How to Conduct an Effective IT Interview


Whether you are conducting your first or thousandth IT interview, the mission remains the same; to identify and hire the right person for the job. Often times, we have professionals approach us when they are having trouble finding the right person for the job. A candidate can seem great on paper, but then be a nightmare in person. Knowing the right questions to ask during an interview will help you avoid placing a candidate that is doomed not to work out.  But before the interview, it’s important to determine and understand exactly what you are looking for. This starts with the job description. If you are using an out-of-date description, you are already attracting the wrong candidates. Take the time to talk with your team and determine the current needs and goals of the business. Your description should put into detail exactly what the position will entail and what goals the position will accomplish. Be sure to differentiate between what is preferred and what is required.   At this point, you should have some decent candidates to sift through. Our team has put together some tips for you to consider while conducting your IT interview.



Small Talk

It’s important to remember that you want the candidate to want to work for you, as much as you want them. Start with questions that focus on the person and not the job specifically. This will relax the candidate and make you more like-able. While this small talk will loosen the tensions, it will also give you a good idea about their behaviors and personality. While a lot of what you look for will be skills and experience, the candidate does need to fit in your corporate culture as well. Asking questions about what environment they thrive in will give you a good idea as to whether or not they’ll succeed within your company.   – Gabriella Stelle, Manager of Marketing and Client Services


Ask About Their Future

A good question to ask is where the candidate sees themselves in one year, three years and five years from the date of hire. It will help you determine if your team and organizational roadmaps align with the goals of the candidate. It is important to ask about the shorter term intervals instead of just the five year mark – although long-term tenure is generally an ideal hope, realistically not everyone lasts five or more years with one company for a number of reasons. The right person can still make huge contributions and positive impacts during the relative shorter term so it is beneficial to your decision-making to match a candidate’s goals over a spectrum of milestones with those of your company. – Adam Barron, Technical Resource Manager


Test the Candidate

The best way to determine if a candidate is qualified is to actually test them on the particular skill set needed for the position. Sometimes, taking their word for it isn’t enough and you need to take the extra steps to ensure the candidate is capable. Testing them on specific skills is really the most effective way to accomplish this.  – Barbara Feldman, National Account Manager


Talk Specifics

When interviewing an IT candidate, it’s important to talk about specific issues your company may be having. See how the candidate relates and how they go about solving problems. Make the question open-ended so that you can hear the candidate talk through the issue. Evaluate how the candidate approaches the topic and whether or not their solution is reasonable. Did this come naturally to them or was it a difficult endeavor?  It’s also intriguing to ask some questions you don’t know the answer to. Most interviewers ask questions that they already know the answer to; doing the opposite will surprise you.   – Gabriella Stelle, Manager of Marketing and Client Services


Are they willing to learn?

Technology changes frequently. Is the candidate able/willing to learn as the industry grows? Are they current on all technologies and solutions?  The best way to evaluate this is to ask about their knowledge of current technologies. Do they know just the surface or are they experts on the subject?  Either way, this will help you to determine what learning in the future will be like for them.


Evaluate Their Questions

Make sure you leave time to see if the candidate has any questions. Depending on what their concerns are, it can give you a good idea as to why they are interested in the position. This will also help you gage their interest level. -Gabriella Stelle, Manager of Marketing and Client Services


Begin the search for your candidate today

If you’re looking to build your organizational structure and technical infrastructure, EDI Staffing can help. We offer contract, contract to hire and permanent IT staffing services.



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