Eight questions to ask IT candidates

Eight questions to ask IT candidates

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In the age of technology, the IT department is arguably the most important part of any company. This poses incredible pressure on hiring managers when recruiting for a technology-related role because their decision may break or make the business.

Recently, Robert Half shared a list of interview questions that were specifically formulated for IT roles so hiring managers could distinguish the top candidates. We picked eight questions from the list for you to prepare before you meet the next candidate.

1. What online resources/database do you use on a daily basis?

This question reveals how dedicated the candidate is to the IT world as savvy tech workers should have their own selection of resources. These may include websites, forums, online communities and APIs. Stack Exchange and Github are two major online communities according to the writer.

2. How do you keep your technology skills current?

Again, this question helps HR understand how engaged the candidate is with the field. That said, keeping abreast of the latest developments and skills is crucial when it comes to surviving in the digital world that grows exponentially. Reading blog posts, taking online courses and joining a hackathon are all practical ways.

3.  Can you explain [a relevant technology] in simple terms?

Besides having the hard skills required, IT roles are now expected to communicate their ideas to their colleagues or clients, who are often non-technical people. Long-winded answers loaded with jargon are definitely red flags. Also, the writer advises interviewers to ask “dumb” follow-up questions to get a feel of how the candidate would interact with people outside the field.

4. What qualities are the most important for a developer [or another relevant position]?

This gives you the chance to see how the candidate views the position. An ideal candidate should be able to focus on both the technical abilities and soft skills such as problem solving ability, detail mindedness and communication skills.

5. What are your favourite and least favourite technology products and why?

Their answers will show how knowledgeable they are about certain tools or operating systems. But more importantly, you will see the aspects of technology that the candidate values, which can be usability, sleek design or user experience.

6. Tell me about a tech project you’ve worked on in your spare time.

Techies who spend their off hours on side projects are driven, curious, and more likely to have a fresh skill set. The reason they choose certain projects to work on may reveal their motivations and interests. Besides, you can ask if they can show you their work so you can have a more tangible idea of the product.

7. What was the last presentation you gave?

Communication is inevitable in the workplace, even for tech workers. How they give a presentation will shed some light on the way they discuss changes with teammates and co-ordinate with other departments. You can also ask them how they conduct the research and persuade stakeholders to choose a certain product over another.

8. How do you manage your work-life balance?

The IT industry is notoriously known for long work hours, but you should bear in mind that top performers are usually those who know how to relax and take care of themselves. You can wrap the conversation up by talking about the work-life balance strategies that your company has adopted. It is especially effective to secure candidates who have multiple offers on hand.

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