Most IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies will prepare you to answer a few basic questions in interviews. One of the most common ones that your technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies will tell you to be ready to answer is “What interests you about this role?” Here are a few tips to make sure you give the kind of answer that will make your IT recruiting firms and IT staffing companies proud to represent you.
1. Don’t talk about why you need to leave your current job or field. You’ll be wasting time you could be strengthening your candidacy if you vent. You’ll also create a negative image of yourself.
2. Make sure you talk about what excites you about this role and company. Give some concrete specifics to make your answer stronger. Help your interviewers picture you succeeding on their team.
3. Keep your answer organized and focused. This answer will be important, so don’t go off on any tangents, repeat yourself, or ramble. Try to think about the main points you want to make, then stick to them. This is the kind of interview behavior that lands IT jobs.
As you polish your resume for IT recruiters and IT staffing firms, you may want to stop and make sure you’re not making any mistakes that will make technical recruiters and IT recruiting agencies take your candidacy less seriously. Here are some mistakes that are especially common in resumes from IT professionals:
1. Your resume is full of clichés. IT staffing companies and IT recruiting companies don’t want to see that you’re wasting precious space on your resume with phrases like “hard worker” or “fast learner”. These phrases are too hard to quantify and don’t mean much anyways. Focus on listing actual technical skills and accomplishments.
2. You wrote your resume all in the third person. IT recruiting firms see this far too often from both US and international resumes. The problem with talking about yourself in the third person, especially on your resume, is that you’ll come across as egocentric and out of touch with professional norms. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot this way.
3. Lastly, your resume shouldn’t be on a creative template or format. Graphic designers are often guilty of this because they’re trying to show off their skills. However, when you work with IT staffing agencies, they’ll want you to keep your resume in a simple, conventional format. Your skills and experience should speak for themselves. Don’t obfuscate them with a nonconventional format, border, etc.
IT professionals have done well, even through the past recessions, but surveys are showing that 2015 has been very good to those in IT jobs. Until recently, most IT recruiters and IT staffing companies have seen that only a slight majority of programmers, BA’s, project managers, etc received yearly raises. As 2015 starts rounding up, technical recruiters and IT staffing agencies can now see a whopping 67% of the candidates they work with receiving raises in compensation.
IT staffing firms and IT recruiting agencies have not only seen an increase in those who received raises, but also a marked decrease in IT professionals who have received pay cuts. If this wasn’t enough good news, bonuses have also increased on average nationwide. All of this is a good sign for the IT jobs market, so keep your IT recruiting companies close and your resume polished.
Interviewing for IT jobs is pretty intimidating to most IT professionals. Many will consult with their IT recruiters and IT staffing firms at length about what IT skills to highlight, what interpersonal skills to highlight, etc. If you’re an introvert, interviewing for jobs can be even more nerve-wracking. While you can prep with your technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies for any obvious questions your interviewer might ask, there is one aspect that you’ll have to prepare for on your own: small talk.
While this might literally seem like small thing, for some IT jobs it’s not. IT staffing companies and IT recruiting agencies regularly are given jobs that require excellent customer service skills or the ability to work well with clients or a team. If you can’t show some ability to do small talk, it could kill your candidacy. Try to make sure you push yourself to do a bit of small talk (with energy and enthusiasm!) at the beginning and end of the interview. These are the points you’ll make the biggest impression. If you’re nervous, think about a few questions or topics that could be relevant: neighborhood restaurants near the office, seasonal activities, etc. Keep it light and positive. Your IT recruiting firms will be hearing great feedback in no time if you take these tips to your next interview!
Great IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies help their candidates fully prepare for interviews. And great IT professionals put a lot of work into prepping for interviews on their own. But you can still miss landing the IT jobs, even if you prepare well. One surprising reason that your IT staffing companies and technical recruiters might relay to you that you didn’t get the job: your answers sounded more like you were focused on saying what they wanted to hear than giving a truthful, genuine answer.
Why would this be a problem? While taking your preparation and tips from IT recruiting firms seriously is important, interviewers really want to get a good sense of your technical proficiencies, experience, and personality. If your answers sound like something your IT staffing firms and IT recruiting agencies helped you carefully construct to meet expectations, they will just frustrate the interviewer. You’ll be obstructing their hiring process, which will guarantee some bad feedback to your IT recruiting companies! To avoid this issue, focus on making sure your answers are honest and helpful, not just finessed and polished.
IT staffing companies and IT recruiters can usually help you prepare for your job interviews. They can tell you what technologies to study up on, what experience the role requires, and probably what kind of personality would do well at the company. But your technical recruiters and IT recruiting agencies can’t do one thing for you that is key in landing IT jobs: showing enthusiasm.
Why is showing enthusiasm so necessary in the interview process? As most IT recruiting firms can attest, technical experience and skills are important, but so is interest in the position. Motivated IT professionals achieve far more than unmotivated ones. So even if your IT staffing firms don’t talk to you about it, make sure to show some obvious enthusiasm for the company and the role—it could be the difference between landing and losing the job.
As you wrap up your IT jobs interview, you want to make sure you’ve left the best impression with your interviewer that you can. Maybe you practiced answering a few questions with your IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies. Perhaps there are certain technologies your technical recruiters and IT staffing firms told you to make sure you demonstrated proficiency and experience in. Here are a few more points you want to get across to your interviewer to really seal the deal (and impress your IT staffing companies and IT recruiting agencies).
1. Make sure to show your interest in the role and the work itself. Don’t be desperate, but don’t assume the interviewer will just pick up on it. Explicitly state that you’re interested in the kind of work the role requires and that you think you could succeed in that team.
2. You’re ready to make a measurable impact quickly. Try to prep some ideas of how you’d start succeeding in the role ASAP. Make sure the interviewer can see that you’ve really thought about the role and what you can bring to it.
Most IT recruiters and IT staffing firms would agree that it’s good to appear flexible in interviews for IT jobs. If you’re too rigid on anything – timing, the kind of work culture you want, compensation, etc, it will pretty much guarantee that hiring managers will tell your technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies that you’re a bad fit. You want to appear easy to work with and being too rigid definitely destroys that impression. There is one thing you don’t want to be too flexible on either, though: the kind of work you’ll do.
It won’t reflect well on you (and thus frustrate your IT staffing agencies and IT recruiting firms) if you seem like you’re willing to do pretty much anything. This makes you seem not only desperate, but probably not passionate or experienced enough as an IT professional. The best IT professionals, the ones IT recruiting agencies have no problem placing, know what technologies they like to work with and don’t like to work with. They have enough experience to know what they can do well—and what they can’t. Good IT professionals also have a passion for the work they are really interested in. They care about their work and the quality of it. If you are too flexible, it will be hard for interviewers to assume any of this about you—never mind hire you!
Sometimes you might be excited to interview for IT jobs, but unsure how you’d like their corporate culture. While you can (and should) talk to your IT recruiting companies and technical recruiters about a potential employers’ culture, there are some questions you can ask the interviewer. The trick is to be very judicious about what you ask so that you don’t put your interviewer on the defensive (and embarrass yourself and your IT staffing firms and IT recruiting agencies). Here are some questions that you can ask in your interviews (that won’t make your IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies cringe!).
- What do you love about work here?
- How long have you worked here? How long has most of your team worked here?
- What can be challenging about working here?
Most IT staffing companies and IT recruiters will suggest you prepare to tell interviewers about a mistake you’ve made in past IT jobs. You don’t need your technical recruiters and IT staffing firms to tell you that you need to be strategic about answering this kind of question. What may surprise you, however, is that you also need to be honest and take responsibility for the mistake when you describe it.
How can you do this gracefully and impress your interviewers and IT staffing agencies and IT recruiting companies? Firstly, pick a mistake you truly learned from. If you just made of mess of things, but don’t know how you can avoid it in the future, it’s not a good mistake to talk about. Next, take full responsibility for the mistake. It looks worse to suggest it was anybody’s fault but your own. You’ll seem like less of a team player, which no hiring manager wants to deal with. Lastly, be prepared to answer some follow-up questions about this mistake. You can continue to emphasize what you’ve learned from the mistake and how you’ve grown, but don’t skirt any questions. Honesty is key here! Use these tips and you’ll do well and impress your IT recruiting firms—maybe even land the job!