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Swing Thoughts for the Interviewing IT Professional

Interviewing IT Professional

In golf, there are a thousand things you can be thinking about as you address the ball. Professional golfers have one thought, a "swing thought." Keeping it simple keeps them from suffering "paralysis from analysis." So, why not apply this to your next job interview? [download Swing Thoughts for the Interviewing IT Professional]

De-clutter your mind and create a space for one swing thought.
Here are some suggestions from our candidates who have "won the interview." Read all of them, but take only one with you into the job interview.

Confidence

Speak with conviction. Technical specs and resume fluff will only get you the interview; you must convince them you are the right candidate. This will allow the interviewer to see that you are knowledgeable in your field and it assures them that you are quite capable of handling anything that is placed in your direction.

Cadence

Speak slowly and clearly and don't say 'Um'!"

Be Brief

Keep the content of the response succinct. Elaborate only slightly-wait to be asked to elaborate further. The interviewer already knows the answer to the question being asked. They are asking to validate the candidate knows the answer. Unrequested elaboration can be seen as a sign of poor communication skills.

Relax

I will keep myself calm and focus on what exactly interviewer is asking. To help myself relax, I just imagine the people interviewing me as "peers" - people on the same team as me. Visualize yourself in the interview so that you can be more relaxed.

Knowledge

Research the company, the position and project and how you are a good fit. Prepare to answer introspective questions (i.e., what are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to...?)
Prepare to ask the interviewer questions about the project, project team, work environment, etc.

Positive

"Keep it positive" - in other words, when asked a negative question (what is your weakness, what was your toughest sponsor experience, etc.) - be honest but try to wrap a positive around, even if it's just a that a specific situation was a "lesson learned" for your career, and how you would handle the situation better if faced with it again.

Listen

I've always thought listening is the most important thing. I always remind myself to listen for things I can ask questions about, especially if I can tell it is a pain point for them and I have resolved issues like that in the past.

I have never practiced answering questions. Rarely do they ask what I think they are going to ask, and interviewers can spot a canned response. I would rather tailor my answers to that particular situation if I can (so my answers are "TaylorMade"). And I stay away from humor, like that last bad joke.

Honesty

Be totally honest. That has burned me in the past, however, I walk away knowing if someone doesn't believe me or doesn't like the truth from my point of view, it really isn't someone that I want to work for.

Eye Contact

I keep in mind to look into the interviewer's eyes.

Focus

Focus on what you did and what you can do.
Also in a panel interview, write down the names of the people interviewing you in the order in which they are seated. I like to use their names in my response because it shows I am engaged and thoughtful of who is asking me a question.

Professional Development

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