Five Interview Questions Every Tech Candidate Should Prepare For

Preparation is key for success in a job interview. The more time you spend anticipating questions, preparing your answers, and planning for the unexpected, the better-equipped you will be to impress your interviewer. Below are some of the most common questions tech candidates face during a job interview:

How Will You Add Value to Our Organization?

You aren’t being recruited because of your expertise with a specific software or your experience on a certain project. You are being recruited because the company believes you can add value to their organization though a combination of your skills, experience, and personality. When you answer this question, focus on the future and not on the past.

What Makes You Special?

IT job seekers are often evaluated – and often evaluate themselves – based only on the details of their skill set. That leads to a lot of identical-looking candidates. Recruiters want to know what makes you different than the dozens of other candidates they are evaluating. Consider answering this question with an anecdote that will uniquely separate you from the competition.

How Do You Work in a Team Environment?

No matter what kind of IT job you’re applying for, you will likely be working in a team where you make a contribution and rely on the contributions of others. If you can’t thrive in that environment, it doesn’t matter how talented you are. When you’re answering, try to reference team accomplishments from your past, emphasizing what you contributed while also giving a healthy amount of credit to those you worked with.

How Do You Feel About “X” Issue?

Recruiters will often ask for your feelings or opinions about a particular issue affecting the company to see how well you’ve done your research. It is always a good idea to research the company and any “hot” issues relevant to the industry before the interview. If you’re caught off guard and don’t feel confident offering an opinion, think on your feet and try to link the question to something you do know about, but don’t risk your credibility with an answer that’s inaccurate or lacks substance.

What is Your Expected Salary?

This question is less common, but it’s important that you have an answer prepared in advance. Trying to appear modest and throwing out a low number could jeopardize your earning potential. Start out too high, and the hiring manager might record a mark against you if he anticipates a difficult salary negotiation. Research or work with your recruiter to determine the average compensation of similar professionals with similar skillets are being paid, and adjust your answer accordingly.

The final thing to remember is that you should never give a scripted answer. You want to be prepared, but not rehearsed, as this tends to make hiring managers feel like they are seeing a performance rather than a true representation of the candidate. For more advice on effective interviewing, work with the Chicago IT recruiting experts at CultureFit.