Finding Tech Talent: Are You Asking Candidates the Right Interview Questions?

In this candidate-driven market, it can be difficult to find great tech talent. Since nearly every company, if not every, needs tech professionals to oversee, maintain, and troubleshoot company systems, websites, etc., the war for tech talent has become increasingly competitive.  

When looking to hire new employees, especially if the positions you’re looking to fill have become open suddenly, it can be easy to feel desperate. You have jobs you need to be filled and you want them filled ASAP—even if the people you hire aren’t a great fit. Not only can this mindset decrease office morale, but it can also cost your company a pretty penny

“How do you hire the right people for your jobs? You have to be strategic and come up with a solid game plan for your interviews. You’ll want to not only come up with job- and candidate-specific questions for each interview, you’ll also want to come up with ideal answers to pertinent questions,” says Lee Sokalsky, Managing Director of CSS-Tec. 

According to Dice, as written in their eBook Digging Deeper, “[t]he goal [in an interview] is to ask questions that provide opportunities for candidates to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge, describe their approach to problem-solving, explain why and how they make decisions, showcase their soft skills and more.”  

So, let’s break this down piece by piece.  

Ask role-specific questions to understand their knowledge 

This is a no-brainer—you need to know if the person you’re interviewing is qualified. While of course these job-specific questions will vary based on position (you wouldn’t ask an iOS Developer the same questions as a Data Analyst), you’ll have to measure their skillset to the skillset needed for this position. For example, if they’ll be working as a Salesforce Administrator, heavily working within the company’s cloud platform, you’ll need to know that they have applicable experience in Sales and Service Cloud, are competent with Lightning and code, and, ideally, are certified. 

Ask soft skill questions 

While you do want to make sure a candidate’s technical skills align with those needed for the position, you don’t want to just ask them technical questions. Asking too many technology-based questions can make the candidate feel like you’re quizzing them, not interviewing them, and may demean them—especially if they’re a high-level candidate. Soft skills are a growing priority for recruiters and hiring managers. 

You want to know that your candidate is a good communicator and works well on a team. You can ask them to describe a technical process/technology in a basic, non-technical way to see how well they communicate with non-technical business professionals. You can ask them what their working style is so you know that they’re good at collaborating, working on a shared goal, and asking for help. 

Get problem-solving 

A huge aspect of any technology position is troubleshooting and problem-solving. You need to know that the candidate you are interviewing can tackle the trickiest functions of this position. If you’d like to see this in real-time, you can come up with a thought puzzle to get them to problem-solve on the spot. This will show you how quickly they can come up with solutions and allow you to gauge their level of creativity and expertise. You should also ask about their experience in handling difficult situations so they can walk you through their process. 

Be conversational and get to know them as a person 

You are hiring a worker, a tech professional, but you’re also hiring a human being. It’s important to get to know candidates on a base level to see if their personality will mesh well those on your team or if they bring an entirely different perspective to the table that your team has been sorely lacking! 

“A couple of great questions to ask tech candidates are how they got into programming and what projects they’ve worked on in their spare time—their answers will show you just how passionate about the field they are. A candidate that may seem a bit flat on paper could be a vibrant addition to your team!” says Sharon Tsao, CMO of Contemporary Staffing Solutions.   

Need highly skilled tech talent? Reach out to CSS Tec to discuss partnering with us! 

Contemporary Staffing Solutions has a 25-year track record of placing qualified candidates in contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire roles in Accounting and Finance, Call Center, Office, HR, IT and Salesforce, Mortgage, Sales, and Marketing. 

We have a strong candidate retention rate and can guarantee we find you great candidates within a time frame of your choice at a fee that works for your company.