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IT job interview: how to prepare at your best? (2023)

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Cabinet de recrutement Zenith Freelance talent IT

There's no secret about it: you need to be prepared for an interview. This applies to both permanent and freelance positions. So if you're an IT professional looking for a new challenge, you need to take the time to inform yourself, rehearse your speech, and anticipate the typical questions, to make sure you succeed in this sometimes dreaded exercise.

So how can you best prepare to shine at interview and land the IT job or assignment of your dreams? Follow our guide.

In this article:

1. Find out about the company and the recruiter

Before going for an interview, look for information about the business, positioning, competition and values of the company you are applying for. You can also research the company's news: announcement of major new projects, development in new countries, appointment of new managers, etc.

If you have the name of the person who will be conducting the interview, find out the profile of the person you are talking to. An interview with someone from the human resources department, for example, will be very different from an interview with your potential future manager, and you need to prepare yourself accordingly. Take a look at the person's LinkedIn profile, to get an idea of their background, how long they've been with the company, what their scope is, and so on.

2. Analyse the job description

Cabinet de recrutement Zenith Freelance talent IT

Carefully reread the description of the job or assignment, the skills required, and put yourself in the recruiter's shoes, asking yourself what questions he or she is likely to ask you to assess whether your profile matches the vacancy.

Make a note of the key words in the job description, so that you can use them during the interview. And list any points of doubt or areas that need clarifying.

3. Take care of the first impression you give the recruiter

As the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression". It may seem obvious, but if the interview is face-to-face, plan ahead for travel time, and leave yourself plenty of time to avoid arriving late at all costs. If the interview is by videoconference, plan to be in a quiet place, connect 5 minutes early and test the sound on your computer beforehand. This will also save you a great deal of stress in the event of a problem!

Don't forget to dress appropriately for the company you are applying to. If it's a large group, formal dress is generally appropriate; if it's a start-up, more casual attire is advisable.

4. Prepare your presentation pitch

Cabinet de recrutement Zenith Freelance talent IT

The vast majority of interviews start with an open question, asking you to introduce yourself: "Can you tell me about your background?", "Tell me about yourself" or simply "Can you introduce yourself?

Prepare a brief presentation highlighting your background, skills, experience and motivation for the job. But don't go into too much details: this presentation should only last a few minutes.

This pitch is important because it will enable you to set the tone for the interview. Don't go too fast, remember to breathe and avoid launching into too long a monologue: leave the recruiter the opportunity to bounce off what you have to say and ask you questions at any point.

5. Anticipate the classic questions

It is obviously impossible to predict all the questions the recruiter will ask you (that would be too easy!). But you can nevertheless prepare yourself for a number of common questions.

Here are a few examples:

  • What attracted you to our job offer or assignment?

  • What are your strengths and areas for improvement?

  • What do you expect from your manager?

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?

  • What project have you worked on that you're most proud of?

Be concrete in your answers. For each question, try to find 3 points to support your argument. Don't hesitate to illustrate your points with examples.

6. Be prepared for any technical questions


If your interview is with an IT manager, be prepared to have to show off your hard skills. This may involve simple questions, a practical case study or, in some cases, a skills test, which will obviously vary depending on your area of expertise.

To prepare as well as possible, you may want to visit specialist groups or forums to see the questions that are commonly asked.

7. Be prepared to detail each of your experiences

Don't worry, it's unlikely that the recruiter will ask you to detail all your experience! But it is quite possible that they will ask you to do so for a few specific positions or projects, which are generally related to the role to be filled.

To be clear, concise and convincing, you can use the STAR method to structure your answers. Each letter of the acronym corresponds to an element of your answer:

  • S for Situation: this is where you describe the context and give your interviewer an overall picture.

  • T for Task: share information about the mission and the objective to be achieved

  • A for Action: this involves talking about all the actions you have taken to achieve the objective, and the methodologies used

  • R for Result: this involves taking stock and highlighting the tangible effects of your actions, in particular with figures.

8. Prepare your questions

Cabinet de recrutement Zenith Freelance talent IT

Show that you are curious, both about the company and about the job or assignment on offer. A candidate who doesn't ask questions generally doesn't give off the image of a highly motivated person. Make sure you have something to take notes on, so that you can take note of certain aspects of your interviewer's answers.

Prepare a list of a few questions in advance of the interview, following your research and analysis of the job description. Better still, use information given by your interviewer during the interview to highlight your ability to listen and your understanding of the issues.

9. Conclude the interview with care

Closing the interview is the last key stage. You need to do everything you can to persuade during these last decisive minutes. For example, you could summarise the main points of the discussion and thank your interviewer for his or her time.

Above all, leave a good impression by emphasising your motivation for the job. This will help you stand out from the other candidates!

10. Relax and be ready to improvise!

Stay natural, smile, pay attention to your body language, and bear in mind that the recruiter will be listening to you but also observing your attitude and soft skills.

Be pleasant and enthusiastic!

If you are looking for a job, or if you are a manager, it is of upmost importance to have clear in mind the main points of a well-presented job application and interview.

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