Are You Ready for Your Tech Interview?

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Feb 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Interview Tips, IT, Candidate

Without much direction, it is hard to know what a hiring manager wants to hear from you during an interview. Other than exploring the company’s website, what can you do to prepare? It is such a competitive market right now with many job seekers vying for the same position. Not only that, the interview process for a tech job is a little different than, say, an administrative position or a creative role. Most companies, these days, rely heavily on the technology team, so candidates must make a good first impression. That is why hiring managers want to make sure they bring on quality professionals who will, not only, get the job done, but also fit in with the spirit of the company. Here are some tips on what you can do to stand out:

Tell Stories That Show Your Problem-Solving Skills

One of the most valuable things you can do in an interview is show your problem-solving skills. You can highlight these traits by describing challenging situations that you were faced with and how you dealt with them. As you are recounting all of the technical details of the project, be sure to add an element of excitement to your story. The company wants to see your passion for solving tech issues, as well as how you navigate rough waters with a clear head. Interviewers want to see that you can solve real tech issues that will likely come up for the team. In the same vein, they want to see how you handle irregular scenarios that can only be overcome with some creative out-of-the-box thinking. 

Here are some points to hit:

  • Your role in the project
  • Other people on the team
  • Were the requirements clear or did you only have the objective?
  • What problems came up and how did you solve them?
  • What methods did you use in your process and execution of the project?
  • How did you collaborate with the team?
  • How did your work affect the success of the project ?

When telling your stories, you want it to sound interesting and have it come naturally. You do not want to sound caught off guard or stumble through a rehearsed script. The only way to ensure a compelling story is to practice. Practice it alone in front of a mirror or in front of an audience that makes you feel comfortable. The advantage of rehearsing in front of other people is the opportunity for feedback. You will be able to get a sense for what works and what does not. This way, you will be able to tweak your story if need be.

Talk About Times You Have Made Mistakes

There may come a point during your interview when the hiring manager asks about a time that you have made a mistake or dealt with "failure." It is best to plan for these types of questions so that you can come up with a strong and clear response. The worst thing you can do is go completely blank on any question asked. Take the time to prepare beforehand by thinking of a good story. Spend some time on the mistake, itself. Talk about how it happened and that you were at fault. This shows the company that you are mature enough to own your work - good or bad. It also tells them that you will be able to handle potential missteps with confidence and dignity, should they happen. After you have expressed ownership of the failure, explain what the experience taught you and how you will avoid something similar in the future. This shows them that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and that you have a desire to grow and be better. Just tell the truth, and you will be golden; honesty is the best policy.

Describe How You Handle Missed Deadlines

A hiring manager may ask you to remember a time when you missed a deadline and how you handled the situation. If this type of question comes up, he does not want to hear how you worked your butt off night and day to try and hit the mark. With this inquiry, he is more interested in hearing about your communication skills. He wants to know if you kept your superiors informed, on a regular basis, of the status of deliverables. The company wants to hear that you took ownership of your decisions and kept the affected parties in mind. It is better to over-communicate than under-communicate when your managers are relying on you to get a job done within a certain timeframe.

Show That You Relate to the Company’s Mission

Last, but not least, show the company that you are passionate about its mission. In fact, if you do not relate to the company's mission, then you should not even go into the interview at all. It would be a waste of everyone's time. The company wants to make sure that you fit in with its culture. Studies show that when employees are excited about their company's mission, they are more likely to be more productive and stay with the company longer. The best way to see if you jibe with the company spirit is to do some research. Check out their website, read the staff biographies, find out what their facilities are like, and see if they are active in the community. If their goals and activities align with yours, then make it known. Tell them how much you love what they do and how thrilled you would be to work with them to see their mission come to fruition.

Are You Ready for It?

Are you feeling up to an interview now that you've read this article? If you are, apply to some of our open roles! Click below to check them out and see which ones are a fit for you. We'd be happy to help you through the job search process.

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