Many IT professionals interviewing for a new job will often find that interviewers nowadays won't ask a lot of technical interview questions but rather they tend to focus on the behavioral side of the interview. For many firms, the technical requirements for the job can be found on your resume and a background check can confirm your education and accreditation's. Instead, be prepared to answer questions that target your leadership, managerial, organizational, and teamwork skills. With that said, here are some of the top interview questions for IT job seekers:
Common Information Technology (IT) Interview Questions
1. Tell me a little about yourself?
It is often quoted that first impressions are often made within the first thirty seconds of meeting someone. It doesn’t really matter if it is a first date or a job interview. After the standard set of introductions many interviewers choose to go with this question because it helps break the ice. In most cases, the employer in IT is looking for traits such as honesty, integrity, communication and interpersonal skills. This is the time to let your potential employer find out more about you on a personal level, which could be all it takes to set you apart for the rest of the candidates.
This is an open question and everyone will answer it differently depending on their experiences. Being open and honest at this stage will help set the mood for the rest of the interview.
As a word of caution, this does not open the floor to extended ramblings that will bore the person asking the question. It is often a good idea to have a personal mission statement ready for this type of question to help stay on track. Think of this as your unique selling proposition and an opportunity to let the employer know why they should hire you for the position.
Start with your past successes and then move into your strengths and abilities that helped you achieve the past successes. You may want to conclude with background, interests. Being unique in your answers will allow the interviewer to more easily remember you when the entire process is over.
2. Why do you want to work here?
This seems like a basic question and you should have an answer for this before even heading out for the interview. There are many different reasons why someone wants to gain employment and honesty and integrity is usually what the interviewer is looking for here.
For most of you seeking careers, the answers lay in the reasons you decided to apply in the first place. Answers will probably touch on the following premises:
The place you are applying seems to be a good opportunity in advancing your career. Hopefully the organization has good growth potential, competitive wages, an environment that will help you learn new skills, a culture that makes you feel like you are making a difference and lets you share your gifts and talents with others.
If you are only looking for something more temporary or flexible, just be honest and open about your situation and why the place you are applying to makes you more excited to work at than anywhere else. The traits listed above are probably a good starting point.
3. What are your strengths?
This should be a relatively easy question to answer. You’ll want to focus on something as it relates directly to the position that you are applying for. It is advisable to focus on your analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication, pace at which you learn new tasks etc. Take your time and think of an honest answer. Don’t over exaggerate at this stage because shameless self promotion will do you little service when it comes time to deliver on something that you said you were good when in reality it isn’t true. This question will provide the interviewer with insight into your character, honesty and integrity.
4. What are your weaknesses?
Nobody is perfect and it is important to keep this in mind when interviewing because the person asking the question is well aware of this fact. Having an honest answer for this question will show the interviewer that you are self aware and always looking to improve. You may want to focus on traits that often run counter to your position. For example, most positions don’t require you to be an expert at public speaking. In this case, this trait is often seen as nearly impossible to master and would rarely be a reason for not getting a job.
Another direction for discussing your weaknesses is to try and talk about traits that can often be seen as positives by changing the way that they are viewed. In other words, being a perfectionist can be seen by many as a weakness, but for a detail-oriented job this could be the ideal trait. There are many examples like this and you may need to be fast on your feet to have a clever answer, but it is useful if delivered correctly.
5. What Exactly Do IT Professionals (specifically the IT job title) Do?
Don’t underestimate this question. You’d be surprised how many people go into interviews with no idea what they’ll be doing if they actually get hired. If you previous job is similar to the job you are interviewing for, you are less likely to receive this question. However, if you are changing careers or just starting out of school, you have a high chance of seeing this question. At the very least, you should know the basics of the industry and the day-to-day tasks you will be doing.
6. Do You Work Better On A Team Or Independently?
For IT interviews, working both individually and part of a team is crucial to success in the position. Generally, by simply getting an interview, the company has already given you a sign that what you have for education and skills match what the position requires. Therefore, a large part of the interview is usually reserved to determine if you will “fit” in the team. The “Fit” interview is commonly known as a behavioral interview and is designed to reveal your personality traits to the interviewer.
So, if you are asked this question, 90% of the time the interviewer is looking for a good team player that will fit seamlessly into the team without causing friction. The “Team” can refer to the whole division which includes the boss and the vertical hierarchy down to you or the “Team” can also refer to the peers you will be working with side-by-side. It is usually good to distinguish between these two. In the divisional team, you may want to emphasize that you take directions well and execute with little error and on time. For the peer team, you may want to highlight your ability to work with others and being dependable and responsible.
For more common IT interview questions, see our Interview Question Bank.