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Mastering the In-Person Screen: Your Must-Have IT Interview Questions

Jan 14, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Hiring managers interviewing Houston IT candidate The interview plays an essential role in any Houston IT hire. Whether you're backfilling a temporary IT consultant position or sourcing a full-time technical employee, it's crucial to spend time with a prospective candidate before extending an offer. Yes, years of experience, skills, and certifications matter. However, an effective interview goes beyond the resume to deliver insight on a candidate's:

  • Strengths
  • Qualifications
  • Personality
  • Pay expectations

A well-executed, in-person screening can also help employers gauge an applicant's soft skills, cultural fit, and even expose any possible red flags, making the interview a crucial part of the recruiting experience.

Go Into the Screening With These Essential IT Interview Questions

Maximizing impact during the interview means leveraging a mix of technical and situational interview questions that help identify the best available talent for a Houston IT job. Avoid closed-ended yes/no inquiries that limit free-flowing dialogue, and go beyond the basic (read: predictable) questions everyone else is asking, such as "Why are you a good fit for this position?" and "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Instead, go into your next screen prepared with this list of must-have tech interview questions:

Why are you interested in a job with us?

Leading the interview with this question can help identify an applicant's motivation level. Candidates who really want to work with your organization will familiarize themselves with your business' products, services, values, differentiators, and technology strategy. Not being able to articulate at least a few reasons why they'd like to work at your company can be a major red flag for hiring managers.

How do you maintain up-to-date technology skills?

Technology changes at speed-of-light pace. Understanding how candidates remain ahead of the curve can help you determine a prospect’s drive as well as showcase an individual's professional development process.

What is your general approach to completing tasks and projects?

Knowing how candidates get work done does more than provide a glimpse into their professional methodology—it also can provide an understanding of whether a particular candidate's approach will align well with the already established corporate culture of the team.

What is the first thing you do when you don't know the answer to something?

Asking this question will provide insight into candidates' problem-solving capabilities and ability to self-manage when faced with a challenge. Bonus: When candidates walk you through their answer, you may have an opportunity for a conversation about the online sources they consistently view within the greater online technical community.

How would you explain (insert technology/process) to a non-technical person?

Both IT contractors and full-time technical employees will likely engage with other teams, departments, and staff members throughout the organization; your new hire must have the communication skills needed to answer internal questions, brief superiors on project status, update employees on new functionalities, and train team members as required. Note: Be sure to pepper in a few "non-technical" questions to see how candidates respond on their feet.

Can you tell me about a tech project you've worked on in your spare time?

Of course, candidates don't need to pursue side projects to land Houston IT jobs. However, talking with applicants about tech pursuits in their spare time provides information about their independence, enthusiasm, and curiosity levels. Better still, candidates who work on side-projects can usually provide a demo so you can gain a better understanding about the quality of their skills.

Can you talk about a time when things didn't go as planned at work?

At some point, everyone deals with a professional disappointment, setback, or outright failure. However, how a candidate deals with unexpected roadblocks and miscalculations can demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. Additionally, asking the question allows you to see how forthcoming and accountable prospects are about their role in the event.

Are you hiring IT professionals in the Houston area? InQuest Staffing can help. Contact us today to hear more.

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