What Are the Main Stages of an IT Recruitment Process? Guide and Tips for Candidates
It is no secret that due to the demand for IT specialists, they receive many messages with job offers every day. According to the report prepared by Pracuj.pl in 2021, IT is in second place among the most popular specializations. 22% of all offers on this website were addressed to this type of experts. In addition, our report on the IT job market shows that despite the general satisfaction with their salary, the vast majority of IT professionals (71%) are open to changing jobs in the near future, and almost half of them are ready to do this if they get an interesting offer.
What if the offer received or found is really compelling and we want to get to know more and go through the path leading to a new job? In this article, we provide some advice to candidates. We believe that it will help you avoid a lot of stress. To sum up, the key to the success is a proper preparation.
Stages of the recruitment process in IT
The number of stages in a given recruitment process depends on the vacancy, the company and the industry. Standard recruitment processes usually include 1 stage on the recruitment agency’s side and 2 stages on the client’s side. It is generally accepted that a vacancy should be filled within a maximum of 2–3 weeks.
What is more, the IT job market report shows that, according to IT candidates, its most optimal time is 2 weeks. Moreover, 88% of respondents declared that the ideal recruitment process should consist of a maximum of 2 stages. Recruiters make every effort to make it shorter, however, everything depends on the time availability of the candidate and the client, the type of a technical task, negotiating the terms of the contract and many other things. The length of individual stages may also be influenced by the level of experience of the IT candidates that are sought. Below, we present the general main stages of the recruitment process:
1. First contact with the recruiter and CV review
Usually, contact with the recruiter begins with receiving a message from them. Probably this person has already viewed your profile and assumes that you are suitable for the job position.
You will also be asked questions about your main motivation to change your job, financial requirements, and your preferred work mode. You will also be asked about your availability and a notice period. What is more, you may also be inquired whether you are currently also participating in other recruitment processes.
It is worth being honest because in exceptional cases the recruiter is able to talk with the client and shorten the length of the recruitment process. Furthermore, this is a good time to ask the recruiter your questions as well. Thanks to this, you can find out if the described job position is really what you are interested in and whether you are ready to spend time participating in the recruitment process.
2. Interview with the recruiter
The first interview with the recruiter will assess your soft skills. Interpersonal and communication skills are very important in the context of working on IT projects and solving possible problems. What is more, at this stage your motivation will be tested and it will be decided if there is a possibility that you will fit in with the organization.
Furthermore, you will be asked to submit your CV. Before doing this, you should check its validity. Make sure that it includes information about your most important projects. It may often turn out that, due to the specification of the company, it will be useful to have a CV also in English or in the other languages. When thinking about changing jobs, it is worth being prepared for such an event. A frequent practice that helps to stand out and show that you care about a job offer is to prepare your CV specifically for a given position. If you take the time to analyze what the employer cares about, you can create a new CV that will perfectly show you are good for a given job offer. You can find more advice in our article on how to write a CV.
You can also expect a short interview in English to verify your skill level. This is especially important when you’re going to work on international projects.
The next part of this recruitment process is a technical interview.Its purpose is to test your knowledge and skills. You can also expect questions related to the technologies you are familiar with. Moreover, the issues raised may relate to the level of specialization in programming languages, knowledge of frameworks and libraries or other tools. You may also be asked how long you have worked with specific technologies and in which you would like to develop your skills.
3. Verifying the competencies
The method of how your skills will be tested depend on the level of requirements for the job. Usually, the above-mentioned technical interview is carried out for this purpose, but there are also other ways used to verify the actual knowledge and skills of the candidate. In summary, the verification of competencies may take the following forms:
- Technical conversation
- Remote task (homework)
- HR/business interview
- Live coding
- Code sample
- Pair programming
- Personality tests
It’s good to underline the fact that regardless of the method used, you should always get feedback. After the verification of competencies has been carried out, you should receive your results and information if you have moved to the next stage of the process, along with any tips on participating in recruitment processes in the future.
4. Establishing the terms of employment and signing the contract
At this final stage the formalities are clarified. Of course, the terms of the contract are already presented to the candidate in the early stages of the process, but here the final clarification takes place, along with the rest of the details ending with the signing of the contract.
However, it is worth remembering that the presented scheme of the recruitment process in IT is general and depending on the specificity of the job offer, it may include additional stages of competency verification or an interview.
Useful tips for IT candidates
Usually, the recruiters from professional recruitment agencies will support you at every stage of the recruitment process and help you prepare for tasks and next interviews as well as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions — they can give you a big advantage and clear up your doubts. In relation to the general scheme of the recruitment process in IT presented above, we would like to share some tips on how to minimize stress and prepare well for the meetings. You can also read about our tips on how to perform well at a job interview in our article.
The most frequently asked interview questions in IT
The more research you do regarding the recruitment questions for the job you are applying for, the calmer you will be. There are questions you can expect 100%. Thebalancecareers divides IT questions into 3 groups. These are:
- Questions about you — they let the recruiter get to know you, your skills and the general style of work. These can be questions about your knowledge of technology, recent projects, initiated changes, projects that have not been implemented, how to deal with deadlines, etc.
- Questions about the job and company — These types of questions are intended to help to determine if you will fit in with the company’s culture. They may be about why you want to work in a given organization and what are your expectations.
- Technical questions — their purpose is to test your knowledge and problem-solving skills. At this stage, it will be checked what your candidacy looks like in the context of the tasks performed.
How to prepare for a job interview in the IT industry?
Before the scheduled recruitment interview, it is worth doing research on the company to which we are applying. This information can be very useful in the next steps. You will definitely be asked to tell about yourself, your current job, motivation, and your willingness to change jobs. The next frequently occurring recruitment questions may be about what motivates you at work, how you would like to improve yourself in the future or what your goals are. In order to avoid possible stress, it is worth practicing before the final interview and prepare a few sentences.
The next important question will be about your financial expectations. It is worth preparing for it by specifying the minimum salary range and a higher one that you are satisfied with. Also, remember to specify whether the amount presented by you is gross or net. Furthermore, consider what benefits are important to you and other possible needs. A good source of knowledge about earnings on the IT market, along with the division into experience, can be found in our report on the IT job market in Poland.
If you are invited to an online interview, take care of your clothes and surroundings. Choose a convenient place and check what is in your camera’s field of view. Ensure that there will be quiet in your apartment for that specific time. One way to do this is to inform your tenants that they cannot disturb you for a couple of hours. You can also mute your phone. The second thing that will positively impact your job interview is simply remembering to eat a meal, drink water, and have a good rest the day before your meeting.
If you are wondering what not to do and what mistakes can be made, you can find out more in the article describing whether an ideal recruitment process exist.
Advice on technical interview in IT
The purpose of the technical interview is to verify the experience declared by the candidate. It’s good to spend some time before it to refresh some technical information and feel prepared. At this stage it is important to demonstrate knowledge of the programming language and skills that allow you to complete the task. Furthermore, remember to describe your steps.
Even if you run into a problem that prevents you from giving the correct answer, the most important thing is to keep going and ask additional questions. It is worth emphasizing that the right questions in a technical interview can give you a big advantage thanks to your curiosity about technology and the project. The interviewer will notice that you are open and ready for challenges and that your knowledge gives you a chance to fit in with the new team.
To sum up, the person conducting the technical interview will be able to test your knowledge, logical thinking and ability to deal with problems. Therefore, always try to explain your reasoning and approach to the topic.
- What is the difference between == and ===?
- What is hoisting?
- What is a closure?
Python — examples of recruitment questions:
- What is PIP used for in Python?
- What is the difference between For Loop and While Loop?
- What databases does Python support?
- What are the benefits of using Python?
Java — examples of recruitment questions:
- What is JVM?
- What is GIT?
- What is Hibernate for?
PHP — examples of recruitment questions:
- Describe what object-oriented programming is.
- What is the PHP Standard Recommendation?
- Describe the SOLID rules.
- Describe the difference between the GET and POST methods.
Make a list of questions
You can ask about the size of the team, the number of technical people in it, potential superiors, tools, technologies and anything else that interests you about the job position you apply for. If you prepare a list of questions before the interview, you will be sure that all doubts will be dispelled. The questions you ask are also very important for the recruiter. As a result, this person knows the level of your commitment. The right conversation will make everything beneficial not only for you, but also for the person that is interviewing you. Thanks to this, you will both be sure about the requirements and the opportunities offered in the context of employment. Additionally, thinking through the questions before the interview helps to avoid problems if your question is misinterpreted.
IT recruiters try to conduct the most friendly recruitment process and candidate’s experience is very important for them. Of course, the transition to the next stages really depends on the requirements of both parties. Even if something does not work out due to the expectations of the candidate or client, there is always another chance for you to get the dream job in IT. Furthermore, candidates, thanks to the feedback they receive on the tasks and the process, are able to obtain information that will be valuable in terms of further development and expanding the required knowledge about the technology. Similarly, an IT recruiter, thanks to providing feedback on the recruitment process is able to make changes and improve the candidate experience.
Originally published at https://nexttechnology.io on May 4, 2022.