Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Technical Interviews: A Survival Guide for Recruiters

It’s a typical scenario. You’re recruiting for a technical role but you don’t happen to be an expert in the technology. How do you get the candidate to take you seriously?

Prepare. Plan an agenda for the interview. Compile a list of questions. Sample technical interview questions and responses can easily be obtained online.

Practice. Make sure you are confident and ready to carry out the interview. Try a mock interview. The first impression a candidate has of your or company is based on your first few interview questions and your confidence.

Take charge. Set the goals of the interview. Make sure the candidate knows what to expect during the interview.

Establish credibility. Mention the types of technology placements you and your company have made and some of the organizations you work with.

Get on the same page. Determine that the level, salary and responsibilities of the position match what the candidate is looking for.

Qualify the candidate. Explore the candidate’s background and accomplishments. Ask open ended questions. What were they most proud of in a position, their largest accomplishments, challenges they overcame.

Dive into technology. How did they use the technology? What percentage of their time was spent with the technology? For example, what was their role when working with a programming language?

Don’t bluff. If the candidate describes something you don’t understand ask for clarity. You will lose all credibility if you try to look like an expert when you’re not.

Work vs. academic experience. If their profile lists a technical skill that’s not on their resume find out if it’s an academic skill or if they used it in a work environment.

Get acquainted. How might this person fit into your organization. Use the interview as an opportunity to create a positive experience for the candidate and to build your company's reputation.

Network. A technical interview might lead to more than a successful placement. The candidate might refer you to other qualified candidates and opportunities.

Tim Collins


  1. I'm so happy that you found the post useful. Thanks for letting me know.

    Tim Collins