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5/30/2013
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IT Job Interviews: 8 Tips To Avoid Disaster

IT job hunters, avoid foolish flubs in your next interview. Take this expert advice on manners, money and more.

3. Do: Ask Questions, Rather Than Just Answering Them.

"Ask questions about career path, company culture, current projects, and what the future pipeline is like," DeBettignes said. "You want to show interest and you want to know what you are getting yourself into."

4. Do Not: Dress For The Beach.

It should sound like common sense, but proper interview attire is often anything but -- especially during warm weather. "With the summer months your current employer may have a casual policy -- think shorts and sandals -- but do not be that casual in an interview," DeBettignes said. If you're not sure what to wear, DeBettignes said it's perfectly OK to ask about company dress-code guidelines. Err on the dressier side, not vice versa. "Oh, and iron your shirt. Yes, you need to buy an iron," DeBettignes said. "Properly dressed bonus: take the sunglasses off of your head."

5. Do: Discuss Past Projects And Skills.

If you're rusty in certain coding languages or other skills required of the job, dust them off before sitting down to the interview table. "Be prepared to talk about code you have written," DeBettignes said. "The job could be a Ruby on Rails developer who has some past experience in Python. It would be wise to brush up a bit on Python coding. At some point there may be a code test."

Think beyond the job description, too: "The more skills you show the greater bargaining power you have."

6. Do Not: Be Late.

As with proper attire, this one should go without saying. Don't be the prima donna who waltzes in 20 minutes late to the interview. If you want the job, act like it. "Be on time, everyone is busy," DeBettignes said. "Yes, folks like you are in demand but that does not excuse bad behavior."

7. Do: Be Comfortable Talking Money.

Don't assume salary and other compensation are just the stuff of job offers. "It may come up in a first interview," DeBettignes said. "Be prepared to talk about your current salary, total compensation -- bonus, equity, healthcare, continuing education, [and other factors] -- and what it will take to get you to say yes to this new opportunity."

8. Do Not: Leave Your Phone On.

Seriously, don't be that person. That person is the worst. "Turn off your cell phone. Do not look at it, do not answer it and do not text during the interview," DeBettignes said. In fact, DeBettignes will do you one better: Don't even think about turning that phone back on until you've left the premises entirely. "Do not call anyone until you leave the property," he advised. "Calling your spouse, cube mate or best friend while in the elevator or lobby is just silly." Why? Just because the interview's done doesn't mean you can't hurt your cause blabbing away on the phone.

"You never know who is listening," DeBettignes said. "That fella who looks like he has not slept in two days or shaved in five days with the backwards hat? That could be the CIO."

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
5/31/2013 | 4:58:02 PM
re: IT Job Interviews: 8 Tips To Avoid Disaster
This is good, solid advice for any job interview. For IT, I'd add being prepared to highlight any experience you have that's particularly in demand these days: Web/REST services, mobile projects, virtualization, cloud-integration, analytics, social/collaboration capabilities, big data projects, etc. Haven't been involved with any of that? Time to bone up on new tech so you can at least draw parallels to your current skills and responsibilities. Desire to get into new areas is a sound reason to site for seeking a new job.
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