Five Top Qualities IT Executives Look for in Prospective Candidates

There are points during a career search that can be exhilarating! If you’ve been aggressive in pursuing opportunities, chances are you’re either waiting for an invitation to interview or you’re waiting for an offer letter.

No matter what, the process can be both terrifying and exciting. In most cases, there are specific qualities IT executives look for in potential candidates and we wanted to provide you with the inside scoop to help prepare for your next interview. Here are five essential elements to consider:

1. Professionalism

Coming across as a true professional is rooted in your attitude, how you interact with others, your wardrobe and more. Typically, most IT hiring managers are able to assess your professionalism from the moment you say “hello.” Whether you applied for a CIO position or for an opening as an IT help desk technician, the way you respond to interview questions, how you are dressed and how you carry yourself can say a lot about your professionalism.

For instance, showing up to an interview wearing ripped jeans and a soiled t-shirt does not represent professionalism and it could cost you losing your place as a potential candidate. IT executives want to know that you are able to represent yourself and the organization professionally.

2. Experience

Does your skillset meet the qualifications of the position? IT hiring managers want to know the answer to this question. Applying for your dream job is great, however, do you have the experience that will get both you and the organization to a high level of success?

Some hiring managers might ask questions regarding specific software, database or application knowledge to make sure you are familiar with its functionalities. While training for some organizations is to be expected, it helps when the candidate possesses at least the minimum qualifications and basic skills for the position.

3. Team Player

It’s often said that “teamwork makes the dream work”, and IT hiring managers want to know that you are a team player. Interpersonal skills are important when working not only in IT, but also in any industry. You might be asked to discuss your most difficult interaction and how you handled the situation. Be prepared with examples and the resolution.

4. Commitment

Many organizations want to know your tenure at your previous employers. As IT rapidly evolves, changes happen often and IT professionals must be able to adapt and keep up. Showing commitment to your previous employers can give hiring managers confidence in the possibility of you committing to a new organization.

However, even if you job hop, you can show commitment by discussing the factors that have had you moving from job-to-job; managers will often understand decisions to move based on lack of opportunities, a change in corporate or departmental direction, and economic conditions (Global Post).

5. Good Cultural Fit

We recently discussed ways to determine if a company’s culture is the right fit for you. According to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Small Business Encyclopedia, company culture is “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time”. IT hiring managers understand what the organization is looking for and what the department needs to succeed.

Working in a culture that is a good fit for you is essential to your success as a new employee and the organization’s success. While job searching can be unpredictable, it is necessary in order to land the right role for your career. Always research the company as best you can to make sure it is a company you would like to work for. Doing this will give you insights on whether or not your professionalism, your experience, your interpersonal skills and commitment would be a great fit for the organization.

If you find that you would be the best candidate for the position, apply and be prepared to WOW the IT hiring manager with your qualities!