Demystifying Interview Techniques: Scenario vs. Recall Questions for IT Management Interviews.
Feb 6, 2024
Demystifying Interview Techniques: Scenario vs. Recall Questions for IT Management Interviews.
Feb 6, 2024

Demystifying Interview Techniques:

Scenario vs. Recall Questions for IT Management Interviews

Identifying the right IT person requires going beyond technical expertise. You need to assess their decision-making, problem-solving, and leadership skills within the dynamic realm of IT. Thankfully, scenario and recall interview questions provide powerful tools to unlock these qualities. Here is how to tailor them for insightful IT interviews:

Scenario-Based Questions: Predicting Performance Under Pressure

  • What are they? Present hypothetical situations relevant to IT management challenges, like:
    • “Imagine a critical system outage during peak hours. How would you prioritise recovery and communication?”
    • “You need to implement a new cybersecurity solution. How would you navigate team buy-in and manage implementation challenges?”
  • Benefits:
    • Assess technical acumen and leadership: See how they analyse technical issues, propose solutions, and delegate tasks effectively.
    • Evaluate crisis management skills: Witness their composure under pressure and their ability to make quick, informed decisions.
    • Uncover communication and collaboration style: Observe how they communicate complex technical concepts to diverse stakeholders.
  • Tailoring Tips:
    • Craft scenarios that reflect your organization’s specific technology stack and priorities.
    • Encourage detailed responses, exploring their technical reasoning and communication with different audiences (e.g., executives, team members).
    • Present scenarios with ethical dilemmas to gauge their decision-making integrity.

Recall-Based Questions: Learning from Past Victories (and Lessons)

  • What are they? Ask candidates to reflect on past IT management experiences, like:
    • “Tell me about a time you led a successful IT project under budget and ahead of schedule.”
    • “Describe a situation where you had to troubleshoot a complex technical issue. What was your approach, and what did you learn?”
  • Benefits:
    • Evaluate relevant skills and experience: Verify their expertise in areas like project management, resource allocation, and risk mitigation.
    • Uncover problem-solving methodology and communication style: Understand their thought process and ability to convey technical information clearly.
    • Assess leadership impact and team dynamics: Gauge their ability to motivate, delegate, and foster a collaborative environment.
  • Tailoring Tips:
    • Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to guide their responses for structured insights into specific IT challenges.
    • Probe for quantifiable results and metrics to assess the impact of their past actions.
    • Relate their experiences to specific challenges mentioned in the job description to see their adaptability.

The Synergistic Blend: Unlocking a Comprehensive View

Remember, both approaches offer valuable insights:

  • Start with scenario questions to assess potential, problem-solving, and leadership under pressure.
  • Follow up with recall questions to validate their responses with concrete past experiences and gauge communication skills.
  • Don’t be afraid to improvise: Actively listen and adapt your approach based on their responses to delve deeper into specific areas.

By mastering these techniques, you can move beyond technical knowledge and identify IT Managers who possess the strategic thinking, communication, and leadership skills to navigate the ever-evolving technological landscape of your organization.







We’d love to discuss your IT recruitment needs and help you find your next superstar.  Please call us on 0207 788 6600 or email us at and one of our consultants will be happy to advise you. You can also follow us on Facebook.


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