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5 questions for an effective interview with a programmer

IT Recruiting in some way differs from the selection of specialists in other fields, so recruiters who are just starting to work in this direction, without the proper experience and competence, face the problem of conducting an interview with a programmer. The biggest difficulties in such cases cause an examination of the qualifications of an IT specialist. But how should recruiter who does not have deep knowledge in the field of IT recruiting evaluate skills of a technical specialist? We suggest you familiarize yourself with the practice of our recruiting agency, which could help you to conduct a high-quality interview with a programmer.

How to interview a programmer – basic questions about a place of work and experience?

Basic questions for the programmer at the interview:

  1. Ask a specialist to describe where he worked previously. Pay special attention to the latest place of work. During the interview, the candidate will tell you whether he worked for the company, how large it was, or was engaged in freelance work. In the implementation of which projects he had to work, what technologies to use. The developed product was intended for the B2B or B2C segment. The information gathered will help you to understand whether his skills and experience correspond to the vacancy requirements established by the customer.
  2. Ask the candidate about work experience in the basic technologies required for the vacancy. Often, in their resumes, programmers provide long lists of technologies that they own, programming languages, without specifying their experience on each item. This question will provide an opportunity to find out how much time the candidate spent on working with a particular technology and evaluate whether the specialist has sufficient experience in the fields that the customer needs to know.

At first glance, these questions seem to be simple for a programmer’s interview, however, they enable a recruiter who does not have special knowledge of IT to understand whether a candidate is suitable for a particular position with a high probability.

Questions about completed projects and team

The next question that employees of our agency use to interview programmers is “Tell us about the team you worked in.” In the course of answering this question you can find out:

programmer's portfolio

  • programmer’s portfolio;
  • how many employees participated in the implementation of the project (s);
  • the candidate had to work in the same location, or in different cities, countries, whether he worked with the team on the spot or also with remote teams, for example, in other offices of the company or on the customer side;
  • what role did he play in the project, etc.

We also consider informative the question of how many projects have the programmer completed. Often, a resume indicates only the place of work, without specifying projects. You can also clarify how long this or that project lasted, whether it was implemented on time.

Among the questions for the programmer at the interview, we also suggest the candidate to describe the project that was the most difficult, interesting in his professional career. Thus, you can find out which technologies are a priority for the candidate, how intense his experience is, and what the candidate considered to be  “a large-scale project”. For some specialists, a large-scale development with hundreds of developers around the world is considered a large-scale project, for others – a project for several months with 5-10 programmers.

As a separate interview block, it is recommended to check the level of knowledge of the English language. If there are doubts about particular answers, these questions can be duplicated – usually, a person in such situations is more focused on the correctness of speech, abstracting from the meaning. This approach will allow you to learn new information about the experience of the candidate.

To understand how to conduct an interview in IT, it is not necessary to be a developer. You just need to learn how to work with the main recruitment methods that allow you to evaluate the experience of candidates, as well as regular work on upgrading your qualifications and search for new opportunities for professional development.

If you need to select an IT specialist, our agency AboutHR is ready to provide services for searching candidates. We work in most large cities of Ukraine (Lviv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa), providing both one-time services and full support under the contract.