How technical interviews can work for you
Technical interviews require specialized know-how of software and tech-language.
To make sure you ace your next tech hire:
- Figure out what basic tech skills are needed.
- Use questions that test for these basic skills.
- Ask managers what to expect from candidates’ answers.
- Include a written coding assignment in the hiring process. Remember to let them know it’s coming and email detailed instructions. Give them time and be clear about the deadline.
- Look for how candidates apply theoretical know-how on the job.
- Delve into their resume examples. Ask them detailed questions about past projects.
- Choose the right questions based on the role level.
Top tip: Ask about specific experience related to your company software to see how they’d perform on-the-job.
Technical interview questions
For entry-level roles
- What are your favorite programming languages?
- How would you ace the troubleshooting process for a crashing program.
- How can you debug a program in use?
- What area are you pro in and where do you want to learn more?
For senior-level roles
- Tell us about a time you’ve aced improvements to an IT infrastructure?
- How do you best gather user and system requirements?
- How’s your layman speak? Have you ever had to share with a non-tech audience? How did it go?
- What do you focus on when reviewing somebody else’s code?
- What would you have changed if you had more time?
- How would you have coped with a deadline you couldn’t meet? What would you prioritize?
- What were your two most challenging things about this assignment? How did you complete the assignment?
- Have you ever used [a particular] software?
- Tell me about your previous project. Who did you work with and what was your role? How did you meet the deadline? What did you learn?
Candidates to look for
- They’re up-to-date: Look for candidates who follow tech trends, test new software, attend coding meetups and are into tech forums and blogs.
- They have experience: Test candidates for answers that show how they perform in real-life projects.
- Out-of-the-box thinking: Innovative solutions reveal a creative mindset needed for the role.
Candidates to avoid
- Unclear answers: Candidates who can’t explain their resume might not be honest about what they’ve actually done (or not).
- Uninterested: If they can’t talk passionately about side projects or their favorite tools they might not be very committed to the field.
- They’re inflexible: No candidate will know everything, but if they can’t adjust to your way of working they might not be a great culture fit.
- Bad team players: Even if they have an independent role, candidates still need to communicate with the wider team. Poor team skills, rudeness or arrogance indicate a bad team player.
- Poor initiative: Avoid candidates who lack a proactive mindset or who don’t show an innovative spirit.