Questions To Ask Your Top Tech Candidates

The IT sector is constantly evolving, fast-moving, and competitive. Hopefully, you’ve received a wealth of resumes showcasing vast technical experience and can’t wait to schedule interviews. Of course, you’ll ask questions to confirm the information listed on each resume, but what else should hiring decision-makers ask top candidates to determine if they will be an excellent fit for the company?

Start with some easy ice breakers:

  • What do you like about this role? The answer to this question will tell you if the candidate has done their homework. Have they read the job description? Have they thought about their strengths and weaknesses and how they might mesh with the role? Listen for enthusiasm and attention to detail.
  • Why are you leaving your current employment? This answer will tell you whether the employee was dissatisfied or looking for a challenge.
  • Why do you want to work for this organization? Candidates who have looked at your mission and values statements will likely ace this question.

Include questions that will give you an idea of the candidate’s work experience and motivation:

  • Tell me about your most recent IT project. Unless your recruiter is also a tech expert, this is a good opportunity to evaluate whether the candidate can explain complicated technology in simple terms. Follow-up questions like, “Did you present the project to the client?” can give you valuable information about how the candidate interacts with non-technical colleagues.
  • Tell me about your troubleshooting process. This question not only allows the candidate to showcase their problem-solving abilities, but it also shows you how they deal with adversity. Do they meet challenges with frustration or excitement? A follow-up query like, “Where do you look when you don’t know the solution?” will reveal whether the candidate has technical resources or an online community on tap.
  • How do you stay current with technology developments? Top tech workers read blogs, take classes, and have side projects that help them stay up to date. Use this question to open a discussion about professional development and where your candidate sees their career going.
  • What was your greatest on-the-job or professional learning experience? Projects don’t always go smoothly. How does the candidate approach the opportunity to gain new knowledge? In the field of tech, that’s an everyday occurrence. You want to hire people who appreciate the value of learning, even when it comes from their own errors.
  • Do you have any personal tech projects-in-progress? You want to hire candidates with a true passion for their work. Side projects are a good indicator that they will also pour that drive into their work at your company.

Ask behavioral questions that will help you decide if the candidate is a good fit for your company culture:

  • Describe a time you experienced a setback. A great follow-up question to this is “How did you respond”? People show their true colors in times of crisis. Keep your company’s core values in mind when you ask this question. Does the candidate’s answer align with how your company approaches adversity?
  • How do you approach work/life balance? With technology always at their fingertips, it’s easy for IT employees to work all the time. Does the candidate have routines and habits in place to avoid burnout?
  • What skills do you think are essential for a remote worker? Does your company hire remote workers? If so, look for answers that include good time management, discipline, and focus.
  • What three words would your colleagues use to describe you? This question is actually about how the candidates see themselves. Evaluate whether the adjectives they choose are qualities that will make them successful in the role.

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