“Egotistical.” “Insubordinate.” “Doesn’t play well with others.” All of these negative stereotypes trail behind IT professionals, often drowning out the more positive stereotypes: focused, logical, and persevering.
While these stereotypes can be tough, they can also work to your advantage. By knowing what preconceptions hiring managers are likely to have about IT professionals, you can turn these ideas to your advantage – even when they seem to be negative.
Here are some of the most prevalent stereotypes about IT professionals and how you can beat them in an interview:
- “IT people have huge egos.” IT professionals typically spend most of their years in education learning how to build, troubleshoot, and improve systems – and not a lot of time learning to deal with people. To outsiders, this need for certainty translates as egotism. To smooth out the “rough edges,” use a story about a time you made a mistake to demonstrate your ability to recognize, correct, and learn from your own errors.
- “IT people are loners who can’t handle teamwork.” Increasingly, IT professionals are required to work as a team – making this stereotype outdated as well as incorrect. IT staff are also called upon to explain their reasoning, recommendations, and work to audiences with widely varying computer literacy skills. To challenge this stereotype in an interview, discuss your past and current teamwork in a way that highlights your communication skills.
- “IT people are insubordinate.” IT staff frequently work with little direct supervision. They tackle complex problems that require real skill and focus to solve. When these staff must navigate corporate bureaucracies and answer to distant supervisors who don’t understand the complexities of their work, the resulting “communications gap” may look like insubordination. In truth, very few professionals in any field do well when demands are unreasonable or decisions seem arbitrary. Since IT professionals thrive in environments with clear demands, benchmarks, and goals, ask about how the prospective workplace is structured and what the expectations of the job are.
- “IT people don’t respect others.” Among IT professionals, respect is earned with quality work, not by accumulating degrees or job titles. To demonstrate your respect for coworkers and supervisors, talk about projects you’ve worked on and lessons you’ve learned from the fellow professionals you respect most.
At Synerfac, our experienced recruiters can help you supercharge your job search and find a project that fits your skills. Contact us today to learn more.