Turning your interview into an offer

Previously in our HER + Data blog series, we covered the essentials for turning your CV into an interview. Next, we’re focusing on how you turn that interview into a technical job offer - with these essential tips for women in IT.

Women in tech - interview tips

Despite being underrepresented in the IT industry, women are acing it when it comes to performance in the technical sphere - and your performance at an interview should be no different. Your experience and qualifications have got you to the door; now, it’s time to use these top technical interview tips to get you through it.

Preparing for an interview

Preparation for an interview is crucial and should involve:

  • Finding out as much as you can about the interview process - ask your recruitment consultant whether you need to prepare for a technical test, who you will be meeting and where the interview will be held.
  • Researching the company beyond the website - recruiting managers don’t want to know what’s on their website, they want to know that you understand their customers, their pain-points and their competition.
  • Getting into the right mindset - calm any nerves by repeating the affirmation that this company wants to hire you. They want you to be the perfect candidate, with the ideal skill set, so that they can stop recruiting and start benefiting,

During the interview

Now’s the time to surpass your CV and exceed expectations by:

  • Making a great first impression - they still count. Ensure that you’re dressed appropriately, are courteous to everyone you meet, have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact throughout.
  • Answering questions - nerves make it easy to lose track of what you’ve been asked and ramble on about something that doesn’t answer the question. Avoid this by listening and structuring your answer into a story about what you did, how you did it, and what the outcome was.
  • Showcasing your soft skills - your technical skills will naturally come out as you begin answering questions, but your soft skills require a little more effort to unearth. Don’t be shy about your ability to lead a team, communicate with different departments or transform cultures.

Handling difficult questions

We’ve all been there - it’s going well and all of a sudden, you’re faced with a question you don’t know how to answer. What do you do?

  • Ask for clarification - if you don’t understand the question, say so - it demonstrates your honesty and ability to understand a situation or problem before acting.
  • Ask for time - if your mind’s gone blank ask for a little extra time to think about the question, or to come back to it later. This demonstrates your ability to take a step back and think about a situation before jumping in.
  • Ask for relevance - it really shouldn’t, but if a gender-related question arises, ask the relevance of the query, steer the conversation back to your professional qualifications, and mention it in any post-interview feedback.

Finishing the interview

It might have felt like minutes or hours, but you’ve finally made it to the end of the interview. However, you’re not off the hook yet. Successfully and professionally bring the meeting to an end by:

  • Asking questions - this is your time to show your enthusiasm for the company and the position. Come armed with pre-prepared, relevant questions and take notes.
  • Querying the next steps - find out if there’s a second stage and how long the process should take, because there’s nothing worse than not knowing.
  • Thanking them for their time - even if it went horribly (which we’re sure it won’t) remaining professional and polite demonstrates your ability to keep calm in stressful situations.

You’ve done it! Now it’s time to sit back, relax and wait for the offer to come in.

 

Stay tuned for the third part in our HER+Data blog series, offering salary negotiation advice for women working in technical roles!

Bernadette Clarke

Divisional Contract Director

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