Interview Prep Tips for IT jobs

The job market is hotly competitive right now, and IT jobs aren’t any exception.

It’s no longer enough to simply have all the technical skills required to fulfill the duties of the job; project management skills and harmonious team work are also considered mandatory areas of expertise.

Hiring managers want to make sure you will be exactly right for their specific company, and it’s up to you to convince them during the interview process that you are the perfect long term fit, and will add overall value to the business. Pay attention to these preparation tips and your IT job interview will be a success.

Getting the Interview

Have a truly impressive resume. This will be your first impression to your potential employers, and what initially gets your foot in the door. If you have been sending out resume after resume but have a low relative volume of responses, the problem probably lies with that important piece of paper.

  • Keep your resume relevant, and include in detail only information and education that’s related to the specific position you are seeking.
  • If there is a bunch of jargon or acronyms, and there most likely is if you have a lot of IT experience, spell them out in parenthesis after you list the term. Don’t assume that the manager gets what you are referencing; make it easy for them to understand that you are the right one for the job.
  • Put the most pertinent information at the top of the resume, in the first paragraph, if you can. Managers are busy, especially IT managers. You respect their time when you organize your resume.

The Interview

  • Remember that the key word in the phrase “IT professional” is ‘professional’, and you need to look the part. Spend time before the interview on grooming and dressing smartly. When you are scheduling the interview, don’t forget to ask about office dress code. Not only do you look like you plan ahead when you remember to ask, but you will show up to the interview already looking like you belong in the office.
  • Avoid scheduling the interview for Mondays or Fridays, because people are either mentally preparing for or recovering from the weekend on these days, and aren’t going to give you their proper attention. Also, mornings are preferable to afternoons when you may be more tired. You may need to take an assessment exam on the spot, and you should be mentally sharp.
  • Take along a well organized briefcase or similar professional looking bag. Organize this bag meticulously, and stock it with copies of your resume, a nice pen, a note pad, as well as written references or reference contact information.
  • Use breathing exercises or positive visualization techniques to cut down on pre-interview nervousness. Unfortunately, the same behaviors that betray your jitters to your potential boss also can make you look untrustworthy or unprofessional.
  • Be familiar with your assets and comfortable promoting them. Have a spiel prepared that highlights your potential value to their specific company, and practice it repeatedly before the interview.