Tips for a Successful IT Interview

By PlaysDev
Published: Nov 17, 2023

Finding a suitable job in IT has become a great challenge lately, as well as getting into your dream company. Competition and requirements for candidates are steadily growing.

It is always difficult to receive several refusals in a row; sometimes going through an interview becomes a real stress. Let’s talk about how to prepare for it.

Plan for an interview in IT:

  1. Making a CV,
  2. Going through an initial interview with a recruiter or HR,
  3. Putting your best foot forward in a technical interview,
  4. Arriving for the final interview with the CEO.

Stage 1. Making up of a CV

Resume differs from CV especially in the foreign labor market.

A CV is used to describe all the details of previous professional activities and implies a more voluminous document than a classic resume.

CV—an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “curriculum vitae,” which means “life course”—is the very first document of a candidate, introducing the recruiter to the candidate’s professional and academic history.

CV must include: objective, qualification summary, education, work experience, interests, soft & hard skills.

Recruiters are facing hundreds of CVs every day, therefore it’s important to understand how to properly stand out from the stream of candidates. To do this, you will need to create a readable, well-structured and truthful resume.

CV Structure

The most important thing in writing a resume is balance. You must understand that information about your experience and achievements must be complete and concise at the same time. Write only relevant experience and skills, do not mill the wind. Resume’s capacity should not exceed two A4 sheets.

Try to highlight the major tasks that you encountered in your last job or internship, remember what you were responsible for and formulate the result you achieved.

Advice. Instead of long paragraphs, try using bullet points – you will have the opportunity to go into more detail during the interview.

Examine an example of a structured CV here.

IT specialists’ resume requires and emphasizes the description of the stack – languages, technologies, tools with which the person worked, and provide a link to GitHub.

There is a special service for improving CVs, designed for IT specialists and creators of digital products. Upload your resume in a suitable format and within a few days you will receive an edited version with comments from an HR expert and editor for free.

The cover letter or the “About Me” section should not be ignored also: this is an excellent opportunity to describe your soft skills, formulate what you expect from a future job, and what you can offer the employer. It is in this section that a person’s character and attitude are revealed.

And do not forget that you may be asked about everything that is indicated in your resume – you should not lie or embellish the truth.

Stage 2. Interview with a recruiter or HR

Your interview with a recruiter will be largely based on what’s written in your resume. Be prepared for more general questions about you as a person and professional.

The goal of the IT recruiter at the first stage is to get to know the candidate, tell him in as much detail as possible about the vacancy, about the company and team, about the project and the company’s conditions. And the most important thing is to find out whether the candidate is suitable for this position.

At this stage, the recruiter is also assessing your communication skills, so the most important thing is to calm down.

In a calm state, you will be able to think better, and it will be easier for the interviewer to understand how comfortable you are to work with.

Remember this idea and compare it with all the recommendations that we will talk about next.

The interview often begins with a story about yourself – here you need to briefly describe the following points:

  • where did you study and what experience do you have in IT?
  • where did you previously work or do an internship?
  • what was your job title?
  • what duties did you perform?
  • what skills do you have that match the position you are interviewing for?

Try to write down the answers, keeping in mind that it should take about 2-3 minutes to pronounce them. Self-presentation is an important part of the interview in which you show your organizational abilities, level of communication skills, understanding of the job and relevant skills.

Advice. It is important to ask the recruiter all the questions that interest you and find out all the nuances.

The main thing is to be open, honest and show your interest in the company and position you are interviewing for.

Of course, no one can predict all the questions you will be asked in an interview. However, there is a list of the questions that will be definitely asked.

Be prepared for difficult questions

Review some of the most common and challenging interview questions to prepare quality answers. This step will help you feel more confident in your answers and better understand what qualities you can highlight in an interview. Here are some questions you may want to consider:

  1. What difficulties did you encounter at your previous job and how did you solve them?
    Identify your professional weakness and explain how you are working or have worked to improve it. For example, if you have trouble with time management, explain how you created a series of reminders on your calendar to make sure you met deadlines and tracked your time as you worked to make sure you were on top of everything.
  2. Why are you leaving your current job?
    Give an answer that is as honest as possible while still showing your former employer in a positive light. Focus on how you want to develop your career, learn new skills or undertake training to gain a higher qualification.
  3. Tell us a little about yourself
    This question gives you a chance to showcase your most important personal qualities and highlight what makes you a strong candidate for the role. The most important thing is to emphasize your practical experience, your knowledge and experience that can be useful to the employer, as well as your interest in this work.
  4. Why did you choose this job, our company?
    The interviewer expects you to confirm that you are up to date with the company’s affairs, at least in general terms. Give your answer the distinctive features of the company or its products. Lack of knowledge may be seen as a lack of interest from the candidate.
  5. What is important to you when choosing a new company?
    Tell us about your desired growth prospects and interest in developing as a specialist. It is important to emphasize what you want to invest in the development of the company, what goals you set.

Stage 3. Technical interview

The process for this stage of the interview varies greatly by company. In most cases, you need to be prepared to write code in life-coding mode.

Nowadays, most technical interviews are conducted via a Google Meets/Zoom call with the camera turned on.

Technical issues. Questions may vary depending on the job level. This also includes practical tasks related to writing code; the list of topics depends on the requirements of the vacancy, but it is important to understand that they look not only at the required skills, but also at the general level of knowledge.

What to do during a technical interview?

  • show that you are confident and calm,
  • be specific in your answers,
  • do not deceive or fuss in your answers – if you don’t know something, admit it; if the question requires some time to think, try to show the logic of your thoughts.

Advice. Familiarize yourself with the software and technologies that your potential employer uses in advance; you will definitely be asked questions like these.

Stage 4. Interview with the chief

The final stage in some companies may be carried out only for top managers or if HR has doubts about the candidate.

Here the CEO meets the candidate, trying to find out your goals and what you want to achieve while working in the company.

Now it is important not to be shy and talk openly about your ambitions, and in what direction you want to develop.

You discussed the offer, liked the team and agreed – congratulations, from now on you are a full-time employee!

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