First impressions count, so prep with our IT interview questions and answers

So you’ve found a great job within the IT sector that matches your skills and qualifications to a T. But where on earth do you begin with prepping for the interview process?

Aside from answering all the usual questions, you’ll be expected to display some relevant and current skills, proving how you’ve used them in previous role and how you want to advance in the field.

You’ll need a strong work ethic, communicative interpersonal skills and facilitative mentoring skills for optimum success, and in an industry where everything is continually upgrading and changing you’ll need to constantly refresh and maintain a wealth of knowledge and aptitude.

Interviewing for a job in IT – requires the same preparation and confidence as any other. As the old adage goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Amongst the classic interview questions about why you want to work for that particular company, there’ll be some trickier, role-specific IT interview questions ready and waiting. These will be asked alongside technical questions about your skills, education, tools and any certifications you’ve gained.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequent questions that might pop up into your IT job interview – and detailed how to answer them succinctly for the best possible outcome.

What interests you about this role?

Spend some time researching the position you’re going for, and choose two standout skills you’ll need that match with your own experience. Give examples of when you applied those skills in your previous role(s). Focus less on how the job will help you progress in your field, and more about how your expertise will improve. Always remember to link back to your previous position to describe how effectively you’ve administered these skills in the past. Lastly, choose something different within the new role that you’re eager to improve upon.

How do you keep up-to-date with the industry?

This is a crucial question for anyone in the ever-changing industry of IT. Whether you scour websites and blogs specific to your role, engage in forums or subscribe to consumer magazines in your field, the hiring manager will want to know how you stay abreast of all the current and future trends, challenges and potential opportunities. Make sure you’re clued up on the essentials: jquery, php, javascript and html5.

Describe a time when you were able to improve upon an original design.

A common question for coders and web developers alike. Here, you have the chance to prove how you improved upon a flawed design. Whether it was a website, an application or even a side project, make sure you mention how you improved usability for end users and employers alike to prove your competence and reliability to your potential new employer.

Given this problem, what solution would you provide?

Your hiring manager may well present you with a certain scenario to test how well you’d cope with a particular situation. They’ll want to analyse whether or not you’d make a good fit for the company and the existing team of people that work there. Being able to eloquently describe a solution to a role-specific issue not only gives them great insight into your skills and character; it also enables them to picture how you’d progress within their company.

If hired, what challenges do you foresee in this role?

This is common question that can trip you up if you aren’t prepared. It’s best answered with a skill that is currently a work in progress for you. Something that you are continually improving upon, or an area of knowledge that you’ve just recently started learning more about. Perhaps you’re well versed in one programming language and less so in another, but due to your speed and natural aptitude in abstract thinking and self-reliance, you’ll pick up the latter with accuracy and efficiency. This puts a positive spin on a lesser-developed skill.

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