As a developer for hire, you’ve often participated in interviews with:
- An IT recruiter,
- A generalized talent platform, or
- A dedicated best talent platform like Xperti.
At the end, each interviewer comes up with the inevitable question: Do you have any questions? It makes you wonder if the offer is a mere formality, or if you should ask. We should start by clarifying that it’s always a good idea to ask questions, especially of an IT recruiter. In this blog, we discuss the 15 important questions you should be asking an IT recruiter in your next interview.
Why Does An IT Recruiter Want You To Ask Questions? Why Is It Necessary?
The IT Talent pool is full of developers afraid to ask the right questions. They’re afraid it makes them look uninformed or unprepared. Or worse, it weakens their bargaining position. Not so!
An insider secret. Every IT recruiter wants you to ask as many questions as possible before he/she closes the position. No, the IT recruiter expects you to know everything about the role, company, or career path.
By contrast, well-chosen questions show the interest and eagerness of the best talent. An IT recruiter will always prefer top talent who seems keen on the position, and ready to take up the challenge. Your questions give out that signal.
15 Important Questions You Should Be Asking an IT Recruiter
What is the actual job role I’m being interviewed for?
Often, the job title is vague. For instance, “Java Developer” is a vague title. Java technology has a lot of applications. There may be the possibility that what you were expecting was not what this position demands. Hiring managers usually tell their IT recruiters the internal title of the position. That helps give a far more accurate picture of the work involved. Especially in the absence of a detailed JD.
How did you find me?
You know how all those job boards ask “How did you learn about this job?” followed by a dropdown menu? The idea, as you know, is to focus efforts on the most effective platform. Likewise, sometimes an IT recruiter will approach you for a position you didn’t apply for. That’s when you should ask how he/she found you. You must ask because it identifies the most trending IT recruitment platform. Giving your resume the right kind of visibility.
Would you recommend any changes to my resume or cover letter?
You wouldn’t be the only developer for hire to ask this question. IT recruitment depends on top talent addressing shortcomings in their job applications. As a talent expert, the IT recruiter can point out specifics. These will improve your chances of working in the best companies in the USA.
Are there any skills or qualifications you think I am missing?
Your candidacy strengths become clear during your screening interview. By asking this question, you can prepare better for the job before the actual hiring. The IT recruiter can mention the exact requirements missing from the application. With this, you can analyze your needs and even decide if you want to go ahead with this job or not. Most hiring managers are happy to identify weaknesses you can work on.
What is the company culture like?
Hiring managers are unlikely to tell top talent that they have a toxic culture of course. What they’re more likely to tell you is that once hired, you’ll be working for the best companies in the USA. But, with this question, they might mention quirks or rituals unique to the business. For instance, special ways of celebrating employees, attractive benefits, etc.
An IT recruiter may also communicate progressive measures via culture. For instance, the adaptation of diversity measures, etc.
Does the company have a remote work policy?
Very important in the COVID-19 era! Although flexible and remote work arrangements are common in the technology industry, it’s better to get the record straight. The primary objective of each project manager is to deliver the product on time. That’s why developers are allowed to work remotely, in preferred hours. But this is not the case for every company. Ask beforehand and prepare accordingly.
Which methodology do your project managers use?
Project management is a core concern in IT recruitment. You should ask your hiring manager which project management philosophy is in place in the organization. Because it determines the way things are done, and the team’s approach. In the case of agile and waterfall, the approaches can be different.
How large is the team? What is its structure?
The size and structure of a technology team can be a selling point for an IT recruiter. Asking about it helps you assess project sizes and your readiness for them. You may have done exceptional work in the past. But if you haven’t worked in a big team before, you may need to prepare first.
What resources or products does the company use?
There are many online products available for:
- Project management
- Scheduling and
- Data storage
For companies to manage their projects. An IT recruiter is usually aware of them. Your skill in using these tools can help position you with the top talent they’re looking into for the project. Even if you’re not familiar, ask, and prepare yourself for the next role that needs them.
Is training offered before onboarding? How will I be trained?
The best companies in the USA have inhouse training programs. They are either self-paced or tailored to system/project requirements. Learning about their training programs will also help you get acquainted with:
- Emphasis on employee wellness
- Leadership priorities
- Company direction etc.
What is the typical career path for IT talent in this role?
Setting realistic expectations is important for both sides. Whether a role is temporary, or permanent. Slow-growth or high-growth, both sides must be clear from the start. It is not uncommon in IT recruitment for top talent to tire of technical roles and veers into management. The opposite is also true. Find out where your specific role leads.
What’s the promotion process? How are requirements and expectations communicated?
This question belongs in the final interview with the IT recruiter. The more structured the career path, the more specific the IT recruiter will be in his/her responses. Vague answers either point to confidential structures or poor processes. Either way, you benefit by knowing. The IT recruiter is generally familiar with the structure of many organizations. So he/she can provide a helpful comparison.
To whom will I be reporting?
An obvious question, by most counts. It also indicates how critical your role is in the business of the organization. Knowing your reporting line helps clarify:
- Communication patterns
- Performance expectations
- Frequency of interaction and much more.
Be sure to ask the IT recruiter this!
Are there any available company-wide learning resources like eBooks subscriptions, or online courses?
This is not the same as training. Training is task-specific. Learning resources are broad-based and general. They also have a longer time orientation. The older and more replenished learning resources a company has, the better its IT talent. Or should be. For hiring managers, a good learning program is a brag point. Don’t shy away from asking!
What are the best non-cash perks?
Asking about perks in the screening interview is not recommended. Once you enter the negotiation stage, these questions can help you make a better decision. Technology companies offer exclusive employee-besides gym memberships and discounts. You can ask your IT recruiter if the hiring company has such incentives in place.