Best Practices for Screening & Interviewing IT Candidates


March, 2023

Best Practices for Screening & Interviewing IT Candidates

topic IT Recruiting visibility1707 views

Hiring IT developers in Canada can be a challenging task, as the industry continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. However, with the right screening and interviewing techniques, IT companies can find the best candidates to add value to their team. In this article, we will discuss some best practices for screening and interviewing IT candidates, including technical and soft skills assessments.

Start with a thorough job description

Before you even begin the screening process, it is essential to have a clear job description that outlines the required skills and qualifications for the role. This will help you narrow down the pool of candidates to those who have the necessary technical skills and experience. It's also important to outline the soft skills that are required for the position, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

Use a multi-stage screening process

Once you have a pool of applicants, it's important to use a multi-stage screening process to weed out candidates who are not a good fit for the position. This can include a combination of phone screens, skills assessments, and in-person interviews. The phone screen can be used to quickly assess the candidate's interest in the role and their basic qualifications. The skills assessment can be used to test the candidate's technical skills and their ability to solve problems. Finally, in-person interviews can be used to evaluate the candidate's soft skills, such as their communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities.

Assess technical skills

Assessing a candidate's technical skills is one of the most important parts of the hiring process for IT companies. Technical assessments can be used to evaluate a candidate's programming skills, knowledge of specific technologies, and problem-solving abilities. Technical assessments can include coding challenges, whiteboard exercises, or even real-world projects. It's important to choose the right type of assessment for the position and to ensure that the assessment is fair and unbiased.

Evaluate soft skills

In addition to technical skills, it's also important to evaluate a candidate's soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities. Soft skills assessments can include behavioral interviews, where the interviewer asks the candidate about specific situations they have faced in the past and how they handled them. Another effective method is to use situational judgment tests, which present the candidate with hypothetical scenarios and ask them to choose the best course of action.

Make the interview process engaging

Interviews can be stressful for candidates, so it's important to make the process as engaging and comfortable as possible. Start with some icebreaker questions to put the candidate at ease and help them relax. Make sure that the interview covers both technical and soft skills, and be sure to give the candidate plenty of time to ask questions about the role and the company.

Provide feedback

Finally, it's important to provide feedback to all candidates who have gone through the screening and interviewing process. This can help candidates improve their skills and prepare for future interviews. Providing feedback can also help build a positive reputation for your company, as candidates are more likely to recommend your company to others if they have had a positive experience.

Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

Also it's important to note that the screening and interviewing process is a two-way street. Just as IT companies are assessing candidates, candidates are also assessing the company and its culture. Therefore, it's important for companies to not only evaluate candidates' skills and experience but also showcase the company's values and mission during the hiring process.

Additionally, IT companies can use a variety of tools and methods to assess technical and soft skills during the hiring process. For technical skills, coding challenges, online assessments, and technical interviews can be used to evaluate a candidate's ability to solve complex problems and write efficient code. For soft skills, behavioral interviews, group activities, and personality assessments can be used to evaluate communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability.

Another important aspect of the hiring process is diversity and inclusion. IT companies should strive to create a diverse workforce by actively recruiting candidates from underrepresented groups and creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. This not only promotes fairness and equality but also brings a wider range of perspectives and ideas to the company, leading to better innovation and problem-solving.

Lastly, IT companies should also provide a positive candidate experience, regardless of whether or not the candidate is ultimately hired. This can include timely communication, clear expectations, and feedback on the hiring process. A positive candidate experience can help build the company's reputation and increase the likelihood of top candidates accepting job offers in the future.


According to a report by the Canadian Digital Media Network, there is a high demand for talent in the Canadian tech industry, with 71% of tech companies struggling to find the talent they need to grow their businesses. This has led to some creative recruitment strategies, such as hackathons and talent competitions, where candidates can showcase their skills and compete for job opportunities.

In fact, some of Canada's top tech companies, including Shopify and Hootsuite, have hosted hackathons and coding challenges to find top talent. These events not only help companies identify skilled candidates but also provide a fun and engaging way for candidates to showcase their abilities and potentially land their dream job.

So, if you're an IT company looking to hire top talent in Canada, consider hosting a hackathon or talent competition to identify skilled candidates in a fun and engaging way!


In conclusion, hiring top talent is a critical success factor for IT companies in Canada. To attract and retain the best candidates, IT companies must have a strong screening and interviewing process that assesses both technical and soft skills, stays up-to-date with industry trends, and promotes diversity and inclusion. By following these best practices, IT companies can increase their chances of hiring the best talent and building a competitive advantage in Canada's rapidly growing technology sector. Additionally, incorporating creative recruitment strategies, such as hackathons and talent competitions, can help companies stand out and identify talented candidates in a fun and engaging way. Ultimately, investing in the hiring process and prioritizing top talent can lead to better innovation, increased productivity, and stronger business results.

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