Preparing for an Interview? Here are 3 Traits Recruiters Look for in IT Candidates
There is nothing quite like hearing the ping of your email and reading, “We received your application and would like to schedule an interview!” However, catching the eyes of recruiters is only half of the battle. Next, you need to prepare for the technical interview. Below are three questions that will help you determine if you are ready.
1) Can You Thoroughly Explain Your Technical Experience?
When it comes to gauging a candidate’s technical expertise, recruiters can only tell so much from a one-page resume full of promising bullet points. Be prepared to back your resume up with detailed examples of how you have demonstrated your technical skills in a work environment. Recruiters are not looking for you to simply define the technologies you have worked with. They want to know exactly how you have utilized them and what challenges you have encountered and solved.
Below are some questions recruiters frequently ask candidates during their screening process:
- What was the amount of development, programming, testing, or systems-level support on each project?
- What were the primary languages utilized, and platform, tools, utilities, and communication software involved, and in what capacity?
- How many people were on the team?
- How many application modules were you responsible for, and how much time did it take to complete each module?
- Was this new development or modifications/enhancements?
- If systems level, please explain your experiences with the server, software, database, and any security initiatives you supported/installed.
Before heading into an interview, read through your resume and practice speaking to every skill that you have listed. If you think you might need to refresh yourself on any of those skills, there are countless free online courses. If you are interested in taking an online class, Udemy, a trusted online learning platform, has an extensive library of courses for you to choose from.
2) Can You Pass a Technical Assessment?
Aside from being equipped to answer technical questions, you should prepare for technical tests that might pop up during the interview process. By conducting technical tests, companies can ensure that the technologists who make it through the early stages of the interview process are the real deal and are technically savvy enough to perform the critical functions of the job.
Below are a few test examples:
Many companies will send candidates an online assessment before they even have an initial phone screen. If you’re asked to complete an assessment by a recruiter before being interviewed, don’t consider this a red flag or write it off as a waste of time. Keep in mind that these assessments will likely be timed, so study the language that you will be asked to code in before beginning.
Remote technical screening:
In place of an online assessment, some companies will ask you to participate in a remote technical screening. While practices vary by company, generally you can expect to screen share with the technical interviewer, typically a seasoned IT professional at the company. From there, you might be asked to work through a coding challenge in real-time while they watch the evolution of your code. Be prepared to answer any questions they have as you may be asked to explain your thought processes.
In-person technical screening:
If you are invited to an in-person interview, there is a chance you will still be asked to show your coding skills in real-time. During an in-person technical screening, you will be asked to solve a challenge or identify inefficiencies in existing code. This could be done on a traditional whiteboard or on a similar platform that you would use for day-to-day coding. Again, make sure you are prepared to back up your reasoning.
3) Are You a Dedicated Technologist?
Having the required skill sets and experience under your belt is important, but recruiters are also looking for candidates who display enthusiasm for the position and the industry.
Supplement the skills and proficiencies listed on your resume with examples of how you are involved in the technology community. Do you attend conferences or free seminars in the area? Do you seek out and take advantage of training opportunities? Are you involved in any user groups? Use your time during the interview to talk past your resume and let your commitment to the industry as a whole shine through.
Let Us Find Your Ideal Position
At Resource 1, our recruiters place high-level IT professionals just like yourself. With strong connections to leading area businesses, we can help you prepare for interviews so you are ready to stand out from other candidates. Just as employers need to ensure you are right for the position, we help ensure the position is right for you.
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