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 Nice to Meet You: Writing the Perfect Tech Job Cover Letter 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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