Don't trash past employers. Don't make crazy requests. Here's what else to avoid in an IT job interview, say recruiters.
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You've aced the phone interview and up next is the in-person meeting. What do you say? What don't you say? CIOs and IT recruiters share some of their interviewing horror stories and lessons learned to help you land that dream job.
1. You speak poorly about past employers. Scott Kressner, VP and CIO at Rush Enterprises, says one of the biggest turnoffs during a job interview is when a candidate bad-mouths his current or past employer.
"There are many reasons why this is bad. One: It's incredibly disloyal. Two: It's very unprofessional. And three: It shows that you're unable to resolve conflicts," Kressner said. "In general, it shows a lack of self-control."
Michael Heiser, CIO at Blue Lion Media, agreed. "Whatever happened at your previous employer is between you and them," he said. "Don't bring this up in the context of your interview and potential new employer. It makes you look bad."
2. You bring up salary too soon. You may be anxious for details about the salary for a new position, but resist the urge to bring it up early in the interview process -- and better yet, at all, Heiser said.
"I've been on both sides of the table here, and in my experience, it's just best to wait for the employer to initiate that discussion."
Bringing up salary too early makes you look like you're interviewing for all the wrong reasons, Heiser said. Win them over with your skills and passion for the job first.
3. You swear. You might feel at ease and think the interview is going well, but remember to keep everything -- including your language -- professional, said Mark Berger, a senior IT recruiter at Steven Douglas.
"I once had a candidate curse in an interview. He was at a group lunch in a relaxed setting and he started using the F-word. He said he felt comfortable and felt like he could talk freely," Berger said. "My advice: No matter how comfortable you are in an interview, remember that you are being evaluated and not everyone tolerates cursing."
4. You don't consider your audience. Andrew Cann, a senior IT recruiter at Microsoft, said it's important for job candidates to consider the person they're talking to when answering certain technical questions. For example, if a recruiter or hiring manager asks you questions about coding, be careful you don't get into too much detail.
"You don't want to be more technical than you have to be in certain cases. When a candidate goes into greater detail than I can follow, I usually stop them and let them know it's more than I need to know right now and that it would probably be more appropriate for the technical screen," Cann said. "But then I want to see if they understood me: Do they catch my drift? Are they coachable? They might know their technical stuff, but if they're not understanding that this is too technical for me, they'll probably do the same with a client onsite."
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