As discussed in “The Art of First Impressions: How to Interview Well,” today’s high tech job market is extremely competitive. Job seekers in the technology industry can hinder their chances of landing their dream position for their IT career in a variety of ways; from the standard “kiss of death” of showing up late for your first interview, to having pictures on your Facebook profile that realistically, no one should see. Based on our own experiences in interviewing IT candidates for our Managed Services, Cloud and Consulting practice, here are a few tips on how to best prepare for your interview:
Tip # 1: Do your research!
When going to an interview, make sure you know what the company does, who their major competitors are, a little bit about their culture and where they sit in the marketplace. A simple Google search can do wonders in terms of interview prep, and definitely don’t forget to visit their website and LinkedIn page. Being noticeably unprepared is a quick way to make sure you will never be called back for a second interview.
Tip #2: Know your resume.
Ensure you can speak to anything listed on your resume. Have a 5 year plan of what you would like to be able to add to your resume, whether it’s getting new certifications or learning about a new technology. Inflated resumes are a common reason candidates are discounted after the first interview.
Tip #3: Know the Job.
You need to know the position requirements and main responsibilities for the job, and you need to be able to explain how it matches your experience. This is a great way for you to sell yourself as a great fit for the open role. If you want to ensure you are extra prepared, you could Google common HR questions for IT jobs and ensure you have great answers that showcase your past experience.
Tip #4: ARRIVE EARLY and dress appropriately!
The rule of thumb is to walk into reception 5-10 minutes before your scheduled interview. However, too early is almost as bad as being a couple minutes late as it shows the interviewer that you do not respect their time. Also, being underdressed is a sure fire why to make sure that you first visit to this company is also your last. To ensure you are not late and to squash any extra nerves, research the best route the day before and ensure you account for traffic delays. Sitting in your car to go over any last minute notes if you are extra early will help to lessen the stress as well.
Stay tuned for Part 2: During the Interview.