IT Interview Guide

IT Interview Guide

Every Job Can Be Defined by Key Competencies & Behaviours

The core principles behind behavioural based interview questions are that past performance is the most accurate predictor of future performance in a similar setting. As competency is measurable, a set of behaviours form a common language to describe how individuals react in different situations. It focuses on experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related. Our IT interview guide will help you nail your next job interview.

Traditional Interview Questions

Traditional interviews address such questions as ‘what are your strengths or limitations’, they do not ask how you behave in certain scenarios. While they are usually easier to answer, it can be difficult to demonstrate what value you will bring to the role.

Behavioural Based Interviewing

In competency based interviews, an employer pre-determines set skills that are specific and relevant to success in a particular role. These skills can then be measured to evaluate your fit. An interviewer may ask questions about situations where you were caught by surprise. Your answers will determine the problem solving skills you possess and how you handle yourself in stressful situations.

As your responses need to be very exact, we recommend taking the STAR approach to answering these type of questions. Frame your response as if you are telling a story and remember to make sure you have applied the who (you), what, when, where, why and how model. This will keep you focused and make your description more logical to follow and interesting to the person interviewing you.

Situation: Provide an example of a situation where you encountered a problem that led to a positive outcome.

Task: Describe the ideas or tasks you engaged to resolve the problem.

Action: Describe the actions you took and any difficulties you had to overcome.

Results: What outcomes followed as a result of your actions – highlight the positive.

Prior to the interview, review the job description carefully to identify the competencies required for the role and expect to be asked questions about these competencies.
Competency focused, well-structured responses can be extremely effective and increase your chance of success.

Be prepared to provide examples from a variety of work environments and wherever possible, quantify your results.

With behavioural questions, keep this mind: the more recent the behaviour, the greater its predictive power. Your answer doesn’t have to be the BEST example, but it needs to be recent.
Prepare these answers so that you can recall specific situations, but don’t rehearse them so often that you sound like a robot!

Example of Behavioural Based Interview Questions:

  • Provide an example of a situation where you used logic to solve a problem. What steps did you take?
  • Tell me about a time you had to adjust your work priorities to meet changing demands. What happened and how did you deal with it?
  • Describe a time you had to persuade a team to work on a project that was unpopular.  How did you do it?
  • Give me an example of how you’ve handled a difficult working relationship with a colleague. Would you do anything differently?
  • Describe a goal you achieved and talk me through the steps you took to get there?

If you still feel like you’re not prepared enough for your interview, check out our graphic for more information, and get in touch with a specialist Recruiter for more help advice.

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