IT interviews are a unique beast. Alongside the generic interview questions that have been included since before the dinosaurs, your technical skills are going to be put to the test too.
Your potential employer wants to weigh up your IT competence and suitability for the available role; to check you have the technical knowhow relevant to your field of expertise. Fair enough, right?
Here are five key IT interview questions you should be ready to nail.
IT Interview Question 1. Can you define [insert technical term]?
Closely related to “What is the difference between x and y?”, this question is geared toward two things. Firstly, testing your technical knowledge. Secondly, examining how well you communicate.
As an IT expert you must be able to talk about incredibly complex stuff in a way that non-IT people can understand. Doing so may be central to the position you are applying for, whether you are talking to clients, in-house designers or directors.
IT staff are often unfairly labelled as bad communicators. Bust the myth.
IT Interview Question 2. Tell me about a specific problem or challenge you have recently overcome
Businesses depend on IT. Problems with infrastructure or service platforms can quickly bring an organisation to its knees. Your interviewer needs to know that you have the analytical mindset, technical wizardry and unflappability to troubleshoot the problem and get things back to normal lickety-split - with as little disruption as possible.
So prep an answer which shows how cool, calm and collected you are under pressure.
IT Interview Question 3. What resources do you use to stay on top of your area of expertise?
Lots of professions are changing fast. But not as fast as IT, which moves at warp speed.
Take your eye off the ball and that expert knowledge of yours will reach obsolescence faster than the lifespan of an HD DVD’s.
Stack Overflow may take hours to find the right answer, but that’s what makes you an expert. So be prepared to mention your favourite resources for staying ahead of the curve: blogs, podcasts, websites, magazines - anything goes. Just don’t say nothing.
IT Interview Question 4. What are the biggest challenges in your area of expertise?
Can you horizon-scan to anticipate upcoming change? Can you figure out ways to overcome impending challenges to legacy systems? Way? What about the increasing culture of BYOD on the role of IT infrastructure?
Whatever information you absorb from the resources in Question 3 should help you show off your in depth knowledge of a particular area and help future proof your career in IT.
IT Interview Question 5. How could IT help our industry?
Some idiots still think that IT staff do little more than asking whether you have tried turning it off and on again. Sigh. Thankfully the penny is finally dropping among business leaders that IT represents the keys to their business future.
Aim to demonstrate your knowledge of the challenges within the sector you are hoping to join. But don’t stop there. Zero-in on the business you are applying to, illustrating how your knowledge and ideas could help them become more innovative, more productive and more efficient - stealing a march on their rivals.