Everyone says “hire the best candidate for the job.” Sounds simple enough, but like most things in the world of IT staffing, it’s easier said than done. Competition for top talent is fierce. You want to hire the right people for the right job, but how do you get from A to Z? You start by asking the right interview questions for the job you’re trying to fill.
The “Right” Interview Questions
With the technology field more competitive than ever, interviewers who find themselves vying for the same highly qualified candidates need to get creative with the questions they ask. You’ll learn a lot about candidates by asking questions that pertain to career progression, interest in what your organization offers, and personal work ethic. You can also dig a little deeper to discover if the person sitting in front of you will soon become a part of your team.
Ask the Unexpected
While it’s important to keep a certain structure to your interviews, try asking candidates unexpected questions, allowing them talk about their professional skills and experience in their own words. Instead of the typical short answer questions about development and goals, consider asking them to:
- Summarize their career up to today.
- Share what professional or personal accomplishments they’re most proud of. Follow up with “why?”
- Talk about areas where they’ve improved the most, and how they got there.
- Discuss how the opportunity you’re offering aligns with their goals.
Personality, Work Ethic and Culture
Most top employees have a strong sense of motivation, so explore a little further to find out if what encourages them is what your company culture embraces. Some people may have a passion for excellence, but find it difficult to be a team player. Questions like these will help you get a good feel for who the candidate is, how they view themselves, and whether they’re right for the job.
- What type of professional environment is your ideal? This question ties into what direction candidates would like their careers to take, as well as what skills they expect to learn on the job. Try to discern if what they’re looking for is what your organization offers. Otherwise, you may be dealing with an unhappy employee down the road.
- What are you expecting from this job with regards to projects or tasks? You’ll learn a lot about whether the candidate understands the job you’re offering. Follow-up questions can focus on how they’ve performed in a team environment and how they handle being asked to perform tasks they don’t understand. If their responses match up to the job description, the candidate should be high on your list of potential hires.
- Why do you do what you do? One of the best interview questions is one that doesn’t involve skills or aspirations. It’s what is referred to as the “purpose check.” Just as your organization has a purpose, so too do your candidates. Find one whose purpose aligns with yours, and you’re sure to find the ideal hire.