With one foot already in the door, it’s time to make those skills shine by presenting them face to face in an actual interview. Nervousness is common, but preparation and planning always help ease that anxiety so you can show up as your best self when the questions start rolling in.
Keep reading for some common job interview questions and tips to help you ace your next IT interview and secure that dream job.
The First Impression
The first impression may not be an interview question, but it matters just as much as some of your answers. Whether it’s a remote or in-person interview, always dress to impress. If you aren’t sure of the dress code, business casual is usually safe interview attire, but it is always better to be overdressed than under-dressed, so throw on that blazer.
It is also a great practice to be early for your interview. For a video interview, prepare your technology to make sure Zoom is updated, your computer has a full battery, and you have a strong internet connection. Find a quiet area without background noise and log into the waiting room at least 5 minutes early. For an in-person interview, it is best practice to arrive 15 minutes early.
When you first meet the hiring manager or interviewer, they will usually ask how you are doing so be ready for a bit of small talk before you dive in. This small talk is important because it is part of making a positive impression on the interviewer when they are trying to gauge your personality. Likeability is a key component of a successful interview so show that you are enthusiastic and comfortable with water-cooler conversations.
All About You
The first part of the IT job interview is usually all about you, your experience, your qualifications, and your goals. Some employers will begin with a short introduction about who they are and a deeper explanation of the role before giving you the floor to tell them all about you.
“Can you walk me through your resume?” or “Tell me about yourself” are common questions from a prospective employer, so prepare a brief elevator pitch or career overview in five to seven sentences. Speak on the most relevant examples of your career history to the position you are interviewing for and be prepared for follow-up questions.
Here are some more popular interview questions about you that the hiring team may ask:
- Tell me about your technical qualifications and certifications.
- What is your most relevant experience in this position?
- How do you stay up-to-date on industry trends and qualifications?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What tools have you used in the past?
- What were your responsibilities in your last role?
- What are you most proud of out of your career accomplishments?
Prepare by writing down your answers to these questions and practice with a friend in a mock interview. Keep your answers relatively brief, but don’t be afraid to share impressive details. This is the best time to geek out on your knowledge and show off your career qualifications. Assertive candidates will have a successful job interview by anticipating questions and coming prepared with thought-out answers.
The hiring manager might give you a technical skills test at some point, so it is good practice to brush up on your IT knowledge before the interview in case they throw in a question like “Define SOAP web services” or give you an assessment on the spot.
Research Your Potential Employer
The hiring manager will want to know why you are interested in their company just as much as they want to know why you are the ideal candidate for the position. A lack of knowledge about your potential employer is a sure way to end up with a bad interview, so it is crucial to research the company before your interview.
Make sure you read the job description through fully. Take note of the responsibilities and qualifications that match up with your experience and plan to ask questions about points in the job posting that are unclear.
Here are some questions a hiring manager may ask you about their company:
- Why are you interested in working here?
- Our company culture values teamwork, why do you think that you would fit in well?
- What do you think our company could be doing better?
- How does this opportunity line up with your career goals?
- What will you add to our company?
- Who do you believe is our biggest competitor?
Prepare for these questions by browsing through the company’s website and social media profiles. If the company had recent press on a business accomplishment, you can impress the hiring manager with your knowledge of their company by congratulating them.
Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions are another key component of an IT job interview. Employers utilize behavioral-based interviewing to test job seekers’ soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. There is no wrong answer to these questions, but a strong candidate will use the STAR method to impress the hiring manager and show off their skills.
Here are some examples of behavioral interview questions:
- Have you ever been in a situation where you had a few projects or responsibilities to manage at once? How did you balance everything and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time that you disagreed with a directive from someone in a senior role. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time that you had to lead a team with low motivation. How did you handle the situation?
- Have you ever been given a directive that you did not understand? How did you solve this issue?
Read more about how to respond to behavioral interview questions using the STAR method here: Preparing Candidates For Interview: Behavioral Questions
firstPRO’s recruiters can help you prepare for your next IT interview and help you with your professional growth. Our staffing agency specializes in careers in Information Technology and we have numerous connections to help you secure your next role. Check out our Recruitment Services to learn more.
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