Being the smartest person in your class might make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to get a job. The world is full of people who are doing well even though there are better, more qualified people out there. The reason? They nailed the interview.
Here are 5 tips to help you land your first IT job interview.
Soft skills are just as important as being smart
You might be the best CV a potential employer has ever laid eyes upon, but technical skills aren’t everything, even when it comes to programming and software development. The recruiter is not only assessing your knowledge, but also your soft skills – which is to say the way you interact with the people around you. If your experience is largely outside of IT, make sure to mention your customer service skills and how they’ll help you provide a great service to customers and colleagues.
By showing that you’re accustomed to working in teams, and building relationships around you, you’ll put yourself in better stead to land that role.
Don’t lie about how much experience you have
Like we said above, technical expertise isn’t everything. The temptation might be to exaggerate your knowledge in some areas just to make yourself seem better suited to the job, but this will just make this harder for you in the long-term. When the time comes to actually put those make-believe skills to work, what are you going to do? On top of that, there’s also the chance the interviewer might think you’ll quickly become bored because you’re over-qualified.
Focus on your strengths
This is a general tip for an interview, but in a field as diverse and broad as IT, it’s important to focus on your strengths and steer the conversation towards that instead of talking about something you’re not familiar with.
The old “What’s your biggest weakness” question is easily dealt with for IT. The key is to identify something you’ve previously struggled with, but make the focus the way you overcame it. It might be a specific process or technology, or even something to do with working with other people, but as long as you highlight your solution to the issue you’ll be one step closer to a job offer.
Show that you love software development
If you’re asked about one of your passions, don’t be afraid to venture off topic to show how interested you are. You might be wary of wasting the interviewers time, but this is exactly what they are looking for – people who love IT before they’re getting paid to.
Did you create a programme to help your Granny Facetime with her Grandkids easier? Make sure your interviewer knows, and that you talk about all the challenges you overcame and the research you put in to get to the final product.
Dress for the occasion
The trend in the IT industry is towards a more informal appearance compared to the traditional suit and tie of the old days… but that doesn’t mean you turn up to the interview looking like a tramp. First impressions count, and if it comes down between you in jeans and t-shirt and someone else wearing a suit, guess who’s getting the job?
Soft skills and interview techniques are just two ways in which we help our graduates here at Industry Connect. If you would like to know more, please contact us today.
Hear what they say about their journey of landing a software job.