Category Archives: Thought Leadership

Turning Women toward Tech

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What’s the answer to solving the nation’s IT skills shortage and accelerate its pace of innovation globally? Women! Finally, a simple answer to a complex problem. Or, is it? The ability to greatly increase our country’s IT talent base through recruiting more women into the field appears to be a no-brainer on paper. Consider this:

  • Roughly 1.2 million computing jobs will be available by 2022, and U.S. Universities are producing only 39 percent of the graduates needed to fill them. Meanwhile, the National Center for Education Statistics forecasts a total of 13.5 million+ female college students in 2020 compared to just under 9.5 million males.
  • The BLS calculates that women make up more than two-thirds of employees in 10 of the 15 job categories likely to grow fastest in the next few years.
  • Nearly one billion women are poised to enter the global economy in the coming decade, and they receive the majority of college and advanced degrees.

So, the answer to solving the IT skills shortage seems to be WOMEN.

It would seem that, since there is an abundance of women ready to enter the market, it would make sense that Women are answer to the IT worker question. Sure does sound simple. Yet those of us in the IT field know all too well that women are dramatically under-represented, and this poses a serious situation for the economic prosperity of our companies and our nation. A recent New York Times article reported that women hold only 25 percent of IT jobs, and roughly half will eventually quit to pursue a completely different line of work.

Jennifer Turner, VisionIT Test Manager Consultant noted that “The IT Industry is uniquely poised to attract female employees because many technology positions lend themselves to the “work from anywhere” alternative. So many women are pulled in opposing directions by family and work responsibilities. The ability to work remotely offers a more flexible schedule and more time to work. This is one important key to attracting more women to the IT industry.”

This lack of women becomes a concern in the industry for a number of reasons. Demographic challenges, including an impending retirement of Baby Boomer IT workers, will leave large gaps in the IT sector. Consider as well, the products the technical industry creates are shaped by those who buy them, and women are quickly outpacing men when it comes to buying decisions and consumer spending. Women currently control 83 percent of all consumer purchases, including electronics.

As a woman in the male-dominated IT industry, I have seen first-hand the value, skills, and diversity that female IT workers can bring to organizations. For example, as Kirsten Wolberg, vice president of technology for PayPal recently commented, application development teams that include women as members are 10 to 15 percent more productive than those that don’t.

In addition to reviewing key components that are important to the current female work force, some awareness and planning with the future female work force should be considered. Angela Lowe, VisionIT QA Analyst Consultant feels that “If we encourage our young women starting early on especially in areas of Mathematics and Science I believe this could lead to an IT route.” She also noted that she had a few strong mentors when she entered the work force as a young woman in an entry level support role.

Collectively, our sector needs to improve on a number of fronts to curb the exodus of women from our field, and to encourage more to join it. Stay tuned for more posts about how we can work together to help turn this challenge into a prosperous opportunity.







Thriving On Change: A Revolutionary Approach To Enterprise Mobility

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Thriving on Change

A Revolutionary Approach to Enterprise Mobility

With so much attention on the rapid pace of technological change, it’s difficult to truly grasp just how fast the mobile world is evolving. To better understand the speed of mobility, consider that it took about 60 years for the telephone to reach 50 percent market penetration in the United States, and 25 years for the personal computer. The smartphone, however, has taken only 15 years to reach 50 percent market penetration, and the tablet is likely to reach that milestone in less than a decade.

With more than 1.8 billion active smartphones and tablets across the world and rising, the demand for mobile apps by both businesses and mobile device users continues to increase. Americans on the whole have made mobile devices an integral part of their personal lives, and they are expecting to do so in their business lives as well.

In fact, bring your own device (BYOD) programs continue to become more common. According to Gartner research, BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and culture of client computing in business in decades. Gartner predicts by 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes.

The reality is enterprise mobility solutions offer businesses immediate opportunities to improve customer service, increase efficiency, boost sales, and gain a competitive advantage. That is in part, why it is estimated by 2015, the global market for enterprise mobility is projected to exceed $168 billion.

Mobility Solutions Solve Business Challenges, Drive Operational Improvements

Companies are investing in mobility solutions because they are trying to leverage the ability (and desire) of workers to remain productive and effective at their job while on the go. Taking advantage of mobility can help solve several business objectives for companies today:

–        Increase sales productivity

–        Improve customer service

–        Improve operational efficiencies of employees

For example, with an effective mobility solution, sales representatives can not only obtain timely sales support, but also provide their customers with needed product and pricing information immediately. Having useful sales content, literally at the sales rep’s fingertips, offers a unique competitive advantage to businesses. Or, as an employee, enterprise mobility applications offers access to employment-related information, perform critical tasks, securely interact with their back-end enterprise systems, and access important content that allows them to remain productive no matter where or when.

PersonalWorkdayPerceived Barriers to Embracing Mobility

Today, the main challenge for enterprises is to simply figure out how to integrate mobile devices into their current business processes and IT systems. That is the foundational first step needed to support the game-changing capabilities that will eventually transform the way they do business.

Most companies’ IT departments historically managed PCs and desktops, and when the introduction of blackberries and similar devices drove the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BOYD) movement, IT departments continued to manage those devices (known as Mobile Device Management or MDM), but not necessarily the data on them. With increasing security concerns, that soon evolved into a need for IT departments to manage the data and applications on the devices as well (known as Enterprise Mobile Management or EMM).

While the transition to enterprise mobile management has helped solve IT and security concerns, it does not address today’s most pressing and fundamental issue – the user experience.  The trend towards “consumerization of IT” and the influence of cloud technology means business is now changing faster than IT can respond. As a result, companies are seeing an urgent need and an opportunity to offer more self-service capabilities to their business users.

Many of the solutions on the market today address different aspects of enterprise mobile management well, but the majority fall short in key areas. Traditional solutions include:

–        Point Apps – applications that the enterprise may offer, such as SAP, Oracle or SalesForce.

  • Pro: these applications offer rich native experiences
  • Cons: they don’t talk to one another. From a user perspective, there is no integrated work flow capabilities.

–        Do-it-Yourself or Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADPs) – An option whereby businesses build and rollout their own proprietary applications.

  • Pro: offers flexibility of building what businesses want, customized
  • Cons: high cost, lengthy development time, complexity in developing and maintaining; and most of these platforms don’t provide a back-end structure.

–        Back-end as a service or Enterprise Application Integration – these are solutions that integrate a businesses’ back-end systems with the enterprise’ mobile applications.

Screenshot 2014-04-22 13.40.46

  • Pro: solves the issue of back-end integration for MADPs or Point Apps.
  • Con: does very little about the mobile application or user experience.

Even beyond these shortfalls, many of the existing approaches are lengthy, expensive, and resource-intensive. Most enterprise applications have no mobile version, and typically take months to years to deploy. This consumes valuable IT resources, often foregoing other business critical initiatives and support.

What the market requires is one solution that delivers the benefits of each of these three approaches, without the cons associated with each and that satisfies the need for business users to be self-sufficient.

A Game-Changing Solution Emerges: MobileForce ™

MobileForce is a unique mobile application platform that offers the native experience of point apps, the cross-platform capabilities of MADP, and the application connectivity and integration of EAI. VisionIT is an authorized reseller and integrator of MobileForce, and is setting new standards in the mobile technology industry and delivering value to hundreds of companies. With MobileForce, companies go live in a matter of days, not months or years. There is no coding, custom development or application life cycle maintenance required.  Essentially, enterprises can minimize the number of tools they need for implementing a successful mobile strategy.

The MobileForce solution also satisfies an emerging trend today – the need for business users to manage and maintain mobile applications without the need to code or possess high-level technical skills. The cloud-based platform provides customers with a user interface that is highly-intuitive, and that can facilitate changes and rapid time-to-market delivery without the need for coding, so that application implementation doesn’t lag behind business needs.

MobileForce took note of this trend and delivers a solution that allows users with a non-technical background to build interfaces without writing any code, and that is accessible to more than just the IT department.

The MobileForce sales application is used by thousands of field salespeople and system engineers worldwide to get the “right information at the right time.” The result is improved productivity by eliminating weeks of unnecessary round-trip interactions with prospective customers and shortened sales cycle by up to 20 percent.

Screenshot 2014-04-22 13.34.59

Laying the Groundwork for the Next Big Thing – Wearable Tech

Wearable tech, such as smart watches and head-mounted displays, are poised to take the enterprise by storm. The blog Business Insider believes that the “wearable technology” market will be a $12 billion sector by 2018.

This trend will no doubt continue to impact businesses, in adapting existing platforms, security protocols, and system integration to address these devices and how they are managed. VisionIT will continue to track these emerging trends, helping companies stay ahead of the technology curve, and unleash the power that mobility can offer.

Telecommuting: Taking a Cue from Socrates

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Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 1.53.46 PM

Socrates would likely never have guessed that 2500 years after he stated “Everything in moderation. Nothing in excess,” the concept would be applied to the realm of telecommuting. Yet, it is the most accurate way to describe our philosophy and approach towards telecommuting and other work/life balance options at VisionIT.  Too much of one thing can in fact, be detrimental, and that includes spending too much time away from the in-person, collaboration that being in the office affords.

A recent study by Gallup provides some evidence that remote work in moderation does lead to higher employee engagement levels. The research indicates that workers who spend less than 20 percent doing so, are more engaged than their counterparts who never work remotely. However, as workers spend more than 20 percent of their time remotely, levels of engagement decline as they spend more time off-site. The specific findings included:

  • Among workers who never work remotely, 28 percent are engaged – meaning they are emotionally involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work.
  • Yet, among employees who spend up to 20 percent of their time remotely, 35 percent are engaged.

This particularly resonates with us at VisionIT because the nature of our industry necessitates a high number of virtual workers. As I commented nearly a year ago after Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer halted telecommuting at her organization altogether, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to world of work/life balance programs. We also know that success of telecommuting is dependent upon the individual and their responsibilities.  At VisionIT, we believe that our team members are most satisfied and most successful when they have a balance of both worlds – opportunities for face-to-face collaboration and fellowship with peers and exposure to management/leadership in the office, along with the enjoyment and autonomy that working remotely can offer.

Communicating and fostering our company culture is an important focus of our company, and that means finding creative approaches to engage our virtual workforce. For us, a combination of online and video collaboration tools, in-person summits or meetings, and even hosting team-building excursions outside of the office all lead to striking the balance Socrates so intelligently spoke of years ago.

Informational Interviews: A Valuable Tool for IT Candidates

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By Sean McCoy, Talent Agent, VisionIT.

In the white hot technology job market, for many IT candidates the world is their oyster when it comes to picking a prospective employer. For others, the competition for open positions is so heated that any leg up can mean the difference between landing your dream job or not. In either case, informational interviews can be a great alternative, or precursor to a formal job interview, that can provide valuable insight into a company’s culture, environment, and a great step towards landing a job.

As a recent article in CIO magazine points out, sometimes job search tips that are “beyond the obvious” can be the difference-maker, and we think informational interviews are one such “out-of-the-box” approach IT candidates ought to consider.

Informational interviews are a great way to find out what’s going on in a company, better understand the culture and work environment, and what they’re looking for in a candidate. It’s also a good way to get on a potential employer’s list of future candidates.

Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Try to interview with someone who is working in your desired IT field, not just with someone who is in human resources. The way to land an interview is by digging through your network of friends, family, former colleagues, trade groups, and social media. Find out who you’re connected to and start building the bridge to make new contacts
  • Before you reach out to the contacts you would like to interview, do your homework. Be prepared to know everything you can about the interviewer and the company. Research the company’s latest developments and make a list of questions. Some examples include how the firm sources job candidates and what corporate culture is like. Prepping with questions will help ease your nerves, but it will also show the interviewer that you’re serious about your job search and their company.
  • When your interview takes place, don’t pepper your interviewer with questions. Let the conversation flow normally and interject a question when it’s appropriate. You shouldn’t try to sell yourself directly, but it’s okay to have a few sentences prepared that outline your background and interest in the company. Again, let the conversation flow normally, and insert information about yourself where it makes sense. Be interested and engaged, but don’t try to force anything.
  • When it comes to scheduling interviews, take what you can get. People are busy, and any time they can give you is valuable. Even if it’s just a few minutes on the phone or an email exchange, it’s still a foot in the door. Whatever time you are given, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and input.

It doesn’t matter if a company is officially hiring or not. Having good informational interviews is the best way to make a good first impression before an official interview takes place. It’s always valuable to get a foot in the door, and it proves your initiative.

Posing For Power: Why Body Language Matters in the IT Interview

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By Glenn Schmidt, Talent Agent, VisionIT

Having interviewed thousands of IT candidates over our company’s history, we know the role body language can play in either presenting yourself as a professional or in some cases, costing you the job. And, for IT professionals, the issue of body language is often overlooked given the traditional nature of IT jobs where most of your time is sitting in front of a computer screen. Why bother?

As was recently reported by Forbes, body language can impact the outcome of a job interview. But we also think understanding the basics of body language can be an important step in your managerial journey. While body language can be difficult to read and control, learning about what your body language says about you can help you to succeed and be perceived positively. It can also help you understand more about how you make others feel and what they think about you.

Consider these tips to ensure you convey the right qualifications – mind and body:

  • Eye contact is one of the most important factors in body language. While maintaining eye contact indicates interest and demonstrates listening, too much eye contact can seem aggressive. The best way to master eye contact is to learn the balance between submissive, or looking away too often, and domineering, or looking too closely too often.
  • Posture is another key component to body language. Slouching posture indicates disinterest and fatigue, whereas straight posture shows that you are powerful and engaged. However, when sitting and standing up straight, be relaxed and comfortable to avoid looking rigid.
  • Speed also reveals what you are thinking. Slower movements, such as slow nodding, suggest that you are giving something your full attention. Fast nodding reveals impatience. If you are still, it suggests you are comfortable and in control. But if you move too quickly, people will think you are nervous.
  • Gestures with your hands can reveal your state of mind, which is especially important to notice when something negative needs to be portrayed in a positive light. Repetitive motions such as tapping show boredom, and emphasizing words by beating your hands on something shows power and authority.

In an interview and throughout your career, the messages your body sends are just important as what you say. Understanding how effectively communicate through body language will help you ace an interview, give you more confidence, and serve as another tool to further your IT career.

Question: Who Needs Soft Skills? Answer: YOU DO.

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By Glenn Schmidt,      Talent Agent

If you think you are at the top of your game as an IT professional just because you know the latest and greatest technology tools, software and trends, think again.

Many technology professionals believe all they need to land a job, or a promotion, are the talents and know-how for their primary job function. But the reality is that where technical expertise ends, the need and requirement for “soft skills” begins.

First, what are “soft skills”? Basically, these are those characteristics and capabilities that are non-technical, such as communication, leadership, team-building and presentation skills. For example, if you have read any articles about companies recruiting members of the military, one of the most attractive skills military veterans posses is leadership.

Developing these qualities may increase over time with experience, but it’s important for all IT professionals at any level to be aware of and begin to increase their “soft skills” to add value for an employer. For a more complete list of some of the top “soft skills” for IT workers, take a read through this blog post from Tech Republic.

So why is it so important to acquire “soft skills”?

To begin with, for those currently seeking employment, the job market is competitive and you may find yourself qualified for a job that hundreds of others are qualified for as well. You need to be able to differentiate yourself from the pack, and demonstrate that you have more to offer to a prospective employer.

Furthermore, if you have chosen a career path for management you will need more than excellent technical expertise to be considered for such positions. Communication, for example, is a key component to being an effective manager. Being able to convey a message – written and orally – to a variety of audiences including subordinates, peers and executives, could help you achieve your management goals.

Communication and leadership are only a few “soft skills” to add to your capabilities and areas of expertise. There are a host of others that can be developed, and could be the key to landing your next dream job.

Mastering the IT Video Interview

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By Sean McCoy, Senior Talent Manager

Technical, behavioral and phone interviews… oh my! Just when you thought you’d seen every breed of interview, along came the video interview. While they made their debut years ago, they are gaining in popularity as IT companies and hiring managers seek more cost-efficient and productive ways of interviewing candidates. Though they are becoming commonplace, they still can be a bit intimidating for job seekers, even those in the IT industry who use technology regularly.

In fact, according to research from the Aberdeen Group, 32 percent of organizations invested in video interviewing this year, compared to 21 percent in 2012. So, chances are you’ll be in the video spotlight at some point in your IT career. Two recent articles published by LinkedIn and CareerBuilder shed light on this topic, but we’ve also compiled a list to help you master the video technology aspects so you can focus on honing your interview skills to land the job.

There are two fundamental types of video interviewing – either one-way or two-way. In one-way interviews, employers can opt to set up a series of questions in advance, giving candidates a chance to record their answers at his or her convenience.  This allows employers to replay, review and rate the interview more easily and at their own pace, as well as compare candidates’ side-by-side more effectively.

While this format may appear easier or less stressful, be aware that some one-way video interviews simply present a question to you on the screen, giving you a minute or two to think about your answer, then immediately require you to record the response – whether you are ready or not. This can shake candidates’ confidence or be very distracting with no visual or audio responses from the interviewer.

In a two-way or live scenario, the interviewer will be conducting the process much like you were in-person. Despite the fact that you are likely miles away from your interviewer and separated by video screens, all of the same preparations for an in-person interview apply. Beyond that, there are some technical and environmental aspects you’ll need to take care of:

  • A video interview will typically take place in a professional environment either at a recruiter’s office or a company that provides video conferencing services.
  • Be sure to send any written materials that the employer needs or you’d like them to have (such as a resume) well in advance of the interview.
  • Dress professionally in business attire, preferably in solid colors for better camera presence.
  • To ensure you have time to get situated properly, arrive early.  This will also give you time to ask for assistance if unsure how to use the equipment or to scope out the best backdrop for your interview.
  • Since microphones pick up noise easily, don’t shuffle papers or tap a pen.  In fact, keep the surface in front of you clear so there are no distractions for the interviewer.
  • Make eye contact at all times as if the person were in the room with you. If the Picture-in-Picture feature is used, see how you appear and make any adjustments. Pay close attention to lighting.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and interact with the interviewer.
  • If you are participating in a video interview where you are simply asked to read questions and then respond, do so with the same clarity and eye contact you would use as if a person were there.

Most important, be natural and confident, and it will come across, even through the airways.

Training & Specialization Integral to Long-Term IT Career Success

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By Christine Murray

Senior Manager, Talent Engagement

There is little question that the IT profession is booming, and is viewed as one of the most promising and secure industries workers can enter. As with any other profession, however, there are career paths and opportunities IT professionals can take that will help them progress at warp speed. In the IT industry, one of those ways is through ongoing training and specialization.

IT careers are rewarding in part because of a greater sense of job security due to an overall skills gap between companies’ IT job requirements and a limited supply of skilled workers to fill them. In fact, a recent CompTIA State of the IT Skills Gap Study found that 93 percent of employers indicate there is an overall skills gap among their IT staff. Most important for IT professionals – the greatest percentage of respondents (46%) cited “fast changing technology, difficult for IT workers to stay current with skills” as a primary cause of skills gaps.

The bottom line is IT workers and candidates who invest time and resources into keeping their skills up-to-date via training, contract assignments, and research/specialization in trending technologies will be in high demand and at the helm of a skyrocketing career. Many IT workers, including one recently interviewed by CIO Magazine, have reaped the benefits of making periodic investments in their training and leveraging contract assignments to brand themselves as niche specialists in the latest technologies.

While the newest and most popular technologies may be in periodic demand, there are skill gaps to be filled even among foundational skills. The CompTIA survey found that companies place the highest levels of importance on skills associated with what could be described as the IT foundation such as, networks, servers, storage, security, database management and IT support.

As one of the fastest growing employers in the IT services industry in the country, we know the benefits contract work can bring to bear particularly for IT workers, specifically the ability to broaden skills and learn the latest technologies within some of the most prestigious companies around the globe. In addition, we strongly encourage our IT professionals to pursue training and certifications that will help them stand out.

We are acutely aware that the IT marketplace is an ever-changing landscape that requires ongoing training and specialization. That’s why we developed unprecedented partnerships with leading training and institutional organizations across the Country and online. Our partnership with New Horizons, the world’s largest independent IT training company, offers our candidates and employees major discounts on training, access to sought-after certifications, training facilities in all major U.S. markets and more. In addition, we have teamed up with accredited Institution University of Phoenix, to provide opportunities to grow professionally and educationally while receiving special corporate tuition savings and flexibility in class times and locations. Begin your training regimen today!

Detroit Won’t Survive… IT will thrive

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Detriot Skyline

I’ve seen a lot of transformation from my office window six floors up in the heart of Midtown Detroit. When we first opened our doors more than 16 years ago, we were one of the first technology firms to establish our headquarters in Detroit. Much has changed since then as many new corporations as well as well-known companies have moved their headquarters to Detroit to be a part of a transformation that looks to mirror some of the attributes of innovation, investment, and high growth that exists in Silicon Valley. This is why I feel it’s important to remind our community, and the nation, about the possibilities for Detroit despite facing its biggest challenge in recent history.

As the third generation and close to 100 years in my family to call Detroit home, I can’t help but liken the city’s current situation with that of the fire in 1805 that nearly destroyed Detroit. The community faced tremendous hardship as it rebuilt the city from the ground up, yet it was an opportunity to make Detroit anything it wanted to be – the possibilities were endless. We are in many ways presented with the same opportunity today.

And standing out as an upcoming technology hub, is a reality that is close-at-hand.  In fact, Detroit was recently included among the 10 Underrated Hotbeds of American Innovation, ranked fifth nationally in technology-sector jobs, and was chosen number five on the 2012 list of fastest growing tech cities by

The ties to Silicon Valley are greater than a simple analogy, as many Detroit IT firms are helping venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley bring their technologies to market. A recent article in Crains Detroit addressed this movement, highlighting the Michigan eLab –University of Michigan alumni who have prospered in Silicon Valley who are now focused on building a bridge between Silicon Valley and Michigan by investing in disruptive technology that can leverage the talent in Detroit and Michigan.  VisionIT has been at the forefront of this trend, recently teaming with Silicon Valley venture-backed MobileForce to bring its innovative mobile application platform to market to our Fortune 500 customer base that mobile enables enterprise applications.

The rebuilding of our beloved Detroit will not happen overnight. But it’s important to remember that the business community long ago committed to re-developing the City of Detroit, and the tenacity of Detroit’s residents is often underestimated.

The fact is, there is more investment and momentum in rebuilding Detroit today then I can remember in the past 25 years. When we opened our doors, it was difficult to recruit people to work downtown, there was little to entice workers about the location. Today, we bring in people from all over the U.S. and Latin America who are impressed by the City’s business district and love the spirit of Detroit, an attitude and fortitude to keep building and team members joining us to be a part of our journey.

As I look out my office window facing north, I also see the neighborhoods surrounding our business district and I am reminded of the thousands of Detroit pensioners who may not receive all they were promised years ago. These are innocent bystanders who had little to do with the city’s bankruptcy, who worked for less pay at the time knowing that they would be taken care of in their latter years. It is for them that we owe a different future of Detroit.  It is one of the reasons VisionIT has stayed the course, doubled down in our investment in this city, and put our major community effort into the children of Detroit through T.LAB an innovation center for preK – 12 that is creating the future leaders of Detroit.

When I speak to these young people and see their educational achievements, their gifts they have been given, it strengthens my faith that Detroit will not just survive but thrive in the high tech economy and Detroit will have leaders driving innovation that has global impact.

Surprise! Interview Questions You Might Not be Prepared For

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InterviewYou’ve landed an interview for an IT position that you really want. You’ve done your homework on the company, networked with insiders, and you’re current on the technical skills required for the position. You know your strengths and weaknesses and can rattle of a list of accomplishments at the drop of a hat. So what happens when your interviewer asks a question that you didn’t rehearse?

This situation seems to be popping up all over the country these days, making social media headlines about the latest trend of asking bewildering IT interview questions. CIO magazine just recently covered the growing prevalence of perplexing interview questions that leading-edge companies such as, Google and Amazon have been throwing at job candidates, and asked IT hiring managers to weigh in.

As one of the largest recruiters of IT talent in the country, we thought we’d weigh in ourselves. While some companies may believe an off-beat interview question like Google’s “how many cows are in Canada?” is an integral part of hiring the right IT talent, they tend to be in the minority. However, many IT hiring managers use the interview phase of the hiring process to assess a candidate’s skills beyond the technical – attitude, personality, and social skills to name a few.

To that end, often a surprise question is used to gauge things like creativity, ability to respond under pressure, flexibility or problem-solving skills. If unexpected questions knock you off your game, it’s because they’re supposed to. Your interviewer wants to see how you handle surprises and gauge how you respond to the unexpected. So if you’re asked something that wasn’t on your roster of practice questions, simply stay calm and demonstrate a good attitude. It’s all part of the test.

One example of an eyebrow raising question could be, “What would you ask if you were me?” This allows you the opportunity to be creative and outline some accomplishments that may have been glossed over, but surprise questions can also let you have a little fun. One good response could be, “When can you start?” Surprise questions let you think outside the box, highlight your background in a more unique way, and show a little more of your personality and style.

No matter how much you prepare, there’s no way to know every question an interviewer will ask. The best you can do is demonstrate a good attitude, be as prepared as possible, and expect the unexpected.