Preparing for an IT interview can be an all-consuming exercise as you brush up on your knowledge and prepare to be tested on your skills. Given the pressure, it’s easy to forget the interview is so much more than a showcase of your tech skills. Ultimately, people hire candidates they like and who make a good impression, and that’s not always the person with the most impressive skill set. Use these strategies to stand out at your next technical interview for all the right reasons.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Many candidates get hung up when they are asked their very first question, “Tell me about yourself.” If you don’t practice for typical, non-technical questions like these, you’ll find yourself rambling. Just as you practice answering IT-specific questions, prepare for conversational and behavioral questions.
Throughout the interview you’ll be asked to describe specific scenarios. Usually, it’s situations like how you overcome challenges, work through conflict, manage impossible deadlines or reconcile client requirements with technical limitations. Prepare stories and anecdotes ahead of time so you aren’t taking long pauses to try to pull from your memory bank.
Be Aware That You’re on Stage
The person who checks you into the building is a lot more than just a receptionist. That person is almost always a “spy” for the hiring manager. The way you treat the receptionist and the way you behave in the lobby will be discussed after you leave the building. Make sure you are early, you are friendly to the receptionist and you know how to properly pronounce the interviewer’s name when signing in.
Let Your Passion Shine Through
It is imperative you let your genuine passion for your field shine through in your interview and you let the hiring manager see the real you. When you get on a subject that really lights your fuse, don’t be afraid to say so. Managers know that skills can be learned over time, but enthusiasm can’t be taught. Most people would rather hire a passionate employee who needs some training than someone with all of the technical skills but just wants to collect a paycheck.
Ask Great Questions
When you are handed the floor to ask questions of the hiring manager, don’t blow it by asking the same questions everyone else asks. You can make a positive impression by asking thoughtful questions that show your true interest in the position and the organization. Ask questions about the challenges facing the team you’d be a part of, about the specific goals for the position, what types of people succeed on the team, etc.
Send a Thank-You Note
Sending a thank-you note is hardly a secret tip for success, but many candidates skip over this step. Always take a few minutes to send a personalized, handwritten note. If it comes down to you and one other candidate, it’s better to be the person who sent a note than the person who didn’t.
If you are an experienced IT professional seeking new opportunities and are ready to partner with a recruiter, reach out to PEAK Technical Consulting today or submit your resume online to jumpstart your search.
PEAK Technical Consulting has created connections with employers nationwide where you can find projects and roles to make the most of your abilities and advance your career. Since 1968 PEAK has helped IT professionals find jobs that offer flexibility, challenges and rewards. We are committed to giving you the resources and support you need to build the career of your dreams.
If you are looking for employers and opportunities that will take your IT career to the next level and help you to achieve your goals, contact a PEAK recruitment expert today.