Best Interview Questions To Ask Your Outsourced IT Services Candidates – Part One


December 13, 2012

Through various search methods you have found at least three outsourced IT services candidates. Now what? The following are some excellent questions to ask these candidates in order to help you determine which one is the best fit for your business.

1. How long have you been in business?

Most people assume the more established a business is, the better. But in IT services, age may not be a strength because technology changes so rapidly. An IT service provider’s business model may change significantly every two to three years. In our history we have changed our business model at least four times.

The latest shift in IT services is cloud computing. Every time one of these shifts occur some more established companies resist the transition. Also because the cloud is maturing so rapidly many who have been in business for awhile have a harder time adopting it.


So while you want to find a provider that is financially secure and has a strong foundation in professional services you also want to ensure they are adaptable.

Follow up questions:
How do you stay informed of current trends?
How have you adapted your business to changes in your industry?
How have you helped your clients during these shifts?

2. How many clients do you have like me?

If businesses like yours are satisfied with an IT service provider there is a good chance you will be happy working with them too. How many clients does the candidate have in your industry? If you work at an accounting firm you want an IT provider that is familiar with CPA technology needs.

However, don’t limit yourself to industry. Think about the characteristics of your company. If your prospective IT provider focuses on law firms that have very little fluctuation and you own a dynamic start-up, it might not be the best provider for you. A start-up that is growing rapidly needs an IT provider that can take on new users with ease.

Follow up questions:
How do you keep those clients?
May I talk to those clients?

3. How many systems engineers do you have?

Don’t hesitate to ask this question. Almost every prospect asks this. IT providers understand it is because you want  to determine how fast the response time will be when you need assistance.

If you have less than five employees you probably don’t need an IT service provider with 10 technical staff.  However, if you have company with 25-50 users an IT company with around 10 technical staff may be able to support you very well.

Overall, the number of systems engineers is not reliable criteria. A larger provider may have far more clients than the service staff can handle. Furthermore, their service professionals may not be as high quality as the service engineers at a slightly smaller company.

Follow up questions:
What is your average response time?
How fast are you growing?
How good are you at hiring quality people in advance of demand?

Before you interview your IT service candidates we recommend you determine what type of IT services is best for your business.
Our goal for this blog is to answer the questions you ask. If you have any questions about IT service providers or any topic please leave a comment below or email me at


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