Home > Basics > What Is a Technical Recruiter (and How to Talk to One)?

What Is a Technical Recruiter (and How to Talk to One)?

technical recruiter looking at candidate with laptop in front of them

A technical recruiter is just like any other recruiter — their goal is to find the right candidates for open roles. Yet these recruiters work specifically on filling technical positions, whether DevOps engineers, data scientists, or web developers. So, how do technical recruiters find the best candidates for these roles, and how do you talk to one?

In this guide, we’ll cover:

What Technical Recruiters Do

Technical recruiters focus on technology roles, like software engineers, architects, IT professionals, and developers. 

These professionals carry out similar tasks as recruiters, focusing on candidates with technical experience and skills. Because of their focus, they usually have more knowledge of technical skills compared to a typical recruiter. Some technical recruiter responsibilities include:

  • Sourcing candidates with technical skills and encouraging them to apply for their open roles
  • Conducting phone interviews with candidates
  • Sending candidates technical assessments to complete
  • Offering information about the company’s salary, benefits, and culture
  • Staying up to date with current technology trends and industry news
  • Checking a candidate’s references

>>MORE: What Is a Recruiter (and How to Talk to One)?

How to Talk to a Technical Recruiter

When talking with a technical recruiter, it’s crucial to highlight the hard skills and technical experience you have that make you the right candidate for the role.

Get noticed by top recruiters

Explore Forage's free virtual work experience programs.​

Questions a Technical Recruiter Might Ask You

A technical recruiter does the same thing a recruiter does: they try to understand if you’re the right fit for the role. Because you’re applying for a technical position, they’ll also ask you technical questions to assess your technical experience, hard skills, and understanding of technical concepts. Some questions a technical recruiter might ask you include:

  • How did you gain your skills? Was it through education, certification, or personal study?
  • Tell me about a recent project you worked on and your role in its completion. 
  • How do you ensure you’re upskilling and maintaining your tech skill set?
  • What programming languages are you familiar with?
  • How do you ensure quality in the projects you work on?
  • Describe your experience working with development tools.
  • What kind of personal projects do you work on?
  • Tell me about a technical problem you faced while working on a project and the steps you took to overcome it.

The specific questions they ask you about technical concepts will depend on the kind of role you’re applying for. For example, in a software engineering interview, they might ask you about the software development lifecycle. In a data analyst interview, they might ask you about cleaning data.

>>MORE: Entry-Level Software Engineer Interview Questions (With Answers)

How to Answer Technical Recruiter Interview Questions

One of the best ways to show a technical recruiter your technical expertise is to tie your answers to work you’ve done in the past.

“Technical recruiters are not looking for textbook answers,” Wendi Reuter, senior IT recruiter at Carex Consulting Group, says. “They want to hear about the job seekers’ experience with specific technology. Be clear about what your roles have been in the past, projects you have worked on, and not only what technologies you’ve used but how you used them and what was the end result was of your work.”

Technical recruiters typically have knowledge of technical concepts, technologies, and trends. Therefore, it’s OK to use technical jargon when speaking with them about your expertise.

If one of the technical recruiter’s questions stumps you, you can admit that you’re unsure. It’s better to be honest, Reuter says. Remember, this interview is about seeing if you have the basic technical skills needed to perform the job.

“Do not state you have worked with a specific technology when you have not as they will ask you technical questions about such tech,” she says.

What Else Can You Do to Prepare?

Speaking with a technical recruiter can be intimidating, but remember that it’s their goal to see if you’re right for the role. They want to find a candidate who can succeed in the job! Therefore, this interview is an opportunity for you to expand on your resume’s skills and experience and show that you have the knowledge they’re looking for.

To prepare for these interviews, you can:

  • Read the job description for critical hard skills the technical recruiter might ask you about.
  • Brush up on basic coding, development, or other technical skills you’ll need for the job.
  • Review key industry concepts.
  • Come up with your STAR method answers to describe how you worked on projects and got results.

Learn how to ace a technical interview with Girls Who Code’s Technical Interview Prep Virtual Experience Program.

Image credit: Canva