Ace the Interview — 10 Tips for IT Professionals
Achieving your professional and personal goals can sometimes require a job change. Here are a few tips for acing your next interview.
- Arrive early. This advice may seem elementary, but walking in 10 minutes late with a story about the traffic can make a bad first impression. The night before your interview, review the route you will take and calculate trip time based on expected traffic at that time of day. Lay out your clothes, print any materials you will take with you and leave early to allow for the unexpected.
- Dress Another basic tip, but it’s worth repeating. The goal is to dress in a way that shows your professionalism and experience, but isn’t distracting. Keep it understated and conservative, and pay attention to the details (shine your shoes). If you need tips about dressing for interviews, check out http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-dress-your-job-interview/ and other online resources.
- Be prepared. Bring a copy of your resume, references, and all other information that the employer has asked you to provide.
- Do your research. Learn about the company’s history, customers, management team and technology stack. If the company is publically traded, review its stock history and current performance. Be prepared to show your knowledge during the interview.
- Prove yourself. Make a list of positive changes you’ve made at the companies you’ve worked for and be prepared to discuss them during the interview. Include hard numbers whenever possible, such as adoption statistics, sales figures, budget management or revenue increases.
- Prepare thoughtful questions, based on your research. Questions might be about the company’s growth plans, departmental goals, technology investments, company culture and management’s expectations of employees.
- Sell yourself. Talk about your accomplishments and aspirations. Be prepared to discuss your past achievements as well as some past challenges. Keep your responses to questions on point and be careful not to ramble or monopolize the conversation.
- Be a good listener. Show your interest in the company by asking relevant questions based on the interviewer’s talking points.
- Help the interviewer visualize you as an employee. Once you’ve determined the requirements of the position, discuss how your skills and experience meet those requirements and how you think you will contribute to the organization’s success. Emphasize teamwork whenever possible.
- Close. Have a final question prepared that will smoke out any objections the interviewer may have before you leave. For example, you might say, “I am very interested in the position and believe I’m qualified for it. Is there any reason that I might not be a good match?” If the interviewer responds with a reason, you can address the issue.