This article was written by Alison Doyle and originally published on The Balance.
When you are interviewing for an Information Technology (IT) job, in addition to the standard interview questions you will be asked during a job interview, you will be asked more focused and specific technical questions about your education, skills, certifications, languages, and tools you have expertise in.
The hiring manager will want to know, in detail, how equipped you are to handle the position.
Prepare for the interview by considering the job qualifications – what skills, knowledge, and experiences you’ll need for to be successful in the job.
Take the job requirements that are included in the posting and make a list of the top qualifications the employer is looking for. Then match your credentials to the list. Be ready to discuss why you have each attribute the company wants. Here’s how to match your qualifications to the position’s requirements.
Review this list of IT interview questions and take the time to prepare responses based on your qualifications for the job. When responding give specific examples, whenever possible, of how you have handled a project or situation. Providing details will show the interviewer how and why you are qualified for the job.
Questions About You and Your Technical Skills:
- What interests you about this position? – Sample Answers
- What are your technical certifications?
- What do you do to maintain your technical certifications?
- What automated-build tools or processes have you used?
- What development tools have you used?
- What languages have you programmed in?
- What source control tools have you used?
- What technical websites do you follow?
- Describe a time when you were able to improve upon the design that was originally suggested.
- Describe the most innovative change that you have initiated and what you did to implement this change.
- Given this problem (problem is based upon job requirements), what solution would you provide. Explain your thought process.
- How do you handle multiple deadlines?
- How do you keep current on this industry?
- How do you troubleshoot IT issues?
- Tell me about the most recent project you worked on. What were your responsibilities?
- Tell me about the project you are most proud of, and what your contribution was.
- Give an example of where you have applied your technical knowledge in a practical way.
- What is the biggest IT challenge you have faced and how did you handle it?
- You are working at a client site and the CTO of the client company has asked if she can see you. The CTO wants to know how much it would cost to bring in five more people on your team. She gives you very vague requirements of the job she is looking for you to do. What would you do?
- You have been asked to research a new business tool. You have come across two solutions. One is an on-premises solution, the other is cloud-based. Assuming they are functionally equivalent, why would you recommend one over the other?
- You have submitted a piece of code that has broken the client’s website in production. You have found this bug while you were testing, and nobody else knows about it. What is your next move?
- You have learned that a business unit is managing a major component of the business using Excel spreadsheets and Access databases. What risks does this present, and what would you recommend be done to mitigate those risks?
Questions About the Job and the Company
- Describe the skills you have that qualify you for this job – Sample Answers
- Do you prefer to manage people or ideas?
- Describe your production deployment process.
- From the description of this position, what do you think you will be doing on a day-to-day basis?
- Have you worked with software vendors? How do you handle vendor relations?
- How important is it to work directly with your business users?
- How would you rate your key competencies for this job?
- If hired, is there anything you would change about this IT team?
- What challenges do you think you might expect in this job if you were hired? – Sample Answers
- What companies do you see as the biggest competitors to this company?
- Compare and contrast REST and SOAP web services.
- Define authentication and authorization and the tools that are used to support them in enterprise deployments.
- Describe the difference between optimistic and pessimistic locking.
- Describe the elements of an in tier architecture and their appropriate use.
- Have you used Eclipse?
- Have you used Visual Studio?
- How did you manage source control?
- How much (what percentage) of your time do you spend unit testing?
- How much reuse do you get out of the code that you develop, and how?
- How would you describe the ideal working environment?
- If you know you aren’t going to make a project deadline what will you tell your manager and/or the client?
- In databases, what is the difference between a delete statement and a truncate statement?
- In network security, what is a honey pot, and why is it used?
- What are the most important database performance metrics, and how do you monitor them?
- What are transaction logs, and how are they used?
- What did you do to ensure quality in your deliverables?
- What do you consider documentation and why is it important?
- What do you do to ensure you provide accurate project estimates?
- What do you expect in the solution documents you are provided?
- What elements are necessary for a successful team and why?
- What have you done to ensure consistency across unit, quality, and production environments?
- What is a cross site scripting attack, and how do you defend against it?
- What is a SAN, and how is it used?
- What is clustering, and describe its use.
- What is ETL and when should it be used?
- What is most important – quality or quantity?
- What is structure?
- What is the difference between OLAP and OLTP? When is each used?
- What is the role of continuous integration systems in the automated-build process?
- What is the role of SMNP?
- What is the role of the DMZ in network architecture? How do you enforce relational integrity in database design?
- When is it appropriate to denormalize database design?
- When is the last time you downloaded a utility from the internet to make your work more productive, and what was it?
- Which do you prefer; service oriented or batch oriented solutions?
Are there any questions you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.