Placers Presents: Winning The IT Interview: Practical Training And Confidence Building
Every industry is different, but the IT industry has its own quirks that can protect you during an interview.
Are you better at doing than explaining? Would you rather set up a network, show how well you can navigate Active Directory, or show an SQL join?
Here are a few concepts to imagine and practice before an interview. Even if you can’t click and connect in the conference room, proving to yourself that you know the job can build confidence and give you a better interview story.
Write A Guide, Then Read It
How well do you know your job? Did you just finish a certification or degree? Have you been doing the job for years? Are you a bit rusty and coming back to the skills after a few years?
If you have any memory of how to do the job, walking through a few tasks can make you more familiar. For the interview, you should write down the steps to different tasks to help you think deeper.
When you write down the tasks, you’re likely to think more about each step. Are you writing them in the right order? Is this an official step, or a clever trick you found? Do you know why the task has to be done this way?
It’s not just about refreshing yourself to do the job. When you can think deeper about these tasks, you’ll have something constructive to say about the interview.
When an interviewer asks you about different tasks and what you can do, you can explain your qualifications broadly or go into step-by-step detail. Of course, you don’t want to go through dozens of steps without being asked, but it helps to show that you’re not an unqualified random with fake credentials.
If you’re applying for jobs through an employment agency, you may have to follow different worksite-specific steps. Copy those steps and save them to a career file as long as the information isn’t confidential.
Temp jobs are a great way to see how other companies work in the IT world. With so many approaches, you’ll find multiple ways of thinking about a problem and have multiple options to discuss with employers.
Of course, some employers want the job done a specific way. Don’t argue, but if they ask for your opinion on a task, feel free to reach for more than one temporary staffing experience or the best experience that fits the situation.
Take A Small Box Of Tools
Does your part of the IT world need tools? Do you need an ESD strap, screwdriver, or loop tester to get your job done?
Bringing a small toolset that is unique and relative to the job can help you maintain focus. Once again, this technique isn’t for the interviewers; the tools may either impress or look like a gimmick, but to you, they’re reminders of what you can do.
That may sound a bit sappy, but think about what you do with your tools. Think about the specific fixes, strange situations, and best practices you know.
If you’re not into hardware, a USB drive with a few important files can be just as helpful. Don’t go sticking the drive into computers without permission—that’s a security violation, and just plain rude unless you’re in some hacking competition—but bring it in and place it on the table.
Someone will ask about it, and there’s your opening to sell your knowledge and preparedness. If not, you’ll have it on the desk and you won’t need to awkwardly fiddle through your pockets.
With USB drives, you may run into a fair question: why not use your phone? Well, you wouldn’t want to have your phone out during an interview in case someone considers it rude. Even if you put the phone on silent, some people may consider the phone a sign that you’re ready to be distracted.
Just in case, save the USB drive information on your phone or on the cloud. Whether you save it on the SD card, email it to yourself, or use some online storage service depends on your privacy and practicality reasons, but be prepared to explain yourself.
Having an answer for why you should and shouldn’t do something can help in an interview. If you need help with specific tasks for your next interview, contact a Delaware staffing agency career specialist and ask for a tech-savvy counselor.