How to Have a Successful In-Person (Temporarily Online) Interview
By Clint Work
We get asked all the time for advice on how to have a successful in-person technology interview. In-person interviews are very important for candidates because it gives the chance to sell themselves to the employer. Although this article is about in-person interviews, we are currently living in a situation where working remotely is the new normal for the time being. With this being the present case, this blog discusses how to succeed in the in-person interview, that has now temporarily moved online. All rules still apply, and we hope this advice continues to help you have a successful technology interview.
Preparing for your in-person (or online) technology interview is essential. I always recommend to candidates that you study the company you are interviewing with. More often than not, the interviewer asks you what you know about the company, and if the candidate does not know, it reflects badly on them. If you know who is interviewing you, it is also recommended to look them up on LinkedIn as well as the company. By looking up the manager interviewing you, you can find some common ground and include that in the conversation to be more personable. This helps you stand out beyond the candidates that are very robotic in their answers.
As well as prior research, it is also important to look the part, and that is done though preparation as well. Plan your in-person technology interview outfit the night before so that you are ready to go without any issues the next day. Do everything to prepare the night before so you are not in a panic right before the interview. You want to arrive 15 minutes early to your interview or 5 minutes early to an online interview, and the last thing you want to do is arrive late. If the little things are properly planned and prepped, you are on the right path to arriving on time and being ready to go.
It is important for the candidate to exhibit professional interpersonal skills that allow them to look confident and pleasant. Eye contact is a small thing that goes a long way. You want great eye contact as you speak and listen to the interviewer to show that you are engaged and interested in the conversation. This is even more important on video interviews as it is one of the most noticeable things. Strong handshakes are also very important upon meeting with the managers interviewing you; however, in these times you may not get the opportunity to shake someone’s hand due to the circumstances we are under, but it is important to remember for future in-person technology interviews.
Your body language says a lot about you as a candidate. People are able to tell from your body language if you are engaged and interested in the role. Keep your posture upright, have strong eye contact, and be aware of what your body language is saying to the interviewer(s). First impressions are very important in the interview process, so be aware of how you’re positively portraying yourself.
What to bring to the in-person technology interview
The advice for in-person technology interviews and online interviews are very similar. When going in for an in-person technology interview, it is important to always have several copies of your resume on hand. Some managers already have your resume printed out, but others may ask you if you have a copy. It is always good to be prepared in that way by having a copy of your resume available to your interviewers. Likewise, for the online interview have your resume prepped in an email to send to any additional parties at the click of a button. Another thing I recommend you have printed are your references. It’s a good idea to have those prepared, and it looks very professional if you have copies of them on hand if the manager asks to see them. Along with printed copies of your resume and references, it is highly recommended to bring something to write with. Always bring a notebook and a pen to write down notes or questions you have for the interviewer. You also look very professional and engaged when you are taking notes during an interview as it shows that you are interested in the position or the project.
Keep in mind…
As previously mentioned, it is very important that you keep the interviewer engaged in the conversation. You should also listen very carefully to what the manager is asking and to show an interest throughout the entire interview. In many interviews, I have witnessed that candidates sometimes ramble when talking about their experience. You want to make sure you engage the interviewer into the conversation, and not just rattle off your experience. The truth is, many managers look to see if candidates are engaging them by asking questions or even asking the managers if they have questions about their experience. Positive body language and expression also says a lot about a candidate and how interested they are in the job. This leads to my next point of always showing your excitement for the position. Show excitement through the asking of questions to prove you are interested in the project. When it comes to questions, it’s important to have a few already prepared prior to the interview. Always ask them as well as new questions you develop during the in-person technology interview. Examples of great questions to ask are, “what are your expectations for me down the line in this position?” or, if the position is contracted, “does this role have the chance of converting to fulltime?”. You should also ask any questions regarding technology or aspects of the project that were touched on in the interview.
The most important thing to do when it comes to your in-person technology interview is to be prepared. If you have any questions regarding your next in-person technology interview, please feel free to contact us. Good luck with your future interviews.
INT Technologies is the nation’s largest certified Veteran-Owned Staffing and Consulting Company. We have 20 years proven track record assisting our varied clients with their projects and staffing needs within the financial, insurance, healthcare, government, aerospace, and technology industries. Serving clients nationwide, our leadership team -comprised of Chris Knott, Rhonda Rutledge, James Moloney, Tamara Ellestad, and Richard Krause -focuses on integrity and service and the relationships they help build. Proof of our commitment to “our client is our highest priority” can be seen in the fact that each of INT’s founding clients remain INT clients 20 years later. www.inttechnologies.com