A job interview isn’t just a chance for a potential employer to vet your abilities. These meetings are also your opportunity to determine if an IT job is a good fit for you and your career goals. By coming prepared with smart questions to ask, you can decide if this will be a good place to work — and make a strong impression on the interviewer.
With the following questions in mind, you can make the most of your IT job interview as you chart a course for your career.
1. Can you tell me about the IT team I’ll be working with?
While you shouldn’t necessarily expect to learn the names and birthdates of your potential teammates in a job interview, any extra information about the IT team can be useful for your decision-making process.
Even something as basic as knowing the number of people on the IT team can help you gauge the company’s level of support for the department. Companies with revenue between $150-$500 million typically have an average of 11 IT department employees. A number that is significantly lower than this could mean that the department is understaffed and overworked.
With more details, such as the composition and experience of the team members, and an understanding of who you would be working with and reporting to on a daily basis, you can better determine how you’d fit in.
2. What are some of the biggest challenges your IT team faces, and how would I be expected to help?
The IT department you could be joining isn’t going to be perfect — otherwise, they wouldn’t be looking to make an additional hire. This question can be quite revealing, because the employer’s answer highlights the top priorities of the company and what they ultimately expect you to accomplish in your role.
If the “big challenge” that the company needs help with sounds exciting to you or matches up with your area of expertise, you’ll probably find work compelling and invigorating. However, if the challenges don’t match up with your abilities, you are likely better suited looking elsewhere.
3. How might my responsibilities change in the future?
The IT department is always on the cutting edge of technological advances — and tech continues to change at a rapid pace. Many companies that didn’t have any IT staff members a few years ago want to have a full-fledged department. By understanding how the position has evolved over the years, you can get a better idea of what the company’s vision entails.
There is more to your role than the small, everyday tasks. Perhaps the employer is looking to the IT department to spearhead new tech adoption in the company or assist in the rollout of a new service. Learning more about the company’s long-term vision showcases your desire to grow your role, while also helping you identify potential for advancing your career.
4. What training and professional development opportunities are available?
Any IT job can and should serve as a steppingstone along your career journey, and ultimately help you get closer to your career goals. Professional development opportunities within a position are key to helping you grow alongside the company.
Examples of this could include a company providing access to industry conferences or online learning resources that help you develop new skills or improve your abilities. It may even involve mentoring from others within the department.
Professional development opportunities should also include the possibility for advancement within the company itself. Successful employees within the company shouldn’t have to find a new employer to advance to higher-level positions or receive a well-earned raise.
5. What is your approach to problem-solving?
IT departments are often tasked with finding solutions for complex problems — and often in a high-stakes environment that demands quick results. Everyone has different approaches to solving problems. Some take a more analytical approach that requires a detailed plan before going into action. Others embrace the idea of failing fast to quickly experiment with new ideas until the right solution is found.
If your style of problem-solving doesn’t line up with how a company’s IT department functions, it may not be a good fit. A work style that meshes well with your coworkers will prevent conflicts and misunderstandings.
6. What do you love about the company?
Remember, the company needs to sell itself to you, too. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask what makes an employer stand out from other organizations you could work for.
There’s no 100 percent right or wrong answer that an interviewer could provide in this situation. It ultimately comes down to what the company offers and whether that aligns with your own goals and values. Maybe they offer the flexibility to work remotely. Or perhaps they pride themselves on culture and unique benefits packages with perks other companies don’t provide.
If the person interviewing you isn’t part of the tech department themselves, be sure to specifically ask what the IT staff loves about the company. After all, the on-the-job experience can vary significantly from department to department. You don’t want to choose a job based off an HR rep’s great experiences, only to find that IT has a vastly different culture.
Asking the Right Questions Is Key
You don’t necessarily have to ask each of these questions during your interview. Quite often, some of these details will come up naturally over the course of your meeting before you ever get an opportunity to ask questions.
However, by focusing on these important areas, you can better understand what a particular IT role actually entails. You can determine if the company is a good cultural fit for you, or if you would be better off working elsewhere.
IT professionals are in high demand — with over 1.6 million openings posted from January to April 2022. That’s a 40 percent increase over 2021. You don’t have to sell yourself short when looking for a job, and prosourceIT can help.
Our career portal offers much more than a job application website — you gain access to a full-service staffing agency that caters specifically to the needs of IT professionals by connecting them with top organizations
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