10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an IT Expert

The costs of a bad hire, especially along the ranks of executive and expert levels is high. According to a Robert Half study, 36% of 1,400 surveyed executives have claimed that one of the leading factors of a failed hire (apart from performance problems) is poor skills match.

For HR and recruitment agencies, finding the right IT expert is a tough ordeal, as the majority don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the technicalities the work requires. Aside from the technicalities, HR personnel must also ask and pinpoint the non-technicalities that a candidate can offer your company.

As you may know, executing a comprehensive IT expert search is always a tricky responsibility, as the executives you put on board will lead the company to either bend with the changes or break while doing so. Look beyond the experience and skill competencies and go back to the basics: question the attitude and beliefs of your candidate.

 

Here are the non-technical questions you should ask before hiring your IT expert:

 

1. “What are your hobbies?”

 Consecutive interviews require ice-breakers, even for executive and managerial positions. To start, IT positions revolve around all things tech, and asking about your candidate’s hobbies outside programming and coding is a good way to know how they go on about activities and things that they are passionate about.

 

2. “Tell me about the personal goals you have accomplished in the past year.”

The past working year is an ample duration to know how your candidate fared well during their previous work and how they improved over time. Also, setting up personal and realistic goals is a good flag, which means that your candidate has their priorities aligned and consistently strive to accomplish new goals each year.

 

3. “Tell me about the time you helped and explained the problem to a non-technical person.”

To work in IT means that you’ll also work with people who are not familiar with the technical methods. This question will help you assess how a candidate perceives his job in a meaningful way with how he resolves and explains technical stuff in easily understood terms that everyone can relate to.

 

4. “Imagine talking to a kid. How would you explain the concept of the Internet?”

An elevator question, but a significant one to ask your candidate. This tricky question allows you to know how your candidate discusses and describes the Internet that a kid can understand.

While your candidate explains, look for key terms and analogies and see how he depicts the idea in a bigger picture. This way, you’ll know how your candidate communicates and expresses himself to a general audience.

 

5. “What do you like about a work environment? And what do you not like?”

This question always leads to an issue once everything’s settled, so it’s better to understand how your candidate thinks of an environment beforehand. Considering the changing workforce, a lot of IT experts have different working conditions that they prefer.

Ask your candidate what he likes in a working environment, and what he doesn’t like to see who’s the perfect match for your company culture, personality, and work-attitude wise.

 

6. “Do you have a background in mentoring or training?”

The ability to lead and teach others indicates that your candidate is management material. In an industry where growth and technical development are necessary, coaching people regarding the trends and how the work goes gives an impression of an expert who’s on his way to becoming an “expert advisor,” which is a welcomed attribute for your company.

 

7. “Tell me about your experience working with QA teams. How will you improve the process?”

IT experts and developers must work together with Quality Assurance teams (even though they’re always at odds with each other most of the time). This way, you can evaluate how your candidate values the process of quality control and what they will recommend applying in your QA systems and teams.

 

8. “Have you worked for customer support or client-facing services?”

IT experts know the back and front end of the technicalities like the back of their hand. Most of the time, they’re separated from facing customers and clients and leave the task to the key accounts personnel.

In IT servicing, knowing what your users want and how to resolve issues is important. By asking this question, you’ll know how your candidate interacts with people if given a chance to discuss matters personally.

 

9. “How can your system process contribute to our company’s effort to save time and money?”

An IT expert has worked thousands of hours in the industry and can be considered as someone who’s been there and done all that. Along the way, they will have a portfolio and program developments that attest to their experience and skill competence.

Ask your candidate how he can develop optimized products that benefit your company’s need for resourcefulness as a guarantee that once he’s on board, your company’s on a good track.

 

10. “What’s your idea of success?”

A track record of repeated success is a great thing, but showing how your candidate’s expertise and processes will invoke a new idea of success for your company is on another level.

From client testimonials, personal stories, and whiteboard tech exercises, you can see how your candidate appreciates the value of success on both personal and company terms.

 

Significant IT skills of a candidate will always be remarkable but asking the What, How, and Why questions are the best way to get to know your candidate. These questions require the potential talent simple yet distinct answers from other applicants. After all, it’s not enough that your candidate is an innovator in the IT discipline, but also a contributor to your company’s development, and it all starts with “tell me about yourself.”


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Ron Cullimore | Head of Client Services

Ron Cullimore | Head of Client Services

Ron Cullimore is a deeply experienced customer service and recruitment professional. His expertise covers client experience and engagement, service management, business development, offshoring and recruitment strategy for start-ups, SMEs, corporations and multinationals. Ron was previously a management professional at Optus, a large Singaporean/Australian Telco, where he was involved in managing and recruiting local talent for their BPO operations in the Philippines. Eventually Ron relocated full-time from Australia to Manila and he joined the executive search and headhunting specialists, Manila Recruitment. His passion lies in providing well-rounded recruitment solutions to teams with specialist recruitment needs in the Philippines.
Ron Cullimore | Head of Client Services

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