How to Use Non-technical Interview Questions to Find Software Developers

how to use non technical interview questions to find software developers

This post was last Updated on by Himanshu Tyagi to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

When interviewing a potential team member, you have the idea of taking them on board your company. You assess their potential to be a part of your team with a specific mission, vision, and values. Let’s see some non-technical interview questions for software developers. They can help you identify if they are an excellent fit for your organization.

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Set the Objectives of the Interview

how to use non technical interview questions to find software developers

The primary objective is to assess whether or not this guy is suitable for your team. You have an idea of the dynamics inside the team. You would like to make sure all team members will get along well.

Also, you need all the processes to run smoothly. Group communication and team cohesion in formal and informal meetings are essential. On them depends the success of the company.

It would help if you thought from the point of view of the whole company. Choosing a talented developer who can fit into the organization’s ecosystem can benefit your company. But a bad hire can be highly detrimental to the company’s health.

This perspective can help you set clear objectives for interviewing your candidate developers.

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Define the Goals and Cultural fit

You should set goals, or precise requirements, to choose a great developer.

Proficiency in coding is a must. The candidate must be an expert in their field and have a way to prove their expertise and experience.

But algorithms are not all that matters. You are also searching for someone great at communicating with humans as well. And someone who knows what it means to be a part of a team.

This is the whole point of non-technical questions in an interview. To see if the candidate developer can fit into the organization’s culture.

Your goal will be to discover more about the personality of your future developer. What are their character and qualities? Have they proven to be resilient under stress? Do they have a reasonable degree of personal initiative?

How do they manage their emotions and group interaction? An insight into this field will reveal if you can work together and if the relationship will last in time.

Let’s dive into some specific question strings you can ask at an interview.

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Questions About Experience

Questions about the experience can help you identify how they did on their previous projects. And this is related not only to technical accomplishments. This way, you can assess the skills of overcoming obstacles, solving problems, and navigating difficult situations.

Let’s examine some of them:

“Please share your experience with your last project. How did it evolve, and how did you and your team bring it to fruition? How was your communication within your team and with the stakeholders and project managers? Share your part and how you contributed to the project’s success. Were there any obstacles? How did you manage to overcome them?”

These questions will provide precious insights into the ability of the developer to manage their projects. It will show how he collaborates within a team. They show their experience level in problem-solving.

When handling projects, there are always obstacles. Overcoming them and accomplishing the project’s goals within the time framework is what your company is looking for.

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Check the Values with the Questions

When hiring a good developer, you must ensure they have good working ethics. They need to adopt the high company values into their life within the company. Such values include integrity, trustworthiness, adaptability, collaboration, and accountability. Some revelatory questions could include:

“Describe an instance where you needed to adapt to a sudden and unexpected change within the project. How did you manage?”

This will show your candidate’s flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances. A high degree of adaptability is crucial when working on projects and within a team.

“Tell me more of a disagreement you had with a fellow teammate. How did you handle it?”

This question will reveal the degree of collaboration your candidate has, mainly when misunderstandings and disagreements occur.

“Tell me about a serious mistake you made on a project you worked on. How did you handle the situation with your team members and project managers.”

Here, the level of accountability is revealed. It is improbable that a developer never made any mistake during his career.

If he states so, it is a red flag. Suppose he admits his errors with humility and honesty and expresses how he made amends to the situation. In that case, this will reveal he has a highly responsible individual that could be a great team member.

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Behavioral Interview Questions

When hiring a software developer, you must assess their maturity in critical situations. What is their attitude when there is a pressing deadline or an urgent matter?

Skilfully it would be best if you determined their resilience under stressful and challenging situations. How do they manage their emotional stability within a group?

You would like to avoid the best people that demonstrate toxic behavioral patterns. Some are outbursts of anger, domineering attitude, or extreme passivity and inertness.

“Please share an episode when you had a tough decision to make during production. Describe the situation. What happened exactly? How did you manage the situation?”

This series will help you see if the developer has good levels of initiative and he can quickly analyze and make a decision independently. Thinking quickly and clearly and making good decisions in challenging situations are critical for great software developers. It will also hint if the candidate can bring innovation and improvement to your company.

“How would you explain X to an important non-technical stakeholder?”

You can replace X with any technical term relevant to your products and company. This question is pointed to the ability to handle difficult conversations. The ability to communicate is essential to great developers.

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They need to explain technical processes and terminology in the simplest of language. This is essential for good teamwork and the success of the projects. Of course, apart from simplicity, you should also look for correctness. If the answer is easy to understand but not correct from a technical point of view, this is a red flag!

“Describe an instance when you needed to complete a project under a pressing timeframe. How was your strategy to manage it?”

This question will give you insights into the developer’s time management skills and how they perform under pressure.

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In Conclusion

All these questions will provide precious insight into the personality and values of your candidate. Hiring a great software engineer is not easy; it includes a lot of luck and excellent judgment.

When you ask these questions, you will often need to read between the lines and pick the truth from the body language and the facial expressions. Choose only those that have the right vibe for your team. These will contribute significantly to the company’s growth and thriving.

Picking the right developer is not an easy job. This is why Turnkey has established solutions to make this process smoother and faster. They can provide a great expert for your company and one who seamlessly blends into your company culture and values.