You just spent the last few months learning about a particular IT certification, skill or specialized area. As you begin to think about how you can apply these skills in a new job or career, you realize that you still have one obstacle to overcome: you aren’t confident in your interview skills.
While it may seem challenging to develop your interviewing skills, it is entirely possible with a little knowledge and assistance. Here are some tips for improving your interview skills so you can land the job of your dreams.
1. Look at yourself the way others see you.
We get used to doing things our own way and don’t always realize how we come across to others. Recording yourself or asking others how you come across can help you see yourself the way others see you, allowing you to make adjustments and improve your interview skills.
2. Practice beforehand.
A friend, family member or classmate may be willing to practice with you before an interview. You can use this time to prepare questions, practice your answers, and get used to the formality of an interview situation.
3. Ask for feedback.
Ask interviewers for feedback about how you did and how you can improve. Some interviewers won’t take the time to give you feedback, especially if they don’t hire you, but others will, and it will give you an idea about what’s working and what’s not.
4. Be specific.
General answers to questions during an interview confuse the hiring team and make them unsure of your track record. Give specific anecdotes about your accomplishments, statistics about your success, and goals for how you want to grow and improve even more.
5. Do your research.
Today’s organizations expect you to know something about them, and failing to do your research can give them the impression that you just don’t care—not a point in your favor during an interview. Learning about a business before you interview is time well spent.
6. Prepare for common questions.
Certain interview questions are common, including questions about strengths and weaknesses and about specific situations you might have faced in previous jobs (“Tell me about a time when . . .”). You should have your best answers prepared in advance so that when those questions are asked, you have an answer ready. Some websites like Inc. have lists of these common questions that you can study to be sure you’re fully prepared.
7. Dress to impress.
Even if the workplace is casual, you should dress professionally for an interview. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, your shoes are polished, and that you’re putting your best foot forward in how you look for an interview. If you are underdressed, it can be difficult for the hiring team to take you seriously.
9. Be ready for anything.
Some interviewers will want to throw you a curveball, just to see how you handle it, so be ready for anything. You may be asked to role-play, make a brief presentation, or attend a social function with one or more members of the hiring team. Having an attitude of readiness for whatever comes will give you the best chance of meeting the challenges successfully.
Are you interested in developing the skills you need for a successful IT career? PC Age offers job seeking advice through our blog and provides valuable education and training for IT professionals. Request info about all of PC AGE’s courses and programs.
Rameez Khizer, IT Marketing