IT Interview Questions and Tips

IT interview questions can be labyrinths. The technical knowledge levels required are a primary consideration, but there's no lack of materials across the spectrum, and preparation requires some planning. There's a large range of possible issues in any IT interview.

There's only one way to deal with such a wide field, that is, narrow it down to the job specifics.  Research each element of the position, in depth, and make sure you have a complete understanding of the requirements of the job. Competence is the core issue, and that's exactly what your interview answers need to show. You need to research the job anyway, but you'll also find that your areas of expertise will help identify interview issues. Particularly important areas for research are the generic issues in any IT job. Questions in these areas are natural interview content: 

  • Operating environments
  • Communications and Debugging
  • Task specific issues and Problem Solving

Questions and answers

This is a primary indicator of essential skills, and applies to both technical and behavioral areas of IT work. These questions may be in different forms:

  • "Give an example of problem solving in a client related situation."
  • "Give an example of problem solving using a system flow chart type of situation."
  • "Give an example of solving a database problem for a client."

The best thing to do is to select an example of a problem, which is directly relevant to the job and break it up into different parts (called the STAR method):

  • Situation: Describe the problem, what's involved, why the problem was important and to whom, the effect on the stakeholders.
  • Task: This is the problem solving mechanism, so it's very important. Explain what was required to deal the situation, and the actions taken. Keep your description simple, and speak clearly. The interviewers must understand your answer and your logic.
  • Actions: Describe what was done, in progressive stages, so the interviewers can see how you constructed your solution.
  • Result: This part of the answer must cover the entire original problem, explaining the outcome in that context. 

This is a holistic approach to IT interview questions. It allows the applicant to show their skills, knowledge and experience in a clearly understood way. For IT people, it's exactly like a systems flow chart, logically constructed, covering all areas of the process.