6 Thought-Provoking Questions to Ask Every Tech Candidate

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on March 11, 2016

ask questionsThere are plenty of qualified tech candidates out there – but which one will offer the best fit with your current IT team, your company’s mission, and your internal culture?

To find the candidate who offers a great fit as well as great skills, it helps to ask these six thought-provoking questions:

  1. What are two or three major trends affecting the IT industry, and how do you see them affecting the profession? This question helps you determine whether the candidate can think broadly about the industry and apply those observations to their own work. The best candidates will be paying attention and demonstrate how they can use this knowledge to help your company.
  2. Tell me about a time you were asked to complete a task you didn’t understand. This question explores how a candidate responds when they’re given directions they find baffling or incomplete – a common source of employee stress. Did the candidate ask for clarification? Do some background reading? Ask a co-worker to fill in missing information? Or did they simply wait for someone else to notice they were struggling?
  3. What types of projects or activities would you expect and prefer this job to entail? In other words, “do you understand the role you’re applying for, and are your expectations likely to be met on the job?” The candidate who answers “yes” will give you a description of the job that sounds like it could be substituted for the job posting. If the candidate is among your top choices, but your expectations don’t match, have a serious conversation about the role.
  4. Do you get bored easily? Any answer to this question might be “right,” depending on the internal culture of your company or the role you are trying to fill. For instance, a role in which the candidate will be switching from project to project every few weeks or months calls for someone who constantly looks for new challenges. A role in management or handling day-to-day issues, however, calls for someone who prefers routine.
  5. Where do you want your career to go, and what skills would you like to learn and develop with our company? A candidate who wants development opportunities that you can’t provide is likely to become unhappy with your company in the future – which increases the risk of turnover. A candidate who can’t answer the question at all, however, may have no leadership aspirations or any plan to achieve them.
  6. If you could change anything about your former boss, what would it be? Poor relationships between staff and supervisors are one of the top reasons that staff members jump ship, so this question allows you to see whether the candidate will work well with their potential supervisor. It also lets you determine how well they handle confidentiality and whether they’ll “badmouth” people behind their backs – or take responsibility for their own mistakes.

Asking candidates interview questions to help you make a hiring decision is only effective if you have been able find and recruit the best talent available.

At TERRA Staffing, we strive to provide better candidates, so you can focus on finding the person who offers the best fit for your team. Contact us today to learn more about our technical recruiting services in Portland, Seattle and Phoenix.

Categories: Employee Engagement Ideas, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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