At Adaptive Solutions Group, we don’t just fill positions— we take special care to match employers with the right candidates and vice versa. It is our pride to do our part, but it is up to you as the employer to do the rest, starting with the interview!
With the demand for IT professionals increasing beyond the qualified talent supply, fierce competition has arisen to get the best of the best. But how do you know who is the best in only an hour or two?
The interview needs to be streamlined and perfected in order to get a real feel for people in the shortest amount of time possible. Here are some basic tips for getting what you need…
How to Interview IT Candidates
1. Prepare Beforehand
It is no longer viable to treat interviews as if you hold all the cards. Given the current IT hiring market, the job interview has become a mutually beneficial meeting where the person you are interviewing is assessing your company as well. You should prepare almost as much as them.
This involves thoroughly reading their resume, looking at their website if they have one, and maybe even looking up their social media profiles. Based on your findings, you should prepare your questions ahead of time.
To do this right, you need to figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Use the job description to determine which skills are most important and build your questions around them. It’s beneficial to look for inspiration in people who have held the position before or other employees who are top performers at your company.
Create a rough agenda for the interview, including how you’ll open and close on a positive note.
2. Ask Questions Focused on Real Solutions
Situational or behavioral questions encourage candidates to present how they would handle real-life situations related to the position for which they are interviewing. This gives them the chance to think on their feet, dig deep, and tell their story. Examples include…
- Walk me through how you would handle… (give an example of an issue your own company commonly deals with).
- Explain one of your previous projects. How did you complete it successfully?
- Describe a stressful work situation. How did you handle it?
- If you worked on multiple projects at once, how did you prioritize?
- If you’ve ever made a mistake, how did you handle it?
- How did you handle meeting a tight deadline?
- How did you handle a difficult situation internally?
3. Try to Reduce Their Stress
Look, we’ve all been in their shoes before. Although you want to see how well the interviewee does under pressure, bear in mind that this is a very stressful time for them. The goal of an interview is to see them in their natural state so that the both of you can have a worthwhile, fluid conversation.
Some things that might help reduce their stress before the interview include letting them know the topics you’d like to discuss, the things they should bring, and sometimes even the dress code. It’s a small thing but it shows that you care about your employees and even the potential ones.
4. Bring In Others
Determine beforehand who else to pull into the interview, especially if it is going well. Peer interviewers bring their own set of questions to the table. Also, interaction between both sides provide different perspectives on whether or not the candidate will mesh well with the company culture.
But beware: while more people from your team may help you screen incompatible candidates, too many can also overwhelm the interviewee. Try to limit it to one or two additional interviewers.
5. Let Them Ask Questions and Have Answers Prepared
Asking the candidate if they have any questions should be a staple of every interview. After all, it gives them the chance to show that they did their research as well as provides you an opportunity to gauge their excitement for the position.
Always be sure to save this for the end of the interview. Why? Because after listening to the candidate talk for an hour about what they’re looking for in a position, you can now answer their questions and touch on particular points they mentioned.
You should also familiarize yourself with some basics that they might ask about. For example…
- The company’s structure, mission, goals, and strategy
- Perks, benefits, and salary information
- Projects the candidate might be working on
- Information on the team they’ll be working with
- How your company supports its employees
- What you like about your own job, team, and the company as a whole
- Any future exciting plans involving the company
If they ask something you’re not sure of or that you’re not allowed to disclose, prepare a response. Finally, end on what the next steps they can expect in the hiring process!