Most candidates make the same mistakes during an interview. Many don’t even realize they are creating a negative first impression. Don’t forget, as soon as you walk through the door, you’re being assessed.
Often, mistakes are subtle, but why waive a red flag with an employer if you can avoid it?
Here are some important tips to consider before your next interview”
First impressions count! Those first minutes when you meet the IT recruiters or direct hiring manager can make a world of difference in determining the outcome of the interview. Based on this, you will either be working the rest of the interview to overcome a bad impression, or get the benefit of the doubt on concerns that the IT manager may have.
Appearance - Outfit, composure, tidiness, and polish can create a very positive first impression. Is your hair neatly combed? Are you dressed too flashy or inappropriately? Conservative dress is always better than flashy. Are you sitting or standing straight, or sprawled across the chair? Are your shoes clean and polished? Are your pants, shirt, coat or skirt or blouse tidy and pressed, or overly wrinkled? Do your clothes fit appropriately or are they too tight, too loose, too short, or too long? Are you wearing too much makeup, perfume, or cologne? All these become factors on a first impression in an IT job interview setting.
The Greeting – Is your handshake too firm or too loose? This is a major factor for both men and women. Are you too loud or do you mumble? Are you too informal with the technical recruiter or hirig manager? Are you too serious or are you exuding a warm smile? Relax, breathe and be as natural as possible while maintaining an aura of professionalism.
NO REFRESHMENTS – THIS ISN’T A MOVIE THEATER! When arriving for an interview, it’s extremely common that someone might offer you a something to drink; a glass of water or coffee. It’s generally best to politely let them know you appreciate the offer but you are all set. This is for multiple reasons…
- They usually ask to be polite, not because they want to ensure you’re not parched.
- You’re probably somewhat nervous already, and creating a situation that makes you need to go to the restroom during the interview won’t help anyone.
- Many people end up fidgeting with the cup or bottle to the point of distraction.
- There’s always a possibility of spilling it, on you, on the floor, or on their desk.
Be professional, yet natural! Often, people either sit too relaxed, or too stiff. Sliding down in your chair and crossing your legs with one knee over the other may seem overly casual. Sitting straight and crossing your legs with your ankle on your knee may seem like you are nervous and uncomfortable. Sitting with your feet on the floor or one knee over the other, reasonably straight and slightly leaning forward can make you appear alert and engaged. Practice in front of a mirror to find what works best for you, but how you sit makes a very distinct impression.
Be Nice! It’s not just your skills; rather, they are looking for the complete “package”. Along with evaluating whether you can do the IT job, they are deciding whether they would like spending 8 hours a day with you. If you’re too stern in your discussion with them, or exhibit a bad attitude, or complain about previous co-workers, managers, or companies, they are not likely to warm up to you when it comes to personal considerations. Without being overly gregarious or making jokes, discussing the job and your skills in a warm, comfortable, and upbeat manner will go a long way toward building a relationship.
Make a Long Story Short! While you definitely don’t want to give one-word answers or answers that are so short you leave the IT recruiters Boston or hiring managers looking for more… you definitely don’t want to give answers that are far too long. Usually people do it because they aren’t sufficiently prepared for the questions being asked, so they ramble on until they think they’ve covered every aspect of it. Preparation by writing out answers to commonly asked questions and practicing them at home will help you give succinct and effective answers in the interview. Prepare for the most common questions: “Why do you think you’re a fit for this specific role?” “What are your strengths? “Your weaknesses?” “Tell us a time in which you’ve overcome adversity?”
Don’t try the patience of a technical recruiter or IT manager by being too long-winded!
Inquisition – At the end of an interview, you’d be surprised at how often people do not have any questions for the technical recruiters Boston or IT managers. If you’re not prepared to as any questions, it makes you appear indifferent or having a lack of interest. Always ask questions at the end of an IT job interview. Prepare the night before.