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Saggezzians Share the Key to Acing an Interview

After you’ve landed a job interview in the tech sector, you need to put your best foot forward and prepare for how you’re going to convince the people interviewing you that you’re the best candidate for the job.

If you want to set yourself up for success and wow the interviewer/s, we’ve got you covered.

Our Saggezzians have rounded up their top tips to help you feel calm, confident, and ready to ace your interview!

How to prepare for an interview

Preparing for an interview can help to set you apart from other candidates, feel confident on the day, and be ready for the questions that you are likely to be asked.    

Tim Ruebensaal, Java Software Developer at Saggezza

“Read up on the company and prepare questions that showcase your research and interest.
Add employees on LinkedIn and reach out to them to ask about their experiences.”

Russell Craxford, Head of Quality Management at Saggezza

“Check for connections in the company and don’t be afraid to ask them for an insight.

“Look at the company blog and the company values – often companies frame interview questions around their values.

“In advance of an interview note down and go over your core selling points, what motivates you, and some of your strongest real-world examples of achieving success.

“Check out your interviewers on social media, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. See what makes them tick if you can.

“Practice answering typical interview questions with friends, family or record yourself. Did you give the information clearly and concisely?”

Michael Gilboy, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Saggezza

“Understand your own CV and projects you have worked on and be prepared to answer questions on those subjects.”

Matt Nicholson, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Saggezza

“If you’ve listed certain skills on your CV, e.g., specific technologies; be prepared to explain when you’ve used them and to give real life project examples. You may be asked about your level of knowledge, the context the tech was used in, etc. Just saying that you have got a skill isn’t enough.”

John Wright, Talent Acquisition Manager (UK) at Saggezza

“Read up on the business that you have applied to. You never know at what stage an interviewer will ask you what you know about the company.”

The Interview Process

Whether you’re taking part in a virtual or face-to-face interview, now is your time to shine. And remember, it’s not just about your skills, but your personality too.

Tim Ruebensaal

“Stay calm and genuine, even if a question throws you off. Be relaxed and communicate with your interviewer. Explain your thought-process and adapt to the interviewer’s comments.”

Russell Craxford

“Take notes on the information shared with you, it can help with the next stage of the process or even a question later.

“Refer to interviewer by name occasionally to make it more personal

“Remember to breathe, slow down and stay focused especially if you’re a talker. And LISTEN – be it questions, information, or answers.

“Treat each question as a separate opportunity, don’t worry if you can’t answer one or more. It’s impossible to know what the interviewer is looking for and how important any question is. We might be looking at your behaviour not your knowledge or experience or vice versa.

“Dress appropriately and use positive body language

“Use the interview to find out if you want to join the company and not just to let the interview see if they want to hire you.

“If being interviewed at home, always have a drink handy, and if offered a drink take one at an in-person interview. It can buy you time and as you’re talking more you might find your mouth gets drier than you expect, better to have it and not need it than the opposite.

“Always ask questions at the end or during an interview. Show your engagement and interest in the role. For example: what would a day in the role look like? What would success look like in the role? What’s your view on this ‘x’ with our field? Where do you see the team in ‘x’ years? What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing currently?

“Always ask for feedback, what did they like, what could you have done better? You may not get this job, but it can help you get the next one.”

Michael Gilboy

“Be upfront around your expectations for the role you want to move in to – e.g., tech stack, and have an honest conversation and your expectations on remuneration.

“Always come prepared with questions. Demonstrate your interest in the role and the interviewers as they will be future colleagues”

Matt Nicholson

Try to minimise any distractions, especially if interviewing at home. Find a quiet space and turn off any electronic devices that you’re not using.

“Don’t use any slang or swear words during your interview or any communications with the company. It may not reflect well on your application.

“Take your time when answering questions. Make sure you understand the question you are being asked and check your understanding if needed.”

Dave Ball, Lead Developer at Saggezza

“Approach an interview with an inquisitive mind – what can you learn from the interview or the interviewer? It’s an opportunity to connect and gain experience for future situations, even if you aren’t offered the job. As a bonus, being relaxed and inquisitive helps the interviewer enjoy the experience too, increasing your chances of getting the job – have fun!”

John Wright

Ahead of the interview – check your video / audio work with the channel being used.

“If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer – say so.”

Martin Walker, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Saggezza

“If interviewing virtually, think about what the interviewer can see in your background. Make sure it is tidy or use a background on the interview platform.  Also, think about lighting so your interviewer can see you clearly. 

“Make sure to log on to the interview platform 5 minutes early.  This will give you some leeway to fix any technical problems.”

Good luck!

Saggezza is a proven technology and consulting partner that delivers personalized, high-value solutions to accelerate business growth.

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