What do you usually look at when interviewing a prospective employee? According to NACE Job Outlook, 91% of employers prefer candidates to have work experience, and 65% want that experience to be relevant. Checking one’s educational credentials also makes a major impact on the business owner’s decision. However, when you want to hire an IT professional you need to look beyond their paperwork. You need to evaluate the candidate’s skill, which is very hard to do if you aren’t an expert yourself. But asking the right questions and doing some thorough research beforehand will help you pick the professional who will become a great asset.
How to Hire an IT Professional: 3 Tips for the Interview
1. Start with a background check
One step you must never miss when hiring an IT professional is running a thorough background check. Be sure to study governmental regulations on the types of checks an employer can request in the UK and how to make them.
You should also request references and take the time to follow up on them and find out about the candidate’s character and previous work experiences directly from the sources. An IT professional will have access to the most important and sensitive data your business has, so you have to be 100% sure that this person can be trusted.
2. Ask ‘trick’ questions
Unlike regular questions that aim to assess one’s level of skill and knowledge, ‘trick’ questions test that as well as the candidate’s social skills. One sample of such a question is ‘are C# and .NET comparable?’
Capita ITR explains the difference between C# and .NET in great detail, and it’s essential that you understand that they are not the same. While C# is a programming language .NET is a framework within which it will be used. Any IT pro should know that but what you should look at is how the candidate explains this to you. Are they respectful and answer clearly and to the point? Do they turn sarcastic or derogatory when realizing that it’s nothing but a ‘trick’ question?
An IT professional might have a rather ‘isolated’ position within your business structure. However, if you want the company to perform well, it’s essential that all of your employees get along and can work efficiently as a team.
So, does this kind of questions help you evaluate an IT professional’s actual skill? No, unless they are so abysmally bad they truly don’t know the answer. But these questions help you understand how they deal with ‘tricky’ situations and any sign of aggression or other negativity should set off warning bells for you.
3. Ask questions that make the candidate think
You can find a variety of questionnaires for interviewing an IT pro that have a key you can use to check the candidate’s answers. However, they can do the same thing when preparing for the interview as these questions are rather standard.
What you need is to assess the candidate’s critical thinking and problem resolution skills. Therefore, ask them questions that will make them think. You can offer some prior IT problems the business faced as an example so they can offer solution ideas. As these answers are impossible for non-professionals to evaluate, ask the candidate to present them in writing so you can later get an assessment from an independent consultant.