40 IT Interview Questions With Tips and Sample Answers
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 31 August 2022
Published 29 September 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you're interviewing for a position in information technology, commonly known as IT, you can benefit from understanding what a recruiter may want to discuss with you. They typically choose to ask questions about your personality and career goals, technical abilities, skills and role-specific knowledge. Reviewing common questions and preparing answers for them in advance is a great way to boost your chances of receiving a job offer. In this article, we list three types of common IT interview questions, provide sample answers and share additional tips that can help you prepare.
Related: IT Cover Letter: Tips and Examples
General IT interview questions
IT interview questions may be similar to those in other industries. This is because interviewers typically want to learn about your personality and get to know you first before proceeding to more advanced topics. Here are some general questions that you can prepare for:
Why have you decided to work in IT?
How did you learn about this opportunity?
What do you know about our company?
What's your biggest strength and weakness?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What's your strategy for dealing with stress in the workplace?
What makes you unique?
What are your salary expectations?
What three words would your co-workers use to describe you?
What's your strategy for maintaining the work-life balance?
What would you like to achieve in the first three months of working here?
Talk us through your CV.
Do you have any questions for us?
Questions about background and experience
Interviewers may also want to ask you about your technical abilities and your educational and professional background. Here are some questions about your experience that you can expect in an IT interview:
Do you have any previous experience in IT?
What are some essential skills that help succeed in an IT role?
How do you use your communication skills at work?
Do you prefer working independently or within a team?
What certifications do you have?
How do you handle difficult clients?
What software technology you've used in your recent job?
How do you think technological advances can impact your work in the future?
What do you do to maintain your IT certifications?
Describe a time when you helped resolve a conflict at work.
Describe a project that made the biggest impact on your career growth.
Related: IT Skills: Definitions and Examples
These in-depth questions test your specialised knowledge and if you know how to solve role-specific issues within IT:
What coding languages do you know?
What online resources do you read and use to learn about new trends in IT?
Describe your process for deployment to a production environment.
Do you prefer batch-oriented or service-oriented solutions?
What are your least favourite development tools, and why?
When is it better to use an offline backup method?
What's your experience with cloud services?
How would you explain source control to someone who doesn't work in IT?
Do you have experience using or providing code to an open-source project?
Describe the main differences between threats and vulnerabilities.
Describe a TCP connection sequence.
Tell us about a recent IT trend that you think our company could benefit from.
Describe the information cycle and how to ensure information security during each phase.
Common IT Interview questions with sample answers
Here are some additional IT questions with sample answers to help you prepare:
What's your opinion on Agile?
In recent years, Agile has become one of the most popular project management methodologies and an industry standard among many business's IT units. Interviewers may ask you this question to understand how well you've prepared for working within such an environment. When answering this question, consider showing that you have extensive knowledge about Agile but can think critically about it. To back up your response, describe a project that you successfully completed using Agile.
Example: 'Agile is an essential approach to project management, although it can be less predictable than Waterfall if a team implements it incorrectly. I strongly believe that most IT teams, after transitioning to Agile, would benefit from processes that foster collaboration and smooth communication. In my previous role, I was one of the people responsible for switching to Agile. Once the team got used to it, we were able to deliver projects much quicker than other companies creating similar products. As a result, we were able to leave our competitors behind simply because we learned how to manage our work properly.'
What challenges are you looking for in this position?
Interviewers ask this question to see where you see yourself in a couple of years and what you'd like to achieve in the role you're applying for. They typically expect your response to include the company's interests as well. In your answer, consider explaining to them your ideal career path and what new IT skills or qualification you'd like to gain in the role that could also help the company succeed.
Example: 'I know that your company focuses on innovative technologies and IT methodologies, which I would love to learn in the first few months in the role. In my previous roles, I primarily worked within smaller teams, so having the opportunity to work within a big, structured IT department would also be an inspiring challenge for me, as it would allow me to improve my communication skills. I am excited about these challenges, and I'd love to get a chance to learn from more experienced IT specialists to, hopefully, become a senior IT officer as well.'
What are the essential qualities of a good IT team leader?
This is the kind of question that the recruiter may want to ask you if you're interviewing for a senior or leadership role in an IT department. It tests your technical abilities and if you understand the additional responsibilities of managing other employees. You want to show the interviewer that you have the technical knowledge necessary for the position and the soft skills required for leading a team. In your answer, be sure to list some useful technical skills and give some examples of qualities that every good team leader needs to manage and communicate with their team successfully.
Example: 'First, a good IT team leader is someone who has extensive knowledge in their field and can call themselves an IT expert. This helps them better understand various issues that may occur within the team and know how to help resolve more technical problems. On top of this, they also need exceptional communication and leadership skills, which include decisiveness, the ability to motivate their team and openness.
Based on my experience from previous roles, I always felt the most comfortable when my team leader was easily approachable and empathetic, which are two qualities that help leaders support their team.'
Tips for a successful IT interview
Here are some additional tips you can consider while preparing for your IT interview:
Research the company. Interviewers may want to check your knowledge about the company and its products or services. To know how to discuss that with them, be sure to research the company's history and recent accomplishments.
Comply with the dress code. Depending on the role you're applying for, you may want to choose a formal outfit for your interview to look professional. To know what's the dress code at the company, be sure to look for this information online or get in touch with current employees if that's possible.
Be specific about your qualifications. Explain to the interviewer how your particular skills and experience make you a good fit and how they can help you make the company successful.
Find common ground. If you find that you've got something in common with the interviewer, be sure to mention it. They may find it easier to remember you if they can relate to you in any way.
Be serious about a virtual interview. To ensure your online interview goes well, treat it the same as in-person interviews. Consider preparing in advance and remaining professional in the way you dress and speak.
Prepare a portfolio. If you're applying for a more creative role within IT, consider presenting the interviewer with a portfolio with some of your successful projects. This shows your commitment to the role and can help you establish yourself as an engaged and qualified candidate.
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