So you say you’re an incredible .NET developer? That’s awesome, but if you have trouble communicating your expertise to a non-technical interviewer, we’re here to help! Our IT recruiting team has truly seen it all. With years of experience, finding great IT jobs for tech professionals is our bread and butter. I sat down with our recruiters to get the real-world advice they give interviewees to help them land their next IT job. Here’s what they said:
1. It’s okay to be nervous. It’s natural, and interviewers usually expect it. Don’t psych yourself out by trying to cover it up. It usually comes off as awkward.
2. Take a notebook with you to take notes throughout the interview. Even if you don’t think you need it, not taking notes can send the wrong message. You can even use the notebook to your advantage by writing down questions you may have for the interviewee beforehand.
3. Evaluate yourself afterwards by writing down any questions that may have stumped you immediately after an interview. Re-evaluate your answer so you can decide if and how you might answer it differently in the future. The more interviews you go on, the more confident you’ll become when taking this extra step.
4. Give specific examples when answering a question while still being concise. If you aren’t sure that you gave them enough information ask, “Does that answer your question?” or “Would you like more information?” to prevent from rambling on.
5. Be prepared to talk about your technical abilities with someone with no technical knowledge. Many times, at least one of your interviewers will have little knowledge of the systems you work with. Be able to describe your experience in detail in terms that non-practitioners would understand.
6. Pay attention to body language. If you notice your interviewer getting impatient, wrap up your point quickly so you can move on to the next topic. Remember that many interviews only last an hour, so be conscious of the time to allow enough time for all their questions and yours.
7. Eye contact and a firm handshake. So many people forget this, but it’s critical to making a good impression.
8. Study the job description before you go into the interview. Even if you don’t have all of the skills “required,” there is a reason they have agreed to meet with you. If you know or have experience with 80% of the description, focus on researching the 20% that you don’t. It will show that you have drive. You can also use the 20% you don’t know as a weakness (if they ask), and spin it into something positive where it shows you’re capable of learning and improving in these areas.
9. Silence is okay. If you have fully answered the interviewer’s question, STOP. Don’t ramble on. The interviewer may just be taking notes or collecting their thoughts.
10. Get the interviewers’ contact information. Send all interviewers a hand-written thank you note, or email them a thank you at the very least. Pro tip: master the fine art of writing the perfect thank you note.