Looking for a new job in 2017 but don’t know your Google Docs from your Dropbox? Don’t worry, you’re not alone

time for a new job, applying for a job
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Hundreds of thousands of workers considering career changes are concerned they are being left behind.

They know that any interviewer worth their salt will want to weed out candidates who think SEO is one step down from the CEO.

With that in mind, James Reed, chairman of global recruitment giant REED, has relaunched his global best-selling interview advice book, Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again.

The second edition focuses on how to answer the tech questions candidates across all sectors are likely to face.

You are now expected to have a basic understanding of how technology is enhancing people’s lives. Understanding how companies like Uber and Airbnb are utilising technology to create new markets will allow you to see the potential for your organisation.

The current generation of school leavers have grown up with technology and instinctively understand how to use it and utilise it in their working day.

James’s book aims to guide job seekers through the minefield of tech interview questions and emphasises that often your approach to learning new skills is more important than your existing knowledge.

If the thought of being asked to critique a piece of software leaves you cold, you need to read these seven key tips:

Double trouble

James explains in his book how many interview questions about tech have double meanings. A potential employer may be asking you about the most difficult technical challenge you’ve ever faced – but really they want to know about your problem-solving skills. Take a deep breath and think about what the question really means.

Googlewhacked

If you’re asked about how you keep up with technology, don’t expect to get away with saying you know how to use Google. You need to do your research, show that you’re familiar with other platforms and be able to talk about a cutting edge platform or piece of software with conviction. You must show you are keen and able to learn.

Lingo bingo

Use the wrong technical term at the wrong time and you might cache a cold, so to speak. But used in the right way, it’s a powerful way of showing your understanding of the modern world. Make sure you are specific and relevant.

Trending

Use your brain, do some research and stay on top of the latest trends in your industry. There are so many sites out there which stay on top of the latest developments, so sign up to newsletters and stay ahead. Evangelising about this great new platform for young people called “Chatsnap” to the chief marketing officer is sure to lose you the job.

A STAR is born

Many apparently tech-focused questions – such asking you about the biggest technical challenge you’ve ever faced – are actually competency questions. Stick to concise answers using the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Approach and Results. Find an example that shows how your problem-solving skills cut the mustard.

Criticise

Don’t be afraid to be outspoken about potential improvements that could be made to the website or app of the firm you want to join. Make sure that your ideas are well-researched and relevant to a particular question you have been asked. And make sure you have got well-thought out ideas on how to improve the offering. Announcing that their online presence stinks out the web is unlikely to endear you to the interviewer.

Curveball

Many interviewers love to fire off a rogue tech question to put you under pressure. But it’s not about demonstrating your technical knowledge, it’s about showing your ability to think on your feet and show your reasoning. Could you explain a database to an eight-year-old? The question isn’t about databases – it’s about your ability to communicate.

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