A good interview during the recruitment process is the key to hiring the right professional for a given position. But in addition to the types of interviews that aim to identify soft skills, such as behavioral skills, it is even more crucial to test candidates on the technical skills that the role demands, usually given through a technical interview.
If it is done well, a technical interview can cover both technical and behavioral aspects of the candidate. Knowing both of these allows the recruiter to identify the candidate who really matches both with the role and company culture.
This post serves to highlight what a technical interview is, its advantages, who should participate, and what the role of HR is during this crucial step in the recruitment process. So, read on and discover the trends!
What is a Technical Interview?
A technical interview is a stage in the hiring process focused on the technical knowledge and experiences that the candidate has. The interviewer will ask questions to identify the candidate’s proficiency and compare it with the requirements of the available vacancy.
This type of interview aims to identify the hard skills, that is, the technical skills he/she has. The type of approach of the technical interview varies depending on the recruiter’s strategy and what is needed for the role.
Technical questions in the interview also vary according to the position. Those who compete for a management position, for example, are usually asked about the project that they have already been involved in and the delegation of tasks to the team. In the case of hiring a Mobile Developer, whose function is more technical, the candidate needs to be tested on their coding skills and how he/she built or improved a mobile application in previous experiences.
What are the Advantages of a Technical Interview?
Through a technical interview, the recruiter can understand the candidate’s technical skills better by identifying what they know and what they have already accomplished in the area of expertise. This type of interview allows the recruiter to identify whether the candidate’s knowledge and experiences match the company’s needs, promoting quality of hires and reducing employee attrition.
Technical interviews also provide accurate comparison between candidates and help narrow down which potential candidates recruiters and hiring managers need to spend time interviewing for. At the end of the day, it could increase efficiency and reduce recruitment time.
Who Should Participate in the Technical Interview?
To really understand the technical knowledge and depth of a candidate, this type of interview must be carried out by someone who is more experienced in the same or similar field. Usually, they are the senior contributors or managers in the same department, such as team leaders who have equal or superior understanding to the candidate.
What is the Role of HR during Technical Interview?
Even if the technical interview is led by an employee from the candidate’s area of expertise, it is also essential that an HR representative participate at this stage. During a job interview, the HR representative is able to identify how the candidate thinks, solves problems, works in a team, and other skills that an interviewer might have missed.
Moreover, when asking about the candidate’s work history and projects he/she has done in the past, HR can identify whether the candidate’s experience and expectations are in line with the role’s responsibilities and qualifications. This helps to avoid a wrong contract being made.
How to Conduct the Technical Interview
Several interview techniques are ideal to apply during a technical interview, but the STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result – methodology is one of the most concise and often used. This is an interview technique that is widely used by HR professionals because it quite accurately measures the candidate’s technical skills and knowledge. It also helps to convey how candidates applied their knowledge and contributed to successful projects in the past, demonstrating their performance, abilities, and commitment to achieve results. In order to conduct an effective technical interview, the interviewer should follow the necessary steps listed out below.
Ask the candidate about his/her experience in a company they have previously worked at and a particular project that they believe they have contributed to its success. Here, the interviewer should be able to understand the candidate’s professional experience and how he/she applies technical knowledge to a real situation.
The second step is to ask the candidate to describe their tasks and responsibilities on the project. The questions could revolve around what they had to perform, tools they used, difficulties they faced, how they managed deadlines, and the communication between the team.
These questions are essential to understand both the candidate’s technical skills and behavioral profile, such as resourcefulness in solving day-to-day issues and their ability to work in a team.
At this point in the interview, you should ask the candidate what actions they took to resolve their difficulties during a project, how they arrived at these solutions, and how they made it a success in the end. This serves to understand the candidate’s degree of knowledge about certain subjects and tasks and how they applied it to complete projects.
Finally, ask the candidate to describe the results they achieved by taking the actions they have already detailed out. It’s better to ask them quantitative data from the project, such as increased sales, or any other positive feedback they have received for their contribution in the project.
This last step helps the recruiter understand what the candidate can achieve or contribute to a certain project, and also shows their commitment to their work and results to be achieved.
When properly carried out, a technical interview can contribute to hiring high-performance professionals for the company and also avoiding high employee attrition rates from not meeting the company or candidate’s expectations.
You can also save recruitment time by only inviting qualified candidates to more extensive interviews. You can find top talents from talent search platforms like Shortlyst, where you can use AI based filters and search to compile a list of candidates that meet your job requirements. They have a comprehensive database of professionals around the world from different functions, so you will be able to accurately map your potential candidates’ profiles.