There are more technical jobs to be filled than there are technical candidates. But you probably know that already if you work in technology. It's a good profession to work in and projects to be that way for the foreseeable future. In fact, according to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT jobs will grow 13% in the coming decade, which is higher than average compared to other industries.
Despite the plethora of technical jobs with some companies desperate for technical workers, companies still want to make sure they make the right hire. This means there are some things you still need to do to increase your odds of landing the right job. This includes nailing the interview. Here are the five things you can do to have a great interview.
1. Understand the Company and Industry
One mistake so many IT job seekers make is not researching the company before the interview takes place. While it's understandable, since you may be applying at multiple places, it's extremely important to research each company so that you have a good understanding of what they do and their industry as a whole. This knowledge will help you understand how the role contributes to the companies success and will set you apart from other applicants.
2. Sell Your Communication Skills
Your resume probably has an impressive list of technical skills, experience, and education. That is likely what got you the interview. But its important to understand that technical knowledge and capabilities are usually only one aspect of an IT role. Communicating well within a team or with customers is the other.
Technical jobs are often a collaborative role so demonstrating your ability to communicate your knowledge and ideas to others can often set a candidate apart from others. Even if your technical knowledge isn't on par with other candidates, your communication skills may set you apart. Good companies know that its much easier for someone to learn more about their technology than it is for someone to learn better communication skills.
(Read The Anatomy of an IT Job Search)
3. Be Honest About Your Experience
Prior experience is always a major part of landing a good job. And because of this, it can be tempting to stretch the truth to impress hiring managers. But our extensive experience in placing a wide range of technical professionals has made it clear that this is a bad idea.
Fudging facts and experience on your resume will always come back to haunt you. It could be in the interview where a more knowledgeable manager tests you on your knowledge and problem solving abilities or it could become apparent shortly after you get the job and are asked to solve an issue that you really don't know how to fix. We have seen good hires let go simply because they claimed they were able to do something that they actually did have the knowledge or experience to do.
Remember to always be honest about what you do, and do not, know.
4. Understand the Dress Code
Don't assume all IT job interviews are going to be conducted in jeans and a t-shirt. Do some research online at websites like Glassdoor and Indeed where people post their experience interviewing with a wide range of companies. You will often find information about how to dress for an interview at a specific company there.
5. Close the Interview
If the interview went well and you are interested in the role, be sure to express your interest and thank the interviewer for their time. In today's world of rush, rush, rush, this common courtesy can really make you stand out. Also make a point to communicate how your experience looks to be a good match for the role and that you would be interested in speaking with others at the company.
Also, always follow up with an email that not only says "thank you" bit really outlines how you would excel in the role.