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Do you have an interview with a hot new start-up in Silicon Valley? Are you on the moon because you’ve got a chance at your dream job? If you’re in IT, there is nothing like Silicon Valley to light up your world. But, before you get ahead of yourself…you still need to ace the interview.

Here are 6 tips to help you land the job of your dreams

1. Ask The Right Questions

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As you prepare for your interview, make a list of questions that you believe the organization should ask. In other words, think as if you were already the CFO.

Here’s how this works

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2021, IT spend will be over $4 trillion. Many organizations are realizing that IT is getting increasingly complex and harder to understand. At the same time, CFOs are feeling the pressure to reduce spending the same time as increasing user productivity. Brightfin explores how to optimize IT Financial management. Organize your presentation to the hiring board to reflect the key questions and top priorities.

This will likely include:

  • What analytics do we need to make sound operational decisions?
  • What technology can we automate to deliver speed, improve efficiency and optimize costs?
  • What kind of enterprise-wide system do we need for review and governance?
  • How can we measure, fund, and manage digital business performance?

By asking the right questions, you’ll demonstrate that you deeply understand the issues and priorities. You’ll position yourself for getting a hiring offer – by being in touch with the most important issues for financial transparency.

2. Explore Future Issues

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Take things further and show the hiring committee that you have a deep understanding of cultural, social, and trending issues. Talk about future needs that they may not have fully anticipated. Share your insights about the up-and-coming generation of digital natives. The next generation of workers is people who have grown up immersed in digital technology. They have different priorities, inclinations, and expectations for the workplace.

By exploring the present and future needs, business executives will be able to intelligently allocate IT funds. They will anticipate needs for e-learning, virtual collaboration, and hybrid working arrangements. Instead of being behind the wave, they will be ahead of the curve to evaluate spending across the organization. As you share your insights, give specific examples that are relevant to the organization you hope to join.

3. Practice Your Presentation

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As every performing artist knows, it’s essential to practice your presentation. Keep the end in mind, namely that you want to impress the committee, be authentic, and share your enthusiasm for the job.

Along the way, pay particular attention to keeping the flow of your presentation. Organize your message in bite-size chunks so that everyone can stay engaged. It’s entirely possible that some of the people on the hiring committee may not be finance or IT experts.

That’s why it’s very useful to speak in simple English. Avoid using acronyms or complex terminology. Most professionals will not want to ask a ‘stupid question when you use a term they don’t know. However, they could use their lack of understanding as a bad mark on your presentation.

Finally, be sure to practice as close to the final performance conditions. If you’ll be sitting at a table, practice at a table. If you’re talking to two, three, or twelve people – replicate that environment. You can even use cutout cardboard to pose as a sample hiring committee, seated around the table.

While you’re recreating the most realistic version of your interview, also take the time to get dressed. Decide on your outfit – from shirt to shoes. Pay attention to your comfort as well as looking professionally dressed. If you’re uncomfortable in your clothes, it is bound to show up somewhere you don’t want.

Practice your delivery and use this time to pay attention to your voice, tone, and body language. People are watching everything you do, say, and gesture. If you’re frowning or smiling, it will make a difference. If you’re making eye contact or gazing at the floor/ceiling, decision-makers will notice.

4. Be Yourself

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As you practice your presentation, stay natural. Often highly technical presentations can come off as overly formal or difficult for non-finance people. Make sure that you’re including stories, examples, and personal experiences to break the ice. By keeping a personal and human tone to your presentation, you are more likely to build a bridge to everyone on the committee. One of the great ways to do this is to think about your presentation in chunks or modules.

Offer a chance for people to ask questions, interact, or explore company-specific examples during your presentation. If you wait until the end of your presentations to do this, some participants will have forgotten their earlier questions. A key practice is to talk as if you were speaking with a dear friend. You’ll be natural, at ease, and speak with passion.

5. Simplify Your Message

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While you’re going through a rigorous rehearsal practice, notice any areas that seem sticky, clunky, or awkward. Remove or reduce these parts of your presentation. Remember, if you are comfortable and at ease, you can easily flow through this interview.

If you feel it would help the committee, prepare a one-page outline of your key points. You may want to add a visual or blueprint so they can take notes as you give your presentation. This kind of attention to detail shows that you care about your audience and are focused on providing the best insights.

6. Reduce Your Stress Levels

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Of course, going for a job interview can be stressful. That’s why it helps to take time to reduce stress and calm down. Whether it’s deep breathing, yoga, or stretching, take some time for yourself. As you are in the Bay Area, it should be easy to step outside, find a park, and take in natural beauty.

Sum Up

Use these simple tips to prepare for success. You’re about to land the job you’ve been dreaming of!