IT Job Interview Tips
There are a number of simple interview techniques you can adopt to be successful. To those of you who are familiar with interviews, this may just sound like old hat, but it’s well worth your while to refresh your memory in order to have the best chance of convincing the interviewer that you are the only person for the job in question.
Above all be prepared and be positive.
When and Where
Although it’s an obvious place to start, you should always make sure you have full details of the time and location for your interview. Ensure you have full directions of how to get there, allowing plenty of time in case of any delays on the day.
Make sure you know the name and position of the person you are due to meet. Also keep our telephone number to hand so that you can let us know if you are going to be late – this way the client can be kept up-to-date if you run into any problems.
We will always have provided as much company information as possible to help you prepare for your interview and gain a better understand of the company and the work it produces. None the less, it doesn’t hurt to look further and you may well find that digging a little deeper also boosts your confidence at the interview.
To your interviewer it will appear that someone who goes to the effort to find all this out is likely to put the same effort into their job, and the sense of enthusiasm will certainly help you outscore other candidates. At a professional level, knowing background information about the company is expected.
Researching a prospective employer is probably easiest via their company website – always a good source of suitable information. Being even a little knowledgeable demonstrates to the interviewer that you have gone to the trouble to see whether you’d fit into the team and make a success of the contract.
It may be a cliché, but it’s still true to say that first impressions count. Make sure you’re appropriately clothed, even if you are aware of an informal dress code you should always wear a suit to give the best impression. In addition, although it may sound obvious, always be civilised and remember your manners.
During the interview your body language is also important – make sure you sit with a straight back, and don’t cross your arms, as these can betray a lack of interest, or of someone being defensive. You are trying to win a contract, so be assertive and make sure you tell the interviewer why you think you would be perfect for the role.
There are a number of standard questions that interviewers are likely to ask along side those of a more technical nature that are specific to the contract you’re applying for. It’s positively encouraged to prepare and practice answers to “Why are you best for this role?”; “What are your strengths?”; “What can you bring to the company?” etc.
By asking relevant questions you can re-iterate your seriousness about joining their company, even if it’s only on a contract basis. Ask what sort of responsibilities the job entails, challenging or mundane aspects of the tasks, what support and guidance is available and any future plans associated with the role etc.
Things to keep in mind
Although it’s impossible to predict the course of the discussion or the actual questions you’ll be asked during the interview, here are some fundamentals to be aware of at all times:
- Always adopt a professional and business-like manner.
- Listen intently and reply using strong positive language – avoid negative phrases such as: “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure”.
- Be persuasive: speak in terms of what benefit you can bring to the company, rather than the other way around.
- Relax! Give off calm signals and don’t rush through the interview but be mindful of time. Let the interviewer dictate the pace of the interview.
- Adopt an open, honest and confident attitude, but be prepared to ‘bend’ the truth if it suits the situation and you can get away with it.
- Maintain an alert position: sit up straight, don’t slump, and simply adjust your position slightly if you get uncomfortable.
- Wear a smile at all times and keep regular attentive eye contact, they are the most positive signal you can give.
- Never indicate that you’re desperate for a job.
- Don’t get into discussions about your personal life.
- Avoid running down your current employer as this is seen as negative. Ensure that you don’t smell of any strong odours, e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, garlic or even perfume.
- Don’t fidget or play with your hair, clothing, items in your pockets etc.