Career

Ask LH: How Can I Demonstrate A Passion For IT?

Dear Lifehacker, I am going for a job interview soon and I have been asked to demonstrate my passion for technology. I don’t have any ideas on how to do this. Please help! Thanks, Passion Popped

Worker picture from Shutterstock

Dear PP,

For the sake of discussion, we’re going to assume that you actually do have a passion for technology, and that you’re not merely looking for ways to fake enthusiasm in order to score a job. If you do fall into the latter category, it’s going to become apparent to your interviewer fairly quickly that your alleged enthusiasm lacks depth. (It’s also possible that the “passion for technology” requirement is job ad boilerplate and will never be mentioned once during the interview, but you can’t be certain of that.)

One advantage of living in an era with ubiquitous online activity is that it should be fairly easy to document your enthusiasm for technology. Here are some tactics we’ve often recommended in the past:

  • Prepare a brief summary of your own technology history. It’s better to be able to say “I’ve been interested in ITever since I first installed Linux when I was in year 7″ than to say “I’ve always liked tech”. While you don’t want an overwhelming volume of detail, being able to describe personal projects and setups you’ve worked on is a clear way of demonstrating a “passion for technology”. Keep it relevant; your Xbox skills are less likely to be of interest to an employer.
  • Maintain your own blog about technology topics. A regularly-maintained blog covering is one of the most visible ways to demonstrate your interest in technology. In this context, regularity is more important than length; a blog which has five recent posts and then nothing for more than a year won’t make you look committed or enthusiastic. While you can easily do this for nothing using a free platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com, setting up your own host will demonstrate both enthusiasm and technical nous.
  • Contribute to online discussions about technology. Regularly commenting on posts on relevant sites also demonstrates your interest clearly. Many sites will let you view all your contributions on a single page (on Lifehacker, this is the address https://www.lifehacker.com.au/user/profile/), which can easily be shared with potential employers.
  • Work on open source projects. For developer roles, this is a very good tactic: it demonstrates that you’re comfortable working with code and that you can effectively collaborate with others.

Good luck! If readers have additional tactics they’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments.

Cheers
Lifehacker

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