Last Modified April 10, 2023 | Originally Published June 15, 2020
Questions and Answers Are Only Part of The Interview Story
Interviewing tips for tech hiring managers often focus on the types of questions to ask candidates during that vital encounter. Indeed, asking thoughtful, probing questions is critical to get the information and answers you need to learn whether a candidate is a good fit for the position and your company. But the questions you pose and the answers you receive are only part of the interview story.
Appearances and attitudes, preparation and planning, and other factors also play significant roles in a successful interviewing process – and your effectiveness as a tech hiring manager.
Coming to an interview unprepared or unfamiliar with the candidate or position will thwart your ability to evaluate the person’s qualifications and reflect poorly on you and your company. If you appear aloof, impatient, inattentive, condescending, or disrespectful, highly qualified candidates won’t hesitate to cross your company off their list of potential employers.
Interviewing Tips For Tech Hiring Managers
As you get ready to set up sit-downs with tech job candidates, keep these ten interviewing tips for tech hiring managers in mind:
As a job candidate, you undoubtedly took time before interviews to learn about the company and position to be better prepared to answer questions, understand what the company was looking for regarding qualifications and skills, and ask thoughtful questions that show you did your homework.
Now that you are on the other side of the table, put in the same amount of preparation before each interview.
Thoroughly understand the position’s requirements and responsibilities. Review the candidate’s resume and other submissions so you can prepare and ask relevant, probative questions about their experience and career trajectory.
Don’t be that interviewer who appears to be preparing for the interview during the interview, reading the candidate’s resume for the first time while the candidate is left sitting in uncomfortable silence.
Enthusiasm and Attentiveness
Good candidates take the interview process with the utmost seriousness and sincerity. You should as well. At a minimum, appreciate how important the interview is to the candidate, not to mention how important it is to you and your company.
Show engagement, focus, interest, and respect during the interview. Refrain from checking your phone or monitor or leaving the room to deal with something else. While this may seem like a no-brainer, this is one of the interviewing tips for tech hiring managers that demonstrates to the candidate that they are your top priority and that you want to learn as much about them as possible.
Comfortable Atmosphere and Professional Appearance
Keeping with the theme of respect and seriousness, conduct the interview in a comfortable and private setting. Start with a conversational tone and encourage openness during the interview, so you should create an atmosphere conducive to that. Similarly, ensure that your appearance matches your company’s requirements and reflects well on you.
One of the best interviewing tips for tech hiring managers is to ask each candidate the same questions (among other, more individualized questions). Doing so will not only allow you to draw contrasts and distinguish candidates from one another, but can also reduce the likelihood of discrimination claims.
Avoid Vague or Open-Ended Questions
“Tell me a little bit about yourself” is not a question. Rather, this is an invitation for the candidate to tell their preferred narrative in a way unlikely to give you any more insights than what appears on their resume.
Instead, ask specific questions about the candidate’s roles and responsibilities as reflected in their resume to get beyond and behind the bullet points. Inquire about challenges or experiences that have shaped them professionally or personally.
Listening may seem like an obvious interviewing tip for tech hiring managers, but an awkward silence may prompt you to do more talking and less listening. No one likes “dead air,” and wanting to fill that empty space is natural. But if you ask thoughtful, targeted, and effective questions, the interviewee should respond with much helpful information. Actively listen to what they say and ask follow-up questions when appropriate.
“How would you handle _____?” “What would you do if _____?” These questions about how the candidate would act or respond in a hypothetical situation will only get you hypothetical answers. Making yourself the hero in a story that has yet to be written is easy, especially when you are trying to put your best foot forward in an interview.
Rather than these hypotheticals, ask about actual events or challenges the candidate has experienced, how they dealt with them, what they learned from them, and how the situation could have been handled differently in retrospect. This can give you the desired insight into how they might deal with similar situations in the future.
Screen Candidates By Phone
Your time is valuable, as is the candidate’s time. If there are dealbreakers you can learn about before you schedule and conduct a full-fledged interview, even via videoconference, you can spare everyone from a waste of time. Phone screen candidates and ask about any such issues.
For example, if a candidate is in one city and the position would require them to be in a city 1,000 miles away, ask them on the phone whether they are willing to relocate. If the answer is “no,” you’ve just saved yourself (and them) from a big, pointless hassle.
Invite Candidate Questions
This interviewing tip for tech hiring managers is closely related to Tip 6, Listen. As noted, the candidate wants to learn about the position and your company just as much as you want to learn about them. Invite them to ask questions and be ready to provide informative answers.
You Might Like: Six End-of-Interview Questions Every Tech Candidate Should Ask
Follow-up With Those Who Didn’t Make The Cut
Once you’ve decided who to hire, respectfully let the other candidates you’ve interviewed know that while they were impressive, you’ve chosen someone else for the position. This sign of your appreciation and respect for their time and effort will leave a good impression and make the candidate willing to apply for another opportunity with your company if one arises.
Bonus Interviewing Tip: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Whether you’re a first-time interviewer or a veteran, follow the above interviewing tips for tech hiring managers to ensure you put the right candidate on the payroll for your company.
Of course, these tips are infinitely easier to implement if you are interviewing candidates who professional technical recruiters have already vetted. GTN Technical Staffing is the results-driven tech staffing team you need to get qualified candidates – saving you time and money.