Hiring an IT Director can be intimidating for non-technical interviewers.
What interview question should you ask an IT Director candidate? How can you assess whether the candidate has provided a technically sound and correct answer?
To help you prepare for a technical interview, we asked seven IT recruiters and business leaders for their best IT director interview questions. Here’s what this community of interviewers recommended that you ask a technical candidate in an interview.
Can you explain the most complicated thing you know how to do in 5 minutes or less?
I like this question because to the common employee, IT and anything technical feels like a foreign language. An IT director is responsible for not just managing their team of technical professionals, but is also responsible for reporting their progress to other departments and people in higher positions. Being able to simplify IT terms and explain a complicated situation to people that can understand it is a skill that not everyone in IT has. Someone hired for this role should be able to explain things clearly and effectively in a way a whole team can understand.
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
What software and hardware are you most familiar with?
Ask them about their technical background, specifically the software and hardware they are most familiar with. Are they comfortable enough with the technology to be able to adequately explain and teach it to someone else? For a director-level position, a candidate should be able to speak with enough knowledge to help their team solve problems.
Francesca Yardley, Threads
Do you have any certifications? Why did you choose to pursue these specific ones and what did you learn?
Director positions often bring in candidates with years of experience and may choose to differentiate themselves with various certifications. Ask them why they chose to pursue them and what they learned from them. Some may have earned different certifications that taught different skills. By asking them about their learning, you can choose the best fit.
Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis
What past projects have you worked on and oversaw?
Ask them to elaborate on projects they’ve worked on and oversaw. Listen to moments in which they exhibited a certain trait or skill and have them discuss how they applied them to the project. Resumes are only guidelines for conversation and can be manipulated. By digging deeper and encouraging a candidate to explain their experience helps you decide if they are the right fit for your position.
Dan Reck, MATClinics
How do you balance between getting into the technical details of the project vs. delegating?
This question reveals what kind of leader the candidate is. Is the prospective employee preoccupied with completing the tasks themselves or is the person willing to delegate tasks and trust their team. This leadership position requires not only delegation to their staff, but also strong communication, motivation, and organization skills. Look for someone that has these skills along with a balanced answer to the time spent working on the technical minutiae vs. delegating tasks.
Craig Rosen, InterviewFocus
How can you solve this complicated problem in the short and long term?
When interviewing technical candidates and IT Directors, I’ll take our most long withstanding technical issues and ask them how they’d solve the problem. Many interviews are seeking to answer the question about what value a candidate can bring to the company. By sharing a current issue a company is experiencing, an interviewer can immediately assess what value a candidate may bring.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
How have you made improvements to an organization throughout your prior roles?
I would ask for examples of how they have improved efficiency, compliance or made process improvements that brought value in their prior roles. Even IT Directors have a place in helping a company to figure out a way to cut costs and increase revenue. How did this happen in the past, and what are your plans for doing the same thing in my company?
Deborah Bubis, Recruiter and Sourcer