Your shortlist of IT candidates has been narrowed down to just a handful of potential options and on paper, they all have the right experience and expertise to do the job well. However, when it comes to the interview, what questions can help separate them? Tech interviews are very similar to regular interviews, although there are a number of targeted questions that will offer a better insight into their fit for technical-based roles. In our experience, here are some of the key technical interview questions you should be asking IT candidates.
What do you do to Keep Your Tech Skills Current?
The IT industry is obviously a dynamic landscape, punctuated by new trends and constant advancements. As one of the key interview questions for employers, this reveals whether the candidate has a sincere interest in IT and is keeping up with all the changes in the industry as well as their field. Check to see if they are proactive with:
- Reading IT blogs and listening to tech podcasts or influencers
These platforms offer up-to-date information about what is happening in the sector. They also offer opinions and guidance on nuances of the industry that your candidates may align with.
- Meet-ups, conferences or IT trade shows
Seen as hotbeds for new technologies as well as a great networking opportunity, industry events are a great way for candidates to stay on top of trends and learn something new, whilst providing the opportunity to connect with fellow IT professionals.
An employee that is driven to develop their abilities and work on projects that they are passionate about is an asset. This illustrates that they are flexible enough to adjust to change and develop their skills further to avoid any gaps.
What do you do When you Get Stuck with a Problem you Can’t Solve?
There are unforeseen circumstances in almost every business. That is why it’s important to identify potential employees who can stay composed and handle issues with agility. Of all the IT interview questions for employers to ask candidates, this one will tease out problem-solving competencies.
Discuss what steps they would take to bridge a knowledge gap and respond to certain scenarios. Ask for real-world examples from past tenures. Alternatively, offer an example of a problem your company faced recently to see how it would be overcome. This approach will test the candidate’s ability to identify and articulate a solution spontaneously.
As they won’t have all the intricate details of the situation, make note of the questions they ask to glean pertinent information that will lead to a resolution. Here, it’s the process of thinking that matters. Rather than focusing on just the result, it’s important to look at their analytical capabilities and how they go about breaking down the problem.
Do you Contribute to Open-Source Repositories/Can you Show me Some Examples of Your Work?
It’s no hidden fact that assessing the true calibre of a technical candidate in an interview means looking beyond the interview to see their skills in action. Open-source repositories grandstand an IT applicant’s interest and passion in the industry. By asking for tangible evidence, work samples can uncover how past performance may contribute to their future success in your team.
How Familiar are you with (Specific Language or Tool)?
As far as technical interview questions for employers go, this will help evaluate not only how comfortable the candidate is using a certain language, but also their enthusiasm and attitude. It’s fair to expect a certain level of understanding but if it’s not critical to the role in question, it doesn’t need to reach expert levels. Their confidence and willingness to learn new languages should usurp the level of skill. Hone in on the broader qualities such as proficiencies in coding or problem-solving.
What Kind of Tech Projects do you Work on in Your Spare Time?
Being an advocate for IT and demonstrating passion makes all the difference in getting ahead in the industry. Discussing a question that relates to self-directed projects would bring to light how passionate your candidate is about technology. It really doesn’t matter what they do, whether it’s merely experimenting, sourcing openly or even engaging in smaller DIY projects. What matters is the enthusiasm when sharing answers. This will enable you to decipher how a candidate will ‘fit’ into the company and if they will be brandishing extra skills that could benefit the team.
Orchestrating a successful tech interview is a great opportunity to unearth a candidate who is not only qualified, but also has the personality traits that make them the ideal match for the ethos of your organisation. Using some of our technical interview question examples, you’ll be well versed on competencies ranging from IT skills, problem-solving and former achievements to levels of enthusiasm and the willingness to learn. For further insights on interview questions and techniques to draw out the right talent, check out our guide here. Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss the key interview questions for employers further (or your tech talent requirements), get in touch with our specialist team.