Though your IT adventure isn’t taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s filled with some of the same exciting twists and turns that the on-screen story brings to life. Like your favorite Star Wars characters, faced with choosing between good and evil, your choice to become an IT pro set the course for your future. It also meant that you’ll have to make many more difficult decisions in the years to come. For some, these decisions may not only have included considering one offer, but choosing between two or more opportunities. Due to the tech talent shortage, IT pros may frequently find themselves in such a position during their careers when planning to move into a new full time role. Knowing how to professionally navigate the process, from communicating with IT hiring managers to making a sound decision, will be key to helping you land the best opportunities. Before entering the “battlefield,” consider these tips from the Star Wars big leagues:
Whether your plans for 2016 include searching for new IT gigs, advancing your career by acquiring additional IT certifications, or going after an Academy Award, a strong personal branding strategy is essential to launch you into the next season. While you may not be able to spend the millions of dollars on your personal branding campaign that Hollywood invests in the Oscars each year, you can gain valuable insight by seeking self-promotion and marketing tips from the film industry experts. Keeping these 4 tips in mind at your next IT interview will help you to improve upon and spread the word about your professional reputation by focusing on those unique attributes and soft skills which make you the right fit for a new gig.
Make a lasting impression at your interview by skillfully navigating the inevitable opener: “so… tell me about yourself.” No matter how many key interviewing stories you have in your back-pocket, many IT consultants still feel uncertain about how to approach this open-ended start to an interview. However, this opener is nothing to shy from: It is a terrific opportunity to take charge of the interview and talk about your strengths, qualifications, and why you’d be good at the job, while also expressing who you are personally and professionally to your interviewer. You want to interest and impress your prospective employer without running the risk of talking too long and becoming boring, or giving a negative impression. Make the most of the opportunity to “tell about yourself” by having a three-minute (or so) answer prepared. Turn to the examples of movie trailers – which similarly aim to deliver a strong message in a tight time frame— to help you navigate your story with personality, engage your interviewers, and leave them wanting more.
In the same way that seasons change, so do our interviewing practices. Conducting a Skype interview doesn’t have to be difficult. Take advantage of the medium and avoid distractions. Get the most from your Skype interview with these tips:
Turn It Off
One of the easiest mistakes to make while giving Video interviews, or phone interviews for that matter, is to leave other electronics running that distract us from the task at hand: discovering if the person interviewing is a good fit for your company. Respect your time and theirs by turning off notifications, setting your cell phone to the side, and giving your undivided attention to the interviewee. Don’t miss a key sentence or opportunity to learn more because of an email notification.
Having the right equation can make all the difference in your job search. Take some of these lessons from the Big Bang crew to make positive and long lasting impression with your interviewer, from making a bold move to learning the right non-verbals. We have some insight from all your favorite characters for your next interview.
What we learn from Leonard:
Leonard may fit into the “nerd” or “geek” category, but he’s constantly open to trying new things, even encouraging his friend and roommate, Sheldon, to break out of his rigid routine. Break out of your normal routine for job searching. Take a chance and go after a job that might be “out of your league”. Interviewing for a job out of your league requires you to stretch yourself and prove you have what it takes. In your interview, make a bold move by sharing how you can be a successful addition to the company. It’s often bold moves that impress an interviewer.
Who would have believed that the Jetsons’ prediction of video calls 50 years ago would have been spot on? Or almost. Just like George would talk to his boss Mr. Spacely, we now have Skype Interviews and video meetings. Although video interviews are not quite as second nature as they were in the Jetsons’ home, you can follow these tips for video interviewing like a pro.
Help out the house like Henry Orbit.
The Jetson’s house is always illuminated thanks to their maintenance man, Henry. To begin preparing for your interview, look at the lighting in your space. You want to make sure you’re not a shadow to your interviewer. How can you avoid shadows? First, maximize the use of natural light by positioning yourself near a window. You can sit facing the window, or to the left or right of it to optimize that natural light. Second, turn on lights in the room and move them so that the light fills in the darker spaces. If you want to do lighting like a pro, use a softer light aimed toward your face, a backlight to add dimension to your space, and fill lights to balance the light on either side of your body.
Save your company some time and money by beginning your hiring process on the phone. Phone interviews can narrow down your applicant list and help you find compatible and qualified employees. However, giving a phone interview can be just as difficult as being interviewed over the phone. Take some notes from casting directors to conduct a great phone interview and be sure to do the following 3 things:
1. Prepare the set
Use a headset.Ever get a pain in your neck after a long phone call where you shoved the phone between your ear and your shoulder so you could ferociously take notes? A director doesn’t follow an actor around with a boom mic or push around a camera; he has a grip for that. So why should you do things the hard way? Instead, use a headset while giving phone interviews. This allows you to be hands-free so you can more easily take detailed notes about the phone interview. This will set you up to ask better, more pointed questions in your follow-up, in person, interview.
Even when it’s not the season of spooks, an interview can be scary. In the light of day, you’re probably excited that someone saw your resume and thought your technical skills, references and education were up to par. But when you’re heading into an interview, it can be like the lights have gone out and suddenly every creaky step on the way to the door is a bad omen. If you’re feeling like this interview is a scene from Halloween, it’s time to face your fears; it’s probably not as scary as you think.
You’re probably sick of hearing about the hot IT job market, but the fact that it is an IT job seekers’ market makes it more important than ever for hiring employers to see interviewing as a two-way street. The interview offers an opportunity for the employer to make a positive impression on the candidate. It is a chance for the employer to not only gauge whether a candidate is a good fit for the organization, but also to show what is has to offer. To make the best possible hire for your company, consider the following advice commonly given to job interviewees — and how they’re relevant to interviewers too.
You’ve reached that point in the interview – the momentary lull following a series of Q & As when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. It’s important to know that the interviewer is not doing this to answer literally any question you might have, but rather to observe whether you’ll ask the kinds of questions that exemplify that you’re a good fit for the organization.
What You Shouldn’t Do:
Don’t be fooled: This is still very much part of the interview and something you should prepare for.