How to Defy IT Stereotypes in an Interview!


Earned or unearned, there are some stereotypes that pervade the IT sector. Some are very positive, and some are quite negative. In an interview, recruiters and interviewers have only a certain amount of time to understand your personality, and this is the best time to show them the stereotypes are undeserved and don’t apply to you.

  1. Smile. While it seems simple, this works wonders. One of the predominant stereotypes is that IT professionals are anti-social. In a very select few cases this might be true – but not more proportionately to any other vertical. In order to demonstrate that you’re not antisocial, it’s important to smile and show them you’re a human being… not a robot.
  1. Talk about your personal interests – other than technology. A common stereotype is that all IT professionals play video games in their parent’s basement for twelve hours at a stretch. IT workers like to play pool, go to baseball games, and enjoy hobbies as much as anyone else. Bringing out this side of you in the interview helps to counter this stereotype.
  1. Use colloquial (plain) English… articulately. This sounds like an unusual request, but another stereotype is that IT specialists have their own language comprised predominantly of jargon and sentence fragments that have no meaning to the general populace. While this is sometimes true while at work, this doesn’t retract form their ability to explain complex ideas to those without the same level of training.

There are some positive stereotypes as well (for example, that IT professionals – especially programmers and developers – are unusually intelligent) and while they’re sometimes well deserved, it’s still better to avoid any stereotypes, and be your own charismatic person. Any specific mold, regardless of what it is, could shape preconceived notions into the minds the minds of interviewers.

At CERS, we understand the soft skills that accompany the technical expertise, and place a great emphasis on the match between the company and the person. Finding the right skills for the right position is necessary, but matching long-term interests and soft skills is what provides the greatest long-term satisfaction. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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