Preparing for any sort of job interview can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re not very experienced in the industry. The saying “fake it until you make it” often comes to mind, but pretending can only get you so far before you actually have to prove your skills and knowledge in the field. Of course, applying for jobs that you know you’re capable of is one step you can take to avoid job interview disappointment, but beyond that, you may have to be willing to expand your current capabilities to get yourself ready for the task at hand.
With that said, here are some essential steps you should take before tackling your first job interview in IT:
1. Researching the Company and Sector You’re Trying to Enter
The first step in preparing for an interview is to understand exactly what the employer does and what they’re looking for. The field IT is extremely diverse, so simply walking in and saying: “I’m great with computers and I’m willing to learn” is only going to work for a handful of entry-level jobs. Although normal prerequisites like having a good résumé still apply, the criteria that the hiring manager will be looking for will vary depending on exact job position. One way to address that problem is to study a specialized IT interview guide for the specific job you’re trying to secure. For example, a guide that teaches you how to check for duplicate PHP strings might be necessary if that task is a listed part of the job description.
2. Quizzing Yourself for Potential Questions
A great exercise to perform prior to an IT job interview is to build a comprehensive checklist of every question that you’d ask a potential employee if you were the hiring manager. You can then have a friend ask you these questions, so you can practice how you’re going to answer them. However, it’s important that you don’t sound too scripted during the interview. Use your practice answers as general guidelines so that you’ll know what to say, but don’t say it the same way every time or you’ll start sounding like you’re reciting something, which isn’t good because interviewers want to see that you can competently respond to questions on the spot.
3. Cover the Essential Basics of Job Interview Success
In closing, once you’ve got the IT-specific aspects of the interview covered, the rest will be similar or the same as the steps you could take to get hired in any other job interview. This might include:
- Showing up on time – if you show up late then your performance during the interview better be stellar. Punctuality is everything in business.
- Ensuring top-notch personal appearance and hygiene – If you look or smell bad, you’re not getting hired. This might include wearing an overpowering amount of cologne or perfume, so keep that in mind.
- Maintain reasonable eye contact – show that your attentive and let the interviewer fully finish their question before answering.
If You’re a Techie, Your Chances of Getting Hired are Already Good
Fortunately, if you’re going after an entry-level position and you’ve followed all of the tips in this guide, you should have no problem getting hired at an IT company within a few tries.