Throughout my experience in recruiting, I’ve come across many candidates that have attended numerous interviews and subsequently felt like they’ve seen and heard it all.
Many of these candidates seldom take the time to prepare themselves for an interview and are of the opinion that they would be able to tackle any question due to their extensive interview experience. This may be the case, however, not every employer is the same. There may be cases where you are put you on the spot and find yourself unable to deal with an unexpected question or situation because you have not taken the time to prepare. As per the wise words of Bobby Unser, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet".
This blog highlights the key points that candidates should focus on when preparing for an interview for technical IT job. It explains what candidates should keep in mind while attending the interview and more importantly, how candidates can prepare for the interview.
1. Understand the job description
As for any role, having a thorough understanding of the job description is crucial. It is important that you make sure you understand the roles and responsibilities of the job, the types of technologies the company uses and the key, hands-on technical aspects that you would be required to fulfill. If there is a technology that you’re not familiar with, make sure that you research it. You need to be able to answer possible questions they may ask about it during the interview. Having this knowledge will enhance your opportunity to win the role.
2. Utilize your strengths
Always remember to play to your strengths. If there is a certain type of technology that you may not have had hands-on experience with, but you've worked with a similar type of solution, be sure to share that information with your interviewer. This will show them that you have had experience with similar technology and could use that knowledge to master their technology at a faster rate. This will provide the interviewer with a level of comfort in knowing that you will have the ability to hit the ground running if selected for the role.
3. Know your personal competitive advantage
As with any interview, it is imperative that you go the extra mile and know how you can create a competitive advantage for your potential employer and how your expertise can help develop the company. This will set you apart from the crowd.
I recently worked on a technical role for an enterprise architect where the client was a green field organization and was setting up a completely new department. One of the candidates I put forward, went the extra mile to learn more about the company by conducting extensive research. He took his own initiative and researched what the company was looking to achieve with the addition of the new department by finding related articles and news on the internet and other means of research. His research enabled him to develop an initial blueprint for the company which included; analyzing the company goals and suggesting the types of technologies the company should consider investing in and proposing a means of how to seamlessly integrate the suggested solutions into the new department. Through his efforts, he was able to share his thoughts and the value he felt he would contribute towards the business. Although his approach was a very high-level overview answer, the client was impressed with his thought process and that he had taken the time and initiative to conduct the additional research.
Keeping these key points in mind will help to highlight the areas that most hiring managers are looking to see in a candidate. These pointers will enhance your chances of success in an interview and will make your candidacy more attractive. If there are any other pointers you think candidates should know please feel free to add them in the comment section below.
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