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5 IT Director Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

A company comes to you with new organizational management software. How do you decide to adopt it or not?

A:

Many technology startups come up with new ideas annually. Your IT department will receive a number of requests to adopt new systems as different companies attempt to increase the sales of their software and platforms. Upgrading existing software can be an expensive undertaking, so your IT director will need to decide carefully when to accept new platforms for use within the organization as well as which upgrades to incorporate. What to look for in an answer:

  • Outlines the process for phasing out old operating systems
  • Explains strategy for vetting new IT product offerings
  • Logical reasoning

Example:

"When I am first introduced to a new product, I ask the company to give me an explanation of its capabilities and a demo version for me to test out before deciding if I adopt it for my team."

Q:

What are the different coding languages that are an absolute must-have for new hires in your department?

A:

Your IT director will be overseeing a large team of junior and mid-career technology specialists. Given that the pace of technology turnover is high, new languages and capabilities have quickly become the norm in the field. Your IT director should be familiar with different coding languages available and projects that would require technology specialists. Your prospective candidate should be able to accurately determine the coding languages appropriate for each project that your organization undertakes. What to look for in an answer:

  • Lists coding languages mastered by IT specialists
  • Explains applications for each language
  • Ability to prioritize coding languages

Example:

"Since my department deals mainly with creating new webpages for advertising content, the most critical languages for my new hires to have mastered are HTML and Python."

Q:

Do you think our organization can benefit from cloud capabilities and why?

A:

A large point of focus in the IT field is acquiring cloud technology to enhance an organization's technology, computing and data sharing capabilities. Some businesses can benefit from cloud technology, particularly if they have a large and growing consumer base, but many businesses may not want to adopt cloud technology at their current level of operations. Your IT director should understand how cloud services can help a business. What to look for in an answer:

  • Explains what cloud capabilities allow a business to achieve
  • Identifies the organization's current stage of growth
  • A clear cost/benefit analysis

Example:

"Your organization can benefit greatly from adopting cloud capabilities because the consulting nature of the business means that you will need to share your research and findings with many different clients. Cloud services will help streamline the process and increase client retention."

Q:

Can you tell me about a time when you had to lead the IT department in supporting public relations in the face of a media crisis?

A:

While your other departments will spearhead the marketing, sales and public relations efforts, your IT services will be the foundation upon which all of these efforts rest. Your candidate will need to make sure that the technology department has the correct systems and platforms in place to support not only daily traffic and inquiries but also a potential spike in traffic due to unforeseen circumstances like a negative press situation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Identifies a past crisis situation
  • Explains the process for dealing with an outcome of a past situation
  • Outlines clear contingency plan for emergencies

Example:

"In my last organization, there was a management scandal that led to increased traffic to our websites. Our systems were set up to be able to field a 50% spike in traffic, so luckily, there was no issue."

Q:

Do you think innovation or enablement should be at the core of IT services?

A:

While there is no clear correct answer to this question, how your candidate answers will allow you to understand the types of projects that they will likely prioritize while on the job. Candidates who prefer innovation will likely choose more creative projects and fight for processes that are more open-ended, allowing their technology specialists to experiment with how they field customer inquiries. Candidates who prioritize enablement may seek to implement clear checks and feedback systems. What to look for in an answer:

  • Identifies a preference
  • Clear explanations
  • Strong communication skills

Example:

"I prefer innovation in my IT department because I believe that in today's fast-changing environment, those who do not stay at the head of the game are eventually replaced."

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