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Weird IT Job Interview Questions

 

Before interviewing for your next IT job, you likely will practice answering potential questions. Some questions are designed to get the conversation going. Others are about your skills, experience, and qualifications. More in-depth questions cover your creativity, problem-solving ability, or fit with company culture. This preparation helps you perform your best during the conversation.

You should include some off-the-wall questions when reviewing your next round of practice interview questions. These questions likely have no connection to IT.

Instead, some of these unique questions are designed to assess your personality or critical-thinking skills. Other questions are created to show interviewers how you respond in surprising situations. Knowing how to answer these questions helps you prepare for the unexpected.

Practice answering the following weird IT interview questions to help land your next job.


What would you do if you were the sole survivor of a wilderness plane crash?

Setting up odd scenarios shows how you solve problems and react to challenging circumstances. Include in your answer the steps you would take, in which order, and why. Emphasize your independence, ability to stay calm under pressure, and related personality traits.

For instance, “I would ensure there were no other survivors. Then, I would find the basic necessities I need to stay alive and find help. Next, I would locate a water source, use plane parts to build a shelter, and then focus on being rescued. After that, I would build a fire or start walking to find civilization. Finally, I would devote a set amount of time to one rescue attempt before moving to another.”

How would you direct someone to create a balloon animal using only words?

Show you have strong speaking skills and can give clear directions for complex processes. This is important for the processes you might perform in an IT role.

For instance, “We are creating a balloon dog. I will break down the process into simple steps and guide you through it. Begin by blowing up the balloon. Keep a few inches uninflated at the end for the dog’s tail. Then, every three inches down the length of the balloon, twist the balloon so it looks like sausage links. Next, twist the second and third links together so they interlock for the dog’s ears. After that, lock together the next set of links to form the front legs and the last set of links to form the back legs. Your balloon should look like a dog. Do you have any questions?”

Someone gave you an elephant and will not let you sell it or give it away. What do you do with it?

Demonstrate your reasoning and problem-solving skills. Include your personality in your answer.

For instance, “Because my backyard will not fit an elephant, I would pay a local farmer to keep the animal. I would begin training the elephant to be ridden to offset the costs of housing and feeding it. I then would take the elephant to events and charge people for rides.”

Want Additional Interview Preparation?

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for additional help with your job search. Visit our job board today.


You Just Landed Your Dream Job! Now What?

 

Congratulations on securing your dream job! Your hard work and dedication paid off.

Now comes the challenging part. You must show your employer they made the right decision when they hired you.

Most employers can tell within a few weeks whether a new hire will be successful in their organization. This means you must pay close attention to what you learn each day to maximize your performance.

Follow these guidelines to make a positive impression during the first week of your dream job.


Clarify Expectations

Meet with your manager to determine what is expected of you. Once you have a clear understanding, you can begin working toward your objectives.

Find out what a successful first month and first 6 months look like. Asking questions to uncover the details helps you perform at the level your manager wants.

Understand that you need time to work toward reaching these expectations. Be sure to learn from your mistakes and do better going forward.

Listen and Observe

Pay attention to the things that go on around you. You need to develop an understanding of what is happening, who your main partners are, and how you can add value to the organization.

Take the time to establish a foundation in your role. Then, you can start making changes and impacting the organization.

Learn the Company Culture

Focus on how your colleagues and coworkers interact and have fun. This shows what the company culture is like.

Paying attention to the signals around you helps you blend with the culture. This includes the typical work hours, how long lunch is, and how employees communicate throughout the workday.

Ask Questions

Use your available resources to learn more information about things. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, talk with a colleague or coworker for the answer.

Asking questions shows your ongoing interest in learning. It also demonstrates engagement in your work.

Monitor Your Work Hours

Continuously being the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave does not increase your value to the company. Instead, it can lead to overworking, increased stress, and poor performance. Other results may include job dissatisfaction and burnout.

Instead, prioritize work-life balance. This includes watching the range of times when your colleagues end their workday. You should leave sometime around the midpoint. This shows you will not always work late during your time with the company.

Partner with a Recruiter

When the time comes to find your next opportunity, include RightStone in your job search. Here is a link to our job board or to submit your information.


IT Job Security

 

The latest IT trends are changing the way companies and consumers interact. This elevates sales, marketing, and ways of conducting business.

These IT trends also are creating job opportunities for technologists. As a result, you have more employment choices than before.

Discover some of the latest IT trends and how they create IT job security.


Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the belief that all tech-enabled devices can connect to the internet and each other to blend the physical and digital worlds. This increases opportunities for consumers to engage with products. The data can be used to maximize the results of marketing campaigns and user experiences.

IoT is changing the way business is conducted and the models used to do so. For instance, pay-per-use models are increasing in popularity as additional customer data becomes available. The growth of IoT increases the IT jobs related to it.

Machine Learning

More computers are able to analyze data and track patterns to facilitate learning. For instance, social media platforms use machine learning to analyze users’ likes, shares, and comments to see how users connect with the members of their networks. The platforms use this information to show users content from their closest connections.

Machine learning lets companies more effectively do business with customers. The technology helps businesses interact with customers to better anticipate and meet customers’ needs. The increasing need for machine learning means ongoing job opportunities for technologists.

Virtual Reality

Ongoing improvements in the hardware and programming of virtual reality technology impact almost every industry. In addition to its use in video games, virtual reality lets companies more effectively engage with customers.

Increased customer engagement maximizes sales and marketing campaigns. It also promotes learning, especially in educational organizations. All of these developments increase the number of IT jobs in the market.

Touch Commerce

Blending touchscreen technology and one-click shopping lets consumers purchase products from their mobile devices. Consumers link their payment information to their accounts so they can purchase virtually anything.

The increase in touch commerce increases sales related to this technology. It also creates new jobs for technologists.

Cognitive Technology

Natural language processing and speech recognition are examples of cognitive technology. These technologies are used to automate tasks previously done by people. Examples include certain accounting and analytics tasks.

Automated analysis of user data is especially beneficial for software companies wanting to scale. Staying current on cognitive technology in a given industry opens up a range of opportunities for IT professionals.

Ready for a New IT Job?

Partner with RightStone to land your next IT job. Visit our job board or submit your information today.


Advantages of Doing Your Homework Prior to an Interview

 

Success in interviews requires more than showing how your skills and experience equip you for a role. It also involves knowing as much information as possible about the company.

Researching the organization before an interview increases your odds of advancing in the hiring process. It also impacts whether you receive a job offer.

Discover some benefits of doing your homework on a company before participating in an interview.


Understand the Company Culture

Knowing about the company’s culture shows you intend to stay long-term.

  • Learn about the company’s history and achievements.
  • Research the products or services and how they changed over the years.
  • Determine whether the business expanded to other locations or parts of the world.
  • Find out who the CEO is.

Show Interest in the Company’s Success

Demonstrate that the organization’s success is your priority.

  • Show you have the qualifications to fulfill the job duties and responsibilities.
  • If you are applying for an entry-level position and lack experience, clarify how your company research demonstrates dedication to the business.
  • Suggest specific ways the company can operate more efficiently.

Demonstrate Interview Preparation

Clarify that preparation is key to success in a position.

  • Show your enthusiasm for working for the company.
  • Demonstrate the value you can provide the organization.
  • Clarify you take the initiative to gather information to make decisions.
  • Develop conversation topics and questions for the discussion.

Express Enthusiasm About the Company

Show you are genuinely interested in working for the business.

  • Demonstrate your willingness to invest time learning about something that interests you.
  • Clarify how you value the opportunity to secure employment with the organization.
  • Emphasize what you like best about the business, such as the fact that it gives back to the community.
  • Show you would appreciate being offered the job.

Prepare Questions About the Company

Asking questions shows interest in working for the business.

  • Demonstrate you want to learn more about the organization.
  • Ask higher-level questions not answered in your research, such as whether the company intends to expand its offerings or reach new markets.

Explain Why You Want the Job

Detail what drew you to work for the company.

  • Focus on how you can reach business goals to benefit the organization.
  • Express exactly why you are interested in the position.

Looking for Additional Advice?

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for increased success in landing a job. Visit our job board or contact us today.


6 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

 

Your cover letter introduces you to a hiring manager. It helps the manager form an impression of you as a candidate.

Your cover letter also highlights why you are the best candidate for the position.  This impacts whether you are contacted for an interview.

As a result, you want your cover letter to be as effective as possible. The following suggestions can help.

Implement these six tips to help your cover letter stand out from all the rest.


1. Address the Hiring Manager

There are many ways to find the hiring manager’s name and include it in your greeting.

  • Check the job posting for the hiring manager’s name.
  • Use LinkedIn to determine the hiring manager.
  • Call the company to ask for the hiring manager’s name and title.

2. Promote Yourself

Share your enthusiasm for the position and company.

  • Relate your skills and experience to the job description and qualifications.
  • Demonstrate why you are best suited for the role.
  • Comment on the company mission or leadership to show you researched the organization.
  • Ask to follow up about the position.

3. Be Concise

Limit your cover letter to three paragraphs focused on different parts of your resume.

  • Begin with an attention-grabbing introduction that shows your enthusiasm for the role and organization.
  • Mention the employee who referred you, if applicable.
  • Highlight your most important skills, experience, and accomplishments that relate to the position.
  • Explain why you are well-qualified for the role.
  • State how you would add value to the organization.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
  • Request a call or interview to follow up.

4. Customize Your Cover Letter

Tailor your cover letter to the role and company.

  • Tie the most important parts of the position to your skills and experience.
  • Point out how your contributions would be unique.
  • Use numbers to emphasize your accomplishments relevant to the role.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, company, and type of position.

5. Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Demonstrate how your achievements can benefit the company.

  • Share examples of the projects you worked on, the results you achieved, and how they impacted the organization.
  • Include the awards and recognition you received from previous employers.
  • Show you are a top performer who wants to grow along with the company.

6. Use Keywords

Pepper throughout your cover letter keywords and key phrases from the job description.

  • Keywords help your cover letter and resume pass an applicant tracking system (ATS).
  • The ATS scans for keywords to determine how closely a cover letter and resume match the skills and experience needed for the position.
  • The appropriate cover letters and resumes are sent to the hiring manager for review.
  • The hiring manager contacts the selected candidates for an interview.

Want Help with Your Job Search?

RightStone has IT positions that fit your goals and interests. Visit our job board today.


Breaking the Ice with New Coworkers

 

Starting a new IT job is exciting! You get to meet new peers and leaders as you take on new challenges.

However, you may feel anxious about not knowing any coworkers at your new company. Meeting people while staying focused during the onboarding and training can be difficult.

Fortunately, connecting with your new coworkers can be accomplished in a few steps. The more you get to know the people you work with, the more comfortable you will feel. This helps improve your engagement, productivity, and longevity with the organization.

Implement these tips to break the ice when meeting new coworkers.


Introduce Yourself

Take short breaks to walk around and introduce yourself to coworkers. You might want to ask basic questions about their job duties, responsibilities, and day-to-day activities. Or, you could ask about a coworker’s family. Share similar information about yourself as well.

Use this information as a basis for future conversations. The more you see your coworkers, the more you will have ideas of what to talk about.

Look for Common Interests

Ask questions to uncover your coworkers’ personal interests. This may include what they like to do in their free time.

Your coworkers may share your love of yoga, reading, or trying new restaurants. They might enjoy going to the farmers market you frequent on the weekends. Or, your coworkers could have traveled to the same destinations as you.

You can indulge in future conversations about these interests. You also might be able to set a time to engage in a favorite activity with your coworkers.

Offer to Buy Lunch

Ask a coworker if they would like to join you for lunch. Find out what food they like, then suggest a place to go. Or, if you are new to the area, ask which restaurant your coworker recommends.

Being away from the office helps you unwind. You should feel comfortable getting to know your coworker on a personal level.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone can provide you with IT openings that fit your skills and interests. Visit our job board or contact us today.


What Should You Do During Your First Week on the Job?

 

Starting a job comes with lots of uncertainty. You must adapt to new peers and leaders, a different work environment, and more challenging responsibilities.

The first week at your new job should be focused on balance. This includes making a positive first impression while giving yourself time to learn everything. The following tips can help you reach your first few milestones.

Follow these guidelines for increased success during your first week at a new job.


Introduce Yourself

Make a habit of sharing your name with the colleagues and coworkers you come into contact with. This helps you get to know other employees within the organization. It also helps your name and face become more familiar to others.

You may want to ask your manager for a list of employees you definitely should get to know. You also might ask for time at the beginning of a meeting to introduce yourself to the other participants.

Know what you want to say when you introduce yourself. For instance, if the person you are meeting appears distracted, keep your introduction brief. Or, if the person appears receptive, take a few minutes to get to know them.

Focus on remembering names by saying them back to the person. Also, write a quick note about the person to jog your memory.

Ask Questions

Request the information you need from your peers and leaders. This helps you more effectively do your job.

Consider what you want to know more about. This may include permission, advice, or validation. Be as specific as possible to receive the information you desire.

Write down your questions. This helps you remember what to ask about.

Prioritize the information you seek. This lets you determine when an appropriate time may be to ask about it. For instance, if you cannot access your computer, you should request help immediately. Or, if you need clarification on your team’s quarterly goals, you should be able to wait to talk with your manager.

Develop a Friendship

Ask a colleague or coworker out for coffee or lunch. Have a goal of getting to know them better. Developing social ties helps you feel more stable and comfortable as you adapt to your new work environment. It also can increase your productivity.

Add Value to the Company

Absorb as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Then, use what you learn to begin finding ways to contribute to the organization.

You may want to think about what you learned during the interview process. Perhaps there was a specific need discussed that you could focus on. Or, you could ask your manager what you should be focused on. Prioritize getting results as soon as possible.

Get Help Finding an IT Job

When the time comes to find your next IT role, make RightStone part of your search. Here are links to our job board and contact information.


How to Highlight Contract Work on Your Resume

 

The inclusion of contract work on your resume helps show you have the education, skills, and experience needed to be successful in a role. This can help you stand out among all the other candidates.

Engagement in contract work demonstrates your ability to quickly adapt to new environments and begin producing. It also helps eliminate potential gaps between full-time jobs.

Follow these guidelines to include contract work on your resume.


Use a Reverse-Chronological Order

Begin listing your work experience with your most recent position first. For your contract work, include the name of the staffing firm, its location, the name of the company you worked at, your position title, and the duration of the contract. For each full-time job, list the name of the company, its location, your job title, and the duration of your employment. Then, work backward for the past 10 years.

Listing each position helps provide a cohesive picture of your work experience. It also helps hiring managers understand what your background is like.

Another option is to list your contract work by industry. You can organize your work under one heading, such as a staffing firm, to ensure continuity. This helps show the relevance of each position to the job you want.

In either case, clarify the staffing firm you worked for, the companies you worked at, and the contract positions you held. This shows that the staffing firm was your employer and you held multiple contract positions through them. Including the names of the companies you worked at can increase your authority in the industry.

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Include your achievements for each contract position or job. This shows the value you added to each organization.

Use numbers to quantify your benefits for each employer. Show how you helped each company make or save money or increase efficiency. This indicates how you can provide value for your next employer.

Highlight Your Skills

Point out the skills you gained from each contract position or job. Be sure to review the job posting to determine which keywords and requirements to focus on. Include your skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This helps your resume get past an applicant tracking system (ATS) and to a hiring manager.

Get Help with Your Job Search

Partnering with a recruiter from RightStone provides you with resume and interview coaching and other job search assistance. Get started by visiting our job board today.


When Coworkers Leave, How Do You Handle a Heavier Workload?

 

The loss of a teammate often means an increased workload for you. This can be a significant source of stress.

You may be asked to take on additional tasks and responsibilities. Due to an already heavy workload, the additional activities can seem endless.

Figuring out where to start can feel intimidating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to plan your work and accomplish everything by the deadline.

Here are some strategies to handle the increased workload caused by the loss of a teammate.


Plan Your Work

Make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish for the week. Then, break down the list into the tasks you want to finish each day.

You may want to focus on the purpose of each task, the deadline, the desired results, the key performance indicators, and the potential challenges to determine which tasks to complete at a certain time. This helps provide clarity for the tasks, deliverables, and desired results. It also helps you understand your priorities and timelines.

Block out on your schedule the required amount of time to complete each task. Be sure to include time to take breaks and to handle unexpected events.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Determine which of your tasks are priorities and which are not. You may want to use an Eisenhower Matrix to separate your tasks into four categories: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.

Your urgent and important tasks should be scheduled for completion right away. Your important but not urgent tasks should be scheduled for later. Delegate your urgent but not important tasks to a teammate. Eliminate your tasks that are not urgent or important.

Take Breaks

Walk away from your desk at regular intervals. This gives your brain time to rest and recuperate. It also helps your body stay energized and your mind focused.

Take a walk, meditate, stretch, listen to music, or read a book during your breaks. Be sure to eat healthy foods during your lunch hour. This helps maintain engagement and productivity and reduces feelings of stress.

Consider Finding a New Job

If you regularly find yourself with an increased workload, it may be time to find a new IT job. Be sure to involve RightStone in your search. Here is a link to our job board.


6 Ways to De-Stress at Work

 

Meetings, presentations, and deadlines are among the most common sources of stress at work. If left unchecked, your increasing stress level can lead to decreased engagement and productivity. This can result in anxiety, depression, and burnout.

These are reasons why you must learn to overcome stressful situations at work. The following strategies can help.

Choose among these six methods to decrease your stress level while at work.


1. Schedule Your Tasks

Take time each night to plan your tasks for the following day. Be sure to include your most challenging activities in the morning. You should feel rested and ready to produce during this time. Allow enough time between tasks for interruptions. Be sure to check off each task when it is completed. This helps you stay focused and complete what you need to do.

2. Organize Your Desk

Make sure everything on your desk is in its place. Keep out only what you are working on. Clear your workspace of everything else. Organize your files and documents so you can find the information you need when you need it. This saves time and reduces the stress of seeing everything else you need to work.

3. Listen to a Calming Sound

You may want to play soothing music or a quiet sound while you work. This might involve classical or instrumental music. Or, it might be the sound of waves, a campfire, or whales. Calming music or sounds help relieve tension.

4. Move Your Body

Establish a habit of walking and stretching throughout the day. This is especially important if your work involves a lot of sitting. Taking walks during your breaks and lunch hour helps clear your head and let the creativity flow. Stretching your arms and legs for 10 minutes three times a day helps you feel energized.

5. Eat at Regular Intervals

Consume healthy foods and drink water throughout the day. Your snacks may include a bowl of dry fruit, pretzels, or other non-perishable food. Regularly eating small amounts of food provides the fuel needed to work throughout the day. It also helps control your blood sugar level and mood.

6. Focus on Your Accomplishments

Pay attention to what you get done each day. This may include small steps toward the completion of a project or the attainment of a long-term goal. Emphasis on your achievements increases your confidence and helps you relax.

Find a New Job

If your efforts to de-stress do not work, it may be time to find a new IT job. Let RightStone help you find the one that best matches your goals and interests. Visit our job board today.


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