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Recrutement IT : 10 best practices for managing the interviews with your candidates

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

You are an IT manager and you want to grow your team by recruiting new talents or through the intermediary of freelancers ? Then you should be able to manage the hiring process.

This means defining your skill requirements, writing job descriptions, selecting resumes... and conducting interviews.

These interviews are an essential step of the hiring process since they allow you to meet candidates in person, evaluating them, and selecting the best profiles.

It could be the case, you do not have a background in human resources, and recruitment is probably not your specialty. Therefore, you may not know all the right methods to best conduct your interviews.

This is why you should read this article ! Zenith gives you its best advices to conduct your interviews and find the best IT talent for your recruitment needs.

In this article:

1. Prepare in advance

Candidates are often advised to be prepared before their interviews. But recruiters must also do the same! Analyze the application before the meeting, so to avoid giving the candidate the impression you are discovering their CV at the time of the meeting.

Prepare targeted questions and establish a framework to be followed during the interview so that the exchange does not go off in all directions. For example, you can start with a standard introduction and then move on to questions about the candidate's background. After, you can move on asking technical questions and lastly, let the candidate ask you some questions.

2. Put your interviewer at ease

Your goal is to test the candidate but also to make him want to join you and your team.

In the IT talent shortage context, the competition between companies in order to attract the best talent is indeed stronger than ever.

Then the objective is not to unsettle the candidate, but to put him in the best conditions. This, to know if his skills and his personality are in line with the job post or the mission proposed. Be friendly, warm with an open attitude.

3. Introduce yourself and the mission

At the very beginning of the meeting, take time to introduce yourself before asking the candidate to do so. Explain what is your role in the team, describe the context of the assignment or position. At the end, the main objectives.

This will allow the candidate to have the right information from the beginning of the interview, and to introduce himself in turn by adapting his speech. On your side, you can take advantage of this opportunity to evaluate his listening skills.

4. Ask the most straightforward questions possible

If you want specific answers, ask straightforward questions. For example, rather than asking, "How would you describe yourself?", ask instead, "What would your previous manager or client say if I asked them about you?".

Instead of "how did you work on this project?", prefer asking "on this project, what was the context, what methodology did you follow, and what concrete results did you achieve?"

5. Use role plays

Even with grounded questions, it is sometimes difficult to accurately assess certain aspects of an applicant. In this case, it is necessary finding ways to assess skills in real life situations.

For example, to test a candidate's level of English, ask him or her to continue the conversation in that language for a few minutes. This will give you a much better idea of the candidate's level than asking the question "What is your level of English”?.

In order to test the hard or technical skills of your candidates, you can go further by using a practical case, or a technical test. There are many dedicated tools such as Skillvalue, Coderbyte or CodinGame to test the developers’ skills for example.

6. Do not forget to evaluate the soft skills

The evaluation of soft skills or relational skills are essential in interviews. This includes, for example, the ability to manage conflicts, creativity, communication skills, empathy, team spirit, initiative, etc.

To assess these skills, you can already observe the behavior of your interlocutor. However, it is not enough. Ask some questions, preferably open-ended, that can bring out the candidate's personality. For example “Tell me about a time when you ever had some difficulties getting others to collaborate on a problem, and how you handled the situation”.

7. Showcase your employer brand assets

According to the type profile you are looking for, it is likely that your candidates will be involved in several recruitment processes at the same time, or contacted daily by recruiters. This happens even more if the profiles are rather rare or specialized in a highly sought-after field of IT expertise.

It is therefore essential that you take time during the interview to highlight the strengths of your company's employer brand:

  • CSR commitments;

  • work atmosphere;

  • office location;

  • innovative technology stack;

  • project ambition;

  • on site/remote distribution.

You must find a maximum of arguments to convince your candidates.

8. Answer all questions about the assignment or position

Take the time, at the end of the interview for example, to give the candidate the opportunity to speak, and to answer any doubts they may have about the job offer or assignment.

Be transparent about all the conditions (remuneration, benefits, teleworking, location, planned travel, etc.). In case of an interview with a freelancer, specify the duration of the contract, and do not hesitate to mention the chance that the mission will be renewed or not.

9. Encourage the candidate to ask questions

Although you should be the one to lead the interview and make sure that the discussion does not go astray, you should create an atmosphere that encourages the candidate to express himself, to ask questions about your company and your project. Keep in mind that the interview is a two-way exchange.

Be sure to take your break, leaving some time at the end of the interview to propose the candidate to ask any questions he or she could have. In fact, candidate's questions are also an excellent way to assess their understanding of the challenges of a position or assignment, as well as their motivation. A candidate who is curious is generally interested in the position.

10. Provide visibility on the rest of the process

Eventually, you can give the candidate a brief feedback at the end of the interview, especially if you want to invite them to continue the recruitment process.

In any case, give information about the next steps: number of interviews or remaining steps, timing, people to meet, technical test to plan... candidates like to know what to expect.

You now have all the keys to conduct your IT interviews in the best possible way.

Thanks to these 10 best practices, you should be able to get a clear idea of the personality and skills of your candidates, in order to make informed decisions. And thus find the best profiles to reinforce your team!

P.s. You have only 7 seconds to make a good impression!

Most of times we take things for granted and underestimate the value of how a good level of preparation can actually help in reaching our objectives and get us through our professional challenges.

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