Interview & Resume Tips
Technology Consulting Interview Tips
Interviewing for a consulting job is a bit different than interviewing for a permanent position. For instance, there are certain questions that you need to be prepared for when interviewing for perm jobs that just don’t come up in consulting interviews, such as, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” and “What do you know about our company”. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be prepared for those questions anyway, it’s always good to do a little research on the company that you’re interviewing with and planning out 5 years ahead of where you want to be in your career will only help you to know what you need to do now to get there!
For technology consulting roles, clients are typically looking for a candidate who will need to start quickly, and someone who can hit the ground running! Typically, your first interview will be a phone interview, followed by a video (Webex, Skype, etc..) interview or an in person interview.
- First, lookup the company on Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor.com will have reviews from past and current employees and sometimes you can even find commonly asked interview questions. (Bear in mind that reviews are typically from people who either had a really great experience or from those who had a really awful experience. There are likely to be many employees who have had good to great experiences with the company but just never wrote a review.
- Find out as much as you can from the recruiter you are working with about the role and skills needed and ask if others have interviewed and did they have any feedback on the interviews and what areas you should focus on and how long the interview will last.
- Get the names of the people who will be interviewing you. It’s good to know who you’re talking to and shows that you are professional and personable if you can thank them by name.
- Prepare! Know your resume! You should be able to speak to your experience and site examples of skills you have used and how you have used them in your current and past roles. Also, study up on skills that you have experience with. Practice your coding and google questions online so that you can practice your interviewing skills.
- Make sure that you are in a quiet space and that you have good cell service.
- Try not to speak too quickly, sometimes candidates get nervous and tend to speak very quickly and it becomes difficult to understand their answers.
- If you are required to answer coding questions through a webex make sure that you have all of the information, link and call in number and the equipment you need (laptop or desktop, webcam, paper and pen)
- If it’s a phone interview and doesn’t require typing answers, you should just stick to the phone! I have heard feedback that candidates were looking up questions/answers online. They could hear them typing!
- Don’t list skills on your resume that you don’t have. There’s a very good chance that you will be asked a skill that is in the job description and if your resume lists that skill and you are asked a question on it, that is not going to work in your favor.
- If you are asked a question about a skill you don’t have or maybe you have a little experience with that skill, be honest and let the interviewer know that you haven’t had the opportunity to use that technology, but that you have experience picking up skills on the job quickly and you are eager and open to learn new technology and methodologies.
- When answering a question give enough detail to answer the question properly but not too much so that you are going off on a tangent. It’s ok to ask if the interviewer is satisfied with your answer or if they want you to provide more detail if you’re not sure if they want to hear more. A one or two-word answer are typically not what they’re looking for, but if the interviewer is constantly trying to cut you off, you should try to be more concise in your answers. Sometimes this takes a bit of gauging during the call to figure out the flow and what they expect.
- Be personable. You really only do get one chance to make your first impression, so make it count! Smile while you're talking, even if you’re on the phone. When you smile, it automatically sets the friendly tone!
- Be sure to jot down some notes! This will help your recruiter to follow up on your behalf! You should note who you spoke to, how long the call was, types of questions asked, how did you feel about the interview, were there any questions you had trouble answering or skills and/or experience that they asked about that you didn’t have, areas that you felt you did really well? How did they end the call? Did they ask about your availability for another interview or to start?
- At the end of the call it’s ok to ask what the next step will be if it wasn't clearly communicated. The interviewer might just say that they will be following up with the recruiter or they may provide more info about interviews. Don't be concerned if they say they will follow up with the recruiting firm. This is common but sometimes if you ask the question they just might give you some info!
- Let your recruiter know once your interview is over and provide feedback so that he or she can follow up on your behalf!
Written by, Nicole Wehner