7 Tips for Conducting Effective IT Interviews

Interviewing potential candidates for a job can be difficult for hiring managers, especially because mistakes in the interview process bring you back to square one if the candidate doesn’t work out. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hire can cost your company 30 percent of the employee’s first-year expected earnings.

The following tips can help hiring managers conduct IT interviews effectively and ensure they’re selecting the best candidates for the job.

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Top Tips for Conducting IT Interviews

1. Prepare Well

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the applicant’s resume and application, and prepare an outline for the interview. Treat each candidate as an individual rather than relying on preprogrammed questions and inquiries. (However, you’ll want to make sure you ask candidates similar questions to avoid bias, but the conversation should have a flow and questions unique to the individual!)

Have the following information on hand for quick reference during the interview:

  • The applicant’s CV or resume
  • Any background reports generated
  • A list of job requirements and expectations

In addition, some professionals prefer to communicate the parameters and objectives of the interview to the candidate ahead of time. While this gives the candidate an added advantage, it minimizes nervousness, streamlines the interview process, and may even filter out applicants who are not fully interested ahead of time.

2. Put the Candidate at Ease

Some interviewees seem to want to see how the candidate responds to pressure, so they create a nervous atmosphere. However, interview nervousness is generally not the most reliable indicator of a person’s ability to work under pressure. It can therefore be misleading. (It’s also an indication of your culture, which candidates care about.)

Creating a relaxed environment is generally more productive, providing an opportunity for the kind of dialogue needed to narrow down a list of prospective IT team members.

Related: 10 Tips to Accelerate the Hiring Process

3. Optimize the Interview Process

Long interview processes can scare away candidates. Or, you can simply lose quality candidates to other companies who have better optimized hiring processes.

Don’t schedule tons of interviews throughout the hiring process if they’re not necessary. Many IT team members can be offered a job after one to three interviews. Certainly, higher level leaders may need more time, but try to hold these interviews as close together as possible—maybe even on the same day if the candidate can make it fit their schedule. Ask yourself if you really need another interview from the candidate.

Use panel interviews, pre-employment tests, and other resources to gather as much information as needed—as quickly as possible—rather than hold half a dozen interviews with a single candidate.

4. Make Expectations Clear

A survey by GlassDoor revealed that some 60 percent of employees claim that the realities of their new job differ significantly from the expectations conveyed during the interview.

It’s vital to make the expectations clear from the interview stage—and even before that in the job description. This benefits both the one hiring and the prospective employee, establishing whether they are a good cultural and skill fit or not.

Light blue background. Preview of three interview worksheets. Headline: Interview Worksheet Text: Conduct your next job interview with ease!

5. Use Specific Questions

The questions you ask in an IT interview should be tailored to the expectations of the position. You can also ask questions that are tailored to the individual, too. No two applicants are the same, so during preparation, you will likely think of questions you would like to ask the individual candidate to clarify a specific detail or deepen a line of inquiry. Write these questions down.

However, to avoid as much bias as possible, you should still have a list of specific questions you want to ask every candidate when you conduct an IT interview.

Related: 18 General IT Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

6. Be a Good Listener

Don’t just ask the question, let the candidate answer, and move on to the next question. Being a great listener is a key skill for managers, both in interviews and outside of them.

If the candidate notes something you want to follow up on, note that down! You also want to show that you’re listening and interested in what the candidate is saying. Giving the candidate an opportunity for follow up questions—and responding as best and honestly as you can—is part of being a good listener, too.

7. Follow Up With the Candidates

As a hiring manager or HR team member, your internal follow up will likely include reviewing the interview details and narrowing down the pool of candidates. But let the candidate know what the next steps look like, too! Give them a realistic deadline for your next steps, and maintain communication with the candidates throughout the selection process.

This is especially important for candidates who have piqued your interest and/or have other opportunities lined up. Losing a great candidate during the interview process can be tough. But even if candidates don’t ultimately get offered the job, showing great communication and clarity throughout the interview process can keep a bridge built for down the road.

How Insight Global Can Help Conduct IT Interviews

We know how tough the hiring process can be—including vetting and interviewing candidate. As the second-largest IT staffing firm, Insight Global has over 20 years’ experience in connecting job seekers and hiring managers. We can help make hiring easy!

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