By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jan 17, 1999

Preparation for an Interview

Most individuals in the IT industry continually seek advice on valid technology issues. However, when it comes to advancing their careers they spend very little time researching and preparing for an interview of which will have a major impact on their future growth in the IT industry overall. Although most know to research the company, very few realize they should also research who the individuals are that will be interviewing them. Normally there will be a brief phone interview prior to the face to face interview. During this time one should ask: 1) Who will be interviewing me in the face to face interview and what are their titles? 2) How long have they been with the company 3) What is a general overview of their backgrounds? 4) How much time should I allow for the day? And a great question to help prepare for the face to face interview is: What will be the major areas that I should be prepared to cover in the interview. Having these questions answered should give you confidence when you have your face to face interview.

Valuable research tools for interviewing are friends and acquaintances that have recently gone through the interview process themselves. Most likely they will know of positions they came across that did not fit for one reason or another and will gladly refer you to those. They are able to give you a huge amount of insight that will help you in the interview process. (You may want to refer to my December article on Networking to better understand this paragraph)

There are multitudes of books one may purchase to prepare for interviewing. One of the best I have seen is: Knock em Dead, by Martin Yate. This book covers the entire job search process.

All and all there seem to be four basic areas that an interviewer covers in one way or another.

+ What can you do for me. Every employer wants to know whether or not you can do the job. Be prepared to state your strengths and most of all what sets you apart from your peers. ( Why are you unique?) Give concise but detailed descriptions in this area. For example if you say you are a good communicator, give details, or examples of what makes you a good communicator.

+ What type of a person are you? All managers want to know that you will fit into the group. You want to present yourself as a team player that is easily managed. (Even if you can do the job technically, if the manager feels you are not easily managed you will not be hired.

+ Why do you want to work here? Your answer needs to show sincerity and excitement about doing the job and a true interest in the vision of the company.

+ What type of a compensation do you want? When asked a question about salary always give a range, and ask it that is in the ballpark of what the position warrants. Explain that the salary will depend upon the responsibility level of the position.

While writing these articles I have found it to be rather difficult keeping them concise and yet giving enough information to be of value. I would love to hear some response from some of you readers out there. Also if you have a specific topic you would like me to write about or want to email me personally for questions you need answered please let me know.

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