July 2, 2023

How to conduct an interview: interviewing process in IT


The stages of personnel selection in global IT recruiting are practically the same as in any other field of business: acquaintance with the applicant’s resume, initial screening, an interview with the recruiter, a technical interview, a meeting with the head of the department or CEO, a job offer.

The main difference is in the number of interviews and the format of their conduct. Typically, there are three interviews in a chain: with a recruiter, a department specialist, and the head of the department. Sometimes, there are four interviews, including the one with the company's top manager.

Thus, it would be more accurate to call it not an interview but an interviewing process.

The stages of the interviewing process

Stage 1: an interview with the recruiter

This stage also includes the so-called preparatory stage of the interview. The recruiter studies the candidate’s resume, makes the list of skills required for the position, and composes the TOP questions for the candidate while preparing the interview questions.

At this stage, the range of the questions is usually more or less the same, regardless of the candidate's potential role in the company.

The recruiter's goal at Stage 1 is to evaluate the candidate not as an IT specialist, but as an employee in general, as a team player.

Stage 2: a technical interview

A specialist from the department most often interviews the applicant planning to work in this position. Sometimes, this specialist is also a recruiter.

This stage aims to evaluate the applicant as an expert within their specialization, that is, to assess their hard and soft skills.

The list of questions and the format of such an interview depend on the company's characteristics, the position, and the project for which the applicant is applying.

Also, at this stage, the interviewer often asks the applicant to do a small test task, solve some practical problems, or take a survey.

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Stage 3: an interview with the head of the department

The head of the department usually interviews the candidate at this stage, but the HR manager may also conduct this interview.

The aim of this interview is to make sure that the interviewee, as a potential employee, coincides with the company in terms of goals, values, approaches to work, and corporate culture.

Here the interviewee will be repeatedly asked about everything related to teamwork, often in the format of situational questions, motivation, life outside of work, i.e., hobbies, projects, and friends.

Stage 4: an interview with the top-manager

Such interviews are rare. For example, if the candidate is applying for a management position. And this top manager will have to work with them directly, so the manager has to decide if they will be able to cooperate.

The objectives of these interviews are about the same as at Stages 2 and 3. However, the manager will also have to determine whether the candidate has enough experience and particular skills for the leadership role in their company.

Why IT companies need so many interviews to hire an employee

The answer is simple: this business sphere requires specific IT skills and a specific way of thinking and problem-solving. Therefore, IT specialists must have particular qualifications and professional skills. They also must have a specific kind of personality and mind.

It is not enough to conduct only a screening and a classic job interview with such a candidate. It is necessary to rate the candidate's qualities required by the job and ensure you have not made a mistake when choosing the wrong candidate.