IT recruiting has completely transformed over the past decade. As technology becomes increasingly vital to business, businesses have become more IT-friendly. Clients, too, are seeking advanced knowledge of IT in providers, so companies are seeking more tech-driven talent as a result. As organizations are now relied upon to deliver quality technical service, they need a workforce that can provide these evolving and demanding needs. But as demand for IT experts increases, so does the supply – and the industry is competitive. To prepare for an upcoming IT interview, here are five tips to keep in mind to help you get the job.
1. Demonstrate Soft Skills
Soft skills are highly valued in today’s workforce, regardless of the job. In addition to possessing the hard, technical skills required for an IT position, your employer will want someone they can trust to interact well with colleagues, suppliers, and customers. Soft skills such as communication and collaboration are vital in enabling you to perform your core role well. Additionally, employers are more likely to invest in a well-spoken junior resource that can be trained rather than an expert who does not communicate well. After all, soft skills are typically something you either have or don't – they are challenging to teach.
When you think of an IT expert, soft skills aren't the first thing to come to mind. Many times, IT professionals are so focused on developing the hard skills that they neglect the soft. As a result, having strong soft skills can make you stand out against the competition. So, during your interview, demonstrate your soft skills in practice. Be friendly towards the interviewer and act naturally. Many candidates are nervous during interviews, understandably, but they often come across as rigid as a result. Try to overcome this and show your personality and act comfortable. Remember, if you are in the interview, the hiring manager is already interested in you!
2. Be Honest About Your Knowledge
Backtracking from soft skills, the hard, technical skills of an IT position are fundamental. The knowledge required for most IT jobs is complex, so the majority of employers will require a technical interview. During this, there is often a very defined answer to each question – you will either know the answer or you won’t. The hiring manager is trying to get an accurate perception of your skill level, so be honest if you don’t know the answer. If you are dishonest about your skills during the interview and end up getting hired, it’s likely that they will discover your dishonesty later on.
If you don’t know an answer, taking wild guesses can look unprofessional and make you sound and feel insecure. Instead, claim that you don’t know the answer and suggest how you would go about finding it. This will demonstrate that you can solve problems and think critically. Furthermore, this demonstrates that if a client asks you a question that you are unsure of, you are more likely to take the time to find the right answer than throw out an inaccurate guess. If the answer to the question is more of a 50-50 proposition, argue both sides before settling on an answer. It's likely that the interviewer isn't looking for a defined answer but rather looking to see how you arrive at an answer.
3. Steer the Conversation
It can be easy during an interview to sit back and let the interviewer take the reins. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this, it gives them the power to steer the conversation. Instead, if you lead the conversation, you can keep it focused on your strengths and the material that you have prepared. This allows you to bring up relevant experience and how it applies to the role you are interviewing for.
Any IT-oriented organization is looking for multiskilled talent who can fill in their knowledge gaps. Stating cross-platform skills could put you in the running for opportunities you don't know of at that company that may be an even better fit than the position you applied for. Additionally, it can demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are equipped for more responsibility than they initially thought. Keep in mind that while steering the conversation, it is still an interview, so balance is necessary. Companies hate to turn away a skilled and multitalented candidate but dominating the conversation can persuade them otherwise.
4. Be Enthusiastic
One of the best things you can do during an interview is show enthusiasm. Interviewers love enthusiastic candidates! It shows them that you are interested in the role and makes them feel as though their time spent interviewing you is valuable. Additionally, showing enthusiasm makes you come across as confident and positive, which in turn will make your interviewer feel at ease and want to engage with you.
In addition to technical aptitude and a good personality, an interviewer wants to hire a candidate that will be happy if offered the position. Enthusiasm shows interest in the position, but you should express this interest verbally as well. Asking about training programs and IT certifications can demonstrate a passion for learning and development, which can let the interviewer knowing that you are looking to invest in yourself and the company. It is also helpful to mention positive, nonwork-related attributes. If you live close to the office, this could include mentioning how convenient the commute would be. This gives the interviewer another reason why you would be a good fit for this role and understand that it makes logistic sense to hire you.
5. Get Technical
As an IT expert, sometimes talking to non-experts can feel like you're speaking a different language. As a result, you may find yourself toning down on technical language or interesting industry topics. Fortunately, this is the place to talk it up! During this interview, you will be in a room with like-minded people who are likely as interested in IT as you, so take advantage of it and have an interesting conversation. While discussing the technical components of the job, feel free to discuss your personal interests and opinions on the topics at hand. Not only will this show the interviewer that you have a personality and interesting opinions, but you will probably demonstrate your industry knowledge without even intending to.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they don’t have to be! For your next interview, be confident in your experience and knowledge. The interviewer wants the meeting to succeed just as much as you do, so use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and have a thought-provoking conversation. Do your best to be positive and engaging so the interviewer can get a good sense of who you are and how you will fit into the company.