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How to prepare successfully for an IT-interview?


by Wiktoria Stretskite

To land a dream job in IT, it’s not enough to showcase excellent technical skills. It’s important to impress the HR manager. In this article, we’ll tell you how to prepare for job interviews in IT.

Research About Your Potential Employer

When getting ready for a job interview, find answers to these questions:

  • What’s so special about the company that you’re applying for?
  • How long has it been around?
  • What’s its current place in the market?
  • Which sector does it cater to, B2B or B2C?
  • Which products does it specialize in?
  • Which technologies does it use?
  • What’s its corporate culture?

Your primary source of information should be the official website of your potential employer, its blog and social media profiles.

Thanks to the research, you’ll feel more confident during the interview. The HR manager will appreciate your proactivity and interest in your future workspace.

Investigate the Specifics of the Interview Process in the Hiring Company

Find out how many stages the recruitment process features. Some organizations hold two separate interviews to assess the candidate’s soft skills and ask them technical questions. Plus, some might require candidates to complete trial practical tasks.

Get to know who will be present at the interview. Apart from the HR manager, you might need to talk with the team lead or other people with technical expertise.

Brush Up Your English

Regardless of your and your employer’s respective locations, it’s vital to know English to make a career in IT. Most likely, this requirement was clearly mentioned in the job offer that you apply for. This language lets you understand the terms and documentation. Besides, it’s used to communicate with clients. Before the interview, it would be wise to re-read an IT glossary and glance through the grammar rules once again.

Find Out About the Dress Code

The IT industry is rather liberal. In most cases, it’s not necessary to wear a tie while having the interview. However, to produce a better impression, you should look neat. Pick a fresh t-shirt and don’t forget to iron it even if it’s a remote interview. Take care of the background: if you’ll be sitting in front of the camera in your bedroom, make sure it’s not cluttered and your pets won’t interfere.

The recruiter might start calling you by your first name without asking for permission. It’s a norm in the IT sphere.

Test Your Internet Connection

To properly prepare for a meeting, it’s vital to ensure a quick and stable Internet connection. Sometimes, anyone might need to have an interview from an unusual space, such as a hotel or a rented apartment. To double-check the quality of the connection, try to call a friend or family member.

Keep in mind the following tips:

  • Test the meeting link in advance.
  • If the Internet in your current location is not too stable, consider sharing the Internet from your smartphone. When traveling, find out in advance whether this would be possible with your current SIM, plan and device.
  • It’s the interviewer and not the interviewee who decides on the communication channel. As soon as you agree on the day and time of your conversation, install the required app on your device. Maybe, you’ll need to get some plugins or extensions. Make sure everything is working smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll still have a lot of time to ask the HR representative to select another means of communication.

A person who applies for a technical vacancy should prove that they know how to fix technical issues. If you can’t get rid of the problems for reasons beyond your control, you might have to reduce the duration of your conversation with the HR manager. This might decrease your odds of getting hired.

Learn to Talk About Your Financial Expectations

An ideal job description features the monthly salary. However, some positions lack it. To prepare for the interviewer’s question about your expectations, it would be smart to:

  • Glance through industry reports;
  • Check the information in social media groups and on online forums;
  • Ask friends for advice if they work in the same niche and in similar positions.

If you fail to carry out the research, the amount of the salary that you suggest might differ drastically from the market average. The HR manager might think that you don’t perceive yourself seriously or overestimate your abilities. If you’re making your first steps in the industry, your primary goal should be to gain experience and not secure the highest possible financial gains.

Be Proactive

When preparing for a job interview in IT, it’s advisable to compose a list of questions to ask the HR manager:

  • Which project would you like me to join?
  • What my scope of duties will be?
  • Which tools and technologies am I supposed to use in my daily work?
  • How large is the team that I'll join?
  • Which types of specialists does this team contain and what is their level of expertise?
  • What will be my career development opportunities?
  • Will you provide free training for me? If yes, on which conditions?
  • When can I expect to get feedback about this interview?
  • Is it the only stage of the recruitment process? Or should I prepare for the next stages and/or practical tasks?

Your curiosity will prove that you’re genuinely passionate about this company and position. It’s your chance to showcase the knowledge that you obtained when researching your potential employer. It would be reasonable to avoid questions that might undermine the reputation of the hiring organization — such as about employee turnover or overtime hours.

Relax and Feel Confident

To make a great impression, try to get rid of stress. Smile and don’t avoid eye contact. If you feel nervous, don’t be afraid to openly confess this fact — HR professionals value honesty.