Cray, the global supercomputing technology leader, has been partnering with ESP IT since 2011. ESP IT started working with Cray through Blaine Ebeling, Senior Software Manager. Blaine was searching for engineering consulting talent with very specific experience in Linux Systems. Throughout the years, we at ESP have learned about Cray’s particular technical needs and fantastic work culture, helping them find the strong, self-motivated engineers they’ve needed. In fact, many of the contractors we’ve placed at Cray have converted to full-time roles. Cray reaches out to consulting firms when they’re unable to find resources through their own HR recruiting staff – meaning the roles they send to ESP are especially challenging due to the competitive IT labor market Minnesota is experiencing. We’ve been able to deliver because we took the time to listen and truly understand the skills and traits needed to be a successful team player at Cray. Thanks for the years of partnership and the kind testimonial Blaine!
In the world of IT job or contract gig seeking, we often focus a lot of energy on resumes, technical summaries, networking, and other key facets to landing an interview. While all of these are important, perhaps more important—especially when it comes to in-demand .NET developer positions—is how you handle the interview itself. For many IT pros, the interview process is multitiered. Hiring managers not only want to know that you are an expert in your field of technology—they want to ensure you are a good fit for their team overall, based on your work history and nontechnical skills.
When interviewing candidates, you are looking for more than just a person to occupy a seat; you want to find the right applicant who will help your business flourish. Failing to ask probing interview questions can leave you ill-equipped to identify which candidate will help truly support your best business practices.
Before you meet with your next interviewee, consider asking questions that dig deeper into these topics to help you get the information you need to make the best decision for your business.
Fortunately, IT job seekers and contract professionals don’t need a fairy godmother to grant this wish. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best interviews are conversations, not interrogations. And in order to keep your interviewer engaged in your conversation, you need to know how to tell a good story. Fortunately, we have tips for telling three key stories in your next interview.
Think back to your childhood: to the stories you heard at bedtime, at school, around the campfire. In some ways, wasn’t the experience of being told a story just as enjoyable as hearing the story itself? Similarly, a successful interview requires good storytelling. A story told right is memorable and interesting, gives you substance, and will help hiring managers separate you from the pack of paper resumes and interviews they’ve conducted. Answer the following questions to help you prepare your stories in advance, and you’ll be sure to captivate your audience.
As an IT consultant, your professional career is marked by many choices, changes, and adjustments. While these career choices don’t consist of choosing between the light and dark sides as is the case for your favorite Star Wars characters, you must strive every day to ensure that your actions and decisions are in line with your ultimate professional goals. In light of the tech talent shortage, which has led to increased opportunities for IT pros, deciding on your path may be more challenging than ever before – particularly if you find yourself faced with multiple contract opportunities. While navigating these multiple offers or opportunities can be tricky, these tips from the battlefront experts will help you “use the force” and land your best IT gig:
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.
There’s been a recent trend in workplace “total wellness” initiatives to shift emphasis from work-life balance, to work-life integration – and we think IT pros everywhere should rejoice. Though the work-life balance camp is well intentioned, the movement still has professionals seeing “work” and “life” as two mutually exclusive, competitive facets. Instead, work-life integration sees “life” as an interaction with multiple domains, work, which has resulted in increased productivity and greater personal satisfaction. For IT pros in particular, the shift comes with many benefits, ultimately resulting in the potential to strengthen your reputation as a consultant.
Pros and Cons to Consider Before Screening for Your Contract Needs
When a company finds itself in need of an IT pro, hiring managers and IT recruiters begin sifting through a variety of resumes – weeding out candidates based on predetermined requirements for the role they are hoping to fill. In the past, one such requirement has been a consultant’s acquisition of a 4-year degree. However, many new initiatives and developments in the world of IT have necessitated a change in that mode of thinking. While we certainly wouldn’t turn this prerequisite on its head (screening for IT pros without a college degree) in many cases it has become an outdated mode of elimination. So before beginning the search to fill your upcoming contract needs, consider these positives and negatives to an IT pro having or not having a diploma. Doing so can help you make an educated decision about what you’re REALLY looking for, and can help you find the best resource for your needs.
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.