School is done, holiday is almost over and the real world is calling! You have chosen your career path and decided to take the plunge and apply for a job as an IT-consultant? Well, congratulations!
Now the job hunting has begun and interviews are lurking around the corner. But what can you expect from that first interview? How do you prepare and make a good first impression (because there are no second chances!) and what about asking the right questions?
We thought it would be interesting from our point of view, to list up some tips and tricks for acing your first interview and get a few steps closer towards becoming an IT-consultant.
It’s obvious that a good first impression is key. From our experience we’ve learned that this already starts before the interview (and a lot of candidates tend to forget this..). Social media dictates our world and nowadays everybody is online. It is no surprise that there is a good chance your interviewer has already googled your name (we certainly did…). Pictures about your drunk party weekends, inappropriate status updates and so on will not give you any advantage during your interview.
Google yourself and make sure your private online life stays private.
Like Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. And yes, we agree. There is no bigger turnoff than hearing candidates say that they do not know much about your company. Before the interview, take a few moments to learn more about the company. Google comes in pretty handy to find the company’s website, blogs, articles, employees and yes, even the interviewer’s profile sometimes.
Match your outfit to the company’s culture. If everybody goes to work there in tailor-made suits, it speaks for itself that you should be going on interview in a tailor-made suit. If the company’s culture screams casual, do not make the mistake by going in your favorite busy-printed t-shirt, shorts and sneakers, even when it’s 30 degrees outside. We recommend neat pants, a wrinkless long sleeve shirt and nice clean shoes.
And, do not be afraid to ask the recruiter about the company culture and what they would recommend, they should know everything about it anyway. Choosing your outfit the day before the interview will avoid stressful situations.
“Sorry, I’m late” is a sentence no interviewer wants to hear. Of course there can be unforeseen circumstances but make sure to give the interviewer a call when this happens. Being an hour early is also not done, so we recommend being there 10 to 15 minutes in advance. This also gives you a chance to calm your nerves.
Verbal and nonverbal communication shape our interactions. Both are very important during an interview. Let us point out some do’s and don’ts.
Don’ts: avoiding eye contact, crossing arms, weak handshake, not smiling, nervous ticks…
Do’s: making eye contact, open body language, gestures, strong handshake and SMILE!
As far as the verbal part goes, make sure you speak clearly and with confidence. Pay attention to your rhythm, intonation and pronunciation and do not forget to smile once in awhile.
Make sure you are prepared for questions, because yes, they will be coming your way. There are a lot of standard questions that almost every interviewer will ask. For example: Tell us about yourself. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Why do you want to become an IT-consultant? Why should we choose you? What are your positive and negative qualities? … These questions are easy to prepare in advance. Give them good, short and relevant answers.
The next tip we are going to give you is worth gold. Make a list of the job requirements and try matching them with your experience. Highlight your skills! If you do not have actual work experience yet, school projects, internships etc. are also experiences that really matter. This tip also helps preparing for possible technical questions.
At the end of the interview, after they know all about you and when you have survived the question round, it’s your turn to fire those questions. Asking questions shows them you are interested. And yes, you MUST ask questions, but make sure they are the right ones…
As we have said earlier, doing your homework can take you far in this phase of the conversation. List up some questions about the company, and if they are still unanswered after they have told you about the company, shoot! More golden questions are for example: can you give me a few examples of projects you are working on? What’s the team like? What are the company’s goals?
To end with a really good question we suggest always asking when you will receive feedback.
Do not forget being yourself!
Now that you are ready for your first interview we have some good news… JUVO is hiring!