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Tech workers have toughest time in interviews

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Tech professionals are more likely to have multiple interviews for a job than any other sector, making them more confident about the process.

But they are still making basic mistakes: over a quarter (26 percent) admit to inadequate preparation and one in five (18 percent) admit to turning up late. More than half (52 percent) think interviews are tougher than before the recession. IT and Tech professionals are being put through their paces in the interview process, more than any other profession according to a survey carried out by specialist recruiter Randstad Technologies. The new research found that 60 percent of tech professionals had more than one interview before being accepted for their current role – far greater than the UK average (35 percent) and the highest proportion of any sector.

TABLE 1: Percentage of employees who had more than one interview before being accepted for their current role

Tech professionals are more confident at interviews as a result. Almost two-fifths (39 percent) of tech employees polled considered themselves a ‘well-practised interviewee’ compared to an average of 27 percent across UK workers. Just 26 percent of Tech employees answered that ‘they used to be well practised but are now rusty’ – also lower than the UK average (32 percent).

Mike Beresford, MD of Randstad Technologies, comments: “The most successful Tech workers are masters of a broad range of skills – meaning they often have to jump through more hoops in the interview process before getting a job offer. As technology evolves, so does the range of expertise needed to match – from cyber security to big data analytics to app development. The technology sector encompasses so much more than in the past – and taking advantage of the opportunities it opens is becoming increasingly crucial to a company’s success, meaning experienced IT professionals are highly sought after.

“But while many professionals may find this daunting, Tech workers are rising to the challenge. They are used to adapting to new technology and learning new skills – they’re not phased by the multiple interviews required to secure the best jobs.”

Tech workers still need to do their homework

However, there remains a large proportion of Tech workers lacking in interview confidence: 32 percent answered that they have never been any good at interviews, compared to an average of 26 percent across the UK. And, despite being better practised than other industries, Tech workers are still making basic mistakes during interviews. Just under half (48 percent) of IT and Tech professionals admitted their mind had gone blank in previous interviews (compared to a 41 percent UK average) and a quarter (26 percent) confessed to inadequate preparation (against a UK average of 21 percent). Eighteen percent of tech professionals reported turning up late to an interview (compared to a UK average of 9 percent), whilst 12 percent of tech professionals admitted making the mistake of dressing inappropriately (compared to a UK average of 5 percent).

Mike Beresford explains: “Many tech firms are promoting a casual and fun environment, but this shows that workers still need to be mindful not to overstep the mark. Turning up late or dressing inappropriately are automatic turn-offs for employers. Tech workers may be rushed off their feet in the office, but it is important that they don’t allow this to tar their first impression at interview. When it comes to inadequate preparation there is no excuse: candidates should know their own CV and the requirements of the role they are applying for inside out. “Applying for a job through a specialist recruiter puts you ahead of external applicants as you are given an explicit brief of what is required within the role directly from the people who are searching for candidates. Recruiters also offer information which can be difficult to distil when simply using the internet – including subtleties like the culture and ethos of a company.”

Tougher tests

When asked to compare the difficulty of interviews now with those conducted before the global financial crisis, 52 percent of IT and Tech professionals felt they had got tougher (compared to the UK average of 41 percent). Just 7 percent of tech employees polled felt they had become easier.

Tech Table 2

 

 

 

TABLE 2: Respondents answering “Yes” to the question “Do you think interviews in your sector are tougher than they were eight years ago?” Job applicants seeking tailored CV, interview and career advice can visit: www.randstad.co.uk/job-seeker/career-hub