How to Conduct Technical Interviews with IT Professionals

Categories: IT Recruitment Advice

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Businesses may find it daunting to fill IT roles. These positions require highly specialized technical skills, and finding suitable candidates with the necessary expertise can be challenging. 

While technical certifications provide a foundation, they only scratch the surface of a candidate’s abilities. To truly assess their suitability, firsthand evaluation of their hard skills is essential—which is where technical interviews come in.

Read below to learn more about technical interviews and how you can conduct them for a successful IT hiring process.

What is a Technical Interview? 

A technical interview is a specialized interview that assesses a candidate’s technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and suitability for a particular IT role. Unlike the traditional process, technical types often involve practical assessments, including coding challenges, system design exercises, and discussions on relevant technical topics. 

Technical interviews are crucial in hiring IT roles as they allow you to understand better a candidate’s skills beyond what’s on their resume. They provide firsthand insights into their ability to tackle real-world challenges, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively with teams. 

More than that, evaluating candidates in a practical setting lets you make more informed hiring decisions. For every IT team member you hire, you can ensure that the selected candidate possesses the necessary skills to excel in their roles. Ultimately, technical interviews help your business identify top talent who can drive innovation and success in your IT department.

How to Conduct a Technical Interview 

Now that you know what a technical interview is, you can move on to how to effectively conduct it. Here’s how you can take a structured approach to conducting technical interviews.

1. Design the interview process

Start by defining the format and structure of the technical interview. Determine the types of assessments you’ll use, whether it’s coding challenges, system design discussions, or practical exercises. Start the interview with a brief introduction to the process, outlining what the candidate can expect. Provide an overview of the assessment methods and clarify the evaluation criteria.

2. Ask for technical certifications

Next on the list of how to conduct a successful technical interview is to ask about the applicant’s certifications. While technical certifications are not the sole indicator of proficiency, they can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s knowledge base. Request that they provide details of relevant certifications during the interview process.

You can ask for certifications like the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), which verify an IT professional’s capability in troubleshooting network infrastructures. These can help gauge a candidate’s expertise in specific technologies.

3. Review their portfolio of past works 

Assessing a candidate’s past projects and contributions offers valuable insights into their practical skills and problem-solving abilities. Request that they share their portfolios or examples of past works. Then, ask them to walk you through their completed project—highlighting their role, challenges faced, and the solutions implemented. Doing so allows you to evaluate their technical proficiency in action.

4. Craft effective technical questions

Prepare a set of well-crafted technical questions for the interview. Make sure that they align with the requirements of the role. Moreover, the questions should assess both theoretical knowledge and practical application.

For instance, you can pose scenario-based questions such as, “How would you optimize the performance of a database-driven web application experiencing slow response times?” A question like this tests the candidate’s problem-solving skills and ability to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world situations.

5. Set up a live test

Incorporate a live test or coding challenge to evaluate the candidate’s capabilities under pressure. These live tests also show how effectively and efficiently they solve technical problems in real time.

Provide the candidate with a coding challenge related to the technologies or skills required for the role. It may involve writing an algorithm to solve a problem or debugging a piece of code. A live test lets you observe their coding proficiency and problem-solving approach firsthand.

How to Assess Candidates After a Technical Interview

Once you finish the candidate’s technical interview, it’s time to assess their performance to make informed hiring decisions for IT roles. In addition to evaluating technical proficiency, it’s essential to consider other factors contributing to their suitability for the position. Here’s how you can effectively assess candidates post-interview.

1. Measure time spent on the live test

Take note of the time the candidate spent on the live test or coding challenge. This metric can provide insights into their efficiency, problem-solving speed, and ability to manage time effectively under pressure. 

Technical problems can happen at any moment, and at any rate—there may be a large volume of issues or a few hiccups. It’s best to have a candidate who can resolve these problems promptly. So, check whether they can complete a coding challenge within the allocated time frame.

2. Observe who asked the most questions 

Pay attention to the candidate’s level of engagement during the interview process, including their initiative in asking questions. Those who actively sought clarification or went deeper into technical discussions demonstrated a proactive attitude and genuine interest in the role. 

Did they ask insightful questions about your company’s technology stack and future projects? Questions like these may indicate that they have a strong curiosity and enthusiasm for the role, both of which are valuable in a dynamic IT environment.

3. Assess non-technical skills

Technical skills are essential for IT roles. However, non-technical skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving capabilities, are equally important. Evaluate how candidates interacted with interviewers, zooming in on how they communicate their ideas and collaborate during group exercises.

For instance, candidates who can communicate complex technical concepts clearly and concisely may have strong interpersonal skills. Moreover, those who can work well with others during group exercises make them a well-rounded candidate for the role.

Transform Your IT Hiring Approach with Technical Interviews

Filling IT roles in your organization requires more than checking certifications and portfolios. It’s also about assessing an applicant’s technical skills and non-technical capabilities in real time. A structured interview process, like a technical interview, allows you to better grasp a candidate’s skills and fit for your organization.

It also helps you identify top talents who align with your organization’s goals and culture, pushing it forward toward success. 

Looking to streamline your IT hiring process and find the best talent? Consider leveraging the expertise of a recruitment agency in the Philippines like Manila Recruitment. We can help you conduct a successful offshore software developer recruitment process so you can find the best IT professionals for your team.

Contact us today to learn more.