IT Staffing Interviews and 5 Warning Signs

While hiring new employees for any job poses both a challenge and risk, this is especially true for IT jobs. You may likely need to entrust these new employees with access to sensitive data. This is why you have to be extra careful when it comes to IT staffing.

Technology staffing companies offer a bit of a filter when screening potential candidates, but this obviously won’t catch every potential problem employee that could come your way. The interview is your best opportunity to spot red flags indicating that the candidate is not right for your company.

The following are some of the most common – and important red flags to be wary of when conducting interviews for IT jobs.

1. Lack of confidence.

It’s sometimes a good idea to ask a candidate outright how long they think it will take them to contribute positively to the company when conducting IT staffing interviews. If they can give a solid answer, it can show that they’re both confident of their abilities, and have a good understanding of the job they’re applying for. If they can’t, it may be a sign that they lack the confidence you’re looking for.

2. In it for the short term.

Besides having a history of only holding down previous IT jobs for a short period of time, candidates may give this trait away by mentioning career aspirations that your company doesn’t offer, or mentioning wanting to one day relocate somewhere far away.

If you ask them directly what will keep them at the company in a year, their answer may be very telling.

3. Lack of communication skills.

It has become increasingly vital for those with IT jobs to communicate effectively with those in other departments to keep everything running as it should.

When conducting your IT staffing interviews, pay attention to candidates that talk too little, talk too much, don’t make eye contact, or have trouble talking about non-technical things. If you feel unfavorably about a candidate after an interview but can’t figure out exactly why, it could be due to a simple lack of good communication skills.

4. Poor performance.

In the current economic climate, many have been laid off from technology staffing companies due to downsizing and other situations beyond their control. However, it’s no secret that some employers use this to cut out poor contributors to their IT staffing team when the axe has to fall somewhere.

One technique to gain more insight into whether poor performance was a factor is to ask them how many people from their team were laid off. You probably won’t be able to tell conclusively from this question alone, but if they were the only one, it could be a sign that there was more than simple economics involved.

5. Holds grudges.

IT jobs come with a lot of power and responsibility. An angry employee with access to passwords and other sensitive information could do a lot of damage if they have a bad attitude and lack self-control. Look for signs that they are holding a grudge against previous employers or technology staffing companies.

If they were let go by a previous employer, ask them why they think that is. This may prove to be insightful into any resentment they may not have otherwise expressed.

You Are What You Wear: How To Dress For Management Consulting Interviews

You are what you wear, and the clothes make the man, so they say. While you got your management consulting interview based on your hard work and credentials, you cannot discount the impact that visual impressions contribute to the overall picture. How you appear and the attire you wear will convey a serious message to your hiring committee. There are some simple ways to guarantee that you will look professional. Just follow some basic rules on what to and what not to wear.

Human resources executives at McKinsey and BCG, among others, widely concur that simplicity is key in choosing your interview wardrobe. You should avoid wearing anything flashy or over the top. You want to look smart and put together, which means you need to pay attention to the details, such as pressing your suit the night before. You don’t want to show up for your management consulting interview looking like you gathered your clothing from the bottom of the laundry hamper or a suitcase. All of this may seem basic in terms of interviewing etiquette, but according to current employees at Booz, they have seen it all. Wrinkles, among other little visual details, may leave a lasting – and negative – impression in the minds of the hiring committee.

Men should appoint themselves conservatively in a suit and tie. Press your shirt and steam your suit before the interview. A crease that arises from sitting during the waiting period is fine, as long as the suit was professionally ironed before the interview.

Dress shoes for men should be clean and dusted off or polished. You don’t want to arrive with mud on the bottoms of your shoe. You will be sure to leave an unpleasant and lasting impression on the secretary who is forced to clean up your mess.

Women should comply with similar wardrobe expectations. Wrinkled pantsuits or skirts and low-cut blouses are terrible for a job interview. Women should stick to neutral colors and avoid too much jewelry. A simple navy or charcoal blue pantsuit with a crisp white or cream blouse and silver chain is a nice touch. Likewise, conservative, comfortable but businesslike footwear is favored.

For men and women both, avoid overdressing for your management consulting interview. Understatement and flying “under the radar” visually is preferable to overdressing or wearing too little (dressing in a revealing manner). Wearing a European style suit with vest and handkerchief will scream fashionista rather than management consultant. Stick with muted colors, such as blue tones, browns, grays and white. Avoid loud and flashy colors, such as red, orange or green. It is important not to push the envelope when choosing your interviewing wardrobe. You want to make a lasting impression and stand out from the pack, but achieving it with your clothing is not the way to go.

It is important to avoid strong scented perfume or cologne at your management consulting interview. A Bain consultant reported a story about a woman who showed up for her consulting interview smelling as if she just left the perfume factory. Members of the interviewing committee actually had to step outside for fresh air once she left because of the lingering aroma. A light spray of deodorant is necessary but overdoing the perfume is an interviewing faux pas.

AT Kearney consultants recommend, as most management consulting teams do, that the key to dressing appropriately for your interview is to keep it simple and comfortable. You don’t want to wear restrictive clothing that cuts off the circulation mid-meeting or trip over your own feet because you insisted on wearing impractically high four-inch high heels.

Dress for success and never overdo it. The last thing you want to do during your management consulting interview is worry about a wardrobe malfunction or whether your outfit is costing you the job. By focusing less on the wardrobe, and paying attention to the overall impression you are making, you will be able to spend more time honing your interviewing skills and researching the company.

Take the route of least resistance when it comes to selecting your wardrobe. Think business attire, and don’t deviate from the plan. It is better to be a little understated than over the top.

How to Land a Big Name Interview

When getting experts for my audio interviews, what I would do is think about my PR expert guy. My PR expert guy doesn’t sell information products. He has a basic Web site about his PR services, he doesn’t have a huge list but he’s like a promotional broker. So even when I was first starting out and I didn’t have many interviews, I had a few interviews.

Now, it’s easier for me because I have a lot of proof. When someone goes to my Web site they see all of these interviews. I mean it’s really easy now because I’ve got all these interviews behind me.

But I didn’t always have all these interviews. I mean I had to get that first interview, second and third interview. So you have to position yourself kind of like the PR expert.

Why do people hire PR experts? Because they want media, they want air time, they want promotion, they want clients, and they want advertising. An interview for them is free advertising.

Let’s say I was able to talk to someone on the phone and they heard the passion in my voice and tell them “I’m planning on interviewing them, Bob Blye, Clayton Makepeace, Joe Vitalie, John Carlton and Ted Nicholas. You guys are my dream interviews and you’re going to be in the book and I’m going to interview you and the transcripts are going to be in the book and I plan on getting this up on Amazon, I’m going to build a Web site, I’m going to do joint ventures, I’m going to promote this like you wouldn’t believe. You know that the interview is only going to take about an hour of your time. Would you consider doing an interview with me?”

I think they would be crazy not to just because what do you have to lose? As long as people who are in your market are going to be reading that book, you can’t lose.

It’s the same thing, that example, you are publishing a book with top experts on this subject, it won’t be out until next fall. Think about all the books and publishers that compile interviews when they approach these experts, they are just selling potential. There is no guarantee that the book is even going to sell. As a matter of fact, 90% of them don’t sell. Most books out there, interview compilation books fail. So there are a whole lot of people who have given interviews for books that probably didn’t get that much media from it but you never know.

So you sell your potential. You can approach someone and tell them that you’re doing a story on an expert in the marketing field. It will be promoted worldwide on the Internet. Are you open to participating? Why wouldn’t you? Especially someone paying a PR expert; that is pretty telling. They need more customers, they want more exposure.

See the problem in our marketing world is distribution. How do you get your message distributed out there? There are so many people out there and everyone wants more distribution and that’s what you approaching someone to do an interview represents. It represents potential distribution and with the Internet, once it’s up on the Internet you never know who is going to pick up on it.

So there are no guarantees, you know we’re all business people, they understand it may go well, it may not. All they have to do is trade an hour’s worth of their time and give you the rights to promote it. It’s a win-win situation. So position yourself that way and just be willing to ask and you should not have a problem.