IT Interview Questions to Ask

Success in IT roles will depend on advanced technical knowledge and practical experience managing data systems, but success in these roles won’t depend on technical skills alone.

Like any other role, it’s important to evaluate how IT candidates respond to challenges in their jobs, how they relate to the companies they work for and how they collaborate with their peers.

By asking IT interview questions that test for both technical prowess and behavioral fit with the job, team and company, you can easily determine which of your candidates and applicants will be the best choice to enhance your culture and IT services organization.

You can use the following questions to help you build your own IT interview, or to supplement the IT interview model that you’re already using.

General IT Knowledge Interview Questions

Assessing the general IT knowledge of candidates will show you their knowledge of and comfort level with different it competencies essential to their role, and their methods for ensuring that their IT knowledge and skills are up to date.

Use these questions to test the general IT knowledge of your candidates.

  • Which online information sources do you rely on most when working?
  • What are the most impactful trends affecting IT today and how do you see these changes affecting your role currently? How do you think these trends will affect your role in the future?
  • How do you ensure you’re up on the latest tech tools required for your job?
  • How would you explain what you do to someone who has no tech knowledge?
  • Which IT skills qualify you for this job?
  • Which of your skills or competencies will help you outperform other candidates for this job? How will you outperform them?
  • If hired, are there any aspects of your workflow that you would change for greater efficiency or effectiveness?
  • What automation tools have you created?
  • Which source control tools have you used and which do you favor?
  • Which languages have you programed in and which are you most comfortable with?
  • Have you ever improved upon the design of a company’s network or another asset? How did you improve it?

Behavioral IT Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions reveal valuable job competency data by showing you how candidates acted in situations similar to those they will encounter on the job.

Use these questions to evaluate the ability of candidates to meet the challenges of your IT role.

  • Tell me about a time when you found an improvement to a project that a project lead was skeptical of. How did you pitch your improvement? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you took a calculated risk that resulted successfully. What was at stake? How did you mitigate any risk?
  • Describe a problem that you didn’t know how to even start solving. What was your strategy for better understanding the problem and possible solutions? Were you able to work out a solution and what was that process like?
  • Describe a time when you and a colleague worked especially well together. What about your workflow, communication and relationship made you so effective at collaborating?
  • Describe a time when you found it difficult to work with a colleague. What about your workflow, communication and relationship made it hard to work with them?
  • Tell me about a time that you applied theoretical IT knowledge in a practical way. What objectives were you able to accomplish with this knowledge?
  • What was the most recent project you were assigned to? What was your role and how did you contribute over all to the project’s completion?
  • If you were assigned a project that required use of a new technology, how would you start preparing for this project? How would you ensure that your skills were sufficient for fulfilling your responsibilities?
  • You are evaluating a new business tool. Which metrics will you use to choose the best tool? How would you determine that the tool is still the right choice for the job when new demands arise for your role?

IT Culture Interview Questions

Other than being a good match for the technical demands of the job, your IT hire will need to fit well with their team and with your company’s culture.

Use these questions to evaluate a candidate’s ability to enhance the culture of your IT team.

  • Describe the culture of the last company you worked for. How well did this culture support your effective work for this company? Did this culture ever make it hard to work or to enjoy work?
  • Tell me about the most effective IT department you’ve ever worked in. What made this department so effective?
  • When someone on your team approaches you with a technical question, are you more likely to stop what you’re doing and help them or to keep working?
  • Who is your favorite manager of all time? What made them such a good manager? What did you learn from them and how did they help you grow in your role?
  • What was the most successful or productive team you have ever worked with? How did you contribute to the success of this team?
  • What was the most dysfunctional team you have ever worked with and why was it so hard to get work done with them?

Technical IT Interview Questions

IT roles require deep understanding of highly technical subjects and knowledge of which solutions are likely to be the most effective for resulting in a desired outcome.

Use these questions to test the technical knowledge of candidates for your IT roles.

  • When was the last time that you used Visual Studio? What were you using it for?
  • What percentage of your work hours do you spend on unit testing? Do you think you should be spending more or less time on this task?
  • How does a TPC connection sequence work? Give me an example of a time you’ve set one up.
  • What is an ETL, when is it used and how? When was the last time you used an ETL and how were you using it?
  • What are the major differences and similarities of REST and SOAP web services? When is it more effective to use one or the other?
  • What is the difference between optimistic and pessimistic locking? How have you used these locking mechanisms in your previous role?
  • How do you effectively manage source control? What are some challenges to your preferred method?
  • Describe the process of updating a domain’s DNS records.
  • What are the physical parts of ADS and what are the logical parts?
  • How can packets be shortened through modifying TPC settings other than MTU?
  • How often are you able to effectively re-use code you develop? Has re-using code ever resulted in errors or other problems?
  • What is a honey pot, and why are they used?
  • What is clustering and what is its intended use?
  • How have you ensured consistency across unit, quality and production environments? Why did you choose your method for ensuring these conditions?
  • Have you ever defended against a cross site scripting attack? How did you do it?
  • What is the purpose of DMZ network architecture? How do you ensure relational integrity in your database design?
  • What situations would call for an offline backup instead of an online backup?

Final thoughts: IT Interview Questions

Skilled IT employees are essential for the success of many technology companies and, as the importance of business intelligence through data grows, for companies of all types.

Before you can interview and hire your next IT A-Player, you will need to source as many talented IT candidates as you can. Lever Nurture is a tool that helps you automatically find and nurture candidates into your recruiting pipeline.

After you’ve developed connections with enough promising IT candidates, these interview questions will help you determine who is the best fit for the demands of the job, the best fit for their team and the best fit for your company.