Interviewing is a competitive process and preparation is the key to success. On average, four to five people are interviewed for each IT job in Ireland. So, you can expect to be competing against three or four other candidates.
An interview invite demonstrates that your C.V. contains skills and experience that are attractive to the hiring manager. Meeting the employer is your opportunity to impress them with details about your experience. Specifically the parts they are interested in. Additionally, it is your opportunity to demonstrate why you are a good fit for their team and company.
At Solas IT Recruitment, our consultants are committed to helping you get the role of your dreams. We will help you prepare for your interview in any which way we can. If there is anything you are unsure of, please ask your Solas IT Recruitment consultant.
To get you started, we have put together seven steps that you can take to prepare for your job interview.
Research the company
A standard question for a job interview of any level is to ask the applicant what they know about the company. It’s one of the easiest ways to measure a candidate’s interest in working for the employer. Showing that you have a good level of knowledge about the hiring company shows that:
- You are interested.
- You want to make a good impression.
- You care about who you work for and are not just looking for any job.
- You are willing to put in extra work to achieve your goals.
At the absolute bare minimum, you should know these four facts:
- When was the company founded and by whom?
- What are its revenues?
- Where are its offices located and why?
- What are its products and services?
It would also be beneficial for you to experience the company’s products or services before your interview.
Research The Role
Do you want any job you can get, or do you really want the job you are being interviewed for? Hopefully, it’s the former and you are excited at the prospect of doing this job. Be sure to make sure this comes across in the interview by knowing:
- Why the role has become available.
- What the key deliverables are for the role.
- How your skills apply to the role.
Having a better understanding of the role will help you pitch yourself for it better. You will be able to demonstrate which of your skills makes you the standout candidate. You will also come across as more confident in your interview.
You should be prepared to answer competency based questions in your interview. Competency based questions look for examples of your experience in a real world context. They are your opportunity to demonstrate your competence in delivering a key part of the role.
Using examples from your career to date, set out a specific example, and talk about the situation. Add details about the task/challenge, the action you took and the result.
You also need to be prepared to answer biographical questions. The interviewer might ask “Tell me about yourself”. This is your chance to summarise your CV. Key points to include are:
- What you studied and why?
- Your career trajectory; highlighting key achievements or learnings from each step.
- Your roles and your progression from one role to the next.
Lastly, be ready for the question ‘Why do you want this specific role and why with this specific company?’
At the end of a standard interview you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Please note that this is not the place to discuss salary, office hours or any minor details. This is another chance to show that you have researched the company and you’re interested in the organisations goals as well as the role.
Practice Being Interviewed
Even the most confident speaker can become tongue tied in an interview. Practice interviews are the best way to avoid this. Ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you. The more you practise the answers and questions you have prepared, the more natural it will sound. By the time you get to the real interview, you will sound confident and self-assured.
Punctuality will always impress employers. Aim to arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes in advance. If possible, visit the location ahead of the interview day to ensure you have the right address and journey times planned.
Arriving late to an interview will automatically give a negative impression to the interviewer. It is infinitely better to arrive early and with time to compose yourself rather than late and flustered.
Make A Good First Impression in Seven Seconds
Studies have proved that it takes only seven seconds after meeting a new person for them to decide their impression of you.
Everything from tone of voice to body language can make an intended or unintended impression on someone. At your interview, be intentional about how you aim to portray yourself. Think about how to present yourself as the confident, capable candidate you are.
Body language experts recommend sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor and hands still. A firm handshake at the start of an interview along with eye contact also portrays a confident manner.
Feeling confident and seeming confident don’t exclusively go together. It is perfectly normal to be a little nervous in an interview. This doesn’t mean that you can’t come across as confident.
Here are some simple confidence exuding steps to follow your interview:
- Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and ensure you respond to the actual question.
- Be prepared but still flexible enough to answer an unexpected question.
- Don’t give one word responses. Ensure answers are as much to the point without waffle.
- Speak slowly, clearly and confidently.
- Remember your body language and eye contact.
- Finish your interview with another firm handshake, concluding on a good impression.
- Unless the interview invite specifically states otherwise, always dress professionally for interviews. A considerable amount of tech roles are in companies with relaxed dress codes. You would be forgiven for assuming this extends to job interviews – but not by the interviewer.
- Standard expectations of a candidate’s attire for an interview is that the candidate will wear formal business wear. Your outfit and general appearance should be clean and tidy from top to bottom. Being well presented indicates a conscientious individual who respects the process they are taking part in.