How To Prepare For An Interview At A Tech Company

How To Prepare For An Interview At A Tech Company

If you think memorizing brain teasers is the best way to prepare for an interview at a tech company, it’s time to think again. Brain teasers used to be used by companies like Google to assess a candidate’s intelligence, ability to stay calm under pressure, and reasoning skills in the early 2000’s.

I’m glad to say that the interview process has now moved forward at many companies. Instead, it pays to be prepared in much the same ways as you would when applying for any other kind of job, as the interview infographic below explains in more detail.

First Impressions Really Do Count!

When attending an interview at a tech company, first impressions count. Because of this, it’s a good idea to arrive at the interview dressed in the appropriate attire. This could be a smart suit, or casual clothing, depending on the particular company – so make sure to find out in advance. It’s also important to arrive at the interview on time. 

It is suggested that you do the research before the day of your interview. Make sure you know how long it will take you to reach the location, and plan alternate routes in case of traffic jams in order to allow plenty of time for delays. Nothing gives the wrong first impression quite as badly as not being appropriately dressed or getting to the interview late.

Show An Interest In The Company

Another thing you can do before arriving is to research the company. Candidates who show that they are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a company will impress the interviewers, and this will make a lasting impression. In order to show a realistic interest in the company you are applying to, come up with a few questions to ask as well, as you’ll likely be asked if there’s anything you want to know about the position.

It always pays to know who your direct supervisor will be and a bit about the history of the company you are applying to. Nothing impresses the interviewer quite as thoroughly as an applicant who knows about the company. After all, someone with such a sound understanding of the company and what it is that they do must have a sincere interest in being a part of the team.

Be Aware Of Non-Verbal Clues You May Be Sending

Along with making a great first impression, you should be cognizant of your demeanor. Not all of language is the spoken word so you need to be very careful of what you are communicating through your body language. Many experts in the field suggest that you sit up and a bit forward but try to be relaxed at the same time. You want to show an interest in what the interviewer is saying, but you don’t want to appear anxious.

Making eye contact is also of supreme importance because when surveyed, as many as 67% of hiring managers say that they are leery of those applicants who don’t make and sustain eye contact. They are more apt to hire someone who isn’t openly showing fear or submission through lack of eye contact and they will often award the job to those who may be a bit less qualified but much surer of themselves. In the world of technology, it is imperative to come across as someone who knows what you are doing and eye contact, or lack thereof, is a key indicator.

Are You A Team Player with Leadership Abilities?

When being considered for a position with a tech company, it is vital that you demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team but also able to act as a team leader when the circumstances call for it. Most job applicants aren’t aware of the fact that as many as 89% of all potential new hires fail because of their attitude, not their aptitude. 

Here again, just as not making eye contact shows signs of fear or submission, your overall demeanor may demonstrate that you are either too timid to be innovative or too dominant to work as part of the team. It’s a tightrope to balance on but it can be done.

You will be asked about your previous job history so it is suggested that you base your answers on the STAR technique. This, in a nutshell, means you should formulate your answers based on:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

As you can see, the first letters of each word, when combined, form the acronym ‘STAR.’ You first want to set the stage for the experience you are about to highlight. You then describe the task by explaining any challenges you were up against. Of course, you then need to talk about exactly how you handled the challenge, what it is you did and finally offer quantifiable results. Nothing impresses a results driven employee quite like a good STAR answer.

A Word of Advice – The Interview Isn’t Over When It’s Over!

Altogether too many job applicants thank the interviewer for their time and say a few closing words such as how they hope to hear from him/her soon. Unfortunately for them, that isn’t the end of the interview! There are still things you should do in the coming days. Within 24 hours you should follow up with a quick email or thank-you card addressed to the interviewer. Thank them for their time and again express your sincere desire to become a part of the tech team.

While only about 39% of job candidates take the initiative to follow up on their interview within 24 hours, as many as three-quarters of interviewees state that they are quite impressed with that follow-up and tend to remember those applicants more favorably. In worst case scenario, they totally forget those who don’t follow up. Do you remember the old adage, ‘Out of sight out of mind?’ That is exactly what happens to a bulk of those candidates who failed to follow up in a timely manner. Those applications and resumes have a way of being set aside never to be seen again.

Above all, remember to stay calm. The more you prepare beforehand, the easier this will be. Take the time to do the research needed, choose exactly the right outfit for the interview and by all means know a bit about your interviewer if at all possible. Nothing is quite as impressive as the personal interest you took in the person who holds the power to give you that job. Your interest will be rewarded. You’ve done all you can do, now it’s time to sit back and wait for that phone call which will come if you’ve followed the above advice. Congratulations on an interview well done!

Courtesy of: Acuity Training


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