Interviewing in the world of IT can be one of the most stressful and nerve-wracking experiences for not only the interviewer, but also the interviewee. With the uncertainty of today’s economy, both sides of the equation need to keep in practice. Acing that interview, though, can be done with certainty by following only a few guidelines.
The most important lesson for the job seeker in an IT interview is never be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” The IT world is so vast that it is impossible for one person to know everything and it is easy to get in over your head by pretending that you do. You want to answer each question with certainty and honesty instead of fumbling around with guesses.
On a CV, you should only list the technologies and platforms with which you are familiar and actually worked with. A mistake many IT job seekers make is listing familiarity with a technology just because their company used it and not themselves personally. If your interviewer is familiar with the technology he may stump you with questions that should be obvious to someone who is using it. Again, honesty will always work best.
If you are a programmer, always have a sample of your code prepared to show the interviewer if they should ask for it. They don’t always ask, but it is better to be prepared. You needn’t bring in an entire program bound together in a bulky four-inch binder, just five or six pages, perhaps a complete sub-routine. Being prepared with like this always leaves a good impression with interviewers.
Lastly, be aware of how your contributions can benefit the company as a whole. An IT company is not working with technology for the sake of technology. They are a business and usually intend to make money. Understand how your IT work fits into the business side of the company and present this at the interview to hit home just how valuable you are and will be for the company. IT personnel who do not understand the business side of the company only show that they are lacking either enthusiasm and/or competence.
These few easy guidelines will get you far in your interview and get your interviewer wanting to know more. It could mean the difference between walking through that front door and hitting the pavement once more.