IT Job Interviews: 8 Tips To Avoid Disaster - InformationWeek
IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
05:31 PM
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

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.

5 New LinkedIn Tools
5 New LinkedIn Tools
(click image for slideshow)
So you scored an interview for that job you want. Congratulations. Now don't screw it up.

Not quite the words of encouragement you were looking for? IT pros with sought-after skills sometimes need a gentle -- or not-so-gentle -- reminder about job interview skills, according to Paul DeBettignes, head of the IT recruiting firm Minnesota Headhunter.

"There are a lot of ways to mess up an interview," DeBettignes said via email interview. "Even though IT folks are in demand, some things are difficult [for employers] to overlook."

Some interview missteps might seem like a failure of common sense, yet they occur regularly. DeBettignes took an informal poll of recruiters and HR pros -- not all focused on IT, mind you -- at a recent industry event: How many of their job candidates say or do something in an interview that left them thinking "What the heck?" The unscientific tally: 10%.

[ Don't ignore social networks in your search for a new job. Read 5 Social Strategies For Job Hunters. ]

"Last week, a friend at a Minneapolis startup interviewed a woman who brought her dog to the interview," DeBettignes said. "Her current company allows it and she did not want to bring the dog home before the interview."

Such WTH moments are not always deal breakers but they're not, uh, best practices, at least not if you want the job. "The best way to prepare for an interview is to ask: who would you want to talk to you?" DeBettignes said. He shared his top do's and don'ts for IT pros hoping to ace their next interview.

1. Do: Your Homework.

"Research who you will be interviewing with," DeBettignes said. "Surely they will have done this in advance and so should you." LinkedIn is a good place to start, as is the corporate website. Social media can be rich fodder for background research, provided you don't get weird. (See also: #2.) If the company or manager has been in the press, it can't hurt to bone up on the coverage.

2. Don't: Be Creepy.

Don't go overboard with your research, something all too easy to do in the social media age. Stay far away from personal comments based on, say, the hiring manager's Facebook photos. "Do not mention how cute 'Fido' is," DeBettignes said.

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
D. Henschen
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.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll