Heading to employment

This page contains a list of things you should consider when seeking employment in the IT sector in NZ. The list is made up of things I have found useful from a variety of sources.

Setting up a good Reference

Remember references are established over a long period of time. As a student “what do you think your lecturer would say about you?”

  • Have you been helpful in class or disruptive ?
  • Have you challenged your lecturer or been constructive ?
  • Have you demonstrated self motivation and positive critical thinking
  • Have you been assistive in class?

Putting yourself in the right space

  • Do you have a web presence?
    • As an IT professional you should be searchable on google (most IT employers will check), so create an interest blog. Use WordPress or Blogger and enable email posts so you can add content easily. When you read someting in IT that interests you post it to the blog. If you learn something you thin you would like to remember, or a process you have done which could be helpful to others send it to your blog.
    • Make sure you have your name in the blog heading (not a weird name) so the search engine will find it. Also avoid “stupid” statements, like “Blog for useless stuff!”


Think that you are an employer, then look at your class.

  • How many would you employ? Think WHY you would only employ a few (I have yet to have a student they would employ a large number of their classmates)
  • How can you be one of those employable students? (Do you need to make some changes?)

Looking for work

  • Join up with IITP (http://www.iitp.org.nz ) especially if you are in the main centers, and GO TO their meetings. JOIN while you are a student (in 2014 the annual fee was $20!)
  • It is likely you will be very “lonely” in the first few meetings… persevere let people know you are a regular attender and they will often make an effort. Also try to identify the organiser and before you leave try to say hello.

The interview

Listen to the interviewers at the start of the session. Have they given you any clues as to what they are looking for? In one case an interviewer said they “liked people who listen” … so what should you do throughout the process

Watch for the interviewers body language. Have they stopped listening (you may be rambling?)

How would you answer the following questions?

  • Why do you want this job?
  • What are your weaknesses? (A positive weakness could be that you “tend to take on more than you should!”) Be careful that your weaknesses (like “I am shy” don’t translate to “you will not find it easy to get on with the companies customers”


NZ Web sites


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Suraj Chande
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 14:49:20

    Thanks, Michael. Everything written above is really useful stuff and a very good read for students starting interview preparations.

    One thing I would like to add is the importance of exibiting ‘confidence’ while appearing for the interviews. Lot of candidates get nervous when they appear for the interviews, inspite of knowing they have what it takes to do the job they have applied for.

    The key here is to remind ourself that the company also wants to hire someone quickly (and more so correctly) which is the reason they have advertised the position. From my experience, I can say the companies gave me every chance to succeed and grab the oppertunity by making me comfortable through the interview process. It is therefore important that as an applicant you believe in your abilities and appear confident (not overconfident) that you can do the job. The assessments which companies do during the interviews is more focused on finding out weather the applicant is fit for their culture and processes and not so much on assesing the technical skills (technical skills can be refreshed/learned through trainings).

    Lastly, I would like to wish ‘Good luck!’ to everyone aspiring to grab a job in NZ ICT industry.


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