Job Interview Tips from an IT Recruiter
By: Annie Edminster, Technical Recruiter
Whether you’re an entry-level job seeker or a high-level professional, you should be doing prep work before every one of your interviews.
Each job interview is different – the job itself, the people you’re meeting with, the company, and interview setting. If you skip the interview prep phase, you’re risking skipping over important steps. Not to mention, preparing helps us feel more confident – and if that isn’t a key skill in an interview, I don’t know what is! Skimming over these tips, you might be surprised what you’re forgetting as you prepare for that next important interview.
Do Your Research
- Familiarize yourself with that job description and be able to tie your experience to the requirements. If you don’t have experience with a certain skill, be honest about it – but also ready to provide an example of a time you learned something new quickly. That way, the Hiring Manager will have faith that you can be a quick learner.
- Check out the company website. What are they all about? What is their mission, in what recent articles have they appeared? What does it say on their careers page about the culture? You want to “wow” the interviewer with your knowledge of – and interest in – the company.
- If you know the names of the individual(s) you’re meeting with, check them out on LinkedIn. Do they have anything in common with you? If they aren’t on LinkedIn, what can you find out about them online?
“Good luck is a residue of preparation.” – Jack Youngblood
Phone Interview Tips
- There are pros and cons to phone interviews. Since the interviewer can’t see you, use that to your advantage. Have your resume with notes on it, printed out in front of you. Jot down some questions ahead of time to ask the manager.
- On the flip side, you must rely entirely on your voice to convey your ideas AND your enthusiasm. Use inflections in your tone, smile when you speak, and have good energy. Make sure you provide detailed answers – but don’t do all the talking or try to control the conversation.
- Even though they can’t see you, it helps to dress professionally and sit up straight. This makes us feel and sound better.
In-Person Interview Tips
- Plan your route, and give yourself extra time to account for getting lost, traffic, or other unexpected delays. Google maps has a feature that allows you to set your departure time, which is critical to calculating your drive time – especially during rush hour. Arrive 10-15 minutes early – it will keep your mind at ease (showing up late gets us off on the worst foot!) and it makes you appear punctual. Plus, you can use that time to chat it up with the receptionist – he/she can even give you some insight into the job or people you’re meeting with, or put in a good word for you if you two really hit it off.
- Dress professionally – always wear a suit. Even if it’s a casual environment and everyone wears jeans, they’ll still expect you to dress nicely as the interviewee. Make sure you’ve got nice matching shoes, and your outfit is clean and pressed. Don’t forget little details – ladies, don’t have a chipped manicure. Make sure your hair is neat, there’s nothing in your teeth, etc.
- Bring a padfolio to take notes and bring along copies of your resume, unless you’re interviewing with a staffing agency – in which case, we’ve already sent the manager your resume. If your cell is on you, make sure it’s on silent.
- Have good body language – sit up straight, don’t cross your arms. Nod or cock your head as they are doing the talking, to demonstrate you’re listening. Interviewers want to see your personality, so let it shine through and don’t be afraid to smile and laugh.
At the end of the interview
Whether on a phone or in-person interview, make sure you express your interest in the job if you’re interested in moving forward. Never assume the interviewer knows you’re interested. Say things like, “After meeting with you today, I’m even more confident that I’d make a great addition to your team. I look forward to hearing your decision.”
Ask for the business card of every person you meet with. It’s polite to send email thank you notes to follow-up. If you want to stand out even more, send a handwritten note – this would be really unexpected.
Bringing it all together
Your interview is a chance for you to assess them, so make sure you’re asking critical questions to help you make your decision. Always err on the side of caution – spend a little extra time preparing, give yourself a few more minutes to arrive to the interview. In these situations, it’s never ideal to fly by the seat of your pants. Make good connections with all of your interviewers and everyone you encounter at the company. Leave them with a good impression, and wait for that good news!
For more interview tips and help landing your dream job, contact our recruiting team who will advocate on your behalf.
Reach out directly to the author of this article for more tips below.
About Digital Prospectors
We believe all people should love their jobs. Founded in 1999, Digital Prospectors is a top IT staffing agency in Boston that has placed thousands of contractors and direct-hire employees with hundreds of prestigious companies nationwide. Our work is about improving the lives of the people we serve by connecting opportunity and talent in meaningful ways. Life is short – Love your job!®