How to Identify a High Performing Tech Candidate in the Interview

A developer can do well on a coding test, but stymie a project because of their arrogance. A project manager can have all the skills on paper but fail to deploy on the ground. UX designers can have a great portfolio but push too hard for their vision without taking into account the end-user.

These scenarios happen because it’s difficult to find a high performing tech candidate during the interview process. Here are some tips for improving the odds that your top candidate during the interview will translate into a top performer on the job.

Having the Right Skills for a Tech Job

Most HR managers understand that finding the right mix of skills for a tech position goes beyond experience to include personality and work ethic. Many would say that they prefer an employee who needs to learn more skills but has a great attitude over a very skilled but also very cranky worker.

Hiring teams can and should look beyond the hard skills and ask behavioral questions that go to the heart of the person’s personality and soft skills. Some of the best traits to look for in a technology candidate include:

  • Self-motivation. These candidates live for the work they do. They are self-starters who are highly organized and motivated to do their best work. They set their own goals and standards and work hard to meet or exceed them.
  • Flexibility. Technology is ever-changing, so look for candidates that have a track record of adapting to changing work or project requirements. Look for candidates that have exhibited the ability to think on their feet, shift gears, and handle whatever is coming their way. Ask behavioral questions during the interview that tell the story of how the candidate picked up the ball when someone dropped it or kept things moving ahead even after a corporate or client pivot.
  • Ambition. Having a good stable pool of developers is important to many companies. But it’s also important to develop leadership within your workplace teams. When conducting your candidate search look for go-getter candidates that are willing to work hard to move up the ladder. Ambition isn’t a bad thing in the technology field, so look for people that ask about career advancement. Flag the ones that share their desire to succeed in the organization. Double flag the candidates that also have a track record of staying in a job long enough to advance. These are the A-players that will work harder, learn more, and contribute wherever they can.
  • Full-stack skills. Full-stack is the term used for developers that can work on the back, middle, and front end of a software project. But human resource teams can apply this idea to general worker skills in the technology field. Can your project manager step in and do unit testing? Could your marketing manager write up end-user requirements? Look for workers that bring additional crossover skills to the table. It will only add to the team and the company.

We know finding the right technology candidates is a full-time job. Most of these highly skilled workers are already employed, and most companies simply don’t have the time to build networks of these passive candidates. That’s where Blackstone can help. Contact us to find out more.

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