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How to Master the  Technical Interview – (Part 2 in our 2-part series)

If you are seeking a new job, there is good news.  The talent war is on.  According to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, graduates are “entering the strongest job market in nearly a decade.“ As a result, many companies struggle to find the right candidates. According to ManpowerGroup’s recent Talent Shortage Survey, nearly 40 percent of employers say they struggled to find talented candidates to fill jobs in 2016.  But even though most agree that 2017 will continue to be a job seeker’s market, the competition for positions in science and technology remains highly competitive.  So, how can you gain a competitive edge against highly qualified candidates? In the last Blog, we outlined the steps for successfully preparing for a technical interview, including guidelines that should be applied both during and after the interview. Now we will dive into the details and focus on tips that will help you master different interview formats.  Your interview may be conducted over the phone, via video or in-person. You may in fact encounter one, some, or all of these formats during your interview journey, and it’s important to understand how to best handle each one.

Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews are often the first stage of a job interview process, as it’s an effective way to screen many candidates quickly with minimal expenditure for the company. That said, in today’s increasingly busy digital world, some final tech interviews are being held on the phone or via video, especially if the interviewee will be working remotely.

Typically, your first contact with a recruiter will come via email or LinkedIn, and you’ll set up a time for a scheduled phone interview. Make sure you plan a time when you will be able to be in a quiet space that will allow you to focus without distractions, including allowing 5-10 minutes prior to get yourself in the right space for the call. Also, many job seekers make the mistake of trying to fit in a phone interview during their lunch hour or some other finite time block, without considering that the interviewer may run a few minutes late. Finally, be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call. Once your phone interview is properly scheduled, here are some tips to make it a success:

Prior to the Interview

During the Interview

Post Interview

Video Interviews

More and more employers are conducting initial job interviews over Skype or other online video services, hoping to get a better feel for candidates than a phone conversation would allow. In addition, video interviews are fairly common for tech jobs, since these jobs are often remote. Here are some tips to help make your video interview a success:

Prior to the Interview

During the Interview

 Post Interview

In-Person Interviews

Securing an in-person interview is a big step towards getting hired, as it shows that the company thinks highly enough of you and your potential to invite you for a visit. In-person interviews are rarely the first step in the process and often involve multiple members of the hiring team. The in-person interview is your opportunity to make a great personal and professional impression. Here are some tips to make it a success:

Prior to the Interview

During the Interview

Post Interview

Conclusion

You’ve worked hard to master the technical skills that got you the interview. Now it’s time to apply what you have learned in this series to take you across the finish line and secure that coveted position.  Attention to detail makes all the difference and may just be what sets you apart from other equally qualified candidates.

About the Author

Rachel Hardecke is the Managing Director of the Western Staffing Region for Astrix Technology Group, where she leads a recruiting team focused on serving scientific and engineering firms. During her 7 years in the Scientific Staffing Industry, Ms. Hardecke has had extensive people and project management experience, as well as a highly successful track record in working with both customers and candidates to form successful partnerships. 

Ms. Hardecke is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Internal Auditor/Technician, and has a B.S. in Agricultural Business Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.