Don’t Make These Mistakes During the Job Interview!

The IT industry has been experiencing continued growth for years and there is no indication that things will change. Recruiters are constantly looking for new employees and the number of job offers is still increasing. However, many newcomers of the IT industry are unable to find themselves during the interview, so we have prepared a set of most common mistakes during the recruitment process and some tips on how to avoid them. Just read them carefully and you will definitely learn something that will help you to shine during the next interview.

phone call

I’m sorry, what time is it?   

This may seem obvious to you, but one of the most shameful mistakes people make when they are invited for the interview is that they are late. For many recruiters, being late is understood as a lack of respect and ignorance of the candidates. If you are late for the most important meeting, how will you keep up with your tasks? By being late you obviously lose the trust of the recruiters and the interview can go in a completely wrong direction. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

TIP: It is worth to set up a schedule of the day before the planned interview in order to reach it at least 5-10 minutes beforehand. When you arrive earlier you can always take a deep breath, calm your nerves and concentrate on what might happen during the meeting. Last-minute running in, breathless or late doesn’t really help you to win the hearts of the recruiters.

May I see your portfolio?

If you are completely new to the industry and the interview is your chance for a dream job, you must do the best you can. If you do not have professional experience in the IT field, the recruiter will pay attention to your portfolio. It is due to your portfolio that you will have a chance to present yourself and prove your skills. Therefore, preparing an excellent portfolio is an absolute necessity. A recruiter will also pay attention to the GitHub account because a contemporary programmer should have it. A portfolio filled with all the projects you’ve worked on can definitely make you stand out from the crowd. You can show your individual way of working and your own style. Don’t forget that by bringing a portfolio with you to the interview you show your involvement and prove to the recruiters that it is your passion and that you are not only limited to what you learned during your course or studies.

TIP: Remember that your portfolio must be up to date before the interview. Make sure that all your projects are described and highlighted in your portfolio. This will really make you less nervous because you will know that you are well prepared.

Based on your resume, I assume that…

Sometimes reading someone’s resume we wonder why that person wrote that. Writing the right resume is an art. It is very easy to make a mistake, which may result in not inviting you to an interview or in making wrong conclusions by the recruiter. A resume is supposed to present your strengths and describe what you can do. There’s no place for bragging or lying. This should be a list of your skills and an indication of your passion, so it doesn’t make sense to write down all the jobs you’ve worked in since high school if they have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for. There is no point in writing something about which you have no idea because during an interview someone may ask you about it and then it will be hard to get out of it.

TIP: If you cannot present many years of experience in the position you are applying for, focus on your strengths, what courses you have attended or what projects you have done in your spare time. Prove to the recruiters that it’s your passion and don’t lie because it always comes out.

If you don’t know the answer, don’t make it up!

Sometimes during a job interview, the recruiter may ask you a question to which you simply do not know the answer to. Don’t try to give the impression that you are more knowledgeable about a particular topic than you really are. Admit openly that you don’t know the answer to this question. Guessing or changing the subject won’t do any good. Think about it for a second, don’t say whatever you can think of. Try to speak loud and clear so that your interviewer will not have to guess what you said.

TIP: If you don’t know the answer to the question you were asked, you can turn it into your own advantage. You can ask for additional information or an explanation. In this way, you will prove that you can overcome such stressful situations and that you learn quickly. The recruiters will certainly appreciate it.

three wise monkeys

My previous boss was a fool!

It is commonly known that not every employer is a real gem and sometimes we find ourselves with a real fool, with whom we simply cannot work. However, an interview is not a place to share your traumatic experiences. No employer wants his employees to talk bad about him or her or to have a negative attitude towards work, so you must strongly avoid negative comments about your previous job and your previous boss. This really won’t work for you, so there’s no point in making yourself a victim, as the recruiter may misunderstand you and conclude that it may have been you and your bad attitude that affected the previous employer. It’s just gonna ruin your reputation. Additionally, nobody wants to work with someone who is always negative and looking for problems. Remember that your future employer is seeking someone positive, optimistic with a good attitude and who can resist problems and tensions.

TIP: Instead of saying bad things to your previous boss or job, say that you are changing your job because you want to finally do what you love, that you want new challenges, that you want to develop and perfect yourself, that you want to change your work environment. Anything but a negative attitude.

So what do you know about our company?

Would you come to the shoe shop and ask if they have fresh bread rolls? No! So why would you want to go to an interview without knowing the company you would like to work for? Almost every interview includes the question “What do you know about our company?” or “Why did you choose our company? These questions are not only intended to prove that you have done the research, but also to show that you really want this job and that you try hard to do so. I don’t think you want them to think of you as lazy or insufficiently motivated.

TIP: Find out more about the company you are applying to. The pieces of information are everywhere on the Internet – check the official website of the company their LinkedIn, Facebook, it will really take you a moment and can definitely help the recruiters in choosing your candidacy for the position you are interested in.

Let’s talk about money.

Talking about money during an interview is always a little awkward, and it should never come out of your behalf. If the only thing you care about is money, try not to make it so obvious because it will definitely discourage the recruiter. Companies are looking for people with passion and it is the passion, dedication and commitment that they are ready to pay for and not just for some newcomer.

TIP: If the recruiter asks you about your financial expectations, specify the amount corresponding to your experience. If you don’t have a lot of experience it’s worthwhile to get interested in a job that may be less profitable but will allow you to gain the knowledge necessary for promotion. Money is not always the most important thing.

I don’t have any questions!

In general, at the end of the interview, the recruiter asks if you have any questions. Many people don’t ask the recruiters questions because they’re afraid they’ll ask something that might sound stupid or they just don’t know what to ask. It’s never well perceived by the recruiting team. For many recruiters, this’s a clear signal that the person simply does not care about the position. If there are no questions and the explanations of this is a phrase such as “I have already received answers to all my questions”, it simply means that the candidate is not very interested in the job. Don’t you really want to know exactly what your duties will be? Are you really not interested in what career path looks like in a particular company? If not, it just means that you are wasting your time as well as that of the recruiters, and that’s just not cool.

TIP: There are a few questions which show that you really care about the position you are applying for. You can ask questions such as, “Are there any additional duties associated with the position I’m applying for?, “How many people are involved in a project?”, “What technologies does the team work with?” or “How will the results of my work be measured?”. These are really important questions.

We hope you will find all the information we provide usefully. A job interview is really important and it is worth spending some time preparing yourself for it. Especially if you are applying for your first job in the IT industry you should try to do your best. We wish you good luck and if you have any questions or reflections, please let us know.


If you want to switch your career to the IT sector, we recommend reading more about our programming courses.