The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.
A CTO of a small, fast-paced Silicon Valley firm created job responsibilities for a senior technical professional he wanted to hire.
The responsibilities looked like this:
Once he had decided on these responsibilities, he was asked what type of questions he would ask to determine if a person could accomplish these responsibilities. He then turned each one of them into a behavioral interview question.
Base the Behavioral Interview Questions on the Technical Responsibilities
To do that, one must first understand the structure of the behavioral interview question. It starts with knowing how to design a request for information in such a way that the candidate has to look into their past experience for the answer.
To create a question out of any job responsibility, add an introduction to a situation related to that responsibility.
How did he do that?
1) The beginning or introduction
This is most often a phrase like:
· Tell me about a time when …
· Tell me about how …
· Give me an example of …
· Describe for me ho …
2) The situation
By combining these two elements, the CTO was quickly able to construct the following questions:
· Walk me through a time when you developed specifications of the micro-circuitry for the digital architecture.
· Give me an example of when you have had to analyze performance, power and area tradeoffs, and make implementation choices
· Tell me about a time when you have had to work with Architecture and Design teams to ensure micro-architecture and design is fully verified/validated across multiple platforms
· Give me an example of a time when you have implemented, verified, and validated the design of an FPGA platform
· Tell me about a time when once validated, you led the design efforts and verified a design in silicon
· Describe for me how you stay in tune with industry trends and advances
Dig Deeper for More Information
When I asked my friend how effective he felt his questions were, he said they usually get him most of the information he is looking for. However, with a candidate who is not particularly talkative, he might have to dig for more information.
He does this by asking about the problems that they were facing, the actions that they took, and the results that they achieved. Otherwise known as the PAR technique.
1. By examining the problem the candidate was facing he can more readily understand the level of complexity they can handle.
2. By examining the actions candidates take, he can more readily understand their capabilities and willingness to take action.
By examining the results the candidate has attained, he can
more readily understand their orientation toward getting results and achieving
After each question, he said he listens carefully for each of these three components in their answers and asks for more information about the ones he does not hear.
He uses these examples to complete his interview evaluation form.
Use the responsibilities section of the job description as a foundation for your behavioral interview questions. This can turn in any bone-dry technical interview into a useful conversation.
Simply combine an introduction with a technical responsibility and you will likely have a behavioral question.