how to prepare for each step of your IT interview

If you have already gone through the process of switching jobs, you know that it doesn’t happen overnight. Most of the time, you will have three steps to complete before receiving a formal offer. Each phase is important for its own unique reasons and requires thoughtful preparation. Just think – it wouldn’t look very good if you didn’t take your phone interview seriously, especially since that first step is your gateway to an in-person meeting! 

To help you better understand the types of IT interviews and the objectives that underpin them, we prepared an IT job interview checklist with some helpful points to remember.

preparing for IT job interview stages

step 1: the phone interview

  • serves to gauge your level of motivation and get to know your personality a little better.
  • certain technical topics may be discussed.

how to prepare

✓  Research the company in general, its field of expertise, and its competitors.

✓  Read the job description from top to bottom.

✓  Prepare answers for basic questions related to your CV.

✓  Understand how to explain your interest in the job opening and your related experience.

tips for success

✓  Stand up while you’re speaking to project charisma (you would be very surprised at how different your voice sounds when you’re standing nice and tall!).

✓  Speak in an enthusiastic tone, and make sure they can hear your smile through the phone: the person on the other end of the line wants to be able to detect your excitement and energy!

✓  Conduct the call in a calm and quiet area with good cell reception, or use a landline.

step 2: the human resources interview

  • allows you to discuss your skills, your experience, and your professional accomplishments.
  • serves to evaluate your compatibility with the company culture.

how to prepare

✓  Understand the company’s structure, as well as their products and services.

✓  Be able to explain why you would be an excellent candidate.

✓  Know how to apply the technologies you have mastered in this context.

✓  Prepare pertinent questions about the job you are interviewing for.

tips for success

✓  Arrive early and always be courteous with every person you meet.

✓  Do not smoke before the interview, and do not chew gum during your meeting.

✓  Give a firm handshake and make eye contact – with a smile.

✓  Never speak ill of your current or past employers.

step 3: the IT manager interview

  • serves to verify your specific skill level with the necessary technologies.
  • verifies whether you have chemistry with the company culture.

how to prepare

✓  Be ready to answer questions about each one of the technologies that you mention in your CV. If they are in line with the position’s requirements, you will need to explain how well you know them.

✓  Prepare answers related to your achievements. You will need to be precise when describing what you have accomplished: chosen framework, context of the development project, added functionalities, results, etc.

✓  Think about how you can contribute to improving the company’s products or services.

✓  Think of a few concrete examples of how you work within a team and interact with others.

tips for success

✓  Know how to summarize your involvement in relevant projects.

✓  Demonstrate that some of your knowledge and skills may be able to compensate for a job requirement that is missing from your CV (cross-curricular competencies).

✓  Don’t linger on the same subject for too long. You need to be attentive to nonverbal signals when your audience starts losing interest.

the IT job interview stress cheat sheet

The day before

  • picture yourself arriving confidently and calmly.
  • prepare your outfit and double-check the commute.
  • go to sleep early.

the day of

  • reread your notes.
  • take a nice walk or do some exercise.
  • leave sufficiently early to avoid arriving late.

15 to 30 minutes before

  • listen to relaxing music.
  • breathe deeply – clear your mind.
  • remind yourself of the names of the people you are about to meet.

need help preparing for your upcoming IT job interview beyond our insider checklist?

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