Finding the right IT Candidate for your open position can feel overwhelming, especially when there are a flood of experts eagerly awaiting position approval. It can be difficult to know what type of employee will be a good fit for not only the company, but the task at hand. Meanwhile, you’re trying to compile a list of qualities to hand over to the IT Recruiter. If you’re looking for a change from your previous IT employee or searching for a niche candidate, the list can be long and arduous to check off. We’re hoping to help you narrow down that list by providing you with the top qualities you should be looking for in your next great IT candidate.

Coachable and Adaptable

IT is a field that is constantly evolving and growing as new technologies and techniques arise almost on a daily basis. A candidate’s base education and skill sets are often impressive and extremely helpful, but having someone on your team that is capable of adapting and being coached can set your company up for major success. Find candidates that are open to change and new ideas, as well as extremely motivated to continue to push themselves and learn new skills. Ask your candidate for examples of their ability to adapt to workplace change in their previous position.

Team Player

One of the most important aspects of a workplace environment is ensuring your employees can easily and successfully collaborate. Finding a good way to balance out all of the various personality types and generational gaps can take a lot of time, training, practice, and patience. Finding out whether or not your candidate can set aside their own personal, competitive goals and work with a team will have a huge impact on your workplace environment. It’s also a good idea to determine a candidate’s level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be basically described as having the ability to analyze one’s own and other people’s emotions, then utilizing that information to guide thinking and behavior. Having this ability not only improves team collaboration, but it can also be linked to greater problem-solving skills and quick learning.

Passion for the IT Profession

It’s important to determine what your candidate is passionate about. Asking questions about why they chose the IT Field or their specific field of expertise is one of the easiest ways to get a good idea of their level of passion for their work. Passionate employees will genuinely care about the company, team, and project/tasks at hand. When a candidate is passionate, you can rely on them to consistently push through difficulties and challenges that may arise. Oftentimes passionate candidates will also be extremely up to date on IT trends, as they will research, train, and participate in IT conferences.


It’s obviously important for the candidate to have a high level of expertise in their field. Ensuring that the candidate understands the job requirements, as well as other various aspects of the industry will help you narrow down the candidate you’ll want on your team. If a candidate is open to broadening their horizons, this could mean great things for your company. Holding a wide variety of interests and expertise can show that passion for IT we’re looking for, while also allowing you to reap the benefits of a well-rounded employee.

Interviewing and Hiring

Don’t let a long list of desired qualities overwhelm you. Narrowing down the list to a few extremely important qualities, like some of the aspects we discussed above, can make the interviewing and hiring process so much easier. Ask questions focused around these qualities, even hyper-focused questions. Don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions. You can get a really good idea of a candidate’s personality, thought process, and emotional intelligence by asking these questions. If you’re having a difficult time determining which candidate to hire, conduct a second round of interviews with even deeper questioning. Finally, always trust your intuition. If you’re leaning towards one candidate over another, it’s most likely for a very good reason. Don’t spend too long questioning that instinct.

Questions to Ask the IT Candidate

  1. Ask them to describe a time where they were able to improve on the design that was originally suggested.
  2. What is the most innovative change they have implemented? What did they do to ensure it’s success?
  3. Give the candidate a problem based upon the job requirements and ask them to explain their thought process for their solution.
  4. Ask them how they have applied their technical knowledge in a practical way.
  5. What is the biggest IT challenge they have faced?
  6. Ask them to describe their ideal work environment.