Have you got an interview for something in the IT sector lined up? Maybe you’re stressing about what to focus on, or what to wear? We’ve got you covered: here are our top 5 interview tips for IT.
1. It’s all about soft skills
You might be the most technically qualified CV that the recruiter has ever laid eyes upon, but technical skills aren’t everything, even in IT. The recruiter is not only assessing your knowledge, but also your soft skills – which is to say the way you interact with the people around you. If your experience is largely outside of IT, make sure to mention your customer service skills and how they’ll help you provide a great service to customers and colleagues.
By showing that you’re accustomed to working in teams, and building relationships around you, you’ll put yourself in better stead to land that role.
2. Be honest about what you know
As previously mentioned– technical expertise isn’t everything. The temptation might be to exaggerate your knowledge in some areas just to make yourself seem more-worthy, but this can backfire disastrously. Googling a specific technology and arming yourself with a couple of key words to mumble in response to any questions might seem like a quick fix, but it will all fall apart when you’re questioned further (unless you’re a world-class improviser, in which case IT might not be the field for you).
There’s also the added issue that if you appear overqualified the recruiter might think you’ll quickly become bored in the job you’re interviewing for. So, toe the line between eager and honest, and you’ll be that little bit closer to your first IT job.
3. Steer the conversation
This is a standard interview tip, but in a field as diverse and broad as IT, it’s important to focus on your strengths, and wherever possible put a positive spin on your weaknesses.
The default “tell me about your weaknesses” question is easily dealt with for IT. The key is to identify something you’ve previously struggled with, but make the focus the way you overcame this. It might be a specific process or technology, or even something to do with working with other people, but as long as you highlight your solution to the issue you’ll be one step closer to a job offer.
4. Show your enthusiasm
If you’re asked about one of your passions, don’t be afraid to venture off topic to show how interested you are. You might be wary of wasting the interviewers time, but this is exactly what they are looking for – people who love IT before they’re getting paid to.
Did you set up your raspberry pi with a camera using facial recognition to let the cat out late at night? Make sure your interviewer knows, and that you talk about all the challenges you overcame and the research you put in to get to the final product.
5. Look your best
The trend in IT appears to be toward a more informal standard of office wear, but this doesn’t mean you should turn up to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt. You should always endeavour to be smartly dressed for an interview, as your outfit is the most direct first impression the interviewer can get. Turning up in your smartest threads with polished shoes shows your interest in the role, and your commitment to making an effort in order to secure it.
There are our top 5 interview tips for IT. Think we’ve missed anything essential? Or have you got an interview horror story you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.
If you are struggling to kick-start your IT career, we’ve helped over 6000 people do just that. If you’d like to find out how you could be next, give us a call on 020 7426 9835, or visit our Individual Training page.