Do you have an upcoming IT job interview and are feeling quite nervous? Interviewing for an IT job doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. As an HR specialist at TestDevLab, I’ve conducted my fair share of IT job interviews so I know how overwhelming it can be for candidates. I also know the most common mistakes candidates make during the interview and how they can be prevented.

I’ve carefully prepared some IT job interview tips to help you stand out from the crowd, make a great first impression, and ace your interview. Let’s dive right in.

1. Know what position you are interviewing for and, most importantly, at which company.

The best tip for any job interview is to always come prepared. This means knowing which position you are interviewing for and at which company. When looking for a job, it makes sense to apply to more than one company. A lot of people do it and it’s a great way to get out there faster, but nevertheless you should prepare for each individual interview you get invited to.

At the interview, it’s essential to come in with some basic knowledge about the company and the position you applied for. We will gladly tell you more about ourselves and what we do at TestDevLab, however, asking us what company you are interviewing for and not knowing anything about the position will not leave a good impression. And first impressions are everything. They can make or break your chances of getting the job. According to Science of People, a person has about 7 seconds to make a good impression. So be sure to use these seconds wisely. That leads me to my next tip for you!

2. Do some research about the company and the industry it is in.

woman on laptop doing company researchResearching the company before you attend the interview will help you go in better prepared and will give you an idea of what kind of person the company is looking for. In addition, having some knowledge of the company is a great way to demonstrate your interest in the job, which will make a good impression on whoever is conducting the interview. Of course, you don’t have to know every single detail about us, but if you at least know what our main focus is—that’s a great start and we will be happy to fill you in on the rest!

3. Don’t be late or let us know if you are going to be late.

We appreciate when both your and our time is spent productively, so if you are going to be late and you know it—let us know. We will be more than happy to wait a little or reschedule for another time. Not showing up or being late to an interview without any notice will leave a bad first impression, so be sure to let us know if something important has come up or you’re stuck in traffic. We understand that unexpected things can happen and we all need to work together to find the best solution.

4. Answer interview questions concisely and honestly.

When asked questions during the interview, be quick, precise, and to the point. At times it is better to give shorter, but concise answers to the questions as opposed to rambling and missing the point. It is also important that you give honest answers. Why? Well, if you exaggerate in the interview, you might fall short in the technical interview. So choose the easier path—tell the truth and it will pay off.

5. Know what salary range and other benefits you are looking for.

Before heading into the interview, think about the salary range you would be comfortable with. Often, we see candidates who are not sure about what their expectations are—both in terms of salary and company benefits. If you’re not too sure yourself, this is when the company research you did previously may come in handy. Look at the job description and consider your skill level when trying to come up with a salary range. Sharing your salary range along with the benefits you are looking for, will help us understand if we have a suitable position that matches your expectations and technical skills level. Knowing what you want financially not only makes our job easier, it helps us find the best position for you! It’s a win-win situation!

6. Have a plan for your career.

person writing in a notebookWhat we like to see most is a person with a direction, someone with aspirations and who knows where they want to take their career next. And if that direction aligns with our company values and we can support each other on our journey, then we’re off to a good start. Having a career plan—even a rough one—can help us understand whether we are on the same path. Naturally, you don’t know every little detail of your future career plans—we doubt that’s even possible—but it does make it easier for us to make a final decision if we know that we are going to be moving in the same direction.

7. Do not bad-mouth previous employers—focus on the good.

We know, we know, not all employers out there are good, but, hey, we will be more than happy to hear what you have learned from your maybe not-so-good experience. So focus on what you gained from the experience, not what was bad about it.

8. Explain how the skills you have can contribute to your desired position.

People are now more than ever trying to change their field of work and try something new. So if you don’t have any previous experience in the position you are applying for now, try to match the skills that you have to the position you are applying for. That makes it easier to see if you would be the right fit for our company.

9. Know your strengths and the areas you would like to improve in.

Look, you won’t always have all the skills that are required for a certain position, but if we know that you, for example, are a fast learner, ambitious and eager to grow in the IT field, it assures us that you will be more than able to fulfill the requirements needed. So focus on your strengths and how they can contribute to the position. And be sure to tell us about what you would like to improve, like learn a new skill or refine an existing one. We would be more than happy to help you grow both personally and professionally.

Here at TestDevLab, we value every one of our employees, so if you think you have the right skills and are ready to grow together, join us on our journey. Check out our career page, explore our open positions, and apply for a position that best suits your skills. And don’t forget to read our blog post on preparing a great CV to kickstart your IT career and be sure to follow these tips and tricks for your IT job interview. We can’t wait to meet you!

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