Evaluating candidates in an interview is part art, part science. You only have a short period of time in which to make a judgment call on whether or not an individual you’ve never met before will be successful in the role. It is important to know what to watch for in an interview to help you make the right decision. Here are some key things to listen for as you conduct your next IT interview.
Tell Me About Yourself
This question is a favorite opening question for many hiring managers. Look for succinct answers that focus on the candidate’s professional achievements rather than a litany of interests and hobbies. This shows that they understand the purpose of the interview and have taken time thoughtfully prepare.
What Do You Know About The Company?
All candidates can (and every candidate should), at a minimum, study the company website. However, strong candidates will take the time to dig deeper, reading articles in local business journals and publications to really get a feel for where the organization stands and where it’s going in the future.
What Are Your Biggest Strengths? Weaknesses?
Keep an eye on candidates with impressive achievements to their name, but when it comes to discussing strengths, look for an answer that shows relevance to the position you’re hiring for. Strong candidates will also have the self-awareness to readily admit to a weakness, but they will go one step further, outlining the steps they are taking to overcome that weakness in their professional life.
Tell Me About A Challenge You Faced At Work and How You Overcame It
The conflict or challenge itself is less important than the steps the candidate took to move forward. You are looking for an answer that shows the ability to take responsibility for their part in the issue, and the wherewithal to rise above. Bonus points for candidates who discuss the lessons they learned and how they prevent these issues moving forward.
Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?
Keep an eye and ear out for answers that show the candidate has thought about his or her future and has realistic expectations for growth and development. Ambition is great, but you want to choose a candidate whose goals align with the role.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
Some answers will be fairly straightforward, such as, “The company downsized and I was laid off.” Other answers will be more complex and nuanced. Look for honesty in this answer. If a candidate is looking for new challenges or more exciting projects, that’s one thing. If they are simply looking for a bigger paycheck, that could be a red flag (though not always). The answer to this questions should align with the answers the candidate has provided throughout the interview.
Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Strong candidates will come armed with a list of thoughtful questions that expand beyond, “What is the salary range for this position,” and “Tell me what a typical day is like.” They’ll ask about the goals of the position, the specifics of projects they might be working on, management philosophies, opportunities for career development, etc.
Interviews are a challenge because so much rides on just a few conversations. If your organization is looking to improve its IT hiring processes, the experts at CSS are here for you. Our recruiters can help you develop strategies that will ensure strong matches for your organization. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your tech recruiting goals.