Monthly Archives: February 2015

Don’t Say This in IT Job Interviews

For most interviewees for IT jobs, no matter how much you prepare with your IT staffing firms and technical recruiters, questions about your greatest weakness are still intimidating.  The most common answer that hiring managers and IT recruiting agencies tend to hear seems like a good idea: “my weakness is that I’m a perfectionist.” Don’t be tempted to actually give this answer, though!

Because it’s such a cliché answer, telling your interviewer that you’re a perfectionist will mean that you’ve totally wasted that moment in your interview.  Even if you are indeed a perfectionist, you won’t impress your interviewer or your IT recruiting firms by saying it’s your biggest weakness.  Since it’s heard so often, it’s hard for anybody to take that answer seriously.  In fact, you may be letting your IT staffing agencies down by giving such an unimpressive answer.  Your interviewer may ding you a few points for giving such a meaningless response to their question.

So what should you say?  Work on a real, honest answer with your IT recruiters. Name a skill that’s not essential to the jobs you’re interviewing for and give an action plan for how you’re addressing it.  Something like this will actually impress an interviewer, especially if your action plan is thorough.

Don’t Make This Mistake When Going to IT Job Interviews

You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time prepping for IT job interviews—both on your own and with your IT staffing companies and IT recruiters.  Maybe you’ve laid out your suit and mapped out how to get to the interview.  Here’s one last tip: don’t bring more than a single, small bag with you.  Why?

It’s not something your technical recruiters are likely to discuss with you (mostly because they’re probably assuming you already know about it). However, your IT staffing firms and IT recruiting agencies want you to make sure you edit what you take with you to a job interview because it reflects poorly on you and on them if you bring too much with you.

If you bring much more with you to a job interview than a small bag, you’re likely saying one of two things.  Firstly, you could be suggesting that the interview isn’t that important to you—it’s just one thing in a long list of errands.  You give off this impression in particular if you come in with things like shopping bags.  Secondly, you’ll make a bad impression for yourself and your IT staffing agencies if you bring a lot of stuff with you because it looks disorganized.  Fair or not, your interviewer may assume that you’re not organized if you need to bring a ton of stuff with you to an interview. They have very little to go on (besides what your IT recruiting firms tell them) and they may just go off of gut feelings from your brief meeting with them.  Having to shuffle around a couple bags or jackets won’t give them the impression that you’re cool, calm, collected, and in control.  So leave everything home but a small bag when you go to your next IT job interview.  It may be the difference between losing and winning your dream IT jobs.


Subtle IT Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts

If you’ve gone on interviews for IT jobs, you probably already have at least a general idea of what you should be doing.  Maybe you learned these job interview do’s from your IT staffing firms and technical recruiters, or maybe you learned them from some of your own online research.  No matter where you learned these do’s from, there are some nuances you may not know about.  Here are some subtleties of interview do’s that your IT staffing agencies and IT recruiters want you to know.

Firstly, you know the general rule is to dress well for job interviews.  However, it’s also important to dress well for the company’s culture.  Particularly in IT, dress codes can wildly differ.  Talk to your IT recruiting firms about exactly what you should wear to your interview.  You don’t want to just assume you should come in a suit.  It may cost you the job.

Secondly, you probably already know no to badmouth a boss or former company to your interviewer.  What you may not know is to extend the same rule to your colleagues and coworkers.  If you trash talk your current or previous coworkers, hiring managers may wonder if you’re actually a team player or able to work well with others.  Do yourself and your IT recruiting agencies a favor: don’t lie, but do avoid saying anything unfavorable about your former or current coworkers, employers, or bosses.  By keeping their reputations pristine, you do the same for your own.

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Questions NOT to Ask in Your IT Job Interviews

IT recruiters and IT staffing firms will usually help you prepare questions to bring to your IT job interviews.  Your technical recruiters can talk to you about what will interest and impress your interviewers. However, most IT recruiting companies will assume that you know what questions not to ask.  Check out this list to make sure you aren’t making a misstep and embarrassing yourself and your IT recruiting firms in the question part of your interviews.

Don’t ask any basic questions about the company.  If your IT staffing agencies don’t tell you directly, assume that you should research more about the company online yourself. It’s your job to know about the company—at least the basic info you could get from a quick Google search.  So don’t embarrass yourself and your IT staffing companies by making it obvious you haven’t done this research.

Don’t ask any questions that make you look like a clock watcher. Companies want somebody who is committed to and interested in their job.  If you appear to be interested in spending as little time as possible on the job at the interview, you’re definitely not going to impress your interviewer (or your IT recruiting agencies).

Lastly, don’t ask any questions about raises or promotions.  As mentioned above, hiring managers are looking for somebody who is interested in the job they’re trying to fill.  If you start asking questions that suggest you only see that job as a stepping stone, they’ll quickly want to end the interview.


Don’t Forget to Do This in IT Job Interviews!

If you’re interviewing for new IT jobs, you’ll benefit from watching your interviewer for signs of how well or poorly the interview is going.  You can prep ahead of time with your IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies.  But you’ll do yourself (and your technical recruiters and IT recruiting agencies) a disservice if you don’t watch for these possible signs your interviewer is disinterested.

Their body language and tone of voice show disinterest.  You don’t need your IT staffing firms to tell you that if your interviewer seems uninterested during your interview and their body language gives the impression they’re closed off and not engaging with you, the interview is going poorly.

They mention other qualified candidates.  If your interviewer makes a pointed mention of other candidates, they may be attempting to lower your expectations. It’s not a sure sign, but it’s something to take into account.

They don’t make any mention of the next steps you or your IT staffing companies should take.  Again, this isn’t a sure sign, but it’s something to take into account.  Your interviewers may just directly contact your IT recruiting firms with the next steps, but if they’re very interested in you, it’s possible they make some mention of the rest of their hiring process to let you know they’re interested in you.

Never Do These Things in an IT Job Interview

Your IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies have probably prepared you well for what you should do during job interviews.  Study up on these technologies, wear a suit (or something more casual), be prepared to answer these questions, and so on.  But there are some things your IT recruiting agencies and technical recruiters may assume you already know: what not to do.  Just in case, it’s worth checking out this list of don’ts that IT staffing firms hope you know:

Don’t forget to turn your cell phone off and put it away for the duration of the interview.  Interviewers and IT recruiting firms are definitely not impressed with anybody whose cell phone ring interrupts an interview.

Don’t ask about compensation or benefits in the interview.  Firstly, it’s best to use the time wisely and focus on painting yourself as the best candidate for the IT jobs you’re interviewing for.  Secondly, this is what your IT recruiting companies are for.  You can talk to them about benefits and compensation.

Don’t be too casual.  Don’t swear, tell off-color jokes or share personal information.  You don’t want to be cold and rude with an interviewer, but to give your best impression, make sure you act as though you’re in a business setting.  The interviewer isn’t your friend; they’re your potential boss.


How to Get Your Dream IT Jobs: After the Interview

If you’ve worked with your IT recruiters and IT staffing firms to get some great job interviews, what do you do next?  How can you make sure you really wow your IT recruiting companies, hiring managers, and get the IT jobs?  Technical recruiters would all recommend one step: writing an excellent thank you note for your interviewers and sending it to your IT staffing companies to pass on to them.

It’s important to note that the faster you send your IT recruiting firms for your interviewers, the better an impression you’ll make.  Thank you notes sent within a few hours are ideal.  If you can’t do it that quickly, 24 hours is the latest you should send a thank you note.  It doesn’t have to be long (in fact it shouldn’t) and it shouldn’t take you an exorbitant time to write it.  So hustle and get those thank you notes out—your IT recruiting agencies will love you for it and so will your future employers!



Write Better Emails in Your IT Jobs

Perhaps you already have your dream job.  You’ve worked with IT recruiters and IT staffing firms to find a position that’s a perfect fit for your skills and interests.  Now it’s time to go into the office and kill it.  How can you really knock the socks off your new boss (and of course the technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies that helped you get the job)?  How do you make your mark so you get excellent references for the next time you have to go searching for IT jobs? We’ll examine a few things you can do to really excel at work.  Today we’ll focus on a few ways you can write excellent emails.

In most IT jobs, you’re likely to be moving at a fast pace.  So the best employees are the ones who can write brief, effective emails.  Your bosses and IT recruiting firms will rave about you if your emails at work are short, to the point, and informative or easy to respond to.  To get your emails to this point, start by exercising a little restraint.  Email only when you can explain things succinctly.  If you can’t, it’s time for a phone call.  Next, try to bundle your emails.  If you have a few questions for a boss or colleague over the course of the workday, do your best to compile them into one email.  This will save the recipient time.

Next, go through your emails once before sending and try to cut out anything unnecessary.  In person, a little small talk is nice.  In email, it’s a pain.

Lastly, you may also want to try to break your email out into bullets with calls to action or questions.  Paragraphs are nice for a novel, but not for email.  It’s easier when things are in an outlined format or something close to that. Take these steps and you’ll be wowing your employers and IT recruiting

Have an IT Job Interview? Prep At Least 2 of These Anecdotes

If your IT recruiters and IT staffing firms have helped you land some interviews for IT jobs, you’re probably already deep into the preparation process.  Here’s one thing your technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies may not have suggested for you to do though: Gather at least 2 anecdotes about how you solved or contributed to solving a problem.

To really prepare for the interview, your best bet is to practice telling these anecdotes to a friend, family member, or perhaps even a recruiter from your IT staffing agencies.  Focus on making the story short, and effective.  The story should relay how you added value to your team.  IT staffing companies can often land candidates IT jobs when it’s obvious that they can bring a lot to a new role.  If you can tell a couple stories that illustrate this well, you’ll really impress your IT recruiting firms and interviewers.


Why You May NOT Want Remote IT Jobs

Most IT recruiters and IT staffing firms are noticing a distinct uptick in preference for IT jobs that allow part or full-time remote work.  There are plenty of reasons whey IT recruiting companies aren’t surprised by this.  Remote work has plenty of benefits, IT staffing companies find pretty consistently.  Technical recruiters find parents of young children to be particularly interested in this kind of work because sometimes it’s compatible with child rearing and saves costs on daycare.  However, there are some reasons it’s worth reconsidering asking your IT recruiting agencies exclusively for remote work.

  1. Blurring the lines between work and home can be stressful. If your personal phone, your favorite couch, or your kitchen table become part of your new office, it becomes difficult to leave a bad day of work behind.  You may find it hard to disengage from work—either because of your own desire to just finish that last item or because a client can reach you at home all the time.  Either way, you can find yourself with a surprising lack of work-life balance.
  2. Your workspace can be distracting.  A home office has plenty of its own potential distractions, whether it’s noisy neighbors, kids who need attention, or a dirty kitchen you can’t stand not to clean.  You may find that the peace and quiet you expected when you jettisoned the office isn’t there at home.
  3. You may really miss connecting with your coworkers.  Not being at the office to chat with coworkers could have a few potential pitfalls.  You may simply be lonely, or it could actually be harder to work with your team.  Sometimes teambuilding is actually more necessary than you expect, and working remotely can reveal that.