While cleared recruiters are not expected to code programs or build system architecture, they are expected to walk the walk through a technical conversation and have the ability to articulate whether a technical candidate can perform on the job.

Greener recruiters may have trouble putting together interview questions for a technical phone screen to weed out candidates who don’t meet the minimum requirements. Use this list of questions as a starting point for conducting technical interview questions with cleared candidates.


When asking questions about a candidate’s process or life cycle for software engineering, it’s helpful to gather information on their workflows through every step, beginning with obtaining the requirements for the end product. This will ensure they are a good addition to the team and not one that would be counter-productive.

1. When and why did you decide on software engineering as your career?

2. What programming languages do you prefer to work with?

3. Why is it important to pair-program or check on a team member’s code?

4. What project management tools have you used / do you prefer to work in?

5. Talk about a project you completed successfully and what factors led to a happy customer?

6. What are you looking for in this job? Any new skills you are looking to add?

8. Talk about some mistakes you made on a project and what you learned from them?

9. What workflow or methodology do you prefer? (i.e. waterfall, agile, etc.). What does agile mean to you? How have you used agile methodology in your daily practice?

10. How do you assure the quality of your software on a project?

11. When writing your own database server what should you consider?

12. How do you keep your coding skills sharp / up-to-date?

13. What new certifications are you interested in obtaining?

14. What is your preferred team environment?

15. How would you mentor a greener or younger software engineer on the team? Have you had mentees in the past?

Adjust as Needed

Your questions will probably change depending on what the specific role is (software development, systems engineering, scrum master, etc.) and what the minimum requirements are outlined in the Statement of Work for your specific program, but these are good for cleared recruiters to familiarize themselves with!



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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸