The Top Job Interview Questions for IT Staffing Candidates

You have an IT position that needs to be filled and you know it’s crucial to find the right IT staffing candidate. Experts estimate that the cost of a “bad hire” is around 30% of the employee’s annual salary. And, the wrong hire has more than just financial consequences on an organization. Making (and keeping) an employee that is a poor fit can damage company morale and productivity. Ensure you’re making the right decisions when filling roles for IT staffing by asking the right interview questions. These 10 best interview questions will help you weed out the unexceptional candidates from the impressive ones. 

1. What do you Know About our Company and Why do you Want to Work Here?

This is a typical interview question that isn’t exclusively reserved for IT staff, but it’s an important one. Some candidates that are desperate for a job apply for everything and anything they see. Unfortunately, these people aren’t particularly passionate about your organization. You want to filter out the people that just apply everywhere they can by asking what they know about your company and why they want to work for you. A great candidate who is serious about the role will have done their research into the company and have a detailed, honest answer. Ideally, you want an individual that gives you more than a surface-answer of “I’ve heard great things about your culture.” If they can name some of the company’s recent achievements, you know they really did their homework. 

2. What Interests you About This IT Staffing Position?

This is an excellent follow-up to the previous question as it will become abundantly clear if they know the details of the position or not. If they haven’t studied what they’ll be doing, you know they simply applied for everything and didn’t feel a strong passion for this specific role. 

3. How do you Keep Current in This Industry?

You can ask your candidate this question in various ways, including: “What are your current certifications? What developmental tools have you used? What professional websites do you follow?”

Technology is continuously changing and IT staff need to remain up-to-date in trends, new tools, and changes within their field. An individual that actively seeks out information for their industry is passionate and engaged. They’re also a valuable asset to the team as they will be up-to-date with the latest recommendations for your organization to consider using in its IT functions. 

4. Why are you Leaving Your Job?

Asking a candidate their motivations for leaving their current position is common practice in interviewing. Most importantly, you’re looking that the individual doesn’t bad-mouth their ex-employer. Regardless of how they were treated in their last position, you have no way of validating their claims. 

Complaints also indicate the type of person who will voice grievances about a company after they leave. They could do the same to you down the line! Ideally, you’re looking for a clear answer without being diminishing to the current employer.  

Additionally, this answer can give you some insight into if the person will be a good fit in your current IT staffing role. For example, if they’re leaving because there isn’t room for advancement and the same situation would be true in this current role, you know it’s not a great fit. 

5. Where do you see Yourself in Five Years?

 With this question, you can make sure the interviewee’s goals and ambitions align with what your company can provide. You want a candidate who has clear objectives, as this means they are passionate and ready to work hard. Try to explain how you see their goals being achieved within your organization. If there’s plenty of room to grow within the department, mention this to the candidate. 

You can also see if their goals are realistic. Are they interviewing for a junior role and think they’ll be a VP in five years? If there’s no way of that happening at your organization, it will only lead to the candidate’s disappointment, so better to let them know now. 

6. What’s the Most Interesting Project You’ve Worked on Recently?

Asking prodding questions about projects they enjoy allows you to understand better the kind of work the individual truly likes. If they mention a project with tasks they would never be doing in the role they’re currently interviewing for, you know that the position might not be a good fit. 

And, this question can let you know if they have a passion for IT. Can they even answer this question? Do they get passionate and excited when they answer it? Or, is it difficult for them to reply because they’ve lost their spark for the industry. 

7. What was a Challenge at Your Most Recent Role & how did you Overcome it?

This question allows you better to understand the candidates’ analytical and critical thinking skills. Can they walk you through how they developed an action plan and addressed the challenge, or does it seem like they floundered when faced with an obstacle?

Listen to the interviewee’s description of their behavior when faced with a challenge. You will get a better understanding of how they respond to stress.

8. How do you Handle Multiple Deadlines or Tight Deadlines?

This point of the interview is the perfect time to transition into asking them more directly about how they handle stress and deadlines. IT staff often have to manage multiple projects and tight deadlines, so you want to get a sense of the interviewee’s ability to work under pressure. It’s usually apparent if the person is being honest or lying about how they handle stress. 

You can also ask the candidate if they’ve ever missed a deadline and how they handled it. 

9. Can you Explain an IT Concept in Simple Language to me?

IT staff often have to communicate with other departments. As a result, they need to explain highly-technical concepts in a simplified version to non-IT employees. Make this clear to the candidate by asking, “explain how you would describe Agile software to a Marketing employee.” 

10. Do you Have any Questions for me?

This is a classic “closer” question for any interview, and with good reason. An prospective candidate that doesn’t ask any of their own questions may either not be interested in the role or has not thought ahead. Conversely, an individual with insightful, inquisitive questions shows an engaged, interested, and prepared candidate. Great candidates will ask specific questions about the department and resources such as:

  • How big is the team? 
  • What is the team structure like?
  • What tools do you use?
  • I would like further clarification on this part of the role. 

With these ten IT staffing interview questions, you will quickly see the winners from the lackluster candidates. An interviewee who is honest, prepared, and passionate are more likely to display all of these characteristics in their day-to-day job, making them a valuable employee. Don’t take any chances with hiring a bad hire that can have a significant impact on the organization. At Golden Technology, we specialize in finding the right IT candidates for companies. Let us find your next great hire! Contact us for more information. 

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