It’s pretty safe to say that the IT industry is growing at a rapid pace. Therefore, getting the right technical candidate can be a difficult task for employers. With the new working environment encouraged by the pandemic virtual interviews, hybrid working and increased communication are becoming very popular. Additionally, with the new talent pool of generation Z entering the workforce, the choice for your IT candidate has never been more difficult. Do you choose experience over youth? Or technical qualities over customer service skills? It can sometimes be difficult to see who would be the perfect fit within your company.

Top interview tips for hiring an IT candidate

1. Test the technical skills of your candidate

When hiring for an It position whether this is a 1st line 2nd line or any type of technical engineer it’s essential they have the skill set necessary to support your client’s needs;. It is often beneficial to have an engineer or developer present in the interview so they can be your technical eyes and ears when speaking to your potential candidate. Another way to test your candidate’s technical skills is to do exactly that… test them, creating a physical skills test to ensure your candidate can solve common issues that will be required within the job is the perfect way to ensure both yourself and the candidate is confident moving forward in the role. But make sure to schedule your time to create, observe and review the test within the interview process.

2. Try to reduce the stress of your candidate

The interview process is commonly associated with stress, this could be for both the interviewer and the interviewee. So, if you want to gain the true personality of your candidate tries to create the least stressful environment possible. For instance the more information you give the candidate the less stressed they are likely to be, so you could inform them of the length and structure of the interview, the expected dress code and some example questions. The more the interviewee knows what to expect the likelihood is they will be more relaxed and you can focus on getting to know them properly so you can assess whether they’d be the right fit for your company.

3. The interview is a two-way street

One common mistake made by an interviewer is not promoting their company as a whole. It’s all well and good promoting the role but the candidate has every right to choose someone else over you so remember it’s not just you choosing them. When advertising your company to the candidate, start by outlining the general information at the beginning of the interview, how the company started, the key projects you’re working on, the management structure etc. If the interview is going well you can then mention how the company has grown, why this position is important to the company, any added benefits you provide your team with, any progression and learning opportunities etc. then the candidate will know as much about you as you do them, and be sure to ask them if they have any other questions at the end of the interview so they have everything they need to make an informed decision.

4. Find out how your candidate stays updated within the tech world

With an industry as fast-paced as tech, you want to ensure that your candidate has a valued interest in the industry and is eager to stay ahead of new technologies and willing to learn new skills and progress their knowledge. So, have they taken part in any webinars, do they follow any blogs or vlogs relating to the industry, what have they seen in the news or media that interests them about the industry etc. The more interested they are in the industry on a personal as well as a professional level the more likely they are to be highly invested in the role and continued learning opportunities you may present to them in the future.

5. Preparation is key

When it comes to hiring an It professional the interview questions may be slightly more specific to the industry compared to other job interviews. So it’s great to have a structure for your interview and an idea of the technical questions you will ask the candidate. It’s often tempting to position the interview as a friendly conversation and see where it goes. However, structured interviews are proven to be twice as effective when it comes to determining the candidate’s skills. This isn’t to say you can’t have a friendly conversation with your candidate but schedule that in your structured interview and schedule timings for each section as for your sake and your candidates you don’t want to overrun. Also, if your interviewing with another member of your team, be sure to have a chat with them beforehand so you can discuss the chosen structure of your interview. 

6. Don’t overspeak!

You would think being the interviewer it’s your job to do most of the talking and ask most of the questions, but no! Let the candidate do most of the talking, your job as the interviewer is to ask the right questions and clarify the candidate’s answers. But, be sure to listen to their answers without interrupting and not only tell the candidate what you’ll expect from them but allow them to tell you what they’d expect from you in return, again this process is a two-way street.

7. It’s not just about likability

Of course, likability is important especially when you’re assessing whether your candidate will fit in well with the rest of your team. We all like candidates who are similar to ourselves or have similar opinions but the most important thing is how they will fit in with your company as a whole both through technical skills and personality. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to have two interviews, one to assess the candidate’s skills and another to assess how well they’ll fit in with the rest of your team. In addition to this, always always always try not to make any assumptions about your candidate. It’s not easy. We all have a biassed side and we all judge a book by its cover sometimes but it’s essential to ensure you’re entering that interview with an open mind just like the interviewee should.

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