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Common IT Interview Questions

Common IT Interview Questions

Some of these questions might sound familiar if you’ve had a few job interviews in your lifetime. If not, take note! The majority of job interviews usually have common IT interview questions that explore the personality, strengths and qualities of a potential candidate.

If you’re attending an interview process that involves IT or use of a computer you will likely be questioned on your computer proficiency as well as experience with Office software and Windows operating systems.

Therefore, we’ve put together a list of the common IT interview questions that you may face in a job interview. It’s possible you could go through an interview without being asked a single one of these but it’s always good to be prepared and to have an answer ready for when you do.

How would you describe yourself?

You know you best, but what exactly do they want to know? Normally this is a summarising your personal statement and C.V into one, reflective verbal statement about yourself. Talk about your experience, your goals and education with a tiny bit of personal life thrown in there too if you think it's relevant. Keep it short and review the other questions listed here just so you don’t already answer another question lined up for you.

What are your strengths?

Here’s your opportunity to sell yourself because that’s what you’re trying to do at the end of it. Name the top strengths and unique selling points you possess that you feel would attribute to the role you’re going for. Organisation for example is a common strength that will suit almost any role along with determination and being a team player.

What are your weaknesses?

This is probably everyone’s least favourite interview question. You’ve just sold yourself in the highest regards possible and now you’re about to jeopardise it all by informing them that you’re not so perfect after all. Of course, nobody is perfect so don’t be put off by this question. The most notable stock answer for this question is that you tend to work too hard so avoid saying this as it’s been heard way too many times and may come across that you’re avoiding the question. Be honest, but use your weaknesses with the intention of improving it with your experience in this job role.

Why did you leave/want to leave your previous job role?

The best answer for this is to further your career in your field and wanting a new challenge. In your mind, yes it’s probably for the money but everyone knows this already. If you were dismissed from your previous role you should be honest about it but you don’t necessarily need to explain the reasoning behind it unless questioned on it. If you’re not honest now it could potentially affect your chances of getting the job.

Why do you want to work for us?

This is a good opportunity to use your research of the company to answer this question and tie it into the direction you want to take your career in. You could take a positive aspect of their company e.g high customer service rating or winning an award and express desire to be a part of an established business and hope to continue to reach the high standards. This is a very important question which allows you to demonstrate that you want to work for the company and have done plenty of research.

Why should we hire you?

This is a difficult question and you may wonder what the point of all the other questions is if they’re just going to flat out ask you this. The first thing to state is that you believe you’re the ideal candidate for the role and that you also meet the requirements. You should also bring your personality and work ethos into the role and how you would be a positive energy in the office and that you like to work within a team if the job requires that.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

You will want to show respect to the company by expressing your wish to remain there but to have progressed through the company, highlighting your ambition. You may want to avoid seeing yourself in upper-management or as a director as that may not go down well but you should emphasise that you hope to remain there for the long run and hope to pick up more responsibilities as your experience and skills develop within your time at the company. You also shouldn't mention that you would like to start your own company either as the employer isn't necessarily interested in you as a person but more what you can do for them in the long run.

Have you ever dealt with a difficult project and what did you do to overcome it?

You’re very likely to have a question like this relating to a situation or project that required extra assistance so you should think about a time that best highlights your strengths, qualities and how they were used to overcome a difficult situation. Projects can always face obstacles so the company will want to make sure the person they hire knows how to deal with them effectively and professionally.

Do you keep up to date with the latest technology and IT developments?

If you’re interviewing for a tech or IT company it might be best to know the industry you intend to have a career in. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the latest iPhone or wearable gadget but being aware of the market around you and its business developments could prove to be an advantage to your chances of landing the job. Mention magazines, websites or message boards that you frequent to top up your knowledge.

What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

This is just an example question of a technical IT question but if you’re in any way affiliated with IT this is the easiest tech question going. As you’re likely to be questioned on certain technical aspects of a computer it’s essential you have a good knowledge of the workings of a computer. For the record, RAM stands for Random Access Memory which represents the memory to run applications smoothly and ROM is the hard drive that stores data and that stands for Read Only Memory.

And finally, the logical question…

The only questions that might throw you off are the logical or lateral thinking type which can always seem like a random way to end an interview. These are questions such as ‘If you had £1,000,000 what would you do?’ or ‘If you were trapped on a desert island and could take three items, what would you take?’ are actually exploring the logical approach you have to situations and if that same logic can determine the way you approach work situations.

Want more specialist IT questions?

For specialist IT interview questions relating to specific skills e.g Java programming or business analyst skills you can view our Interview Tips section to see if we have anything of interest to you there. For more advice on perfecting your interview technique, we've partnered up with CV Knowhow who offer interview coaching so click here to find out more

If you don't have a job interview lined up but are interested in using this advice in starting a new career in IT then click here to get the process started.