How to Answer the 10 Most Common IT Interview Questions

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The IT position you’ve been asked to interview for might turn out to be your dream job. You’re a little nervous, and that’s natural. You want so much for this IT interview to go your way. You’ve got the skills and qualifications listed in the job description. You’re the perfect candidate, right?

The reality is that many other perfect candidates have been invited to interview, as well. Preparing thoroughly for your IT interview is critical. While there are no guarantees, you’ll have a much better chance if you go in ready to answer standard IT interview questions. You may even find it helpful to practice your answers in a mock interview.

To prepare, read over the ten most common IT interview questions below and check out our tips on the best ways to answer them.

1. What motivated you to apply for this position?

Take time to research the company you’ve applied to, as well as the specific position. Pinpoint how two or three of your strongest skills match the requirements or desired qualities listed in the job description. Provide some examples of how you used those skills to solve a problem or improve a process. Talk about your motivation to seek new challenges and how this position can help you accomplish that.

2. Do you stay current with the IT industry, and how?

This may not be a common interview question, but in the IT field, employers will likely want some idea of how you keep up with this rapidly changing field. For example, if you regularly take online courses, subscribe to industry magazines, or follow IT blogs, you can demonstrate how you’re continuously working to improve yourself.

3. Tell us about a time when you markedly improved a particular design or process.

If you’ve been in the field for a while, you’ve probably had many chances to spot flaws in websites or applications. Some require basic fixes, but you may occasionally have made major improvements and saved time and money for your company. Be prepared to talk confidently about those examples and show the interviewers the value you can bring to the position.

4. How familiar are you with the basic programming languages?

Honesty is always the best policy in a job interview. That’s certainly the case when you’re asked about programming languages. You may be an expert in Java but fall short in C++, so this is the moment where you can sink or keep swimming. Stick with what you know, and talk confidently about it. If the interviewer asks about a language you’re not that familiar with, emphasize your ability and eagerness to learn. Provide examples from previous positions if possible.

5. What are your strengths?

There’s no right answer to this IT interview question, so it’s best to avoid trying to cover all your strengths. Have a firm grasp on the job description before the interview. From there, match a few of your strengths with what the company is seeking for this position. Talk about times when you used your strongest skills to solve a particular problem.

6. What are your weaknesses?

Don’t be shy about answering this interview question, and don’t try to twist it by responding with a cop-out weakness like working too hard. Insincerity will get you nowhere. Interviewers aren’t seeking perfection because they know there is no such thing. You’ll make a better impression if you answer honestly, but also talk about how you try to overcome those particular weaknesses.

7. What challenges or obstacles would you anticipate with this position?

It’s certainly possible that you’re a little short on one of the desired skills listed in the job description. You might need to brush up on one of the languages the company uses. Talk about that, but emphasize your track record of continually meeting challenges head on with your ability for analytical thought and logic, as well as your eagerness to learn and improve your skillsets.

8. Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?

Unless you have inside information, this could be a tricky question. You’ll want to show that you’re comfortable in both scenarios. Demonstrate that by emphasizing your ability to communicate well with team members as well as your drive to complete individual tasks, and provide examples if relevant.

9. What is your desired salary?

This is not necessarily a trick question. Companies want to know if they’re getting the best bang for their buck. Make clear that you have a good idea of what industry standards are for someone with your skills and experience, so you trust you can reach an agreement.

10. Why are you seeking a new position?

Here is your chance to assure a prospective employer that you’re seeking a long-term position, but one that better utilizes your abilities and provides more opportunities for growth than your current position does.

This list of common IT interview questions should provide you with a place to start when it comes to preparing for your job search. Also explore our mock interview services, which will help you stand out from other applicants.

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