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So-called “technical interviews” are rapidly becoming a key aspect of the hiring process for IT managers who are looking for candidates with strong development and programming skills. But while purely technical questions can support the selection process, they don’t usually give managers a complete and accurate picture of a candidate’s personality, adaptability, and approach to problem solving. To round out the benefits of a written test or coding exam, consider asking a few open ended questions like the ones below.

Interview Questions for Developers

What would you describe as your proudest accomplishment in this field?

Ask your employee to describe a complex project that she handled in a way that made her proud. The answer she provides will help you understand where her ambitions lie, what she values most about her personality and skill sets, and the types of projects she considers complex and challenging.

What were the most important lessons you learned from the experience and what would you do differently if you could repeat the process?

A candidate who never makes mistakes won’t be applying for a position with your company, because this person doesn’t exist. And a candidate who can’t admit she makes mistakes isn’t one you want. What you want is a candidate who accepts her mistakes, learns from them, and always sees room for growth and improvement.

Describe your experience with open source projects.

Candidates who are always looking for new ways to test and expand their skill sets tend to join open source communities during their free time. Has your candidate ever done this? If so, what were the results?

How would you build a bicycle? (Or toaster, or pogo stick or any other simple object with moving parts)?

This question can provide insight into how your candidate approaches multi-stage problem solving. Listen for cues that can help you understand how the candidate breaks down complex interlocking mechanisms and handles the task one step at a time.

How comfortable are you with pair programming?

During the pair programming process, one developer writes the code while the other asks questions and conducts research on the code. This teamwork approach can vastly improve efficiency, but it requires agile learners and employees who work well in teams and pairs.

To learn more about interviewing tips that can help your managers evaluate programming skill, learning agility, and cultural adaptability, reach out to the IT staffing experts at Tech Needs.

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