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
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
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?” 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
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
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 Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later? Interviews Are the First Date: How to Make a Lasting Impression During a Tech Interview
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…
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…
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
Creating a technical career is about more than adding skills and past projects to your resume. It also requires tech salary negotiation skills. Learn more.
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 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 major 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 score card, dress poorly because this will leave a huge negative impression before you ever 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 principal 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 Oftentimes it may feel difficult 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 in a creative and innovative way. 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 volume — 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 that one guy who genuinely thinks he is amazing 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 80’s. But it’s important to let the other party know that you have taken an interest in what he does and who he is. Knowing key 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 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 those 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 its 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.
The Importance of Technical Recruiters When you are looking for a new launching point in your IT career, it is important to find a technical recruiter who understands your values and priorities. Whether you already have a job and are looking for a change or are actively seeking a new gig, you need to be on the same page. When you invest in a technology recruiter, you are making an investment not only in yourself but investing a trust that they will help you find that next big step in your career. That isn’t something that should be taken lightly so vetting your technical recruiter is an important step in the job-seeking process. The Power of a Good IT Tech Recruiter Good recruiters at the best information technology staffing agencies will expand your horizons. You should be presented with opportunities that you didn’t know were even there, or ones that you didn’t think you were eligible for. It is important that you do sufficient research yourself so that you know what opportunities interest you most. But a technical recruiter who is well versed in the industry should be able to provide you with more personalized job opportunities, that your own searches haven’t produced. The applications of your skills and strategy should be tailored to each unique IT job opportunity that you are qualified for within the industry A key reason for using a technical recruiting firm is to find possibilities that you otherwise wouldn’t know about. There are a variety of reasons why this could be useful for you. If you are currently working, it can be difficult to juggle your job, a job search, and your everyday life. With all of this going on, there is no way you can scour every tech job opportunity to find the one that is best for you. Let a tech recruiter take one of those off your plate. When employers need to fill a position, there is no rule book that discusses how they are to communicate that job opening to the world. Most of our technical recruiters have been in this industry for years. So we have developed relationships with a variety of different companies, which gives us the advantage of the knowledge of job opportunities before they are posted on a job board. Characteristics of a Good Tech Recruiters Employment Status Before you commit to a technical recruiter, you should ask questions about his own experiences, much like an interview. Check to see how long he or she has been with the technical recruiting company and the information technology industry. If there is little experience under either one of these categories, he or she probably isn’t the best choice as your recruiter. For example, GTN recruiters have a deep knowledge of the technology industry, therefore they understand how your strengths can play into making you the perfect candidate for a company. Also, it’s ideal to have at least 3 years of experience and upwards of 10 is excellent. This time in the technical recruiting industry means more contacts and more valuable expertise that can be applied to your job search. Time with the company is important too. A high turnover rate within an organization may be a red flag of poor processes. Numbers Don’t Lie If you work in technology, you understand the power and certainty that reports can supply. If you want to understand the efficiency of a process, you run the numbers to assess the production. Now, apply the same logic to assessing a prospective technical recruiting agency, by asking how many successful placements have been made in the last month and in the last year. A productive number would be 3 placements a month per recruiter. This number allows for each recruiter to have a vested relationship with you, the client while finding opportunities in a timely fashion. Action Items When you leave your first meeting with your new tech recruiter you should have a clear understanding of what you should be expecting. Meaning, you should have a timeline with detailed expectations of what will take place by that date. Action plans that are vague lead to unreliable recruiting efforts. In this initial meeting, there should be an in-depth interview to understand your skill sets, aspirations, weaknesses and previous work experience so that your job opportunities can be successfully catered to you. This way, the recruiter can also make sure that the resume you are giving prospective employers is the best representation of you. You shouldn’t feel like you need to hide anything or over embellish to your recruiter, being completely honest is the best way to ensure that he or she fully comprehends your abilities. Time is of the Essence Since this is your career we are talking about, you should feel as though there is a sense of urgency in your plan. If you feel as though you have a strictly 8-5 recruiter, you may have the wrong guy (or girl). A tech recruiter who is willing to work late nights, early mornings, or even on the weekends is one who is truly committed to you. You should be in constant communication about any possible leads, including incongruities an opportunity has with things that are important to you. For example, if a job is in a different location or has a different payment structure than what you were expecting, a good recruiter should bring these issues to light. Your Tech Recruiter is Long Term Relationship This point of communication does not end once you have been placed either. A good recruiter will stay in touch, even after finding you a job, to ensure you are still satisfied with it. This allows him or her to stay up to date with your experiences and even recommend new opportunities to you that he thinks you would enjoy. That way if you ever become dissatisfied with your employment again, you have a relationship with someone who fully understands your experiences and can find you the next great job…
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.