The top reason candidates are eliminated is lack of required technical skills. Many hiring managers save technical questions for the end of an interview; however, I suggest those should be asked early on in the process. If an applicant doesn’t have the technical ability to perform the job, you want to find this out as soon as possible so you can move on. Take the first few minutes to build rapport with the candidate and set them at ease. Then dive into the technical aspects of the position.

The first step in creating your technical questions is to do your homework. Discuss potential questions with the team to ensure they are pointed and important. Then make sure you know the difference between a good answer, a mediocre answer, and a bad answer. Often the hiring manager has a broad understanding of the technical side of the position but lacks a deep understanding. It is important that they get familiar with everything surrounding their questions. Otherwise, they will not be able to discern anything of value from candidates’ answers. Furthermore, if the hiring manager comes across as not understanding the questions she is asking it could give the candidate a bad impression of the employer. You don’t want to lose a good applicant because you didn’t do your homework.

Ask questions that are relevant to your company and the applicant. I like to ask candidates how they would approach the real world issues that the employer faces. Their answer will provide insight into how they approach problem solving, how they work under pressure, and their technical abilities. The key is to probe and dig deeper. When they reply, ask how they would accomplish that, or to tell you more about their approach. Another tactic you can employ is to ask them for two solutions to a problem. Often this will expose their flexibility and how they handle rejection.

Lastly comes applied skills testing. If time permits, provide the candidate with a computer and ask them to write some code. Obviously, this has to be simple code, but it does show how they respond under pressure. In lieu of writing code, you may opt for having them troubleshoot an issue. Often hiring managers skip this part of a technical interview because it can add substantial time to the process. If you can, invest the time. It may help you find the perfect candidate.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.