interview with precision  


interview with precision

Do your homework

  • Find out as much as you can about the employer and the role before the interview. A corporate Web site is an excellent source for this type of research.
  • Check your local reference library for news or magazine articles on the company.
  • Talk to other IT professionals who have worked with the organization before.

Role play

  • Practice your interview skills before meeting with a potential employer.
  • The "role-play" is an excellent way to anticipate interview questions and to prepare answers.
  • Have a friend or colleague play the interviewer while you rehearse your responses.
  • Insist that your friend or colleague play a tough interviewer.
  • Repeat the role-play several times until you feel confident and prepared.

Dress for success

  • While many organizations have adopted "business casual" attire, a business suit is usually the best choice for an interview.
  • Alternatively, slacks and a button-down shirt, or a skirt with a blouse or sweater are suitable casual looks.
  • Keep your outfit simple and professional, avoiding distracting jewelry, strong colognes, and flashy accessories.
  • Ensure that you appear clean and neat to project a polished, professional image at all times.

Know the logistics

  • Show your respect for the interviewer's time by being prompt for all appointments.
  • Make sure you know exactly how to get to the interview site. Make time allowances for traffic or other delays.
  • Many organizations have multiple sites and/or buildings. Know exactly where you need to go.
  • Bring the name and telephone number of the person with whom you are scheduled to meet.
  • If you absolutely must miss the interview, provide as much notice as possible so the meeting can be rescheduled with minimal disruption to the interviewer.
  • Bring along an extra copy of your resume in case the interviewer does not have one.

In the interview

  • Make a great first impression. Greet the interviewer with a friendly smile, a firm handshake, and direct eye contact.
  • You may want to bring a portfolio into the interview. The portfolio may contain hard copy samples of your work, accomplishments, awards and certificates. Take care not to include any items that may violate the confidentiality of a past employer or client.
  • Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.


  • Begin by asking questions that will help you navigate the meeting.
  • When you respond to questions, provide complete, detailed answers.
  • When describing your skills, include related experiences such as courses you have taken, volunteer projects you have worked on, or similar technologies you are very familiar with.
  • Try to keep your responses under 60 seconds in length, checking back with the interviewer to ensure the question has been adequately answered.


  • Avoid monopolizing the conversation - spend as much time listening as you do talking.
  • Allow the interviewer to fully explain the opportunity to you and to gain some assurance that you are truly interested.
  • Pay close attention to the questions asked and provide concise, informative answers.
  • Active listening can help direct the conversation toward the skills and strengths that will help you win the position.

Think about your weaknesses ahead of time

  • Interviewers may ask you to list some of your weaknesses in addition to your strengths.
  • These types of questions are not designed to trick you, but to test your honesty and how well you know yourself. As you describe weaknesses, discuss steps you are taking to improve, such as courses or additional reading.
  • Your ability to admit to your minor weaknesses will reflect positively on you in an interview, particularly if you show dedication to improvement.
  • Do not mention weaknesses directly related to the role at hand which will likely disqualify you right away. 

Honesty is the best policy

  • Take care not to exaggerate about skills you do not have. Overstating your skills may cause irreparable harm to your reputation later on.
  • Speak honestly about all of your past interactions with colleagues, clients, and projects.
  • If you are asked about negative past experiences, discuss these truthfully and tactfully.
  • Explaining what you learned from negative experiences will illustrate your commitment to growth as a professional.

Remain positive

  • Frame all questions and comments so that they reflect positively on you.
  • Pose all questions in a positive tone.
  • Your tone will speak volumes about your attitude toward the position and your sense of professionalism.
  • Ask about the job content before asking about compensation and benefits.

Recap pertinent information

  • By the end of the interview, ensure that you have all information you require to decide whether you want to accept the position.
  • Be certain that you are clear on the role and what will be expected of you.
  • Ask whether there will be adequate opportunity for advancement.
  • Taking a moment to recap your discussions throughout the meeting will show that you are a good listener who is skilled at summarizing.

Close the interview by soliciting feedback

  • Before leaving the interview, solicit immediate feedback from the interviewer.
  • Leave yourself the opportunity to uncover and address any unanswered questions or concerns.
  • Focus on the negative, asking the interviewer exactly what might prevent him or her from bringing you into the organization.
  • Close the interview only after all outstanding issues have been addressed.
  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate your interest in the position.