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10 common IT interview questions and answers to prepare for

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

Navigating new technology requires a solid grasp of technical concepts and the ability to tackle challenges with confidence. Those are two key qualities recruiters often look for when interviewing IT job candidates. 

To help you ace your next interview, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common IT job interview questions along with expert tips to help you craft your answers. 

5 behavioral-based IT interview questions and answers 

Behavioral-based interview questions show the interviewer how you’ve handled different situations in the past. Your responses reveal your personality and skills, along with how well you work with others. 

1. How do you explain complicated processes to someone who doesn’t have a technical background? 

Many technical roles require collaboration with people outside the IT department. Most of the time, those people do not have an in-depth understanding of technical concepts.

The recruiter may ask this question to make sure you can explain technical issues and solutions in a way that everyone will understand.

How to answer:

  • Give an example of a time you explained a technical process to someone who didn’t have an IT background.
  • Describe how you adapted your communication style to suit the listener's level of understanding.
  • Avoid using technical jargon in your answer.

2. Tell me about a time you needed to ask for help with a project: What did you do?

The interviewer may ask this question to test your approach to problem-solving and to assess your collaboration skills.

Your answer should detail a specific time when you tried to solve a problem on your own first, then sought help when you needed extra assistance.

How to answer:

  • Describe the issue and the steps you took to try and solve the issue.
  • Discuss who you reached out to and how you asked for help.
  • Talk about how this teamwork helped you complete the project.

3. How do you organize and prioritize your workload?

This question helps the recruiter assess your planning and organizational abilities, as well as your approach to setting priorities and meeting deadlines.

How to answer:

4. Can you describe a time you acted as a team player?

When you work in IT, you work with a variety of personalities. This question is designed to show the interviewer how you effectively communicate with those around you.

How to answer:

  • Give a specific example of a time you handled a challenging situation with a co-worker or client.
  • Explain how you maintained a positive working environment.
  • Discuss the steps you took to find a solution you both agreed with.

5. How do you stay up to date with new technologies?

The recruiter wants to know if you actively seek out information about new technologies and if you engage in continuous learning.

How to answer:

  • Talk about any industry-related conferences you’ve attended lately and what you learned from them.
  • Provide examples of industry news or blogs you’ve read.
  • List any online courses you’ve taken on new systems.

5 technical-based IT interview questions and answers 

For technical-based questions, you will be expected to show an in-depth understanding of technical processes and systems. Since this part of the interview will likely be conducted by another IT professional, you will want to be as detailed as possible in your responses.  

6. What operating systems have you used or currently use?

The interviewer wants to see if you have experience working with popular operating systems such as Windows PC, MacOS or Linux. By asking this question, the interviewer can gauge the candidate's adaptability and versatility in working with different platforms.

How to answer:

  • Detail specific projects or tasks you’ve completed on the system.
  • Highlight times you’ve performed server updates and configurations.
  • Discuss your familiarity with changing settings and rolling back updates when necessary.

7. What programming language have you used or currently use?

Whether you’ve used Python, Java, C or something else entirely, you need to clearly articulate what type of programming language you’ve used and what type of tasks you’ve used it for. The more details you can provide the better!

How to answer:

  • Explain how the code you created helped solve problems.
  • Talk about how you adapted the programming language if issues arose.
  • Showcase your understanding of how programming languages align with different development tasks.

8. What is a recent project you worked on?

By asking about a recent project, the interviewer can gain insights into your technical expertise and problem-solving abilities. It also gives you a chance to highlight your achievements!

If you recently graduated from college and do not have practical work experience yet, you can use an example of a project you worked on while in school.

How to answer:

  • Provide a detailed overview of the project, explaining its purpose and the technologies utilized.
  • Share problems you ran into and how you solved them.
  • Describe how you applied your learnings to future projects.

9. What is the most difficult bug you’ve encountered?

This question tests your de-bugging techniques and your ability to handle complex technical issues. It gives the interviewer insight into how you troubleshoot issues and how resourceful you are in resolving problems – very important parts of the job!

How to answer:

  • Explain what bug you encountered.
  • Describe how you figured out what was causing the problem and the steps you took to fix it.
  • Highlight the importance of effective troubleshooting and debugging techniques.

10. Do you enjoy working with front-end interface systems or back-end processing systems?

Sometimes, a company will have multiple job openings for the same type of role. If you’re asked this question, the interviewer is trying to decide which team you’d be the best fit for.

Be specific about what you’re good at and what direction you want to take your career in.

How to answer:

  • Express your preferences and strengths.
  • Explain why you find one area more engaging.
  • Talk about where you see your career progressing.

Start or grow your IT career at Schneider.

Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or a more experienced role, Schneider has a variety of IT job opportunities. Learn more about what each role has to offer and apply today. 
About the author
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Julia is a graduate of St. Norbert College and started at Schneider in 2018 as a Driver Recruiting intern. Currently, she works in HR Compliance. In her free time, Julia loves being with family, volunteering, playing tennis, singing and playing guitar.

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