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Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacks

Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacks Self-presentation influences the attitude towards a candidate (photo: Freepik)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

An IT interview consists of various stages, one of which is the candidate's self-presentation. Recruiters and HR managers emphasize that the impression of a person, both positive and negative, can be formed in the first minutes of communication.

Sources used:, DOU,, and Happy Monday.

Most common mistakes

Self-presentation is an important part of the interview, as it forms the overall impression of the candidate in the eyes of the recruiter, HR manager, or other interviewer.

According to Alina Bernatska, a career consultant and recruiter at TechMagis, "No one will know how great you are until you learn how to talk about it and present your experience accurately."

It is worth highlighting some typical mistakes that candidates most often make during self-presentation:

  • a biographical story that starts from the day of birth;
  • a story about irrelevant experience for a particular position;
  • communication in the "Yes/No" style, which is argued by the fact that everything in the CV should be clear.

Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacksSuccessful self-presentation is a step towards success (illustrative photo:

Preparing for self-presentation

You need to prepare for an interview because a confused and clumsy candidate is unlikely to get the position he or she wants.

In preparation for your self-presentation, answer a few basic questions:

  • why are you doing this (to get a job in a particular position)
  • what result do you want to get (to move to the next stage of the interview)
  • how you will do it (impress the interlocutor with your confidence, competence, successful cases, and relevant examples from past projects).

After that, experts advise you to start planning your self-presentation.

Recall everything you know about the company, project, or product you want to work with (understanding the values and goals of the employer is essential for adequate communication and further cooperation).

Review your previous experience in terms of the requirements for the chosen position (in order not to overload the interlocutor with unnecessary information, emphasizing instead the most important achievements).

Mention the main victories and failures (this will help to focus the interlocutor's attention on strengths and weaknesses at the right time).

Recall everything that is written in your CV (any information from your CV can turn into a question).

Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacksA resume should contain only the truth, without exaggeration (illustrative photo:

Analyze your level of communication skills and, if necessary, even practice in front of a mirror.

Improve your English (especially your oral communication).

Make a conditional plan - what and how you will say during the interview.

Prepare questions or clarifications about the company, project, or team (goals, objectives, tasks, etc.).

Check if your internet connection is working well, and if there are any malfunctions with your headset or camera (if the interview is online).

Prepare an alternative source of power and internet access in case of technical problems or blackouts (if the interview is online).

Think about the place for the online interview - with sufficient lighting and no monkeys in the background.

Take care of your wardrobe and appearance - the candidate should be neat during the interview, and his or her clothes should be discreet.

Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacksYou don't have to wear a three-piece suit to look neat (illustrative photo:

Self-presentation plan

During the interview, you should impress the potential employer not with pathos, but with:

  • personal qualities, behavior, ability to communicate and interact (soft skills);
  • specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the chosen position (hard skills).

Based on this, your self-presentation should contain information about

  • previous relevant professional experience and achievements, knowledge, and skills (with specific facts and figures);
  • technologies, programs, tools, approaches, or projects (with which you have worked the most);
  • specialized education (if it is relevant to the position you are applying for);
  • development plans (both personal and professional);
  • expectations for your future career (what you plan to achieve, which goals are most interesting to you, and which are less desirable);
  • why you are suitable for this position (based on specific examples, knowledge, and achievements);
  • why you chose this particular field of work or IT profession (if you came to IT from another field).

Key rules of self-presentation in IT job interviews: Recruiter's life hacksSelf-presentation should not tire the interlocutor (illustrative photo:

Tips for candidates

Experts advise candidates to follow some basic recommendations when presenting themselves during an interview.

Hold yourself confidently and without unnecessary tension - straighten your back, straighten your shoulders (because the emotional state directly depends on the physical state), do not avoid the interlocutor's gaze, do not be afraid to smile, do not avoid "basic" emotions.

Avoid pathos and inflated self-esteem - no one likes to cooperate with "know-it-alls" who look down on others.

Be ready to "establish contact" and maintain a dialog - the so-called small talk (or even initiate it) - it is about adequate communication and human qualities that are easier to identify in a conversation about "life", the office, etc.

Be friendly and positive - do not forget about the basic rules of etiquette.

Be honest and open - even if you don't know something, it's better to explain that you haven't worked with it before, but you plan to figure it out in the future (and do it).

Demonstrate your interest in the job, cooperation, and project - ask prepared questions in advance, and clarify anything you don't understand.