The Tech Interview Questions You Should Be Asking To Get The Most Out Of Your Time

The tech interview questions you should be asking candidates all have the same purpose – to get the most insightful, complete, and valuable information possible during your limited time with the candidate. You already have the person’s resume, but the interview is your opportunity to fill in the blanks and probe deeper into the candidate’s personal qualities, personality, perspective, soft skills, and other characteristics that will determine whether this person is a good fit for the role and your company. To paraphrase Hamilton, you don’t want to waste your shot.

That is why you should develop thoughtful, purposeful questions designed to elicit the insights you need to make the right decision. Your inquiries should be thought-provoking and challenge the candidate so you can see how they think on their feet and under pressure. Here are five tech interview questions you should be asking to get the most out of your tech candidate interviews.

“What was your biggest professional failure, and what did you learn?”

The poet Samuel Beckett once said, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” He recognized that our failures are essential opportunities for learning and growth, not necessarily signs of incompetence or inadequacy. We all faceplant in our careers at one point or another, no matter how talented we may be. What matters is not the failure but how we respond to it and what we take away from it to “fail better” next time.

This is one of the tech interview questions you should be asking to help you understand how the candidate deals with adversity and personal disappointment, whether they learn from their mistakes or wallow in them. Also, be wary of a candidate who says they have never failed or suffered a setback. That could be a sign that they aren’t honest with themselves.

“Tell me about a project you are most proud of and why.”

While we all fail occasionally, we also have our successes, the accomplishments that make us proud of what we do.

But what about a successful project that makes the candidate proud? Their hard work? Being part of a team that all pulled together to reach the same goal? Or the challenge and difficulty of the project?

Paying attention to the candidate’s answer to these tech interview questions you should be asking will tell you a lot about how they see their role in the larger team or organization. Talking only about themselves and what they did on the project may be a sign they’re not much of a team player. If the project doesn’t sound particularly challenging, that could indicate that the candidate prefers to avoid risk and play things safe.

Related: Want To Catch The Attention of Great Tech Candidates? Follow These Tips.

“Have you ever disagreed with your boss, and how did you handle the situation?”

Sometimes, an employee and supervisor disagree on a substantive issue, whether regarding a task, project, client, or goal.

Divergent perspectives can often be a source of inspiration and improvement if the people involved can discuss things openly and freely, exchanging ideas and being receptive to other points of view.

gtn - disagreement with boss is tech interview questions you should be asking

But they can also be a source of tension and resentment if the employee doesn’t feel they can express disagreement or does not know how to civilly and productively discuss their concerns.

Giving the candidate a chance to explain how they dealt with a superior with whom they disagreed can tell you, as the interviewer, how they will likely deal with such situations in the future. And since no two people can agree on everything, this is one of the more critical tech interview questions you should be asking.

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

These last two tech interview questions you should be asking may not be exclusive to tech, but they can provide substantial insight into the candidate’s frame of mind.

The classic interview question, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” will tell you how honest the candidate is with themselves and whether they can objectively identify, evaluate, and correct their shortcomings.

“What makes you smile when you’re working?”

Again, this question may not be exclusive to tech interviews, but the fact is that happy employees are productive employees. Those who find happiness in what they do will be there long-term, sparing you and your company the cost and hassle of going through another hiring process.

You may have found a candidate with the tech knowledge and skills to do the job, but you also want to know whether the job will bring them a sense of personal satisfaction, if not joy.

Asking the interviewee what makes them smile at work can tell you whether they will fit into your company culture and will be likely to stick around – and what can help motivate them if you hire them.

GTN Technical Staffing: Unquestioned Success In Tech Recruiting and Placement

One of the tech interview questions you should be asking yourself as the interviewer is whether or not you want to spend your valuable time and resources vetting potential candidates for qualifications and compatibility. GTN Technical Staffing has earned a reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the right talent to the right companies. Our results-driven approach to tech recruiting has made us, without question, an invaluable resource for IT professionals seeking their next opportunity, and the companies that want to hire them. Contact us today to learn more.