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IT Pros: Relying Strictly On Technical Skills Can Cost You The Job

In today’s digital culture, you know that your tech skills are invaluable to many organizations, and as society continues to innovate, your ability to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends will become even more important to the organization’s success.  “This means more job opportunities as a result!” says Steven Lustberg, Account Executive within The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division.  “However, when you know that your skills are in high demand, it can be easy to rely too heavily on your technological background as you look for your next opportunity.”

When you receive an opportunity for a job interview, it is important to remember that a job interview is about more than just assessing your skills or your ability to fulfill the job requirements.  “Just because you can technically do the job, it doesn’t mean that you are the right fit for the role,” says Steven.  “You still need to prove to the employer that you are the best candidate out there.”  In addition to assessing your skills, employers are also looking for these qualities in a new hire:

Cultural Fit:  The success of an organization is closely tied to its employees’ ability to work well with one another.  “This means that hiring for personality is also important,” says Steven. “You must fit into the company culture that has been established at the organization.”  While you may think that this is as simple as being agreeable or easy-going, remember that each company’s culture is slightly different, and you may not be the best fit for each one.

Communication Skills:  In addition to your technical skills, your communication skills can be a big indicator of whether or not you would be a good hire.  If your manager or your coworkers have any difficulties in communicating with you in regards to a project, it can hinder the quality or speed with which it is done. As a result, employers are looking for your ability to communicate effectively during your interview, as this is a good indicator for the future.

Potential for Growth:  When an employer extends an offer, they are making an investment in you.  “As a result, an interviewer must assess whether or not you’ll continue making meaningful contributions to the organization throughout your tenure,” observes Steven.  “If it doesn’t seem like you have the potential or drive to keep growing within the company, the employer may not take the risk on your hire.”

Versatility:  In addition to a diverse skill set, employers are also looking for versatility or adaptability in regards to your surroundings.  “An employer wants to see someone who can work in a team as well as work by themselves,” notes Steven.  “They also want an employee who doesn’t mind taking direction from another employee while also being able to effectively manage a team.”  With this kind of team player, you’re more likely to assemble a team that is well-equipped to accomplish their shared goals for the organization.  If the interviewer feels like you’re a loner, you may miss out on the opportunity.

In order to prove that you possess these in-demand qualities, prepare for your interview by doing the following:

Do your research:  To understand what you’re walking into, it is important to research the company ahead of time.  By perusing the organization’s website and social media, you can learn a lot about their values and culture, as well as how you might fit into that picture.  “Additionally, if you’re working with a recruiter, be sure to ask them about the interviewer,” suggests Steven.  “They’ll be able to give you the most detailed information on what you can expect when you walk into the interview.”

Prepare your answers:  While you can’t prepare for every question, you should at least have answers ready for the questions that are commonly asked in an interview.  “By preparing your answers ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to be thrown off by a question, and your answers will be more polished than if you decide to wing it,” says Steven.  “Additionally, you can prepare responses that include examples of your adaptability and teamwork skills to prove that you would be a great hire.”

Prepare questions to ask:  The questions that you ask at the end of the interview can be an excellent indicator of a candidate who has the potential for long-term growth at the organization.  “When you ask thoughtful questions about their process or their culture, it can give them more insight into your personality and your long-term goals,” says Steven.  “The questions you ask show what you care about most, so make it count!”