An interview doesn’t have to turn into a panic attack
So you’ve done your research, you’ve learned about the company and what they are looking for. Now it is time for the interviews, how do you prepare for that? If you practice talking through answers to questions you will get through it. Many people forget that interviewing is a skill that needs to be practiced. If you are a social individual, talking to people will come naturally, but not everyone is. If you don’t have anyone you can practice with, use a mirror.
The technical part
If you are interviewing for a networking position, study network questions. Memorize OSI model, be able to explain what a router and a switch are and other easy questions like that. Be able to explain what happens when you type something into your browser. It is important to know basic troubleshooting steps like ping and traceroute. Be able to explain the dreaded “If I type a web address into my browser, what happens” because it is asked a lot. Mainly, in my experience, hiring managers are looking for a simple explanation of how DNS works.
If you are interviewing for a systems position, study systems questions. The job could be a virtualization job, or OS specific administrator job. Make sure you know how to answer questions about user account setup and troubleshooting in those areas. Be comfortable explaining how to restart services, how to elevate to admin privileges install software and other basic tasks. If it is a virtualization type of job, make sure you understand basic commands in the linux command line interface, and how to maneuver around the GUI. The same goes for a windows, be able to explain how to navigate the server environment that the company operates in.
Most companies are old-fashioned
In most cases your interview will be in an office or conference room. These style of interviews have one or a few people in the room. Tech companies are known for being different and forward thinking. Be ready for an interview over lunch or other casual setting. My current employer had me play pool for my final interview, that was very different. They should tell you in advance what type of environment you will interview in, therefore give you some time to research the specifics. For my lunch interview, I was able to find some simple advice after a quick google search. Don’t take large bites so that you can chew quickly, don’t get any messy foods, and don’t get more than one alcoholic beverage.
You interview them?
Don’t forget that you are interviewing the company as well. They expect you to ask questions about the atmosphere and day-to-day operations. In your first interview you shouldn’t away from benefit or other monetary compensation questions. If you go to a second interview with an HR person or manager you might be able to get answers there. For entry-level jobs where they know you have little experience in, a great question is to ask what kind of skills you would need to be successful in your first year. This shows initiative and that you care about growing your abilities.
Every hiring manager and supervisor has their own particular style of interview. They stick to questions that they like to ask, and get to know candidates how they think is best. There is not a one-size-fits-all study and preparation but there are common things that everyone looks for. Be confident and speak clearly when your answering questions. These are simple things that you can prepare and breast for any type of interview style.