer that you are confident and that the questions are not unnerving you.
Look for the commonly asked questions related to information technology careers. Prepare your interview using these questions but don’t write down the entire answer. Instead, jot down the important points and be sure to cover your bases.
i. Don’t forget the statistics. Find percentages, increases, numbers, or quotas that represent your accomplishments or responsibilities that you have taken on. Know how and when to include the numbers.
ii. Why do you want to work in the company? If you can’t answer the question, why are you even interviewing for the position? Make sure you have a definite answer as to why they should hire you.
Identify key factors that make you a better fit for this particular job.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
i. Don’t memorize the answers to the possible questions. Instead, practice by looking at a mirror. Master the confidence to answer real-life interviews.
ii. You can also set up mock interviews with your friends. You have a better chance of answering an interview question if you have heard it several times before.
iii. Prepare questions in case you are given a chance to ask a few questions. Make sure your questions are as thoughtful as possible and showcase your research skills and that you pay attention.
5. Dress Accordingly
Now that you are done with the information technology interview questions and answers, it’s time to prepare the actual interview. What will you wear to the interview?
i. Plan your outfit according to the job description. Whether applying for a CPA job or an electrical engineer job working with solar power systems, you want to look professional. If you know anyone at the company, ask for advice regarding the dress code.
If not, you can always go to a café near the company’s headquarters and get a glimpse of what the employees wear to work.
ii. Get a clean outfit that is tailored to your height and build. Dust off that interview suit that has been sitting in the closet for years.
iii. The little things matter so doesn’t forget to trim your nails, shine your shoes, and check for loose hems.
iv. Pamper yourself a little bit. Go get that shave or your hair styled. Do whatever you have to do to look amazing on the interview day. If getting a new outfit will make you feel better, do it. You need all the confidence you can get.
v. Prepare several copies of your resume you might need them.
vi. Prepare a reference list. Be ready with a list of your referees just in case you need it. For each reference, be sure to include the name of the organization, department, email address, telephone number and a sentence explaining your relationship.
vii. Prepare your interview kit. The kit should have sufficient storage space for all your essential documents and extras.
6. Get Your Head Ready for the IT Interview
Spend your time reflecting on your career and the things you have learned over the years. The more you visualize your story, the easier it will be to apply it to the interview questions. Get your head right by starting your preparation as early as possible.
Work with Sample It Interview Questions and a Prep Book to Get Your Mind into a Problem-Solving Mindset
Come up with a phrase that will help you stall long enough to gather your thoughts. Remember to brush up on your body language and what each stance or posture communicates. For example, crossing your legs communicates to the interviewer that you are feeling defensive or closes off.
List all the essentials you need to carry and be sure to cross them off the list as you leave. Go to sleep, wake up early, and prepare for your IT interview.
Learn about CPA and other related careers on our website.