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 before when they were job searching. In our first article about how to Ace the IT interview, we spoke about how to look at things from the hiring company and mangers perspective. Here are some additional topics so you can ace that IT interview.
In this segment, we want to give hints and tips on answering common questions.
Don’t ramble on – Stay focused, during and interview you only have 30 minutes to an hour to convince a hiring manager that you have the experience/skills to perform in the job position. If you were asked “what was the technology you used on your last project?” and ten minutes later you are still talking, there may be a problem. Avoid long winded stories. Make your points and move on. If there was something interesting about your work that really displays your skills, pause and ask them if they want to hear about… This gets their buy-in and elevates you as a candidate.
What are your strengths – have 5-6 answers to this. It should be easy for you to come up with this. As much as possible, track this back to what their “needs” are. If they are looking for a hired gun to mobilize their front end and get their team up to speed on the latest UI technologies, customize your answer for that. If you haven’t asked about what they value as important in their position this is a great time to do so. “I have several strengths, but I want to talk about the ones that match this job. What is important to be successful in this role?”
Why did you leave ____ – Only offer up reasons for leaving an organization if asked directly and ALWAYS keep the discussion positive. When asked about why you left different companies, do not have any vague or confusing answers. You may be able to justify them to yourself, but hiring managers tend to associate incomplete answers about leaving companies as red flags. If there is vagueness about why you left one employer, they become concerned you might do the same to them.
Always leave interested – let the interviewer know you are interested. Ask them if they have concerns about your skills. If they do not, you are fine. If they do, it gives you one more chance to show off what you know.
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.