Top Skills to Look for in a New IT Candidate


Looking to build your IT team? Whether you’re bringing someone on full time, or looking to hire a consultant or temporary employee, it’s important that you take the time to make a smart hire that will benefit your team and your company. 


While you probably have a vague idea of what type of IT professional you’re looking for, you should also be aware of the skills that a good IT candidate should have. Obviously, the candidate should be skilled in his or her area of expertise, but there are some more general skills that you should look for in IT candidates as well. These include:


Communication skills.

Every member of your team should be a good communicator. Good communication is at the heart of an effective and productive team. Make sure your IT candidate has strong verbal and written communication skills. Remember: communication involves listening, too. Make sure the candidate listens to what they’re being told and that they can successfully interpret instruction. 


How to test communication skills: Ask a candidate to explain a complex concept to you in terms that you’ll understand. 


Teamwork skills.

Your IT team needs to be able to interact effectively, not only with each other, but with the rest of your team as well. Ask candidates about their experience working with other people, looking for examples of good cooperation and teamwork skills.


How to test teamwork skills: Ask questions like, “Have you even found yourself in conflict with a member of your team? How did you solve it?” or “What do you like best about working with other people?”


Learning skills.

IT is a continually developing industry. In fact, the rate at which technology is developing is growing, meaning that more developments are coming faster than ever before. IT professionals need to be careful about keeping up with the latest technology and trends. If they don’t, they’re likely to fall behind quickly.


How to test learning skills: Ask them to tell you about something they’ve learned recently, and/or something they’d like to learn more about. 


Problem-solving skills.

IT presents a lot of challenges that anyone without IT experience won’t be able to solve. Also, since IT processes are more important than ever, there is a lot of pressure on IT employees to solve problems quickly and effectively. A good IT candidate should be able to perform under pressure, and should be able to address and solve problems efficiently. 


How to test problem-solving skills: Ask about a time when they were presented with a problem that was new to them. Why was it challenging, how did they solve it, and what did they learn from it?


Combined with strong industry knowledge, these skills will help any IT employee succeed. As you screen IT candidates for their skills, make sure you take these skills into account as well. 

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