Who Got the IT Interview?
By Katie Hawley
Submitting a job application can be nerve-racking and a little mystifying. Once you click "send" (and these days you probably are applying via computer) you have few ways of knowing who, if anyone, will look at it, and whether the company will take the next step and invite you in for an interview.
A recent survey from CareerBuilder.com sheds some light on who made it past the initial application stage and got the interview call (or email, as is often the case). From January 2009 through September 2011, CareerBuilder surveyed 842,405 job seekers, including 20,684 people who applied for jobs in information technology.
How likely were these IT job seekers to get interviews? At the time of the survey, 43 percent had submitted an application and were waiting to hear from the company about next steps. Eight percent were in the process of interviewing, 4 percent received offers, and 7 percent had accepted offers and joined the company. The rest had either been eliminated by the company or vice versa, or responded "other."
IT job applicants who got interviews usually got the good news pretty quickly. About half waited just a few days to hear: 28 percent got the interview invitation in one to three days, and 23 percent heard in four to seven days. The rest waited a week or more, with the percentages dwindling as weeks went by.
The survey asked several questions that divided the applicants into two groups: those who were invited to interview and those who weren't. Some good news for those worried that age, race or gender might be preventing them from getting interviews: demographically, those who got interviews were remarkably similar to those who didn't.
For example, Caucasian men between the ages of 25 and 54 dominated the applicant pool. But they got accepted and rejected in roughly equal proportions: 79 percent of those who got interviews were men, and 81 percent of those who didn't get interviews were men. Similarly, 64 percent of those who got interviews were Caucasian, as were 65 percent of those who didn't.
There is arguably reason for concern that the IT job applicant pool is so heavily white and male. The federal government, scholars and industry watchers have long worried about this trend, noting that women and minorities are missing out on the good pay and excellent job prospects that careers in IT offer. But according to the survey, women and minorities seem to be getting a proportional, if small, number of job interviews.
One group did have a slight disadvantage when it came to landing interviews: very experienced workers, with 20 or more years of experience under their belts. Forty-two percent of those who got interviews belonged to this group, compared to 49 percent of those who didn't get interviews.
What might be behind that 7 percent gap? The survey doesn't provide an analysis, but IT is in some ways thought to be a young person's game: it's a field driven by constant innovation, in which many very young people have had meteoric success. Also, more experienced workers tend to get paid more, and as a result some employers sometimes shy away from hiring them.
Copyright 2012 Sologig