7 Tips For Interviewing Tech Professionals

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Any tech professional who’s been through their share of interviews knows the scenarios you’re presented with during the interview can sometimes be tough. Some questions can be reasonable, but others just seem to come out of left-field. Sometimes the questions are so random that one can wonder whether there was any real-world applicability behind the question at all. (We’re looking at you, question regarding “what’s your favorite board game?”)

We heard back from dozens of professionals involved in the interviewing process for tech professionals such as CodeSubmit and several more. The seven sections below offer some unique insight into helping you craft better interview questions for tech professionals that will give you more insight about an interviewee’s personal capabilities.

1. Use A Three Stage Interview Process

Barak recommended using the following three-step process:

1. Asking an easy question, to check basic programming skills.

2. Asking an incredibly hard question that most candidates could not
answer, then we had back and forth discussions about various
possibilities, I might even help them a little. I wanted to see their
thought process which was the aim of this question (not if they know the
solution), see that they can think and solve a new problem.

3. Test with open internet access, that simulates the job, the task I
gave was writing a socket client/server app, candidates were allowed to
take samples from the Internet and use them. Only third was able to pass
this test, and even those that pass, you could see if they followed
instructions or did what they wanted to.

Barak of seo-explorer.io


2. Use Take Home Coding Assignments

Assessing software developers’ skills is always a struggle. After all,
software developers dislike traditional screening questions, whiteboarding
challenges, or ‘homework’ that they have to work on for hours. That’s why a
take-home coding assignment that candidates complete at home is the best
way to understand a developer’s skill level. The best coding assignments
are short and time-limited (3-4 hours). And an extra tip to create a great
candidate experience: Give feedback after the coding challenge to show that
you pay attention to candidates!

Camilla of CodeSubmit


3. Make It Relevant To The Company

Make it relevant to the work done at the company. Do not ask a coding
problem about graph theory if you don’t work on that. Also try to access
the practical knowledge of a person as IT is very much about practical
implementation. I have seen so many people fail at the job even though they
seemed to have great theoretical knowledge during the interviews.

Harsimran Kaur of Eresume


4. Learn More About the Individual First

Forget about the role you are interviewing for for the first 10 minutes and
jump into the life of the technical professional you are speaking with.
What are they working on and how do they feel about it (easy, hard, fun,
annoying, etc.). You know you have a talented professional on the other
line when they can explain the deep level work they are doing in a way that
makes sense to you. Once you are there with them, then and only then you
can start to weave the requirement(s) into the conversation as see if there
is a match.

Mackenzie Ryan of mryan.com


5. Go Beyond Technical Skills

Most of the hiring managers look for technical skills but that doesn’t mean that that they don’t go beyond that. But most of the questions that the interviewers ask to revolve around their technical skills. They want to know the candidate’s analytical and problem-solving skills. Questions surrounding the programming language, piece of code, books that they have read on software engineering, handling different kinds of errors, designing scalable applications, and many more. It is a possibility that many of the questions can be quiz-like. Answers to these questions may not have any clear-cut answers in yes and no. Knowing and understanding concepts is the key to most of the interview questions. These questions are inherently designed to test your knowledge and technical skills. Similarly, soft skills are also very essential. Questions related to the future, the impact of their position, and reading blogs and forums.

Jennifer of etia.com


6. Leverage Active Role Play

When interviewing technical professionals who are client facing, we found it extremely helpful to do a hands on role play. We would give them a computer that was not working, and tell them to treat us as if we were the client, and start trying to fix the problem. They could ask us question, but we would respond the way clients do, giving non-technical answers, sometime accurate, sometime not.

This gave us great insight into their problem solving ability, and their communication skills. We often found technicians who shined during the regular interview, failed miserably when put on the spot. And we found many people who were uncomfortable in the traditional interview shined when put in their element, to apply their skills.

This process helped us avoid bad hires that could have had a detrimental effect on client experience, and also helped us uncover some hidden gems, who otherwise would have been passed over.

Shawn Walsh of encoresc.com


7. Go Straight To The Point

In an attempt to examine the responsive effort of a potential candidate, ask questions like the following:

1. *How do you think that further technological advances will affect
your work?* This answer will provide you with some insights to see if
the candidate is up to date with the latest technologies.
2. *Have you ever participate in a tech project during your spare time?
How did it go? *You will be able to analyse his/her efforts to go above
and beyond within their IT careers.
3. *Tell me of a time when you implemented technology in an application
on one of your past roles.* This is a commonly asked question when
having an interview. However, it might be worth to make it more specific
and tech-focused to analyse overall performance.
4. *What are your favourite tech products? *A good answer to spot the
likes and dislikes of your potential employee. This will also give him/her
some air to relax in between the interview process.

Charlie Wrightof Imprima

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