How to Prepare for an IT Interview

man interviewing for a job in information technology IT

 

You’ve done the work! You completed hours of coursework, passed your exams, and received your certification. Congratulations! Your next step is preparing for your first job interview in the Information Technology industry.  

Not all job interviews are created equally though, so we asked an expert in the field for some tips and best practices when interviewing for an IT position.  

Oswald Luraghi is a Master Practice Principle for Hitachi Vantara, a data storage systems provider headquartered in Santa Clara, California. He started his IT career as a desktop support specialist in the 1990s and has more than 30 years of industry knowledge.  

Beyond the IT Certification

Getting certified is just the first step in starting a new career in any field, but especially the IT career field. However, just having a certification doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job.  

Oswald agrees certifications for entry-level jobs are important, but also added, “it’s also going to be very important to be able to articulate and understand what you’re doing, not just pass a test.”  

Graduates need to be ready to demonstrate the knowledge they gained from their program during an interview. So, brush up on your lessons and study your notes before walking into an interview appointment.  Be as prepared as possible for any questions they throw your way.  

Know What You Want

This may seem obvious, but an important aspect to consider is what you actually want out of a new career. Sometimes it’s possible to be so focused on getting a job, we can lose sight of why this job at this particular company.  

In a job interview you have a chance to negotiate salary, start date, and other important work-related benefits. Prepare yourself by making a list of what you are seeking for these items so you don’t risk becoming flustered in the interview.   

“Understanding the negotiation process and the financial side of it is also really critical…if you know your value and you know your number, then that’s what you go in with,” said Oswald.  

Even if you’re a newly graduated IT professional with little-to-no experience, you can still make important career choices.  

Oswald added, “unfortunately, a person who doesn’t have much experience doesn’t have much to negotiate with, per se. But what they do have the right to do is choose the environment, choose the situation, and sometimes taking less money in a better company is better for them career-wise and health-wise.”  

Don’t Get Intimidated

It’s natural to be nervous before an interview, but don’t let that stop you from staying focused. Taking the time to prepare yourself can give you the confidence you need to perform well during the interview.  

  • Research the latest IT industry trends/news 
  • Review basic interviewing tips and tricks from blogs/articles/videos 
  • Be prepared to go through multiple rounds of interviews with different people 
  • Right before the interview, take a few deep breaths to help calm any n

“You’re going to be hit with multiple different people and questions. These interviews make it seem like you need to know everything, but nobody knows everything. So, honestly, being able to think on your feet and being ok with not knowing everything. That’s what [people] need to be ready for,” advised Oswald.  

Also, if you have attended a career education center, take advantage of their free student Career Services and job placement assistance offered by the school.  

Final Words of Wisdom

Whether you’re just starting in IT or have been in the field awhile, you’re probably going to go through the job interview process, likely more than once (unless you’re getting ready to retire). If it’s a job or position you really want, do yourself a favor and prepare, prepare, prepare.  

And, if that particular job or company doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of IT jobs out there right now in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and there are no signs of the IT job market slowing down.  

Oswald ended with, “for those who are going into IT, it’s okay to not know [what you want to do] as you’re getting started. You might start in coding and end up in management, you might start in management and end up in coding. Just see things through, don’t give up. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, don’t give up.” 

When seeking job training, it’s important to consider a vocational school that provides instructor-led classes, both online and on-campus, teaches in small classroom settings, and offers lab exercises that match the related industry certifications. Additionally, a good school will provide test-prep training at no charge and reliable job placement assistance services. 

Click below for the full interview with Oswald Luraghi.  

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