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

tech job cover letter

Let’s talk about writing a tech job cover letter. But first, imagine your typical first conversation with a new acquaintance at a business meeting. Hello, it’s nice to meet you! What’s your name? What do you do? What do you want to do? It was really nice meeting you, I’d love to talk to you again sometime. Much like the first conversation you have with someone, a tech job cover letter should provide a high-level view of who you are and leave the reader wanting more. Your tech cover letter, along with a strong resume, will set the stage for why you would be great for a specific technical job. You should stand out without showing all your cards the first time they hear your name. Why is a Tech Job Cover Letter Important? The first impression given by a cover letter for a tech job leaves a greater impact than simply describing your previous employment and qualifications. Side by side, a resume of two individuals is easy to compare, allowing the hiring manager or IT recruiting firm to see who is qualified or not. However, a strong cover letter for a technical position can move you to the top of the pile for multiple reasons. Bullets points on a resume leave little room to apply communication skills. On a tech job cover letter though, you have to articulate the highpoints of your technical experience that make you the best candidate for the job. Especially if the job you are applying for is client-facing, clients with the strongest communication skill will stand out among the masses. The other reason that a tech job cover letter is so important when partnered with a resume is that it’s the first sign an organization has as to whether or not you will fit in their company culture. The way in which you write your cover letter and the tone you use if done correctly can make you seem like a great fit on paper, giving you a leg up when you come into the office. For example, if you are joining an IT firm, then a more technical/ professional tone could be appropriate. However, if you are looking to do web design for a marketing firm, being a bit more conversational may strike the proper cord. So do some research on the company before you submit your tech job cover letter. What to Put on the Cover Letter for a Technical Job Always keep your tech job cover letter short and simple! The Intro First, address the hiring manager by name if possible or simply address it, Dear Hiring Manager of the (insert position your applying for and their name) and introduce yourself. Follow that with personal anecdotes and your profession. If possible, include an anecdote that is unique or ties you to the business or company. The Middle Here, explain your technical career work history and accreditations that make you a strong candidate for the tech job. Describe the leadership positions that you have held while detailing the growth you have seen over the course of your career.  The key is to focus on information that is NOT in your resume. Now you don’t have to detail every single event in your professional life, but detailing your development and growth through various technical jobs and accreditations will help the hiring manager understand who you are and lay a solid groundwork for your interview. If the tech recruiter or hiring manager sees something intriguing in the letter that he wants to know about, he can ask you in an interview. This alone would set you apart from the crowd because he will remember you when you walk in and after you walkout ‘Ohhh you’re the guy that did that one thing that one time, tell me more about it’ See? You stand out! The Conclusion In the end, you want your tech job cover letter to articulate the mutually beneficial relationship that hiring you would make. Detail what about them as a company is attractive to you, or why the technical position you are applying for is intriguing to you. Couple that with a statement on how you would be an asset to their organization and boom you have the perfect tech job cover letter! Need Help Finding a Tech Job? If you are looking for that next opportunity to put your new tech job cover letter to use, please send your résumé to GTN Technical Staffing to be contacted by a recruiter. If you’re not sure if you are ready or not, browse our search technical jobs website and see if anything interests you. Before You Go Hot Coffee Here: A Look At Contract Java Developer Opportunities Trends for Women in IT Careers – From a Tech Headhunter

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Interviews Are the First Date: How to Make a Lasting Impression

As the leading tech recruiting and staffing agency in Dallas and Phoenix, we are often asked how to make a great impression during a tech interview. First impressions matter, but they aren’t always the final ones. This goes for both first interviews and first dates. However different, they are oddly similar. To excel at both, it is better to focus on the experience rather than the result. Coming off as desperate won’t impress anyone on either side of the table. Everyone is unique in different ways. If you are confident in your strengths and qualities then trust the process and let whatever will happen just happen. To learn more about virtual interviewing, read here. The Little Things The little things, if done well, don’t mean very much; however, if carried out poorly can be a significant negative mark against you. You need to dress well to create the best first impression during a tech interview. The proper outfit should only keep your initial impression score neutral or slightly enhance it. However, if you want your dress to make big marks on your scorecard, dress poorly because this will leave a huge negative impression before you even open your mouth. Ideas: What to Wear for a Tech Job Interview Another way to ensure you don’t ruin a tech interview before it starts is to simply be polite. The same principle that was discussed above can be applied here as well. While you may not walk away at the end of a first impression during a tech interview with your date or interviewer saying, “Wow, he was polite,” it is easier for the interviewer to do their job if you allow them to say, “Goodness, he was rude”. Leave a strong impression that makes it impossible to come to any conclusion other than politeness. We have seen tech candidates who looked like a great fit lose out on an opportunity after being rude to the receptionist or someone else not directly involved in the hiring process. Show What Makes You Confident Often it may feel challenging to master the art of telling a potential employer how amazing you are without becoming cocky, so show it instead of telling it. When an interviewer asks if you are a problem solver, instead of saying, “Yes I approach everything like a puzzle” Say something that demonstrates a time when you solved a problem creatively and innovatively. Maybe you saw an issue before anyone else and proactively acted, or maybe you came up with a creative solution to a problem that your coworkers had been dealing with for some time. Be specific. Related: The One Interview Question You Must Have an Answer For Anything that provides examples of your skills will speak volumes — more than anything else you could say to describe the qualities you possess. Plus, you avoid leaving a bad taste in your interviewer’s mouth when you sound too confident. We all know one guy who genuinely thinks he is fantastic and isn’t ashamed of telling everyone. Most people run, hide, or act busy when his footsteps are heard coming down the hall. Don’t be that guy. To make a good impression during a tech interview, walk that fine line between confidence and cockiness. Confess Your Feeling You should let the other party know how you feel about him. Now, this isn’t some cheesy, romantic comedy from the ’80s. But it’s essential to let the other party know that you have taken an interest in what he does and who he is. Knowing critical factors about the company you are interviewing with can help establish the fact that you are genuinely interested in it and that you have taken the time to learn about it. You are not simply stringing the company along. Great questions to ask that make a positive impression during a tech interview are those regarding culture, experiences, and even future projections. Understanding the culture is the equivalent of asking about family and friends on a first date. It helps provide an idea of how you could possibly fit into the relationships that are already in place. If both parties feel like they are better together than apart then it is a good fit. Experiences are also a great conversation topic to make a lasting impression during a tech interview. Past projects, duties and responsibilities, and how you can relate to that help increase your chances that the other party will find you to be a good asset to their company. Talking about the future requires a very orchestrated dance on a first date in order to keep the relationship from moving too fast. Talking about a company’s future though, and including yourself in the picture, builds a strong case for a mutually beneficial hire. So, do your homework! Know the key players and goals of the company. That way your questions can be truly inquisitive and from an educated place. There is no worse impression during a tech interview than asking questions that display how much you truly don’t know. The Start of Something Great Whether it’s a first date or an interview, there will be nerves, the need to put your best foot forward, and questions and answers that feel rehearsed. But if you have found one, it will be easy for both parties to see how the other would be an asset to their life.

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The One Interview Question You MUST Have an Answer For

The One Interview Question You MUST Have an Answer For

Everybody knows the basic interview questions, the ones that you can expect to always be asked. Strengths Weaknesses Challenges you’ve faced Top Skills Why you’re a good candidate for this job If you’re not straight out of school, you’ll likely hear “Why are you on the job market?” or “Why are you looking to change or switch jobs?”. In the technology field, you’ll also be asked about your skills and experiences with various technology programs or tools. These are ALL good questions to be prepared for. You want to show that you have done the research on the position and the company, and you want this job offer. You also want to prove that you are highly skilled in the technology field whether that be as a developer, programmer, engineer, etc. But none of those is the one interview question you must have an answer for. This question could be the defining factor for whether or not you receive that second interview (or whatever point in the process you are at). Yes, it’s THAT big of a question. So, what is it? What is the one interview question you must have an answer for? “Tell me about a tech project you’ve worked on in your spare time” You may be thinking, what, that’s it? But not having an answer to this can be a big turn-off for a company because it’s an important question. Why is this question so important to have an answer to? There are a few reasons. You Care About Your Profession Companies want to hire an IT or technology professional that not only works hard in the office but outside of it as well. This isn’t to say that you should have zero free time because you’re so busy with projects in your spare time. But a tech professional who is passionate about what he/she does is more likely going to show that through side projects—projects where they get to have fun and explore the open possibilities out there in the tech world. This innate characteristic of being curious and driven is a great combination for a technology professional to have. Fresh or Sharp Skills The world of technology is constantly changing. There are constantly new programs, systems, and software being brought to marketing. So, by showing that you work on projects on the side, you’re revealing that you are willing to freshen or sharpen your technology skills. It also shows that you are curious and keep up to date with current trends and technologies—a huge plus to companies hiring tech positions. Showcase Knowledgeability It’s one thing to talk the talk in your professional career, it’s another thing to walk the walk. Working on a tech project in your spare time allows you to showcase just how knowledgeable you really are. It’s likely that in your side projects you are also learning slightly new processes, methods, or skills which is also a plus! If you can show that you are taking what you have learned through school and your years of experience and applying them to outside projects—especially if it is a niche or specific area of your skill or expertise—you are going to be a much more attractive candidate to an interviewer. On top of simply asking you about your side projects, they often will ask you how you stay motivated, what interests you about a project, and what your ultimate goal is. So, this is why if you don’t have any outside projects, don’t lie. Because you’re just going to get dragged deeper and deeper down. If you truly don’t have a side project, be thinking about one to start. Or in the interview, mention one that you are thinking about starting to show that it’s something that’s on your mind. But if you do, be proud to tell the interview about it and everything that you’ve done or are doing. Better yet, if you can show your interviewer a demo of the app or site you built or other projects you’ve done, that’s like the cherry on top of this question. It’s always important to be prepared for your interviews and the questions they may ask you. Having outside projects that show how you apply your knowledge and skill to work that’s outside of your actual job’s work. If you have a perfect side project you’ve done but are searching for a job to apply to, check out our job listings. If you need help preparing for a job interview or understanding how to frame your side project in an interview, we’re here to help with that as well! And in the meantime, go start a side project that will wow your next interviewer. Remember, it could just be the difference between getting the job or getting rejected.

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