The job interview: Often the final boundary between you and a life changing job/career.  Yet in technology jobs an interview can often be more of a quagmire than a coronation no matter how skilled you are in your respective field.

A new generation of hiring managers have come into the fray, many of whom have come through the ranks of the company and know the technologies required for the position backwards and forwards.

As a result tech job applicants have to adapt and be prepared for almost anything in a job interview. But do not fear. This is an opportunity to show off your skills and sell your brand! Here are some helpful tips to ace your next tech interview.

Know your technology and express it

It may sound obvious or self-explanatory, but it is really  not. Hiring managers are now more astute and polished than ever in tech. They will throw detailed complex questions at you and look for the smallest mistake or area of weakness. Giving examples of your how you used the specific skills in a current or previous job gives you more clout and credibility.

Be ready for anything

“Expect the unexpected” may sound like a cliché but it has never been truer than in tech job interviews and throughout the hiring process. Hiring managers want to see what you are made of and how you respond to various situations and different types of pressure.  One IT hiring manager was renown for not introducing himself or conducting small talk and going straight into detailed questions. Other companies have been known to bring in members of the team you would be working on to “tech you out” and to provide additional feedback to hiring managers during the interview.  Almost anything is possible these days in a tech interview, so go into one with an open and flexible mind.

Demonstrate people skills

Your tech skills and qualifications and experience may be the crème-de –la- crème, but these days that is only gets you halfway. Hiring managers and companies for that matter now focus on personality almost as much as qualifications and work history. Tech environments are often small and rely on strong teamwork skills.  Hiring managers will look to see how well you open up in an interview and personable you are.

All things are good in moderation though. While hiring managers like to see how friendly and outgoing you are, no one wants a chatterbox either.

Ask questions

Hiring managers want to see if you are interested in the job and how well you actually listened to them. Avoid the generic questions like “How will I be challenged?” and find specific topics based on the information the hiring manager or recruiter gave you during the interview. Not asking questions can show a lack of interest in the role.