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9 ways to ace the IT executive interview

Rich Hein | Aug. 13, 2013
Your networking and resume work has paid off. You finally landed an interview for your dream job as an IT executive and you couldn't be more excited. The only thing that stands between you and the executive washroom is the interview itself.

Master Your Body Language
"Body language is 80 percent of communication and is extremely important. You can show your that you're interested or not interested based on your posture and eye contact. They want to hire someone who is really excited about the job," says Schawbel. You can't afford any negative body language shutting down your chances.

"Body language and personality expression in an interview are critically important, considering that employers generally hire not the most skilled or best educated candidate, but the one with the best personality and team 'fit.' Hence, a firm handshake, exceptional eye contact -- which does not mean constant eye contact -- a genuine smile, appropriate laughter, and a relaxed, engaged posture are all key. I recommend limiting (or hiding) nervous gestures, taking notes without breaking eye contact too frequently, and matching one's communication style to that of the interviewer," says Simpson.

Another tip Burns offers is to record a video of yourself during the mock interview. Doing so will help you more easily identify behavior like crossing your arms, slumping your shoulders or glancing at your mobile device. Seeing those tendencies for yourself makes it easier to accept and modify.

One item that Burns sees regularly, specifically with clients under the age of 30, is that even during an interview they are checking their mobile device. Don't do this in an interview, be in the moment. "Put your device somewhere where you can't get it in your hands. Looking at your device and not paying attention will hurt you in the interview," says Burns.

Make a Great First Impression
Again, body language is critical and, according to research from Psychology Today, how you perform in the first moments of your interview will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer or interviewers. Maintain eye contact, good posture and offer a firm handshake.

Dress appropriately. Experts agree that unless you're told otherwise, a suit, and if you're a man, a tie are likely necessary. If you've got an inside contact you can ask them the dress code; whatever it is, dress up one level higher.

"A suit and a tie should always be the default, as it conveys respect. The last thing you want to be is under-dressed for the occasion, as it makes the candidate look less than serious or at worst disrespectful or clueless," says High.

Ask the Right Questions
The questions you ask can be the difference between having the job you always dreamed of and being shown the door.

"Ask questions that help you to delve into the corporate culture and/or the strengths of the people you're talking to. Ask open-ended questions that explore company the company mission, corporate values, the executive's leadership strengths and the department's performance targets for the position the candidate is being interviewed for," says Simpson.


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