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Centrics Group  >  Career Center  >  Interview Tips

The Stages of an Interview

IT Interview Tips

Interview Preparation is Key

Acing your job interview is imperative. There are typically 4 stages of an interview. By understanding the stages, you will be fully prepared for your interview and be one step closer to landing your next IT job opportunity
  1. Stage One: First Impressions
    • You have only one chance to make a first impression. They will set the tone for the entire interview, whether positive or negative.
    • Make sure to give a firm handshake and always be standing. Make sure you distinguish between a firm hand shake and crushing someone’s hand.
    • Take notice of your surroundings, commenting on a picture or object in the office can be a good ice breaker.
    • Make sure you have good posture when seated, no slouching. Maintain eye contact and be aware of your body language and any nervous gestures.
    • Remember, anything you do while in the building is part of the interview, from meeting the receptionist to walking out the door. Formal and informal things you do can and will be judged.
  1. Stage Two: Interviewer Questions
    • Answer all questions fully, no simple “yes or no” answers.
    • Try not to answer anything in a negative light. If you do not have experience with something they ask, answer in a way that relates your experience to something similar. i.e. “No, but I do have experience with…”
    • If you don’t understand the question, ask them to restate the question.  Make sure you do not answer the wrong question.
    • Try to give examples of your specific experience and accomplishments. Be sure not to go off on tangents, answer questions fully. It is ok to ask the interviewer if they would like you to go into more detail.
    • The Money Question:  Many people will ruin their interview on this question.  When asked what kind of money you are seeking, keep the response open. i.e. “Of course money is important, but I am more concerned with the opportunity, people, and career path. Everything sound great to me and I am just looking for a fair offer for someone with my experience.”  Try not to give a specific number. You can tell them what you are currently making or what you made in your last position.
    • Be prepared for common questions: Goals, strengths, weaknesses, reason for wanting this position, why they should hire you, and why are you looking for a new position.
  1. Stage Three: Candidate Questions
    • Make sure you have prepared questions to ask the interviewer(s).
    • When I join your team, how can I contribute to the company and the team?
    • How are top performers rewarded?
    • Where would you see me within the company in the next 3-5 years?
    • Why is the great opportunity and company to work for?
  1. Stage Four: The Conclusion
    • This is the chance to make sure the interviewer has all the knowledge about you and your experience.
    • Ask them if they have any concerns that you may be able to help clarify.
    • Let them know you want the job. i.e. This is definitely a position I am interested in, how do I compare to the other candidates you have interviewed?
    • What is the next step and when can I expect to hear back?
    • End the interview by thanking the interviewer for their time and give a firm handshake, while standing, as you leave.
  1. Other Tips:
    • Make sure to grab business cards of everyone you meet or make notes of names and titles, so you can send thank you notes.
    • In a thank you note/email, make sure to restate why you would be a good fit for the company and the position.  Do not just send a generic “thank you for interviewing me”. Use this as one last method to sell yourself.

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