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Career Hacker: Common mistakes to avoid in your next IT job interview (part 2)

February 3, 2015 | By Jennifer Doran

professionally dressed woman reaches for a handshake during an interview

In continuing the conversation from yesterday’s post about common interview mistakes IT professionals make during in-person interviews, we present four more mistakes to avoid. Following these will give you the confidence and edge you need to lock down that next career move.

Mistake 5: Not being yourself

It’s important to show some personality. Loosen up, don’t be a statue, let your personality shine.

But while it’s okay to laugh and show a sense of humor, don’t get so loose that you use foul language or answer a phone call in the middle of the interview. Laugh when appropriate, but don’t be the one starting the joke or the guy ordering a beer at lunch.

Mistake 6: Being negative about your current or past jobs

No one likes sour grapes, so no matter why you left—or want to leave—your current job, don’t badmouth the company, the team or your manager. Even if there was a personality conflict, or the company was poorly run, refrain from mentioning the negative and find a positive way to respond to those questions. Don’t say the company was terrible. It leaves a bad impression and kicks off the interview poorly. Also, be smart if you are active on social media—employers will often use it as a tool see who they are interviewing.

Mistake 7: Not prepping for common questions

You can expect a lot of standard interview questions but don’t be complacent—you should still prepare your thoughts for them. While you don’t want to sound scripted, you also don’t want to sound ill-prepared. Come to the table knowing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as how you’re working on any areas that need development. People without this level of self-awareness come across as difficult to manage.


Mistake 8: Not prepping for hypothetical questions

These questions are tougher to prepare for, but the interviewer is more interested in how you think about and respond to the question. They want to see how you would tackle the challenge, that you’re resourceful and can think things through. Even if the hypothetical question is a scenario you have never been in, having a basic systematic approach to how you would tackle the challenge initially is a great place to start.

If you have any other questions or are interested in learning more about the various opportunities TEKsystems has available, contact a local TEKsystems recruiter in your area to see how they can help you take your career to the next level!

Like this article? Read related articles to help you in your IT job search:

Common mistakes to avoid in your next IT job interview (part 1)

Are IT cover letters necessary?

Jennifer Doran, Consultant Program Manager for TEKsystems, develops, manages and supports the company’s national programs that represent the voice and needs of IT professionals in TEKsystems’ network.