Most hiring managers know that they have to look beyond a job candidate’s technical qualifications when austin staffing agencies an IT role. Soft skills and initiative, for example, are equally important factors to consider. And to get that kind of insight, you’ll need to put aside the resumes and come up with a thoughtful set of interview questions to ask your top candidates.
Predictable interview questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” probably won’t tell you much. Neither will a series of “yes-or-no” questions. To determine whether someone is a good fit for the job, you want to draw them out, ask a mix of technical and situational questions, and listen closely to not only what they have to say but how they say it.
You want to know if this person has the technical skills and drive to succeed at the job — and the interpersonal skills to thrive on your team? Here are 17 tech interview questions to help you reach a decision:
1. What online resources do you use to help you do your job?
Most IT workers turn to websites such as StackExchange or Github when they need help with something. Serious professionals will have their own selection of websites, online communities, social media feeds and other resources specific to their interests. The answer to this question will give you an indication of how engaged the candidate is with the broader IT world.
2. How do you keep your technology skills current?
Tech professionals work hard to keep their knowledge base current by reading blogs and forums, taking online courses, joining hackathons and plugging away at personal IT projects. This tech interview question can help you gauge the candidate’s enthusiasm for the profession, as well as open up a conversation about professional development.
3. Pretend I’m not a tech person. Can you explain [a relevant technology] in simple terms?
IT plays a crucial role in almost every company, so the ability to communicate with non-technical people is a must. You can assess candidates’ communication skills with this IT interview question. Do they avoid obscure acronyms and jargon? How well can they break down a complicated process? Try asking a few “dumb” follow-up questions to get a sense of how they’d interact with non-tech colleagues.
4. What strengths do you think are most important in a developer [or another relevant IT position]?
A question like this can reveal how the interviewee feels about the position and what they think they would bring to it. Some candidates may focus on technical abilities and IT certifications, while others may talk more about problem solving, attention to detail, communication and other general job skills. Look for IT candidates who give a balanced answer.
5. What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
The answer can clue you in to a candidate’s personality trait that may not be readily apparent through their resume or traditional interview questions. It also gives insight into how the individual perceives themselves and the role they’re applying for. For example, if their answer focuses on their creative side but the position is very analytical in nature, the job may not be a good fit.
6. Can you tell me about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted at work, such as a project that failed or being passed over for a promotion?
Everyone deals with professional setbacks at some point in their career. What you want to know is how people handled — and what they learned from — those situations. The best employees are resilient, using setbacks as a springboard toward positive changes. So listen to not only the problem they mention, but also what they did after the disappointment.
7. What are your favorite and least favorite technology products, and why?
In addition to learning whether prospective employees like the hardware, operating system and software your company uses, this tech interview question helps you evaluate enthusiasm and knowledge. Do candidates become animated when discussing the advantages and disadvantages of certain tools? Do they admire solid engineering, sleek design, intuitive user experience or another aspect of good technology?
8. What are the benefits and the drawbacks of working in an Agile environment?
Most IT teams have adopted some form of Agile — currently the favored SDLC methodology — which means lots of quick meetings and a steady stream of feedback from fellow team members. A candidate’s answer to this IT question can tell you not only their level of understanding of this popular environment, but also their attitudes toward collaboration and communication.
9. How do you think further technology advances will impact your job?
Advances in technologies continue to change most IT roles. How aware of that is the candidate you’re interviewing? Do they know, for example, that automated testing is a major part of DevOps, which allows for faster development cycles and quicker deployment? A candidate may talk about the automation tools they use or the challenges of working with machine learning and big data. They may also discuss AI projects they hope to work on. This question is a good way to start a conversation about trends and advancements in the field, and it will also give you insight into how the candidate perceives their role over the long term.