How to Handle the “Desired Salary Question” Like a Boss

The Desired Salary Question: What’s the Magic Number? On the list of questions that job candidates dread in an interview, the desired salary question ranks right near the top. Queries like, “What’s your biggest weakness?”, “Why should we hire you?”, or “What is your spirit animal?” can be vexing. But, “What is your desired salary?” proves to be a particularly tricky tech interview question because the wrong answer could cost you a job offer –  or cost you thousands of dollars in salary if you do get the position. Candidates don’t get to opt-out of answering by providing some vague and ambiguous non-answer like “I’m flexible.” The interviewer is asking the question because they want a number or at least a range. But how do you know what that magic number is that will neither price you out of a job nor shortchange yourself for years to come? To solve this conundrum, first, speak to your contact at the experienced technical staffing company you’re working with. Then, take time and do some research and preparation so you have a figure in mind when the desired salary question inevitably arrives. Look at the Market to Answer the Desired Salary Question Tech employers in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide don’t make salary determinations in a vacuum. Candidates for in-demand IT positions shouldn’t formulate their salary expectations in a vacuum either. Employers want to attract the best tech candidates by paying salaries that are competitive with or higher than other companies in their sector, but they don’t like to offer more than they need to. Candidates should have a sense of the market so that their answer to the desired salary question is within the range of typical salaries for similar technical positions at similar companies in similar locations. Do some online research about average salaries in your particular information technology career field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good source of wage data by area and occupation. Other websites also offer salary calculators and tools to help you come up with a sweet spot number. Stick With Ranges Instead of a Specific Number, At First Once you’ve done your research, you’ll have a sense of the salary range for the type of position you seek. If you are in the early stage of the hiring process, such as a screening call or first interview, stay with a range instead of a specific number. By providing a range, you answer the question without looking evasive while also showing some flexibility that the employer will appreciate when deciding whether to make an offer and at what salary. Have a Desired Number Ready if You Are Far Along in the Process If you make it far enough in the hiring process, the tech hiring manager or recruiter will get down to the nitty-gritty, including what number you need or want in order to take the tech position. At this point, you should have a better sense of the specific position, the responsibilities and demands involved, and the other perks and opportunities that may accompany the opportunity. Along with the general information you learned during your preliminary online research, factor the specific characteristics of the job into coming up with a particular figure that you think appropriate. Importantly, phrase your answer to show that you based your figure on thoughtful analysis, not just what would make you happy or you think you deserve. For example: “I’m really excited about this opportunity, and I’ve given a lot of thought to the responsibilities involved and the number of employees I will be managing in this position. Based on that, I think $X is a fair salary.” “This is a great position, and I think I’m the right person for it. I think that $X seems like the right salary for this big role.” “I’m thinking that $X makes sense based on my experience, past success, and the demanding nature of the role. I strongly believe that I can be successful in this position and add significant value to the company.” Don’t Lie When Answering the Desired Salary Question The truth always comes out, whether about your education, experience, performance, or past salary. Untruths and exaggerations, once discovered, will disqualify you from most opportunities. If the desired salary question comes with a past salary question, be truthful in your answer. GTN Technical Staffing Helps Tech Workers Get Their Desired Jobs and Gets Tech Companies Their Desired Candidates GTN Technical Staffing has earned a reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the right talent to the right companies in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide. We are, without question, an invaluable resource for IT professionals seeking their next opportunity. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right technical job Read More on Technical Jobs Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later?  Make Your IT Career Recession-Proof the Proper Way How to Get What You Want: Tech Salary Negotiations 101

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How to Stay Connected With Colleagues When Working From Home

Stay Connected with Colleagues: Technology Can Keep Us Together While We’re Apart When your desk sits feet away from a coworker, when you say “Hi” to folks passing in the hallway, or when you spend time eating lunch together or grabbing after-work drinks, it’s easy to stay connected with colleagues. But when a workforce works from home, maintaining the team cohesion that is so essential to a company’s success and employees’ job satisfaction can be a daunting task. For all of the awfulness that 2020 has brought, we can at least be grateful that we live in a time when technology allows us to have ongoing communication and connection between employees who work miles or time zones apart. Leveraging that technology in positive and creative ways is the key to helping employees stay connected with colleagues. Here are five ways that businesses can keep their workers in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide together while they are apart. Virtual Coffee Breaks to Stay Connected with Colleagues For many folks, grabbing that first cup of coffee in the office breakroom is essential for starting their workday. But it’s not just the caffeine that helps people get going. It’s the interactions with coworkers who get to catch up while they’re brewing their java or toasting their bagel. Employers may want to set up a video chatroom link for employees to join in the morning before hunkering down for work. Those five or ten minutes spent shooting the breeze or sharing a laugh can be as energizing as a triple espresso. Virtual Happy Hours Relaxing with coworkers for after-work cocktails at the end of a long day or week is one of the many joys that the pandemic has put a damper on. But just because there’s no bartender pouring drinks doesn’t mean that colleagues can’t hang out and relax together over their favorite adult beverages. Whether it’s in a big Zoom group or just two coworkers getting together virtually, a virtual happy hour can create an excellent way for people to stay connected with colleagues in an informal, casual setting. Host Virtual Fitness and Wellness Classes Staying healthy and fit – both physically and mentally – has been one of the bigger challenges of working from home. But a workforce’s well-being directly impacts a company’s performance, and therefore, companies should take affirmative steps to encourage wellness. Host classes, seminars, and workshops focused on employee wellness. Bring in nutritionists, trainers, and mental health experts to discuss the challenges employees face. Offer fitness classes accessible to employees of all abilities, and host virtual cooking classes featuring healthy and nutritious meal ideas. Bring Out the Competitive Spirit Most folks love games, competition, and winning. That’s why “gamification” became such a business buzzword. Leverage a workforce’s competitive spirit by setting up virtual games and challenges. Trivia contents are popular and easy to put together using Zoom or Slack or similar platforms. Some professional trivia companies that usually host pub trivia contests have transitioned to doing the same thing virtually for businesses. Colleagues can compete individually or in teams. Wellness challenges have proven to be an effective strategy for encouraging healthy habits and reducing illness among employees. Establish and promote a variety of wellness and fitness challenges, with workers reporting their accomplishments and receiving rewards for participating or winning a given competition. These challenges can include: Walking/steps challenges Nutrition and diet challenges Mindfulness and mental health challenges Healthy habit challenges Sleep challenges Stay Connected With Colleagues by Connecting the Kids Grown-ups aren’t the only ones feeling isolated from their colleagues during the pandemic. Kids miss their schoolmates as they learn from home while their parents try to get work done in the next room. Many folks have had the embarrassing experience of an unwanted cameo appearance from one of their children during a videoconference or virtual meeting. Why not welcome them once in a while by connecting them with colleagues’ kids. If a meeting wraps up early, ask other participants if their kids want to chat with your kids and make new friends. GTN Technical Staffing Connects the Right Tech Employees With the Right Tech Companies No matter what role you play in the tech industry or the kind of position you’re looking for, GTN Technical Staffing in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Job Recruiting How to Provide Interview Training to Hiring Managers What Makes Software Engineers Stay in a New Job? Is Your Technical Recruiter Any Good?

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Remote Work: Wellness for Tech Employees Working from Home

Staying Healthy While Staying Home: Wellness for Tech Employees Of the multitude of challenges that tech companies in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide face as they navigate the current pandemic, ensuring wellness for tech employees may not seem like a high priority item. But maintaining the health and well-being of an IT company’s workforce, especially as more employees work from home, has a direct impact on the bottom line. Sick days and lost hours, reduced productivity, increased healthcare costs, and diminished employee job satisfaction – all of these can cost companies millions of dollars each year. For tech employees who work from home, staying mentally and physically fit can be a tall order. No more walking to the office or even just down the hallway to chat with coworkers. Lockdowns and social distancing limit gym access. A beckoning kitchen full of snacks. The stress of the pandemic and isolation from friends and colleagues increasing feelings of anxiety and depression. Notwithstanding these impediments, maintaining a sense of wellness for tech employees who work from home does not have to be difficult. Here are four ways companies can help their homebound IT professionals stay happy and healthy. Wellness for Tech Employees with a Remote Health and Well-Being Hub Leverage the tools and technology that facilitate remote work to encourage wellness activities and provide health resources to your workforce. Create a shared folder in Google Drive or establish a Slack channel focused on health and well-being. Provide links to exercise and nutrition videos and articles, share healthy recipes and exercise tips, and allow employees to post their own wellness ideas. Host Virtual Fitness and Wellness Classes Yes, we all experience “Zoom fatigue” from time to time. But that doesn’t change the reality that virtual meetings are essential to maintain connection and communication among a remote workforce. Host classes, seminars, and workshops focused on wellness for tech employees. Bring in nutritionists, trainers, and mental health experts to discuss the challenges employees face and provide tips and guidance for workers who may be struggling to stay fit and healthy. Offer fitness classes accessible to employees of all abilities, and host virtual cooking classes featuring nutritious meal ideas. Establish Fitness and Wellness Challenges Tech workers love games, competition, and winning. The “gamification” of wellness has proven to be an effective strategy for encouraging healthy habits and reducing illness among high tech employees. Establish and promote a variety of wellness and fitness challenges with workers reporting their accomplishments and receiving rewards for participating or winning a given competition. These challenges can include: Walking/step challenges Nutrition and diet challenges Mindfulness and mental health challenges Healthy habit challenges Sleep challenges Promote Mental Health Awareness and Provide Mental Health Resources Recent research reveals that the pandemic has taken a devastating toll on our collective mental health, with skyrocketing rates of depression, substance abuse, and related problems. Tech employees in Dallas and across the country who work from home need to recognize, understand, and acknowledge common emotional and psychological issues and adopt approaches to deal with them in a productive and healthy way. Emphasize the importance of mental health and create an environment that encourages employees to reach out for help without worrying about how it may look or whether seeking help will have a negative impact on their job. Provide them with resources for obtaining the help they need, and promote discussion and support groups that can connect remote employees who may feel lonely and isolated from the team. The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has a terrific workplace health wellness resource center that employers and employees alike can use to reduce risks, improve quality of life, and promote wellness for tech employees working from home. Wellness for Tech Employees Starts with Getting the Right Job. GTN Technical Staffing Can Help No matter what role you play in the tech industry or the kind of position you’re looking for, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Staffing How to Stay Connected With Colleagues When Working From Home How Will COVID-19 Shape Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector 6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview

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Questions Tech Candidates Wish Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking

Whoever Said “There Are No Stupid Questions” Was Wrong You would not be alone if you ever walked out of an interview for a tech job and thought, “If only hiring managers would stop asking awful questions, I wouldn’t mind the job search process so much!” Bad, head-scratching or frivolous questions can be the most painful part of an interview for IT job candidates. Even individuals who prepare backwards and forwards can find themselves thrown off balance and confused by a hiring manager’s question that seems to come from well beyond left field. Of course, candidates don’t get to write their questions. Nor are they in a position to challenge the value or usefulness of an inquiry when it comes out of the hiring manager’s mouth. Tech job candidates can try to overcome questions they wish tech hiring managers would stop asking by coming up with an answer that proves both responsive, thoughtful, and helpful to your goal of getting an offer. One lousy question doesn’t make for a bad interview and should not give you a negative impression of a company overall. But you can let yourself feel quietly and imperceptibly annoyed and belittled by such questions. Whether you have yet to be on the receiving end of stupid questions or not, here are five questions that tech candidates wish hiring managers would stop asking: The Main Question Tech Candidates Which Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking: What’s Your Biggest Weakness? Being forced to come up with and explain your biggest weakness may be the granddaddy of all dreaded interview questions. You spend all this time accentuating the positive about yourself, your experience, and your skills, and then the interviewer asks you to describe the most negative thing about yourself. Don’t try to be too cute by saying something like, “my biggest weakness is that I work too hard and care too much.” The questioner is looking for self-awareness and your ability to recognize areas where you could improve. Find some aspect of your skillset that you know you need to be better at but emphasize any efforts you are taking or have taken to address such issues. That shows a commitment to continuous improvement, a quality that tech hiring managers will see as a strength and not a weakness. Why Should We Hire You? Isn’t that why we’re here? Isn’t it your job, hiring manager, to figure that out based on everything in my resume, my substantive interview responses, and the glowing comments by my references? The above thoughts may all be true, but if the interviewer asks you straight-up why you are the person for the job, you need to give them an answer that doesn’t involve, “I need the money.” Answer this dumb question by connecting your experience and approach to both the job requirements as well as the company’s values and philosophy (which you learned about in your extensive interview prep). Discuss how your goals and the company’s intersect, and align your answer so that it provides a reaffirmation of all of the substantive reasons you offered that make you the best candidate. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? This can be a frustrating question no matter where you are in your life and career. But in a world that looks unfathomably different than it did just a few short months ago, trying to picture five years from now proves even more difficult. Focus on your desired career arc, the progress and expansion you wish to see in your experience and responsibilities, and the goals you have for yourself as well as the company you work for. Riddle Me This Unless you’re Batman, your ability to solve riddles is not necessarily relevant to your ability to perform your technical responsibilities. But many hiring managers like asking riddles to get a sense of how a candidate’s “mind works” or their “problem-solving” abilities. Do your best to respond, but understanding the motivation behind the question, focus on your actual creative and proactive problem-solving experiences, and how they apply to the current position. What Three Words Best Describe You? Annoyed, perplexed, and bemused may be the three words that come to mind after you hear this question. Human beings are complex, multi-faceted, and unique. Trying to distill any individual above the age of two in three words is an endeavor that will inevitably leave lots of valuable information and qualities by the wayside. If you must provide a three-word answer, make that answer relevant to the position and as insightful as it can be under the circumstances. One Question We DON’T Wish Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking Us: Can You Get Us The Best Tech Talent? GTN Technical Staffing has earned a reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the right talent to the right companies. We are, without question, an invaluable resource for IT professionals seeking their next opportunity. Don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with a tech recruiter today to learn more about how we can help your company find the best tech talent out there. Read More on Tech Job Hiring How to Provide Interview Training to IT Hiring Managers Ghosting IT Job Candidates Can Destroy Your Reputation You Don’t Need a Recruiter

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Make Your IT Career Recession-Proof the Proper Way

What You Need to Do to Ride the Storm Out Along with social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, making your career recession-proof is an essential element of protecting yourself during these uncertain times. Even before the pandemic, many economists saw a recession looming right around the corner. Now, aided by COVID-19, the recession has arrived with a vengeance, with the economy shedding millions of jobs a week, countless companies shutting their doors, and whole industries undergoing dramatic changes in the way they do business. Individuals in the IT industry are not immune from this economic fallout, even those who have yet to face furloughs or downsizing. But just as tech companies plan ahead for uncharted waters, so too should tech professionals. Planning means taking proactive, creative, and sometimes uncomfortable steps that can help you ride this storm out as well as any others the future may bring. Here are four things tech workers can do to make their IT career recession-proof the proper way. 1. Raise Your Profile to Keep Your Tech Career Recession-Proof Even if you consider yourself something of an introvert, as many IT folks do, now is not the time to keep to yourself. Instead, make this the time to build connections, increase your networking activity, and expand your circle of professional relationships. Engage with colleagues both within and outside of your current organization, either directly or through social media. Contribute to conversations and dialogue about relevant topics and issues. Participate in webinars and other professional education programs, including acting as a panelist, speaker, or presenter yourself. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and other aspects of your online presence put you in the best light and contain the most up-to-date information about your career and achievements. 2. Make Yourself Uncomfortable When things are going swimmingly, it’s understandable to want to stay in your comfort zone. Why rock the boat? But when the sailing becomes rough and you find yourself and your career battered by strong economic headwinds, getting out of your comfort zone may be the thing that keeps you afloat. (My apologies if all those sailing metaphors made you queasy.) Going outside your comfort zone can mean many things. You can expand your skill sets and explore opportunities that you may not have considered under normal circumstances. If you are out of work, use that found time to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology and the industry. Even outside of the professional context, trying bold, new activities that push and test you can give you the confidence to do the same in your career. 3. Be Agile and Open to Change People tend to be creatures of habit, even in the always-changing world of IT. But now the world itself has changed in ways that seemed almost unimaginable just a short time ago. You need to recognize that the way you’ve done things, the way all of your training and experience told you how to do your job, may not make as much sense anymore Tech companies are rapidly redefining roles and responsibilities. You need to understand what drives these changes and educate yourself as to the direction the industry is heading to keep your career recession-proof. That means building yourself a business mindset, alongside your well-developed technical one. Stay up to date on industry news and get a sense of the big picture that frames your corner of the IT world. 4. Be Ready for New Opportunities that Can Make Your Career Recession-Proof If you are fortunate enough to still be working at the IT position you had before the pandemic struck, you could just count your blessings, keep your head down, and do your job. But doing that will leave you vulnerable and unprepared if and when the economic fallout from the pandemic and the recession falls on you. Keep an eye on top IT recruiting sites, job boards, and company career pages to get a sense of who is hiring and what positions are open. Be prepared to pounce on new opportunities by keeping your resume fresh and ready to send at a moment’s notice. GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting the Right Tech Talent With the Right Tech Companies Whether you are looking for a permanent position or temporary, contract-based work in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. In boom times, as well as times of economic uncertainty, we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Contact us to speak with a tech recruiter today to learn more. Read More on Tech Job Tips Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later?  6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview You Don’t Need a Recruiter

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How To Provide Interview Training to Hiring Managers

Effective Interviewers Are Made, Not Born When You Provide Interview Training to Hiring Managers If you want your company to effectively vet and screen candidates through the interview process, you need to provide thoughtful and comprehensive interview training to hiring managers. The skills and knowledge required to conduct a productive interview don’t come naturally for most people. Even the best HR folks may not understand the techniques, structure, and questions that can elicit the insights companies need to make the right hiring decisions. With so many other responsibilities on their plate, hiring managers may not have the time or feel the need to improve their interviewing skills. Companies need to arm their hiring managers with the tools required to conduct solid interviews. Here are some tips on how to provide interview training to hiring managers that will deliver the new hires your company wants. Emphasize The Critical Importance of Interviews in the Hiring Process During Interview Training to Hiring Managers There are many stages of the hiring process, but few are as critical – and make more of an impact on the candidate experience – than the interview. The interview serves as the first face-to-face interaction a potential hire has with a potential employer. If they walk out of the interview feeling disrespected, or the interviewer appears disengaged and uninterested, it can leave an insurmountably bad taste in the candidate’s mouth. In a competitive market, a bad interview can be enough to make a potentially great hire look elsewhere for their next opportunity. Related: 10 Interviewing Tips for Tech Hiring Managers for 2020 Provide an Interview Preparation Checklist The best candidates thoroughly prepare for their interviews. The best hiring managers should do the same. Before interviewing any candidates for an open position, the hiring manager should go through a preparation checklist to ensure they have the background information they need to ask the right questions to each interviewee. An interview preparation checklist will ensure that the hiring manager: Thoroughly understands the requirements and responsibilities of the position they need to fill. Has coordinated with department leaders or others whose input can help them understand the qualities they seek in the new hire. Can identify required skill sets and desired qualifications for the position. Reviews each candidate’s resume before the interview so they can prepare and ask specific, relevant, and elucidating questions about the candidate’s experience and career trajectory. Has questions prepared in advance. Can speak about the company’s values, structure, and mission if asked. Understands any legal limitations on what questions they can ask. Get the Hiring Manager in Tune with Body Language Companies don’t interview resumes; companies interview people. Candidates can convey a lot with non-verbal cues. Effective interviewers learn to read those cues to obtain insights about a candidate’s personality, how they interact with others, and how they feel about the interview or the position itself. If they act anxious or nervous, the interviewer may alter their tone or approach to try to help them relax. If a candidate’s body language conveys a nonchalant attitude or appears that they don’t really want to be there, that can say a great deal about how they would approach the position if hired. Understanding the importance of body language can also help hiring managers to avoid counterproductive behavior themselves that could make a candidate feel like the interview is more of a burden than it is an opportunity to learn about the candidate’s suitability for the position. Body language truly plays a major role when you provide interview training to hiring managers. Interview Training to Hiring Managers Should Help Them Understand and Avoid Biases Implicit and unconscious biases affect everybody, whether they know it or not. People can have a natural inclination to gravitate towards people like themselves, whether by background, education, interests, and, yes, race or gender. In an era where companies recognize the value and need for diversity and inclusion in their workforce, eliminating biases in the hiring and interviewing process has never been more critical. Provide your hiring manager with education and training that can help them recognize their own biases. Don’t hesitate to bring in outside resources, speakers, or programs that focus on eliminating implicit bias in the workplace. GTN Technical Staffing: Finding and Delivering the Best Tech Talent to the Best Tech Companies Whether you are looking for temporary, contract-based work, or a permanent position in the tech industry, an experienced technical staffing company can help connect the best candidates to the best employers. GTN provides scalable technical staffing solutions that can help ensure you find the best candidates for your business. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Tech Hiring Questions Tech Candidates Wish Hiring Managers Would Stop Asking What Makes Software Engineers Stay in a New Job?  Ghosting Tech Job Candidates Can Destroy Your Reputation

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What Makes Software Engineers Stay in a New Job?

Hopping Off the Job-Hopping Train: Help Software Engineers Stay in a New Job Why do software engineers stay in a new job when so many of their colleagues move on so quickly? Compared to workers in other sectors of the economy, software engineers tend to have much shorter tenures at the companies they work for. One survey of large tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area found that almost half of software engineers left their employers within two years compared to other professions in which workers stayed with their companies for approximately 4.2 years. While many tech employers have accepted high turnover in their software engineering corps as a fact of life, they would still prefer to keep high-performing folks on the team as long as they can. Keeping good employees longer is beneficial because recruiting, onboarding, and training new hires proves a costly and time-consuming process. As such, companies need to understand what makes software engineers stay in a new job once they arrive. Here are four reasons why these talented individuals will stay with an employer rather than looking ahead to their next gig. Competitive Salaries Can Make Software Engineers Stay in a New Job Software engineers have been, are, and are likely to remain in high demand. The best among them will catch the eye of the best tech recruiters and other employers who will make affirmative overtures to lure them away from their current jobs even if they weren’t necessarily looking for new opportunities. Everything else being equal, the simplest way to get someone to leave their present position is to offer them more money. Even without an offer, software engineers are aware of what the market will pay for their skills and talents. Employees are more likely to stay put if they know there aren’t necessarily greener pastures awaiting them. Recognition and Acknowledgement Money is a great motivator for software engineers, but it’s not the only one. People don’t like being taken for granted or feeling like their hard work goes unnoticed. Given the high turnover in the industry, shiny new hires can frequently become the focus of attention, leaving longer-tenured engineers to toil in obscurity. Engineers who feel valued, who receive positive reinforcement, accolades, or acknowledgment for their efforts and accomplishments, will feel much more satisfied in their roles. That satisfaction will not only make them more likely to stick around, it will likely increase performance and productivity as well. Growth and Challenges Boredom and stagnation are insidious enemies for individuals like software engineers. People who are intellectually curious and crave new challenges can quickly lose their enthusiasm in a position that does not provide them with enough stimulation and opportunities for growth. Software engineers who come into work knowing they may face something different, have a new problem to solve, or engage in tasks that expand their skillset will continue to look forward to coming into work the next day, and the day after that. Similarly, companies that provide software engineers with policies and programs focused on their continued professional growth will feel a sense of loyalty and gratitude to an employer clearly invested in their employees’ success. Teamwork and Values Nobody wants to work with or for jerks. Nobody wants to attend meetings or collaborate on projects with people who are unpleasant to be around. And nobody wants to be at a company that has or allows a toxic work environment. All the money in the world may not be enough for individuals who dread their colleagues, bosses, and their workplace in general. Conversely, companies that create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose and that take affirmative steps to build a positive company culture will find that they develop a workforce that is happy, motivated, and committed. It can be much harder for a software engineer to pick up and leave a place for which they have a legitimate fondness. GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting The Right Tech Talent With The Right Tech Companies Whether you are looking for temporary, contract-based work or a permanent position in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. As the leader in technical staffing, we are sure to find the right fit for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Tech Job Recruiting Information Technology Virtual Interviewing in a Post-Pandemic World 6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview How to Get What You Want: Salary Negotiations 101  

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Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later?

In the Gig Economy, Contract Work Isn’t the Red Flag It Used to Be As many tech workers spend months or years on temporary or contract gigs, whether out of economic necessity or personal choice, they may ask themselves, “Will contract work hurt my career?” Meaning, will doing what you need to do or prefer to do to make a living in the tech sector today damage your prospects for permanent, steady, corporate employment tomorrow? While every employer works differently and will take their own approach to evaluating a candidate’s work history, contract work is no longer the red flag it may have been in decades past. In reality, most folks making hiring decisions understand that the world has changed. Hiring managers and tech recruiters know that contract work in the “gig economy” is no longer an outlier or a sign that a candidate is somehow “less than” just because they work on a contract basis. That said, employers do want to see certain qualities in the people they hire for essential roles. Therefore, extended periods or multiple stints of contract work may be called into question. So, you ask, “will taking contract work hurt my career in the tech sector?” So long as you have a compelling and understandable explanation for working temporary or short-term gigs and can demonstrate talent, commitment, and consistency as through lines in your work history, such work should not hurt your chances for a long-term corporate job Contract Work Probably Won’t Hurt Your Career – Especially Now As is the case in almost every other sector of the economy, tech companies increasingly rely on contract workers as a core part of their business model rather than as a way to fill in talent gaps here and there. It isn’t unusual for a company to have more temp workers than full-time salaried staff. Google, for example, employs more than 130,000 people on a contract or temp basis. That exceeds its 123,000 full-time employees. Many companies even incorporate a contract work option in their job search function. Given that tech companies are in constant need of talented contract workers, they are unlikely to see such work as unusual when it appears on an applicant’s resume. They know that top-notch programmers and others take temp gigs because temporary contracts often pay extremely well while offering exciting or interesting challenges. Contract work may only become more acute given the instability and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. When long-term planning becomes more difficult, short-term hiring becomes a way to address immediate needs without making lengthy commitments that could backfire if economic conditions worsen. Companies Recognize the Appeal or Necessity of Contract Work Tech companies recognize that the economic conditions that gave rise to the “gig economy” play a significant role in why so many people in the industry take on temp work. But they also understand that other factors may make contract work either a necessity or an appealing option at certain junctures in a person’s career. Perhaps someone needed to take care of an ill family member and needed the flexibility that comes with a contract position. Maybe a new parent took some time away from their full-time career to raise their children but still wanted to keep their skills fresh and remain connected to their chosen profession. As employers are now more generally attuned to issues of work-life balance and career paths that don’t always follow a straight line, they also will get how contract work fits into these paradigms. “Will Contract Work Hurt My Career?” Not If You Can Prove You Have the Goods Historically, hiring managers saw “job hopping” as a potential sign that a candidate either lacked the commitment to stay in a job or had issues that led to their frequent and repeated departures from positions. But such transitions are simply part of the deal in contract work. Projects end. New opportunities arise. Moving from one gig to another is more just the ebb and flow of being a contractor than a sign of wanderlust or incompetence. When a tech interviewer asks about your time doing contract work, explain why you took the position and why you (or the project) moved on. With those issues out of the way, the focus will turn to the substantive work you performed and how the experiences contribute to your qualifications for the open position. Whether you are moving on from a term gig or a corporate job, you still need to show that you have the goods. The quality of temporary work you performed proves just as important as it would be in a long-term job, and the people you worked for or with on a contract project can still provide you with positive references. Finally, remember that in almost all circumstances, a period of contract work on your resume is better than a period of no work at all. Companies would rather hire someone who demonstrates a solid work ethic and commitment to building their skill set than someone who sat around for months doing nothing. GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting Talented Tech Workers to the Industry’s Best Jobs Whether you are looking for temporary, contract-based work or a permanent position in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. We are a leading technical staffing solutions company, encompassing SOW, staff augmentation, and direct hiring placement for Fortune 2000 companies. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Job Hiring 6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview 10 Interviewing Tips for Tech Hiring Managers for 2020 Contract or Permanent Work? Here’s How to Decide

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How Will COVID-19 Shape Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector

In an Ever-Changing Employment Environment, Some Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector Changes May Stick Around No company, no industry, and no aspect of doing business have escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes recruiting and hiring in the tech sector. Since emerging earlier in the year, the virus has fundamentally altered the way technology companies approach attracting, screening, and onboarding new talent. Appropriately for the information technology (IT) industry, many changes relate to an increased reliance on and leveraging of technology throughout the recruiting and hiring lifecycle. For job-seekers and candidates, adapting to these evolving processes is as critical to getting an offer as their technical skills, experience, and credentials. As the latter half of 2020 looks to be as uncertain and unpredictable as the first half, COVID-19 will continue to shape recruiting and hiring in the tech sector. Here’s how. Virtual Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector Is the New Norm As offices closed, employees stayed home, travel of even a few miles became a dubious and unattractive proposition.recruiting and hiring became more and more virtual. Many application, screening, and evaluation functions were already technology-heavy, but the pandemic forced the in-person, interactive, and insightful interview process into two dimensions instead of three. Virtual interviewing is now the rule rather than the exception. A virtual interview requires candidates and interviewers alike to adapt to the limitations and realities of trying to make a positive impression within the confines of a computer screen. Reliable technology on both sides is imperative, as is treating the interview with the same level of seriousness, preparation, and professionalism as one would an in-person interview. When it becomes once again safe and reasonable to have face-to-face interviews, many tech companies will no doubt do so. But the attractive qualities of virtual recruiting and interviewing – easier scheduling and logistics, faster-hiring timelines, and lower costs – mean that many tech recruiters and hiring managers may be more inclined to keep things virtual than they would have pre-COVID. Changed Expectations About Working Virtually Companies looking to attract top tech talent already knew that offering flexibility and accommodations for working virtually, at least some of the time, was an appealing and powerful recruitment tool. That is even more true now. Many, if not most, currently employed tech job candidates have spent the better part of this year working from home. Once these folks settled into their jury-rigged workspaces, got the hang of Zoom, and found ways to minimize distractions (e.g., kids wandering into virtual meetings), it became easier for them to see working virtually as a way of life. Additionally, with the virus still a threat, returning to an office environment may seem like an unnecessary risk, at least for now. A recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll about the pandemic and remote work found that 65% of employees would work from home full-time after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, given the option. Sixty percent would be more likely to apply to an entirely remote position if they were looking for a new job. For employers recruiting and hiring in the tech sector, the overall success of moving most of their enterprises online may make them less reluctant to facilitate virtual work. As with virtual recruiting, changed attitudes about remote work will likely outlast COVID-19. Increased Opportunities For Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector When the tech industry initially reckoned with the scope and severity of the pandemic back in March 2020, many tech companies put the brakes on hiring and recruitment, as did businesses in other sectors. But the very changes discussed above – increased reliance on technology infrastructure in both recruiting and in conducting business – has blunted the economic impact felt in other parts of the economy. While COVID-19 will have varying effects on different roles in the tech sector, there’s a healthy if not expanding demand for many skill sets. One recent report indicated a robust market for cybersecurity specialists, systems engineers, and .NET developers, in particular. GTN Technical Staffing: Helping You Navigate Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector If you need assistance with technical staffing and recruiting during these evolving times, GTN Technical Staffing provides creative and scalable staffing solutions encompassing SOW, staff augmentation, and direct hire placement for Fortune 2000 companies. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech talent landscape. Read More on Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector What Makes Software Engineers Stay In a New Job? How to Respond to the Technical Interview Question: “What Would Your Co-Workers Say About You?” Remote Work: Wellness for Tech Employees Working from Home

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6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview

Video technical job interviews have become increasingly popular throughout the last few years, and with the recent COVID outbreak they have gone from popular to necessary. The mandated video interviewing can bring about a lot of stress and anxiety, especially if you’re not comfortable on video (and let’s face it, a lot of us are not!) Here in this video you’ll learn about six tips from GTN recruiters Ashton Murray and Cate Novak to help you feel confident, relaxed, and ensure you ace your next video interview. In this video, you will learn these video interviewing tips. 1. Dress to Impress Dressing appropriately will help you feel more confident and come across well to the interviewer. Don’t think just because you’re on video the interviewer won’t notice what you’re wearing. 2. Eye Contact Eye contact may seem awkward on video, but it’s just as important as if you were in person. Making and keeping eye contact throughout the interview will show the interviewer you are focused completely on the interview and nothing else. 3. Reliable Equipment Nothing will make you seem more unprepared than scrambling to get your equipment to work when the interview starts. Ensure your iPad, phone, tablet, computer, whatever device you are using is charged and ready to go and test your microphone and camera beforehand. 4. Be Prompt Though you don’t want to arrive too early, arriving late will not bode well for you. You can’t blame traffic for being late to a video chat in your living room. And also be careful not to be too early. Anything over ten minutes is too early. Being about three minutes early is ideal. 5. Minimize Distractions Distractions are one of the top pitfalls in video interviews. Dogs barking, kids running in the background, doorbells going off, all will throw you and the interviewer off. Find a quiet place free of all people and distractions. 6. Prepare Ahead of Time Just as you would in a physical interview, prepare for a video one. Research the company, come up with a list of questions and review the job description thoroughly. The last few months have turned the world upside down in so many ways, and the hiring world is no exception. Don’t let the fear of video technical interviewing get you down. Follow these six tips and you’re sure to impress! If you’re still feeling apprehensive, contact GTN Technical Staffing today to learn more about how our innovative approaches to land your dream job. More to Read on Technical Job Interviewing How to Respond to the Technical Interview Questions: “What Would Your Co-Workers Say About You?”  Information Technology Virtual Interviewing in a Post-Pandemic World Interviews Are the First Date: How to Make a Lasting Impression During a Tech Interview

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Ghosting Tech Job Candidates Can Destroy Your Reputation

Ghosting Tech Job Candidates: Don’t Be Haunted By Your Failure to Communicate Even if your tech company has a stellar image and wonderful culture, ghosting technical job candidates can destroy your reputation as a tech recruiter. Leaving potential hires in the lurch, desperately hoping for an email, voicemail, or smoke signal from you will leave them with a justifiably lousy impression of how much your tech recruiting company respects candidates and employees. And it is an impression that they are sure to share far and wide with other talented, sought-after tech candidates who may think twice about an opportunity to work with you. The term “ghosting” first arose in the context of personal relationships. But the bitterness and disappointment that follows such disappearing acts in romance can be just as powerful in business. In fact, the impact can be much more profound and longer-lasting. What is Ghosting Tech Job Candidates in the Hiring Process? Ghosting in the context of tech recruiting and hiring can happen at any point after a candidate first submits a resume and cover letter. But the farther someone is in the hiring process, the more problematic ghosting becomes. Most candidates in the tech sector who respond to a job listing don’t expect any type of initial response beyond perhaps a confirmation that your company received their materials. They know that every IT job posting gets a ton of applications. They get that a tech hiring manager won’t have the time or inclination to send out hundreds or thousands of “thanks, but no thanks” emails. They understand that once they hit “Send,” it may be the last interaction between themselves and your company about the position. But once you do respond to a candidate, either seeking more information, wanting to arrange for a screening interview, or scheduling a substantive interview, the stakes become much higher. Now, the potential hire believes they have a real shot at the job. As you raise their hopes, you also raise their expectations in terms of communication. How Ghosting Tech Job Candidates Can Destroy Your Reputation If a candidate puts the time and effort into preparing for and participating in an interview, they justifiably expect you to acknowledge their commitment, even if you won’t be making them a job offer. A simple response to let an interviewee know they are no longer under consideration shows you respect them. Similarly, if your hiring process unexpectedly takes longer than anticipated, advising candidates who remain in contention of that fact is an appreciated and thoughtful gesture that reflects well on how you treat others. Conversely, radio silence at such a juncture comes across as a sign not only of disinterest but also of profound disrespect. It leaves candidates with the impression that you do not value the people who work for you. If you can’t take the time to write a two-sentence email that will allow a finalist for a job to move on with other opportunities, the candidate may think, your company probably treats existing employees with the same dismissiveness. And they won’t keep that impression to themselves. Job Seekers Share Their Experiences Online – And Other Job Seekers Listen Tech company hiring managers that ghost candidates may falsely presume that it’s only an issue between the company and the candidate. But the job seeker likely thinks differently. The tech community may be large, but the online world they live in is small. Just as people share their work experiences on sites such as Glassdoor, so too do those looking for work. A survey by the Human Capital Institute found that: Sixty percent of job candidates report a negative experience with the employers they engage with. Seventy-two percent of job seekers report sharing their negative experiences online. Fifty-five percent of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative reviews by other candidates. Let GTN Help Your Company with its Technical Staffing Needs Word travels fast if you have a habit of ghosting job candidates. If you’re not careful, you could find your company on the receiving end of the silent treatment over and over again. You can avoid that fate by developing and implementing a strategy for consistent communication with candidates at various stages in the hiring lifecycle. That way, ghosting won’t come back to haunt you. If you need assistance with technical staffing and recruiting, GTN Technical Staffing provides scalable staffing solutions encompassing SOW, staff augmentation, and direct hire placement for Fortune 2000 companies. Contact us today to learn how we can help you. Read More on Tech Job Hiring How to Provide Interview Training for Hiring Managers Trends for Women in IT Careers – From a Tech Headhunter Versatility vs. Specialization? Heed the Advice of an IT Staffing Recruiting Agency

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How to Respond to the Technical Interview Question: “What Would Your Co-Workers Say About You?”

Acing One of the Trickiest Technical Interview Questions You are crushing all the technical interview questions thrown at you during your programmer interview when the person across the table delivers this curveball: “What would your co-workers say about you?” Unless you’re a mind-reader or your co-workers randomly share with you their opinions about your skills, character, and personality, your answer will require some serious thought and consideration. But getting this question (truthfully) right is critical to your chances of getting the job and advancing your technical career. Technical interviewers ask this question to get insights into how you perceive yourself more than how others perceive you. They want to know whether you play well with others and will be a pleasant and productive presence in the office. They may compare what you say to what your references say about you, or use it as an opportunity to test your interpersonal skills and self-awareness. As you prepare for your next big interview, you should also be ready to answer this trickiest of technical interview questions. Here are six tips about how to respond: Identify Your Strengths If others talk about you, you would no doubt prefer them to speak about your strengths and positive attributes rather than your weaknesses or shortcomings. Write down a list of your best qualities, especially the technical and interpersonal skills apparent to those you work with. While you certainly want to emphasize your programming or other technical skills and competencies, don’t neglect “soft skills” that can be just as important. Do your colleagues find you helpful, organized, and reliable? Do they consider you to be a hard worker and a positive presence in the workplace? Are you a detail-oriented problem-solver who handles adversity well? Hopefully, they say “yes” to these questions, and you can truthfully convey that in your interview. Focus on the Job Description Before your technical interview, go back and thoroughly review the job description. Your outstanding qualities only matter if those qualities are relevant to the position. So, while you may be rightly proud of your pub trivia prowess or love of dogs, they say nothing about your abilities as a software or system engineer or attractiveness as a potential co-worker. Focus your answers so they correlate to the desired skills, experience, and characteristics as the company expressed them in the job listing. Connect Characteristics to Actions Be prepared to provide concrete examples of how you’ve leveraged your positive traits during your career. If your co-workers say you perform well under pressure, describe a situation where you did so. If creativity and innovation are in your wheelhouse, discuss a specific time where your ingenuity helped advance your employer’s goals. Focus on one trait connected to one anecdote. By talking about actions instead of words, it gives the interviewer a better sense of how you would handle similar events in the future. Avoid Red Flags All of us have our flaws, and most of us worked with at least one person who we probably rubbed the wrong way. Now is not the time to focus on either of those things. You know interviewers like team players, so don’t describe yourself as a “lone wolf” or say, “I never really spoke with my co-workers..” While confidence is a positive quality, arrogance or an inflated sense of self is not. Saying, “My colleagues would tell you that I was the best programmer they ever worked with – because I am” will not put you in the best light. If You Have Evidence, Use It If you have tangible, written evidence reflecting how highly your colleagues or supervisors thought of you, use it. Performance reviews, laudatory emails or texts, or accolades for your achievements all transform your answer about your co-workers’ opinions from speculation to fact. Try to identify common themes or characteristics to back up your own descriptions of your strengths and talents. Ask Your Co-Workers What They Think If you are comfortable doing so and can ask discreetly, go directly to the source and have your co-workers tell you what they think about you. Ask them how they would describe you to someone calling for a reference or to another professional in your industry. As with performance reviews and emails, your colleagues’ answers have the benefit of being real, truthful, and insightful. Your Dream Technical Job Is Out There. We Can Help You Get It. Your ability to deftly answer technical interview questions is just one of several ways you can set yourself apart from other candidates. Preparing, practicing, and putting thought into a technical interview before you arrive will give you and your career search an enviable competitive advantage. You can further your chances of landing that dream position by leveraging the power, resources, and experience of the best technical recruiting and staffing agency in Dallas, Phoenix and nationwide. Contact us to learn more about how our innovative approaches can help you take your technical career to the next level. Before You Go Information Technology Virtual Interviewing in a Post – Pandemic World How to Handle the “Desired Salary Question” Like a Boss? Interviews Are the First Date: How to Make a Lasting Impression During a Tech Interview

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10 Interviewing Tips For Tech Hiring Managers For 2020

interviewing tips for tech hiring managers

Interviewing Tips for Tech Hiring Managers: Be Ready To Drive The Process All interviewing tips for tech hiring managers relate to one fundamental truth about the hiring process: it’s a two-way street and you need to map out your route to reach the destination.  Yes, your company has entrusted you with the enormous responsibility of identifying, interviewing, and ultimately securing the best possible candidate for a technical position. That is your mission and agenda. But the person sitting on the other side of the table (or on your Zoom screen) has a mission and agenda as well. They want to learn whether your company is a place they want to be. The prospective employee wants to know what to expect in terms of culture, attitude, and approach. And that all starts with you, the interviewer.  As a tech hiring manager, you need to recognize that you’re the face of your company as far as candidates are concerned. That means your effectiveness at recruiting and hiring can come down to the impression you give during the interview process.  If you come into the interview unprepared or unfamiliar with the candidate or position, it will not only hobble your ability to assess the person’s qualifications, but it will reflect poorly on you and your company as well. If you appear aloof, impatient, or inattentive, or if you act condescending or disrespectful, expect to hear “thanks, but no thanks” from highly qualified candidates more often than you would like. Interviewing Tips For Tech Hiring Managers As you prepare for your next round of hiring, keep these ten interviewing tips for tech hiring managers in mind to give you the best chance of snagging the best person for the job. 1. Be prepared As an interviewee, you no doubt spent time learning about the company and position so you would be able to deftly respond to questions, understand what the interviewer was looking for in terms of skills and qualifications, and ask thoughtful questions of your own. Put the same amount of preparation into your role as interviewer.  Thoroughly understand the requirements and responsibilities of the position you need to fill. Be able to identify the required software and/or hardware skill sets and desired qualifications. Review the candidate’s resume so you can ask insightful questions about their experience and career trajectory. Have questions prepared in advance. Don’t be that interviewer who appears to be reading a candidate’s cover letter and resume for the first time while they sit across from you in uncomfortable silence. 2. Attitude and attentiveness This interview is a big deal for the person looking for a job. It should be a big deal for you as well. At a minimum, you should act like you recognize the importance of the interview to the candidate (as well as to your company). That means being engaged, interested, and focused. It also means treating the person and process with respect. No checking your phone or your email or excusing yourself to deal with another matter. Make it clear to the interviewee that this meeting is a top priority for you and demonstrate that you want to learn as much about them as you can. 3. Atmosphere and appearance Keeping with the theme of respect and seriousness, conduct the interview in a comfortable and private setting. You want the candidate to relax, open up, and be conversational during the meeting, and you want an atmosphere conducive to that. Similarly, make sure that your appearance reflects well on you, your company, and the degree to which you consider the interview to be of importance. 4. Ask interviewees the same questions Asking each candidate the same series of questions can be an effective way of drawing contrasts between them. It also reduces the likelihood of discrimination claims. This doesn’t mean that you need to ask interviewees only those same questions, just include them as part of the larger, naturally flowing conversation. After all, you’re a questioner, not a questionnaire. 5. Avoid open-ended and vague questions “Tell me about yourself” is not a question, but rather an invitation for the candidate to tell their preferred narrative in a way that’s unlikely to give you any more insights than what appears on the resume in front of you. Ask specific questions about their roles and responsibilities and inquire about challenges or experiences that have impacted them professionally or personally. Listen attentively and take notes so you can ask follow-up questions and probe further. 6. Don’t talk too much This may seem like an obvious part of being an effective interviewer, but you can easily find yourself doing a lot more talking than listening. No one likes “dead air,” and it is natural to want to fill an awkward silence. But if you ask thoughtful, targeted, and effective questions, the interviewee should be a font of useful information. 7. Avoid hypothetical questions “How would you handle _____?”  “What would you do if _____?” These hypothetical questions about how the candidate would act or respond in a hypothetical situation will only get you hypothetical answers. It’s easy to make yourself the hero in a story that has yet to be written. Instead, ask about actual events, challenges, or other difficult episodes and learn how the candidate responded – and what they would have done differently –  to get a better sense of how they might deal with similar situations in the future. 8. Screen candidates by phone Resumes can say a lot, but there may be threshold questions that they don’t answer. If one of two simple questions can determine whether you should even consider the person for the position, it can save everyone’s time to have a brief phone interview to eliminate those folks who simply don’t qualify. 9. Invite questions As noted, the candidate wants to learn about the position and your company just as much as you want to learn about them. Invite them to ask questions and be ready to provide informative answers. 10. Follow-up Once…

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Information Technology Virtual Interviewing in a Post – Pandemic World

virtual interviewing

How to Have a Solid Virtual Interview From Your Living Room Instead of in a Conference Room  As is the case in other industries, information technology companies now conduct a substantial amount of day-to-day business through the use of Zoom and other video conferencing platforms, and this includes virtual interviewing of new hires. Screening and evaluating candidates remotely has become standard operating procedure in our post-pandemic world. But you can’t give or receive a firm handshake online (or IRL anymore, for that matter), and making good eye contact is a lot harder when your eyes flicker between your webcam and your image on the screen. These are just two of the challenges faced by technical job seekers trying to score their dream information technology (IT) job, and those who want to make the right hiring decision, all through a laptop or cell phone. While technical interviews may now take place in living rooms instead of conference rooms, candidates for IT jobs still want to make a positive and lasting impression. Hiring managers still need to get a good sense and complete picture of the person under consideration. While many qualities that make for a good in-person interview remain the same – confidence, clarity, inquisitiveness, and preparation, for example – participants must make adjustments to account for the virtual nature of their technical job interview.  Here are five video job interviewing tips that can make your next information technology virtual interview as productive, informative, and successful as it can be.  Check Your Virtual Infrastructure Before Virtual Interviewing Imagine showing up for an in-person interview and not being able to open the door. Not the best start. If your internet connection is questionable or if you are unfamiliar with the videoconferencing platform to be used in your interview, it can similarly get things off on the wrong foot.  Do a trial run with a friend or family member and check your microphone, headset, and camera. When you speak, ask the other person how you sound and whether they can hear you clearly. Make sure you fully charge your laptop, tablet, or cell phone before your interview. Also, double-check your username or handle; if your interviewer sees that they’re talking with “DonkeyFace_13,” that won’t be a good look for you.  Make Sure Your Surroundings Are Quasi-Professional During the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all become used to seeing where and how people live or at least seeing the room they use for their videoconferences. Make sure that what appears behind you is neither cluttered, distracting, or embarrassing. Nobody expects you to recreate a shiny and sleek executive suite, but nobody wants to see a man cave or dirty dishes stacked in a sink either. Similarly, if you use a virtual background, keep it professional and minimalist.  You don’t want to appear as a shadow of yourself or as shrouded in mystery, which is how you will look in poor lighting. Set up lighting that’s bright but not too glaring, and that illuminates your face from the front. Natural light tends to work best. Minimize the Likelihood of Distractions We’ve all seen the videos of restless kids or clueless spouses wandering into the frame or crashing folks’ important virtual business meetings. Find a location where such interruptions are least likely to occur and ensure that everyone else in your household is aware that you have a critical technical job interview happening. Make a “Do Not Disturb” sign that you can hang on your door during your interview and any other video meetings you will attend.  Silence your cell phone and the ringers on any landline phones near you. Turn off any notification sounds and alerts on your computer as well.  Related: The One Interview Question You Must Have an Answer For While most tech recruiters and/or hiring managers will empathize and be forgiving if an interruption does happen given our collective circumstances, it can throw you off your game and disrupt the rhythm and flow of the interview.  Dress For Success Yes, it’s been nice to be able to work in sweatpants or a bathrobe when we feel like it. But a job interview is not one of those times. Professional business attire makes just as important an impression on video as it does in person. Your appearance conveys that you take the process seriously and treat it with respect. A great look will also make you feel more confident and on your game.  Wear what you would wear to a face-to-face interview, but check how your outfit appears on screen to make sure that the colors or patterns don’t create a distraction.   Patience, Projection, and Posture One of the more annoying aspects of videoconferencing is the tendency of participants to accidentally talk over each other due to delays and other technical glitches. Pause for a second or two longer than you otherwise would when responding to a question or making a comment to ensure that the other person finishes speaking.  When you talk, do so with the same confidence and projection you would if you were in the same room. Similarly, sit up straight, don’t slouch, and try to avoid moving around or fidgeting. Honing Your Virtual Interviewing Skills Can Pave The Way For Real IT Opportunities The upheaval to the tech industry caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented. But the saying that out of great crises comes great opportunity remains true. Companies in Texas, Arizona, and nationwide are hiring, and your dream IT position is out there, even if you’re stuck inside. By refining and perfecting your virtual interviewing skills, you can give yourself the best chance of snagging that coveted job offer.  Speak with a Tech Recruiter Get your questions about information technology virtual interviewing and job search answered by scheduling a free consultation with a professional tech recruiter at GTN. For more opportunities and other industry advice, follow us on Linkedin and/or Facebook. Also, keep tabs on our tech job list, we are constantly updating it with your next project.   Before You Go…

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