We caught up with Lauren Glencross, Senior IT Consultant, to get her thoughts on the best ways to stand out from the crowd at interview. Check out her top 3 interview tips below.
What should candidates know about the company interviewing them?
Employers respect candidates who make a conscious effort to investigate their company. A candidate can do this by exploring the company’s social media channels, which are usually brimming with information. They’ll outline the company’s interests and current projects, which the candidate can then use as a springboard for discussion during their interview. If the candidate knows the name of their interviewer, they should research them on LinkedIn and find out their professional background; it may provide the candidate with some insights into the interviewer’s preferences and equip the candidate to pose an interesting question or two. In addition to this, it’s always a safe bet for the candidate to check Google News Search before their interview, in case any notable business changes have recently occurred. That way, they’re completely prepared.
Is there anything candidates can do outside of work to boost their credibility/appeal?
When an employer first receives a CV, they don’t just look at qualifications and previous employment: they also look to see if a candidate has undertaken any programming projects outside of work. With full creative license, this is a great way for candidates to demonstrate their potential as Developers. A candidate’s value will increase dramatically if they can exhibit work on an innovative piece of code, and be able to speak through it confidently. With websites such as GitHub, this is now incredibly easy to do, and can be included in the ‘Interest’ section on a candidate’s CV.
Where do candidates usually fall down?
It may be surprising, but candidates (particularly graduates) let themselves down by forgetting the basics. There are fundamental programming concepts that students learn during their first year of university, including Polymorphism, Inheritance, and Composition, that employers want to see evidence of during stage one interviews. There may be a departure from these concepts throughout the last two years of study, but graduates, and all IT job seekers for that matter, should take the time to revisit them before submitting job applications.
On a general note, it’s imperative that candidates demonstrate a strong passion for technology when being interviewed. That may sound obvious, but more often than not, candidates are turned away because they don’t seem enthusiastic enough about their field. Given the rate at which technology is developing, it’s important that candidates remain informed about the IT industry and aren’t afraid to express their opinions.