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Answers to the 11 Most Common Interview Questions

Interviewing for an IT job you really want is no walk in the park.  The more you want the job, the more stress or pressure you might feel to impress your interviewer.  The good news is, the easiest and best way to succeed in an interview is to prepare for it!  By doing research on the company and knowing everything you can about this certain job, you’ll be well on your way to being their newest hire!  It’s also wise to consider the types of questions they might ask you in your interview and what your answers might be.

Below are the 11 interview questions we see the most. And as we really want you to succeed, we’ve also given you the answers!

1.)    Tell me about your biggest accomplishment so far in your career.
This question is a great opportunity to brag about yourself.  Consider what this potential job requires and what kind of skills you might need to make big accomplishments in it.  Find an example in your past experience that showcases your skills and how you can make an impact in this potential role.

2.)    How would your previous coworkers and managers describe you?
The way you answer this question gives the interviewer insight into how you work with others.  Showcase examples of teamwork and how your coworkers or managers relied on you.  Don’t be afraid to brag on yourself a little bit but make sure you have examples to back up your thoughts.

3.)    What is your greatest strength?  What is your greatest weakness?
It’s fairly certain that you’ve encountered these interview questions before.  Answering questions about your strengths might be easier than talking about your weaknesses.  Choose weaknesses that you’ve been working to improve upon and be sure to come prepared with instances of how you’re working on it.  For example: “Organization is my greatest weakness however I’ve implemented a time management system that has helped me work on these skills.”

4.)    It seems like you’ve had many jobs in the past several years.  Why have you moved around so much?
Even though contracting is a popular career choice in IT, many managers still question why applicants have many jobs in a short amount of time.  Highlight the varied experience that your different jobs have given you, spinning this perceived negative into a positive.  If you are not a contractor but have just moved around a lot, be prepared to explain your reasoning.  Maybe you’ve relocated, perhaps they were vertical moves up to advance your career.  If possible, put a positive spin on what you’ve learned from each job.

5.)    How are you working under stressful situations?
Stress is bound to happen in your career, there’s no way to avoid that.  But how you deal with it is important and something your interviewer wants to know.  Tell him or her ways you counteract your stress into making you a more productive team member.

6.)    How are you working in a team?
It’s rare that you interview for a job that has you working solo.  Many IT projects are dependent upon many people working cohesively together.  Give the interviewer examples of times you’ve worked with others on other projects and how those projects turned out (obviously, you should only share the ones that turned out positively).

7.)    How do you keep your tech skills and knowledge up to date?
Continuous education of your IT skills is important.  Tell the interviewer if you attend any User Groups, follow any publications or have earned any certifications to continue your knowledge in your chosen field.

8.)    Tell me about your experience working at ABC Company.
When an interviewer asks you this question, they’re really trying to see how your past work experience can be related to the current role you’re interviewing for.  Prior to the interview, think about your past experiences at other companies and how it relates to this job for which you’re applying.  Also, always be complimentary about your past managers and coworkers.  No one wants to hire someone who will just talk badly about them later.

9.)    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This question is asked specifically to be able to tell if this job you’re interviewing for, fits into your 5 or 10 year plan.  They want someone who will be motivated to do well in this job and give it their all in order to be able to learn and grow for their upcoming career plans.

10.)  Why are you the best person for this job?
The interviewer wants to hear specifically what traits, skills and knowledge you can bring to this role that will make you a success.  In reading the job description and getting a good feel of the job from the interviewer, you should know what it would take to be effective in the role.  Give real-world examples and results to prove your point.

11.)  Do you have any questions for us?
It is vitally important that you have prepared questions ahead of time to ask them.  It’s possible that the interviewer may have answered your questions during the course of the interview.  This is why it is imperative to have multiple questions on hand and some questions that might be more objective to the interviewer.  For example:

Preparing for these questions is an important aspect to your upcoming job interview.  However, it should not be your only preparation.  Make sure you research the company and industry you are interviewing for as well as being familiar with the job duties and responsibilities that are required.

To find an IT job to put your interview skills to use, check out IDR’s open jobs!

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