How to Properly Prepare for an IT Job Interview
It’s essential to prepare for a job interview beyond making sure your outfit is ready and that you know how to get to the interview site. It’s especially important to prepare for an information technology (IT) interview.
The Tech Screening
Why? First, many companies do a specific technical screening of their prospective IT hires. They may do it initially, to weed out people whose skills aren’t adequate for the job or whose approaches and analysis don’t fit the company’s preferred approaches and analyses.
Some organizations do a tech screening after they’ve interviewed people. In that case, it might be oriented to placing you in the job, by assessing how you approach problems and solve them.
It helps to practice for these. Try some online code challenges, puzzles or brain teasers as practice warm-ups.
Demonstrate Your Fit for the Job
Second, you need to know how to demonstrate you are a good fit for the job and will add value to the company. Here’s how to do that.
1. Carefully Review the Job Posting
It’s a good practice to go through all job postings and highlight or circle all the skills and qualifications the company asks for in it. They are asking for those factors because they fit the company’s needs.
After you’ve reviewed the posting, draw up something to say about how you fit each of the qualifications. It helps to have specific examples of things you’ve done in the past that show you have the skills and qualifications. Were you part of a coding team refining the software of a past company? Prepare an anecdote about that.
You may use the information you put together in response to a question. But if you haven’t had a chance to convey significant information about your skills and qualifications toward the end of the interview, you can ask a question that gives you a chance to use it.
2. Communicate Clearly
You need to be able to tell people what you can do and why you are a good fit for the job. Don’t rely solely on your resume and cover letter to get important information across. Be sure to do that, live and in person, as well.
Answer questions about your skills in ways that show what you can do. If you’re asked “Have you worked with C++,” for example, don’t simply answer “yes,” or “yes, at Company A.” Give examples of what your work with C++ did in the last company, or what the team was assigned to do with it. A prospective employer wants to know what value you will bring to them.
Research the company beforehand, as well. Sites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor are good repositories of information. It’s a good idea to look at the company’s website or Facebook page, as well. Many companies have information about future plans, expansion, new development, and community events in which they participate all on the websites. This gives you multiple areas to ask questions about. Companies appreciate prospective employees showing interest in their activities.
3. Bring a Portfolio of Your Work
It’s essential to have a portfolio of your work when you’re applying for an IT job. Like a technical screening, a portfolio shows both the level and quality of your skills and how you approach and solve problems. But a portfolio means you have demonstrated all these in the past. Most employers think past work predicts future performance better than a test.
Your portfolio can consist of code and diagrams you have created or worked on, past project samples or notebooks in which you have worked out solutions.
For helping finding your next great IT job, contact Nesco Resource today.