“How to Give a Great Interview”
“How to Give a Great Interview”
Tips for getting the Job
With today’s increased demand for I.T. talent and intense competition for every position, it is our job to provide
the right tools for success. Your interview may be the one and only opportunity to get the job.
First Impressions are lasting! The majority of jobs are won or lost during the first five
minutes of the conversation so you must prepare thoroughly. Whether you are a seasoned
consultant who has been regularly interviewing, or a long time corporate employee who
hasn’t interviewed for a while, you can never be too prepared. This guide is designed to provide some tools and
tips to work in your favor and increase chances of being selected for the job.
Whether you have phone or a person interview there are 3 things that a client is trying to determine during an
Textbook questions: Textbook questions are
specific questions about a technology or tool
such as “what is polymorphism” these
questions should be answered in 1 to 2
Speech / Accent: If you know you have a
strong accent or speak fast when you are
nervous it is very important to slow down
and concentrate on speaking clearly.
Experienced based questions: Such as
“Have you ever migrated an Oracle 8i
Database to Oracle 10g”. They expect you to
answer with a yes or a no followed up by a
short explanation of when and where, these
questions should be answered in 1 to 2
Expressing Ideas / Concepts: Your ability to
make a point shows confidence and clarity
of thought. If you didn’t understand a
question ask them to repeat it or rephrase
their question for clarification but DO NOT
guess at answering what you think they
asked. Asking them to repeat the question
also gives you a couple of extra seconds to
organize your thoughts and give a good
answer. Again keep your answers to 1-2
minutes but feel free to ask if they want
NOTE: If your answer is “No” it is very
important that you tell them that you have used a
similar tool or have done the same type of work a
different way OR say that you have not but would
be very interested in learning and are confident
you could pick it up quickly.
Confident and Engaging: The most
important thing is for you to sound
confident and be engaging during the
interview. If they seem to be very
proper and professional then take the
same attitude, but more often than
not they will be less serious and more
willing to small talk. Take advantage
of that to build a relationship which
will assure them that you will fit into
Preparing before the Interview
Research the client / company including their web page and have a basic understanding of what they do.
Review the Job Description and be prepared to relate your skills & experience to the key areas of the job
Have a copy of your resume in front of you (Make sure it is the same one that was sent to the client)
Prepare several questions about the company, job, project, team, manager, etc.
Review and prepare for some of the “Frequently Asked Questions” which are provided in this document
For Telephone Interviews:
Confirm # : Confirm the correct contact number for client contacting you or for you dialing into
Land Line or Cell: Ideal to conduct call from Land Line. If on Mobile Phone, be sure to have strong
signal and secure a private and quite location.
Pad & Pen: Take notes during the call. It will be important for any follow up question during and
after the interview.
Dress for Success: Put yourself in the right frame of mind! Dress as though you are attending a
face2face Interview and the audience will sense your professionalism even over the phone.
For In-Person Interview:
Confirm Location: Ideal to MapQuest or drive to location the day before to ensure you are familiar
with where you are going. Print direction and take with you to interview.
Be Early: Arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of the interview start time.
Pad & Pen: Bring a pad of paper and pen and take notes! It shows the interviewer that you are
serious and care about what they are saying.
Dress for Success: Look professional (NOTE: Consult with Mastech Recruiter / Account Manager to
determine appropriate dress for specific client)
Print Documents: Print copies of your resume, Job Description, Questions you want to ask, and any
other samples or work-product that you think my help (NOTE: Be sure to remove any proprietary or
confidential information from any previous samples / work products)
During the Interview
1. SMILE: It makes you look and sound more positive!
2. Listen: Pay close attention to the questions and demonstrate that you are listening. Is shows the
interviewer that you care and are serious about their opportunity
3. Be Concise: Interviewees rambling is one of the most common interview blunders. Listen to the
question and answer it directly and concisely.
4. Provide Examples: It is one thing to say you can do something; it’s another to give examples of where
and how you have actually done it. You may say, ‘Yes, I've done that before. Here's an example of a time
I did that…,' and then come back and ask the interviewer, ‘Did that answer your question?'"
5. Speak clearly: It is important that the interviewers (s) are able to hear and understand what you are
6. Make Eye Contact: You will create trust and rapport with interviewer by maintaining good eye contact
and looking interested and alert. However, Don’t Stare!
7. Be Honest: Somehow, candidates get the impression that a good technique is to dance around difficult
interview questions. "If you don't have a skill, just state it. Don't try to cover it up by talking and giving
examples that aren't relevant. You're much better off saying you don't have that skill but perhaps you do
have some related skills, and you're happy to tell them about that if they like."
Closing the Interview
Thank the Interview for their time
Let them know if you are interested in the opportunity
Give 3 reasons why you are interested and why you would be a good fit
Let them know when you would be available to start
Ask if they need any further information to make a decision and discuss next steps
Be 10-15 minutes early
Dress for success
Express Interest and Enthusiasm
Maintain eye contact
Speak clearly and concisely
Provide details and examples
Turn off cell phone
Give firm hand shake
Have questions prepared
Sit up straight
Say “Thank You” for the interviewers time
Don’t be late
Don’t wear too much cologne / perfume
Negative comments about current or past employer
Limp, fishy handshake
Don’t use profanity, slang, or street talk
Don’t be vague or indirect
Don’t be arrogant or “know it all” attitude
Don’t be defensive
Don’t put interviewer on-hold
Don’t fidget or appear nervous
Don’t forget to ask for the job
Below are some examples of questions you may be asked during your interview. The better prepared you
are, the better you will do!
1. Tell me a little about yourself
This is often the opening question in an interview, be very careful that you do not ramble. Keep your
answer to a minute or two at the most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent
career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is just a warm up question. Don’t waste
your best points on it.
2. What do you know about our organization?
Let you answer show that you have taken the time to do some research, but do not overwhelm the
interviewer, do not act as if you know everything about the place.
3. Please give me your definition of the position for which you are being interviewed.
Keep you answer brief and task-oriented. Make sure that you really do understand what the position
involves before you attempt to an answer. If you are not certain, ask the interviewer, he/she may answer
the question for you.
4. What are your most significant accomplishments?
Have 1 or 2 specific examples ready.
5. Can you work well under pressure and deal with a deadline?
Take examples from your list of accomplishments to show how you have dealt successfully with the pressure
and deadlines in the past.
6. What are your strong points?
Present at least three. Use concrete, work-related examples to illustrate them. Try to relate your answer to
the interviewing organization and specific job opening.
7. What are your weak points?
Do not say that you have none. But try to make a negative sound like strength carried a bit too far, “I
sometimes get impatient and become too deeply involved when a project is running late.”