Under the Hood

The New Zealand IT industry is one of the most exciting in the world. Whilst we have our fair share of enterprise organisations, we also boast a broad range of technology start-ups.

As an IT professional it can be challenging to clearly understand the range of different opportunities that exist. So Under the Hood is doing this for you, regularly taking time out to meet and profile the people that make our industry tick.

Under the Hood: How to Secure the IT Job You Want – Vanessa Payne

Welcome to the latest edition of our ‘Under the Hood’ blog series, where we meet the amazing people who make New Zealand’s IT industry tick.

Today, we’re joined by Vanessa Payne, who is the People & Culture Manager at one of New Zealand’s leading retail software businesses, Vend. Watch the below video to discover Vanessa’s insights into how the diversity of New Zealand’s tech start-ups will influence the future of our IT industry, and some key advice for IT professionals looking to secure their dream tech job.

Vanessa’s Career

At the start of her career in IT, Vanessa spent four years working in technology recruitment, predominantly focusing on Software Engineers, Testers and Analysts. In 2014, Vanessa moved to IT start-up business, Vend, as a Talent Manager. Here, she spent a year recruiting IT technical talent to grow their internal teams, before securing the role of People & Culture Manager.

Vanessa’s Advice for IT Professionals

Vanessa’s advice for those trying to find their dream IT job is simple: stick with your passions. As the industry diversifies, there are so many new avenues to explore but the key to success is to not to stretch yourself too thin. Vanessa explains that you need to find what you’re truly passionate about and why, and then focus on ways to excel in those areas.

Soft skills are becoming just as important as technical expertise these days too. Vanessa highlights that for Vend, whilst technical capability will always be important, they are also looking for people who are curious and can adapt to a fast-paced business as requirements can often change.

As soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, become more valuable to employers, Vanessa explains that it’s important to ensure you’re leveraging your own effectively during interviews. Vanessa’s advice for those interviewing IT businesses is to really listen to what the employer is asking for and make sure your answers are providing the information they’re looking for. If you’ve not sure your answer gave the interviewer what they wanted, Vanessa’s tip was to ask a clarifying question at the end, such as “Is that the type of information you’re looking for?”

For those facing interviews over the phone or a video call, Vanessa also provides some more useful advice such as how to ensure you stand out even when the interview can’t see you. Watch Vanessa’s video for more on this, and what the future could hold for the IT industry.

Keen to See More?

This is just one video in a comprehensive series where we follow individuals who are making a stamp on the IT Industry. For more insights and advice on various roles in the IT Industry from thought leaders and experts in the field, check out more of our Under the Hood series below:

Like what you read? We would love your input.