How to interview tech candidates?
April 20, 2021
min read

How to interview tech candidates?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

Attracting tech talents becomes the main challenge for HR leaders and recruiters worldwide. When it comes to finding ideal job candidates, things are never easy. Even more so when looking for tech talents. At the moment, recruiters and HR leaders in companies around the world are struggling with tech recruiting.

Before going deep into what it takes to be successful in tech recruiting interviews, we believe it’s always important to make sure that personal career goals align with your company’s mission. Every company conducts tech interviews differently, but some best practices have emerged.

Understanding required skills will define interview structure and process

Usually, the first obstacle on the road to make a tech recruiting interview successful consisting of understanding tech positions, especially when tech recruiters don’t have the expertise or skills to understand requirements to fulfill specific roles. 

Wrong impressions can also be formed if there is a lack of communication between tech teams and HR departments. Lack of feedback might impose incompetence on HR professionals and recruiters. That makes it essential to raise questions about tech team members: why do you need front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers for certain positions? 

The golden rule is still the same. Tech recruiters must know exactly which skills and experience are important when looking for an ideal candidate

Sourcing of tech candidates

The tedious sourcing process creates the first step towards successful interviewing. Your team will have an opportunity to fill the talent pipeline with promising job candidates with the specific skills and experience that your company is looking for. However, there is a long process preceding successful hire in front of the recruiting team. Technical screening automation tools are a great option. These help assess coding skills objectively and eliminate unconscious bias. Companies are trying to reduce bias in many ways, such as providing the same tests and questions to each candidate avoiding hiring employees who turn out not to be good.

Tech sourcing 2021

Sometimes recruiters add a bit of mystery with the lament of surprise by hiding little gems on the company website. At the same time, others add extra steps by adding professional degree programs to foster specific talents and later on will be onboarded to full-time employees.

Or companies opt to work with external partners to combine different recruiting services when sourcing candidates for certain engineering positions.

Structure of interview questions for tech candidates

Usually, after the sourcing process has been finished, the interviewing process can start. A good technical interview should create a positive experience for both the interviewer and the candidate. A good interviewer should already have a sense if that candidate is a match for the role, so you need to learn how the candidate understands the role.

Tech recruiting interviews are usually constructed around three types of questions.

Problem-solving interview questions

  • How would you motivate yourself or your team to be more productive under the earlier deadline? 
  • How do you mentor a new team member to make sure they onboard well?

Role-specific interview questions

  • How do you do your research when designing a new software?
  • What tools do you use to test code quality?

Behavioral interview questions

  • Describe a project that you are most proud of? 
  • What’s your process to meet deadlines?
  • Tell me a time when you implemented significant improvement on your project?

As the pandemic situation eases up, companies still have to consider remote work as an option. Tech candidates should choose between full-time remote work or a hybrid one to suitably optimizing their work-life balance. The remote focus should always be considered when looking to attract new employees by using these assessment questions.

  • Are you willing to work on-site again at some point in the year ahead? 
  • What have you learned about how tech teams operate in a fully remote organization? 
  • What have you been doing to keep your skills fresh? 
  • How have you contributed to a companies’ digital transformation initiative during the past period?

Obstacles you might come across interviewing tech candidates

Most recruiters experience the abandonment of candidates once the candidates are invited to technical assessment. These issues usually appear due to a long technical assessment process. Therefore, we advise limiting the duration of technical assessment up to 60 minutes or providing live tech assessments 24/7, which is now feasible due to remote work practice.

One more important thing, during the technical assessment, every candidate should receive the same test and be asked the same set of questions, graded in the same way. That will provide consistent and standardized test evaluation.

Tech interview 2021

After the technical assessment, the recommendation phase affects the candidates’ further advance in the recruiting process or declination. At this stage, it’s critical to understand the role and needed skill levels. If there is a mismatch between these two, the failure can make recruiters' lives very difficult to fulfill a certain role.

Usually, technical recruiters coordinate the final interview with the software engineering team and the hiring manager. Typically the team will conduct a series of technical and behavioral interviews to ensure that the candidate meets hiring criteria and it’s a positive addition to the team. During the process, obstacles might appear when interviewers aren’t sure what their role is. Pre-interview meetings with the interview team should be used to define or reprogram team roles in the process and to build behavioral and technical interview questions.


Creating a talent pipeline might lead companies towards a maze of great candidates who can't fit in badly shaped roles. If companies want to attract tech talents, they must assess their current recruiting strategy from start to finish and, if necessary, revisit it. Developing a smooth and easy flow for the recruiting process will make candidates navigating with more ease through the whole interview process. 

Tech recruiters should constantly update the interview process to evolve with the industry demand for various tech talent roles inside their organization.


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