Going on an interview is always stressful. No matter how you psych yourself up, it always ends up with you choosing three different outfits on the morning of the interview and then as you finally step foot out the door, a state of panic sets in. What is the interviewer going to be like and will your degree and previous work experience meet with their approval? How many other applicants are out for the job you want? And, so it goes. By the time you arrive at the location, you have worked up a sweat and have convinced yourself they will not like you. Stop right there!
Why You Shouldn’t Panic
Keep this in mind. They must have liked what they saw on paper or you wouldn’t be there. Do you know how many dozens of other applicants they bypassed to get to their A-List? Yes, that would be you – an A-List candidate! Take the time to read this IT Interview Guide and you’ll see that the only thing you need to conquer at this point is your own fear. Panicking will get an IT professional nowhere. You will often be under pressure when some glitch in the system needs to be immediately addressed and they look to you to keep everyone else together. It is your job not to panic.
When You Are Thrown an Off-the-Wall Question
So, you would expect questions regarding your degree, your history, your experience along with your likes and dislikes. But, what happens when the interviewer throws in some seemingly random question that seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with anything? What if, like in the above-mentioned IT Interview Guide, you were asked the difference between an elk and a moose? How would you respond? The answer isn’t important, but if you are truly interested, the article is cool. Actually, it’s how you react which is important. Will you freeze and give them a quizzical look, or will you take the question in stride and come back with an equally comical answer, but obviously in a respectful tone?
Lost in Cyberspace
IT isn’t the only field where an interviewer will try to trip you up. Most jobs today are dependent upon your ability to think on your feet. You are supposed to be the master of cyberspace, not lost in cyberspace, so show them what you’ve got. Take the question for what it is. They are looking to see how you act under pressure. They know you are not expecting anything about an elk or a moose or even a dinosaur, for that matter, so handle the question with finesse. Don’t panic.
Don’t act as if they’ve lost their own minds. Simply come back with, “Well, gee, I’m not sure but I am sure I could write a program to have the answer to you by day’s end.” That’s what they want to hear – confidence. They want to know that if you are presented with a problem, you can assure them the answer is just around the bend. They want to know how you handle problems, not necessarily if you had the answer at your fingertips. That’s a true IT professional. One who knows the answer lies in the digital realm, and as the expert, you’ll find it. Can you do that? If so, you’ve got the job!