As an IT professional, you may be able to code award-winning applications or create workflow processes that can save the company thousands of dollars in the long run. However, can you explain what you do in layman terms during a tech interview to demonstrate your value-add to your future employer? In this digital-first world, technology teams are an integral part of the business. Employers want to hire candidates who not only have the right technical skills, but also know how to communicate and collaborate with co-workers from other non-technology teams. This is extremely crucial for companies that are investing in building their technology capabilities to keep up with the competition. For instance, we see banks boldly expanding their technology teams to create new digital banking solutions for customers who are seeking better convenience and service quality. Manufacturing, healthcare and supply chain companies are also investing in automation and data exchange to be more effective and sustainable in the way they work. Do you know how you can showcase your soft skills and highlight your technical skills during an interview to increase your chances of getting a job?
3 mistakes to avoid at an IT interview
mistake 1: going into the job interview unprepared
You may look like the perfect candidate on your resume, but what happens when the interviewer asks you questions beyond your technical skills?
what you can do instead:
Prepare in advance for the interview by anticipating questions that may be asked to explore your technical strength and maturity of your soft skills. Not only does it help you prepare your response to these questions, it can also make you look more confident during the interview. Before the interview, do a quick search to find out what are some of the company’s latest announcements either through online news or on their social media pages. If you are interviewing with a global company, make sure not to leave out any regional or local news that is closer to home, as these new technology projects would most likely be what you’ll be working on as an employee.
mistake 2: speak in your technical jargon
While tech professionals like yourself may communicate your ideas and thoughts in a language familiar to your peers, tech-talk may sound foreign to someone who does not work in tech. The overuse of technical jargon and abbreviations may cause your interviewer to lose interest.
what you can do instead:
Always be mindful of who you are speaking to. You don’t have to give them a crash course in technology. You should be patient when speaking with people who are less tech-savvy than you are. Find simplicity in complexity by making a conscious effort to rephrase your thoughts, and take the time to clarify what you mean in layman terms so that they can understand you better and avoid any potential misunderstandings. It is one thing to sit behind the computer, but another to be able to share your insights and break down complex technological concepts for others. Do not miss out on this golden opportunity to show that you are an excellent communicator who can help accelerate the company’s digital agenda.
mistake 3: failing to engage the interviewer
Interviews are a great chance for the employer and candidate to know more about each other and understand if they are a great fit for each other - on the job, boss and company level. However, many candidates tend to make the mistake of not engaging the interviewer, which may leave some questions unanswered and potentially lower their chances of getting the tech job.
what you can do instead:
Ask questions. Not only are you engaging with the interviewer, it also demonstrates your interest for the job and company. You can prepare a list of questions to ask before the interview or prompt the interviewer for more information. When you ask the right questions, you can gather more information about the job scope, the team that you’ll be working with and the goals that the company is trying to achieve. Take time to evaluate if the scope and goals are aligned with your own career expectations after the interview to make a more informed decision. If you are really keen on the role, follow up with your interviewer to express your appreciation for the opportunity and ask for updates or feedback on the interview. The recommended time for follow-ups is three business days after the interview.
be a proficient tech candidate
For technology to be successfully integrated, companies require tech professionals who can present data and findings in a manner that can be understood by everyone. Being able to communicate effectively is not something that should be considered a “bonus”. Companies are actively on the look-out for enthusiastic team players who are driven to improve the company’s knowledge in technology and proficiently drive the digital agenda.