You’ll probably be asked “problem” questions about how you’ve handled challenging situations, and “opportunity” questions about how you contributed to successful initiatives. Think of a few of your best stories before the interview—and make sure to practice saying them aloud. Great stories are compelling to hiring managers because they’re easy to understand and to ask questions about. Including details also adds credibility to your achievements.
Some IT interviews contain portions in which you’ll be asked to solve technical problems. It should help to know that not getting the exact answer the interviewer has in mind doesn’t necessarily mean you’re failing the interview. Interviewers report that they prefer candidates who reveal how they approach the given problem, which helps them learn more about thought processes. Some interviewers will even steer you in a better direction if your initial approach won’t take you to the right solution.
You’ll want to come with two types of questions.
While you want to learn if the position is a good fit for you, certain topics are considered taboo during an interview. These include salary and benefits conversations, and whether you can take leave for that long summer holiday you planned. You’ll have time to figure those issues out once you have an offer in hand.
Take your cue from the company culture—but dress at least one step up. If you’re not familiar with the company or industry, try asking friends who are. Scour the company’s website and LinkedIn profiles for employee pictures, which can also provide important clues.
Generally, women can’t go wrong in a stylish dress (worn to the knee or lower) and a tailored jacket, or a smart pants suit. Men generally should wear a jacket, but whether or not to wear a tie or matching suit might depend on the company culture and position you’re interested in. Hint: The further up the leadership chain you go, the more formal your attire should be.
One of the best reasons to work with an IT consultant is the pre-interview coaching and post-interview feedback they offer. Your consultant or account manager uses their relationship with the hiring manager to prepare you with insights about what they like and don’t like. He or she also gets feedback and can share that with you to help you improve your interview skills. If you’re not confident about the interview, don’t hesitate to let your consultant know so he or she can spend some extra time preparing you.