We can’t stress this enough: it's crucial to spend time preparing for a job interview. But is the process different in the world of web and IT? How should you approach these types of interviews?
To help you out, here's some targeted advice from our experienced IT recruiters!
1. don’t take anything for granted
Yes, the unemployment rate is low.
Yes, there are lots of job openings in IT.
Yes, your professional experience is in high demand.
But that doesn’t mean you can show up to an interview without having read the job description or having conducted any research about the company.
Even if there are staffing shortages in the IT domain, you must conduct the necessary research and prove your desire to work for the company that is interviewing you. It is never a good sign when a candidate fails to express interest in a business that showed interest in them.
It’s a small world – the director of development that is interviewing you now might be running the coolest startup in town by the end of next year. If you don’t make a good impression, it could ruin your chances of working elsewhere as well. Remember: people move around all the time, and your network is far from infinite. You need to be thinking long-term to avoid closing doors on future opportunities. Do your homework and let your motivation shine through by preparing for your interview.
2. be kind and courteous
IT is an umbrella term for many highly technical disciplines that are constantly evolving. Don’t be surprised when you have to explain what you do to the HR team! If you tell them that you “develop apps,” that won’t be enough to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
Before meeting your future boss, don’t forget that you will have to make it past the HR filter. If they don’t see a fit due to personality issues, you will greatly diminish your chances of getting hired. Courtesy counts! Bonus: bear in mind that your interview starts at the reception desk.
3. go beyond the technical side
In web and IT, a good portion of the interview will likely focus on your skills, including your experience with programming, development, analysis, and more. These are all very important, but the other highly-important aspect of your candidacy is your capacity to integrate into the team (the famed fit). You will need to demonstrate an ability to collaborate, share ideas, contribute positively, and listen to others.
To prepare, think about certain instances in which you brought something valuable to the table for your team (suggested a good idea, solved a problem, etc.). If you don’t pinpoint a few examples in advance, it will be difficult to formulate a thoughtful response during the interview.
You should also try and touch upon the soft skills listed in the job posting. Did they mention teamwork? Autonomy? Adaptability? During your meeting, it will be important to show the interviewers that you possess those qualities.
4. study the job description
Read the job description from top to bottom – the keys to being prepared for your interview are all in there. Think about how you can create links between each of its elements and your professional experience. Ultimately, you will need to demonstrate that you have what it takes and that you would be able to ride the learning curve in no time.
Arrive equipped with concrete examples and success stories, so that you’re ready to prove each one of your skills with facts and accomplishments. Without going on and on, talk about how you contributed to the success of one of your past projects. Far too many IT candidates don’t make an effort to list their accomplishments, coming up blank when it’s time to answer this important question.
If the job requires knowledge of languages and technologies that you don’t have, you need to express your capacity to learn them, and an interest in doing so. The idea here is to prove that your ability to quickly pick up new skills is more developed than other candidates.
In sum, here are the main mistakes you want to avoid:
- Failing to research the company
- Relying exclusively on your technical abilities
- Not knowing how to highlight your experience
- Assuming that your attitude isn’t important
- Not taking the time to study the job description
If you knock it out of the park with your first interview and you’ve been called in for round two, Prepare for each stage of IT recruitment to prepare yourself for a multi-step IT hiring process.