We see very few companies give their people, outside of HR, training on interviewing. For most IT positions, the company IT manager or programmer conducting the interview has not done a lot of interviewing. They inevitably ask questions they have been asked when they were job searching. This gives the candidate a great opportunity to influence the interview process in your favor. We are not talking about some machiavillain twist. Understanding where the company is coming from and learning what questions to ask can help you make a great impression in the IT interview.
Here are some things to think so you can put your skills on display on the interview and improve your chances of getting an offer.
They are under pressure to make the right hire – For many candidates, they focus on how this job will affect their own life – the drive to work, the hours, the projects they will be on and these types of things. Yes, these are important and one should not take a position if they are not right for you. But look at it from the perspective of the employers for a moment. If they make the right hire, their lives become easier. Problems get solved. Deadlines are met. Goals are achieved. Companies make money. If they hire the wrong person, none of the above happen. If they really hire the wrong person, it can cost them for years. It can make the people who hired the wrong person look bad. No one ever wants to be asked “Why did you hire this person?” Keep in mind they have their own pressures to hire.
It is difficult to encapsulate yourself in 2 pages and 20 minutes – Most people looking over your IT resume are focusing on the first two pages. If they cannot see anything that jumps out there, they are probably moving on. Those same people have also made up their minds about how good you are in the first twenty minutes of your interview. Ask yourself if all the relevant information shows up on the first couple of pages of your resume. If someone
has to search down into page 4, they will assume it wasn’t important in your skills.
Find out what you need to sell about yourself – You were most likely saw a job description and were told a few facts about the company. While in the interview, it is your opportunity as a candidate to dig deeper. Here are some good questions to ask:
- What is the background and characteristics that make people successful in this role?
- What are the most important things to accomplish in this role?
- What will make you say “hiring me” was a success?
- What happens to the company if we all succeed?
If you walked into the interview knowing this information, you would be able to focus on those aspects of yourself. Don’t rely on a recruiter to convey this for you. Most IT Hiring managers simply do not have the time to explain this multiple times or may not even be thinking about it.
Decide Consulting is a software and IT Staffing firm based in Houston, TX. Founded by veteran software consultants, Decide has developed proprietary methods for finding problem-solving IT personnel. Our Software products focus on the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and Healthcare markets.