How do I impress a recruiter and/or hiring manager in a job interview to show them I am the right person for the role? That is one of the more important questions every candidate asks themselves – especially when they are entering into a new career in IT, as many people do after completing one of our Goodwill job training programs.
Part of my job as a member of the Goodwill Employer Engagement team is to help job seekers understand what employers are looking for in a candidate, and share tactics they can use to stand out in job interviews. My team learns these insider tips through our relationships with hiring employers in key industries – like IT.
“Confidence is key!” Those are the words a technology vice president from a major financial services company in Charlotte shared during a Goodwill IT Employer Panel in early April. Our panelists provided some great insight and tips to help current training program participants learn what sets a candidate apart during an interview. Based on their expert tips, I’m sharing 4 easy, but often overlooked, ways to stand out in your job search!
- Have answers that are clear and concise, but still have descriptive detail. Candidates need to be able to tell their story in a way that makes sense and is relatable to the position they are pursuing. Attention to detail is important in every industry! Managers want to hear specific examples about projects you contributed to, coding/programming languages you know, and what you bring to the table as an IT professional.
- Demonstrate good energy and a willingness to learn. Genuine excitement, adaptability and a love of learning are key traits to show during an interview to let employers know there is a reason you are pursuing this role. An IT Recruiter from one of the major banks said this is very important, and specifically said: “Genuine interest in the role is critical. Not just that you’re interested but why. I want you to be interviewing me, asking more about the role to demonstrate why you’re interested and needed.”
- Ask for questions to be repeated if you do not understand. “I can’t tell you how many times I ask a question and the candidate doesn’t understand, but doesn’t ask for clarity, and then I don’t get the answer I’m looking for.” This quote from a manager at a national telecommunications company is something I’ve heard from several employers throughout my career. Technical interviews can be very intense, and you will likely be asked some very specific questions. Employers want to hear your best possible answer – that means it is ok to ask follow-up questions to gain clarity on what they’re really asking so you can answer the question to the best of your ability.
- Send a thank you note! This is not “old school” – in fact, if you have a great interview, a good thank you note (yes, even through email) can really help seal the deal! The note should thank the interviewers for their time, express your excitement about the role, and mention your experience that fits their needs for the position based on what you learned in the interview. Multiple employers on our IT panel said they’ve had candidates edge ahead of other candidates and eventually be hired because of their outreach after the interview.
Interviews in IT, or any field, are not easy. But, if you prepare and keep these easy tactics in mind, it will give you a great chance to set yourself up for professional success. The industry-focused training and personal career services offered at Goodwill will give you the tools you need to help you get the job, make sure to take advantage of these free resources! Click here to connect with the Goodwill team to start advancing your career today.