How to Not Get an IT Job: 10 Tips: Page 2

Posted September 16, 2008

James Maguire

James Maguire

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4) Project a sense of the lone individual.

IT staffers are famously perceived as techie geeks whose heads are buried in arcane tech knowledge. The stereotype says they have compensated for lack of social skills by becoming experts in an absurdly complex area. Consequently, they’re glint-eyed loners who know only how to twist the dials.

If you actually talk with tech professionals you realize this isn’t true. (Well, it’s true sometimes but not often.) But HR people, in interview situations and as they scan a resume or talk with recommenders, look for signs that you’re unable to play well with others.

So if you want to avoid getting the job, demonstrate that you’re unwilling to compromise. Interpersonal flexibility must be avoided. Let them know you take amusement in the sheer idiocy of non-technical people.

The key here is to be passive. Don’t take the lead and volunteer information or ask questions. “Go into an interview and just answer questions,” Corcodilos says. “Don’t ask about what problems and challenges the organization is facing, because you’re afraid you can’t provide ideas.” Of course, if you can’t provide ideas about improving systems (bonus points: trimming costs), you probably shouldn’t be there – and you probably won’t be.

Here are tips about surviving the IT interview.

5) Send in a resume and wait for HR to process you.

Simply sending in a resume and sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring is a great way to avoid employment. You’re jumping in with a big pool of fish and it’s likely you’ll remain unnoticed.

Those candidates who truly want to be hired do everything possible to get an inside track. Submitting their resume is step one, followed by some downright Machiavellian maneuvering. “Spend a little time and find who the manager is and who knows the manager,” Corcodilos says. “The way to get a job is to act like an insider. If you’re not an insider, make an effort to becoming an insider – develop some contacts.”

“Work backwards: go talk to people who can influence the manager about bringing you in.”

The point is to vault yourself from the also-rans to the finalist rank. “What you need to be doing is competing with the candidate that the headhunter is bringing in or the candidate who’s actually got a contact with the manager.”

Ideally – and it’s not always possible – you should even attempt to control which company rep you interview with. Avoid the idiot at all costs.

“Interview as intelligently as possible with a naïve manager, but you’re totally wasting your time. I’ve known lots of talented guys who go into an interview, and the reason they blow it: they’re interviewing with a dope.”

“If you know you’re going to meet with a turkey, you’ve got to figure out how to meet with somebody else. If you have a contact within a company, you might be able to wrangle a different kind of interview.” But, he concedes, “I’m not saying it’s easy.”

6) Do all your searching online. (Never pick up the phone!)

Tech job boards are numerous online – here’s a list of the best IT job boards.

But to actually land of these jobs, you need to take action beyond the Internet. Networking on the phone is “absolutely,” one of the most effective job hunting techniques, says John Estes, a VP with Robert Half Technology.

“The best way to find a job, whether you’re out of a job or just looking for a better one, is just good old-fashioned networking.”

Experts estimate that well over half – as much as 70 percent by one count – of all jobs are filled by personal contact. So get out there: professional organizations, old coworkers, friends, trade shows. Maximize the element of human contact as you let the world know you’re job hunting.

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Tags: programming, IT, servers, technology, jobs

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