4 Unexpected Questions to Ask your IT Candidate

IT candidates are knowledge workers that know something about a lot of technical topics that many of us simply do not. You have to find a way to gauge the candidate in other ways beyond testing their technical acumen—at least at first. Later in the process, you may end up testing their coding skills, but in the beginning, you have to figure out the right questions to ask that are smart and discerning enough to ensure you’re sending the right person onto a technical screen. You’ve asked all the lame, generic questions, but they typically bore a smart IT worker to tears. What’s the alternative? We have four unexpected questions that you can ask.

Best Questions for IT Applicant

1. Tell me the most important thing about yourself in one word. 
Talk about challenging! This is a question potentially from out in left field, and it’s a good one to take the IT candidate off guard. It works on candidates who have limited work experience or seasoned IT candidates. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it will give you a sense of their priorities in life along with how they see themselves.

2. What is your biggest pet peeve?
This question is so disarming that you’ll likely get a super honest answer from the candidate. Finding out what pushes their buttons is a great way to figure out if they’ll fit within your culture. It helps you figure out if the pet peeve is a big thing or what should be a minor irritation for most people. Does this mean the developer may be impatient with your workflow or culture? They will be if you know the pet peeve they mention is a common outcome in the job they’re applying for.

3. What is success to you?
Asking a candidate what defines success for them is very revealing potentially. It will give you a sense of what really matters to them. You’ll find out how ambitious they are. If they say: Money, that tells you something important about them. If they say: Being the best programmer with zero bugs, that’s an indicator of something completely different.

4. Finally, ask the candidate, “Are you lucky or unlucky—and why?” 
This question goes to the heart of whether they are generally optimistic or pessimistic. Knowing the candidate’s attitude and approach will help you figure out if they’re a good fit. Hint: Look for an optimistic candidate that expresses a sense of gratitude. This humility is a good thing for any team you pair the candidate with.

Looking for tips to help you meet your hiring goals?

Consider The Custom Group of Companies. We pair top talent with hiring managers to help you succeed. Contact us to find out how we can help.

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