General Interview Tips

When you are pursuing a new career opportunity, there are many factors you should consider and prepare for.

Interviewers will evaluate you as a candidate from many perspectives, and it is in your best interest to prepare for the various facets you will be evaluated on.

The First Step in preparing is to thoroughly review the client website.  Review their product/service strategy, organizational structure (high level), review a few news releases, etc.

  • You can make a very good impression if you are able to identify the specific product that you will be working on if hired, and review it thoroughly prior to the interview.

The Second Step in preparing is to thoroughly review the position description being sure you understand each requirement.  Each requirement is there for a reason.

The Third Step is to identify all of the Interviewers, and learn as much as you can about them.  Things like where they went to school, their skill set, and hopefully, their role on the interviewing team.

  • Using social media sites like LinkedIN can sometimes give you insights into the people, and who they know.  You may have friends in common.

The Fourth Step is to prepare some Visual Aids to use in the In-Person Interview.  The idea that a picture is worth a thousand words is very true.

  • Taking a picture of a product you worked on, or a schematic diagram of what a system looked like, or a table of contents, etc.  You want to avoid drawing on the fly and doing a lot of arm waving to describe the system you were involved with.

The Fifth Step is to put together a half dozen or so questions you want to ask them.  It is important that an effective interview be a two-way interview.

  • Ask questions like “what kinds of challenges would you face in the first 30, 60, 90 day periods?”
  • Don’t embarrass yourself by asking the interviewers questions like “where do people go to lunch”, or “how much does the job pay”, etc.

The Sixth Step is to verify the appropriate dress code for the interview.  Some companies prefer a more Formal Dress like suit and tie, while some find a sport coat and tie to be preferred.

  • Most companies interviewing candidates for engineering and technical positions like IT management  prefer Business Casual attire, like slacks or dockers, and a sport shirt being their normal dress code.  No blue jeans or tennis shoes.

Finally, be absolutely positive you know where to go for the interview, and who to ask for.  You don’t want to be late.


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