Tag Archives: interview tips

Prepare for your interview

I received a question today from one of my followers who is about to go into an interview next week for an IT manager position. He gave me the qualifications of the job and asked me a question, “How do I prepare for the interview?”

I sent him the information below:

To prepare for an interview, I would do the following:

  1. Learn all you can about the position, the company, and the hiring manager.
  2. Make a list of possible questions your interviewer may have and develop your responses.
  3. Make a list of “selling points” that describe the value you offer a company that hires you. Be sure to focus on “results”, not technical capability.
    1. Past accomplishments
    2. Key successes you have achieved
    3. Experiences you have relative to the position job description
  4. Key things to think about going into an interview:
    1. Managers hire managers who can get things done, , , they look for people who have delivered results.
    2. Important to talk in a business oriented manner, not in technical acronyms, , , unless the interview is for a technical position.
    3. Load up your discussion points with benefits (results, complimentary experiences, , , reasons you are a good choice).
  5. Make a list of key questions you want to learn about the position, company, or the person you will report to.
  6. Here are a couple of resources you may want to review:
    1. ITLever BLOG post – Fast Start for a New IT Manager — https://itlever.com/2010/05/24/new-it-manager-needs-a-fast-start/
    2. 20MITM e-learning session – Fast Start for a New IT Manager — http://www.20minuteitmanager.com/sessions/060602FASTSTART

Board of Directors interview

When I was to interview for the CIO position of my last company, it just so happened the Board of Directors Meeting  was taking place that week. The CEO asked me if I would meet with the Board of Directors, and I welcomed the opportunity.

The interview began with a few of the typical questions you get in an interview and then there was a great question, “Tell us why you will be a good fit for our company.”

I gave them a short list of accomplishments in a similar business and then made a comment I don’t believe they expected:
“If you are looking for a technical manager who focuses on technology, I’m not your guy, , , but if you are looking for someone who can quantify business needs and issues and focus IT resources to address them and to deliver business value for the company with your IT investment, that’s who I am.”

There were a few other questions and later that night I received a phone call with an offer to join the company.

The CEO told me later that one of the things that impressed them was how open and forthcoming I was about what they were getting with me and the fact I was not a technology expert was a good thing. The CIO I replaced was a technology focused manager and they could never understand what she was working on or why she was spending money in certain areas.