5 common mistakes to avoid in an IT interview
How you perform in an interview is likely to mean the difference between getting the job and not being successful.
Make sure you avoid the five mistakes job seekers commonly make.
"You must invest the time to research the company you plan to work for if you want to perform well in the interview. In our experience, some job seekers don’t do this thoroughly enough." says Darin van den Munchkoff, Senior Consultant at Robert Walters.
Not investing time in research
It’s really important that you can talk confidently and intelligently about what your potential employer does. You should know specific facts about the organisation, including:
- their history, financial position, mission and products/services
- the market in which they operate
- their main competitors
Being vague in your answers
If you are asked why you like the role/company you are applying for, don't give a generic answer. If you do you may come across as though you are looking for any role in the industry as opposed to that particular job.
Instead, make sure you are enthusiastic and talk specifically about what aspects of the role/organisation appeal to you, such as the company's reputation or the key responsibilities you'll be given.
Don’t assume that just because the information is in your CV, interviewers won’t ask for more detail about your background, including your responsibilities in previous roles and educational achievements.
Not knowing your CV in detail
Make sure you know your CV in detail and can answer questions about the information you have supplied. Don’t assume that just because the information is in your CV, interviewers won’t ask for more detail about your background, including your responsibilities in previous roles and educational achievements.
Instead, you should review your CV before your interview and practice how you will respond to any potential questions on the details you’ve provided. Don’t forget to describe how your accomplishments relate to the role you are applying for.
Criticising previous employers or role
"No matter how tempting it is, it’s not a good idea to make derogatory remarks about your current boss, previous boss, current employer or companies you’ve worked for in the past.
They won’t know the background to why you and your current or past employers don’t see eye to eye and you could also open yourself up to an uncomfortable line of questioning." says Maree.
Try to find the positive aspects of your employment history and focus on these instead.
Being too familiar with the interviewer
It is important to be engaging and interested during your interview, but you should not confuse this with over-familiarity. While it’s important for you to be charismatic and demonstrate your interpersonal skills, you must always conduct yourself with professionalism, even if you feel you have a good rapport with the interviewer.
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For more career advice, and information on how to switch careers, please contact
Darin van den Munchkoff, Senior Consultant
+27 (0)11 881 2407