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How to pass your next interview

February 21, 2013

Few industries have enjoyed the recent run of success quite like the tech market, resulting in a number of booming IT careers. Job seekers with the proper education or certifications can certainly find openings, but having the desired skill sets may not mean employment. The interview process can be a deciding factor between candidates, making preparation beforehand that more important.

Sue Dahling Sullivan, chief of staff at the Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, recently spoke at the Career Counselors' Consortium Northeast and provided some tips for job seekers looking for ways to improve their interview skills, U.S. News reported.

Get ahead
Candidates who enter an interview without researching the company beforehand have likely missed a golden opportunity to get to know the firm and the hiring manager or managers. According to Sullivan, job seekers should ask who will be conducting the interview and his or her role within the organization. Once this information is obtained, people can look at their LinkedIn profiles or perform a quick Google search to see what turns up, U.S. News reported.

First impressions are important
Those that believe their attire ultimately does not matter when it comes to landing a job because their skills are what is important may be in for a rude awakening. Sullivan indicated that people need to present themselves in a way that reflects the company they are interviewing with. For example, a person applying to a position on Wall Street should avoid business casual attire. Someone trying to get a job at Google may not want to wear a pinstriped suit, while a nonprofit arts organization may appreciate someone who wears clothing that includes some personalization, the news source reported.

Before entering any interview, candidates should understand the company they are applying to. What works at one business may not be what is the norm at another, especially in terms of how people dress.

Apply past experiences to future problems
During the interview, candidates should think about how they performed in the past to address certain problems at the company. According to Sullivan, people who can tell hiring managers how they can apply their own knowledge and experiences to solve an issue can be more successful, U.S. News reported.

Some people may be applying to a job because they are interested in the position or the company itself, while others may just be looking for employment. Candidates who find themselves in the latter situation may not end up enjoying working at a particular business. Those who genuinely want to be hired at an organization should make sure these feelings come out during the interview.

According to Sullivan, candidates should do all they can to evoke passion in their interview by providing some enthusiasm for the opening. Job seekers can talk about what encouraged them to pursue this career or how they feel when tasks are accomplished, the news provider reported. Instead of simply answering questions or wanting to receive a paycheck, people who can make a difference at an organization will be even more attractive.

Find the job that's right for you
The current economic crisis may have impacted how some industries are hiring employees, but there are plenty of IT jobs available for those with the proper credentials. However, it is crucial for anyone looking to further his or her IT career to make sure the right work setting is selected. Some candidates may be thrilled they are hired for a particular job only to realize soon after that the position or business is simply not the right fit. This situation can be disheartening for anyone, but those in the tech industry can avoid this predicament with the right support. IT consulting professionals like TEKsystems help candidates find the atmosphere that suits their specific backgrounds and skill sets.

Considering that the United States remains a hotbed for IT jobs, those looking for employment should get the ball rolling. In January alone, the U.S. tech market added nearly 16,000 positions, according to a recent report by TechServe Alliance. Nationwide, IT currently employs roughly 4.3 million people.

The growing IT industry is not just a flash in the pan, according to TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts.

"Despite the lingering uncertainty with the U.S. and global economies, I anticipate demand for IT professionals will remain robust throughout 2013, " said Roberts.

Clearly IT is one of the hottest careers going. Job seekers looking for ways to take advantage of this development should make sure their interview skills are as polished as their resumes if they want to set themselves apart from the competition. 

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