Whether you are applying to an IT job or a position with a tech company, you typically expect to be asked certain technical questions. After all, they either apply to the role itself or the organization’s business model, so these inquiries have an innate level of relevancy.
However, it isn’t uncommon to be asked non-tech questions as well. Typically, questions that fall outside of the tech landscape serve a critical purpose in assessing whether you are a strong fit for the position or the company as a whole.
Even tech giants like Google and Amazon branch into non-tech areas, regardless of whether the position is tech-oriented. If you are wondering why they ask their candidates these non-tech job interview questions, here’s what you need to know.
Soft Skill Assessments
Communication skills, problem-solving capabilities, and leadership potential are often highly relevant to nearly every company, regardless of the position itself or their industry. Hiring managers will often ask non-tech questions that help them assess a candidate’s soft skills as a means of determining whether the job seeker possesses the right mix to be successful in the role.
For example, if you are asked for an example of a time when you used data to make actionable recommendations (something Amazon has been known to do), the hiring manager is looking for insight into your analytical skills and how you use them to benefit the company.
Similarly, being asked how you would prioritize or choose from assignments from multiple leaders in the organization gives the hiring manager information about how you assess your skills, any preferences you may have, and how you approach challenging situations involving workplace dynamics.
Since soft skills are incredibly valuable assets, hiring managers want to know which you possess and how you use them to be effective in a position, and non-tech questions are a common approach for making these assessments.
When it comes to determining whether a candidate fits into a company’s cultural, tech questions aren’t always ideal. Instead, hiring managers use non-tech questions to assess whether the environment is right for you.
For instance, questions about your preferred management style can let them know if you would thrive or struggle under the position’s manager. Asking you to describe an ideal physical environment helps them ascertain whether the workplace itself matches your preferences.
Similarly, requests for examples of how you function as part of a team provide powerful insights into how you work in group scenarios and whether your approach would mesh with your coworkers.
Ultimately, non-tech questions help the hiring manager get to know you beyond your technical capabilities. Since cultural fit and soft skills are so important in every workplace, it’s wise to anticipate that you’ll face similar questions yourself, as they are practically guaranteed to arise.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new job opportunities, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
The vast majority of workers today are not in the last position they hope to hold during their career. Often, they are looking for opportunities to advance, including a chance to land a coveted promotion.
At times, figuring out how to get promoted in your tech role can feel daunting, especially since every company handles their promotion processes differently. However, there are certain things you can do to increase your odds of being selected. To help you on your journey, here are four tips that can help you land a promotion.
Don’t Be Promotion Focused
While it may seem counterintuitive, being entirely focused on earning a promotion can backfire on you. For example, if you only accept projects with a high-level of visibility and turn away work that is necessary for daily operations, you could harm your reputation.
Being unwilling to take part in the drudgery of the day-to-day makes it seem like you aren’t a team player, especially if your coworkers have to pick up the slack. Additionally, you may lose the respect of your peers, something else that can hurt your chances of being promoted.
Even though taking assignments that can showcase why you should be promoted is a smart move, you can’t ignore the basic responsibilities that come with your role. However, if you embrace these tasks along with high-profile projects, you can increase your odds of being recognized as a reliable employee who is willing to do what is necessary to help the company thrive.
Earn the Right Kind of Recognition
Most people know that you have to be willing to work hard to get promoted. However, the precise areas in which you need to focus can seem like a mystery.
While every company has their own promotion criteria, certain points are almost universally reviewed. First, the leadership team will look for recent accomplishments that are beyond what is expected in your current position. Second, they will seek out information that shows you can solve complex problems. Third, they will look for evidence that you possess leadership qualities, such as the ability to train others, coordinate a project with multiple employees, resolve conflict, and communicate effectively.
If you can demonstrate strengths in these areas, you increase your chances of landing a promotion.
Discover (and Fix) Any Perceived Gaps
At times, it can seem that even a strong performer is being passed over for a promotion. When this occurs, it’s possible that management perceives a gap in the person’s skills, experience, or capabilities.
If you have taken action in the areas above and still aren’t seeing results, then it’s time to talk with your manager. Schedule a meeting and let them know that you would like to be promoted and you would appreciate any feedback they could provide that would help you reach that goal.
This can be an intimidating conversation, particularly since it invites criticism. However, it is also an excellent learning opportunity, giving you the chance to gain insight into areas that need improving to land a promotion.
After your manager mentions a gap, discuss what can be done to fill it. Then, take action based on that advice, and your odds of being promoted will improve.
Don’t Forget to Network Internally
When most people think of networking, they focus on external connections. However, by networking with leaders in your company, you increase your visibility, making it more likely that when a promotional opportunity arises that they will think of you.
Work to connect with employees at every level, including members of the leadership team. Provide them with value by assisting with their needs first. Then, when you need help to reach your goals, they will be more inclined to be there for you.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Cloud systems are becoming increasingly important to organizations in a variety of industries, providing them with access to robust computing options that were previously inaccessible. However, it also complicates operations from a computing architecture standpoint, leading many businesses to wonder if adding a cloud architect to their team is a wise move.
What is a Cloud Architect?
Cloud architects are IT specialists who focus on the nuances of computing in an environment that includes cloud-based resources. This can include everything from front-end platform design and management to network structuring to content delivery.
As companies create more involved cloud strategies, particularly those related to multi-cloud environments, having employees that can manage the organization of assets is a must. Without the knowledge of a cloud architect, the complexity of the designs can easily become unmanageable, particularly during the transition phase.
Typical Skill Requirements
While each organization may have different requirements when it comes to the ideal skill set for a cloud architect, certain core competencies are commonly needed.
An understanding of application, integration, and network architect is often a necessity along with experience with IT security. Since cloud architects must discuss complex topics with less tech-savvy individuals, strong communication skills are a must. Having strong organizational skills should also be considered a requirement, particularly if the company is looking to begin their journey into the realm of cloud computing.
The Responsibility of Cloud Architects
Cloud architects have a range of responsibilities associated with cloud implementations. They provide guidance and support cultural change related to cloud adoption and migrating to new services. Additionally, they develop cloud architectures and strategies to make sure the resources are used effectively.
It is common for cloud architects to play a significant role in the vetting of third-party providers as they can leverage their knowledge to help identify service options that best suit the needs of the company. Over time, they can also provide input regarding best practices, assist in budget management, create risk mitigation policies, and perform required maintenance.
Cloud Architect Salaries
An employee’s salary is often a major consideration for businesses. For a skilled cloud architect, organizations should anticipate paying between $82,000 and $185,000 annually, depending on the amount of experience that is required, the physical location of the job, and the skills the person must possess.
On average, in the US, cloud architects earn just shy of $125,000 per year.
Do You Need a Cloud Architect?
Any business that is embracing the cloud as part of their standard operational paradigm could benefit from having a cloud architect on staff. This ensures you have an employee available who is familiar with the associated technologies and how they can impact other operations. Additionally, they can provide valuable input during the planning and migration phases, making the transition easier to manage.
If you are interested in hiring a cloud architect to join your tech team, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading talent. Contact us to discuss your hiring needs and see how our services can benefit your company today.
Network engineers are vital. They ensure companies and employees have access to critical resources, allowing them to handle their duties quickly and efficiently.
While technical ability is obviously important, there are other skills that are essential if you want to have a successful career. If you're going to rise through the ranks as a network engineer, here are three must-have skills to keep you moving forward.
Network engineers, like many other tech professionals, are no longer in the proverbial shadows, restricted to basement work areas and never interacting with other employees.
Today, network engineers need to communicate with other professionals, including team members, upper management, and a variety of departments. Often, you’ll be tasked with relaying complex information to individuals who aren’t as tech-savvy. Additionally, you have to work with other departments to ensure any network changes actually meet their needs.
Without strong communication skills, you’ll struggle as a network engineer, so consider this a must.
Since a core part of a network engineer’s job is the creation and deployment of potentially complex networks, having strong organizational skills is a must. You need to be able to outline a project, break it down into logical steps, and keep everything on target as you move forward.
Depending on your level of seniority, you may also be responsible for requesting bids, managing budgets, and ensuring outside parties adhere to their contractual obligations. Without strong organizational skills, it’s easy for the details to fall through the cracks, and this could quickly derail a project and, potentially, harm your career.
Willingness to Learn
While this is more of a trait than a skill, a willingness to learn is essential for any network engineer who wants to be successful in their career. Technology evolves quickly, and IT professionals need to stay up-to-date if they're going to remain relevant in the field.
Without a willingness to learn or, even worse, a reluctance, you’ll quickly become stagnant in your network engineering career. Over time, your skill set may also become obsolete, cutting your career short.
You don’t necessarily have to commit to a lengthy formal education to keep up with the latest and greatest in the field. Instead, you can focus on up-and-coming certifications, attend training seminars and conferences, or simply conduct your own research. Additionally, if your company is bringing in a new technology, embrace it and focus on acquiring the knowledge to use it properly.
Ultimately, network engineers who possess the skills listed above are poised for greater success than their counterparts who may be lacking in these areas. If you haven’t focused on those before, now is a great time to start.
If you are currently seeking a new network engineering position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to top employers throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role.
Typically, a digital transformation represents a significant overhaul of how a company does business. It leads to the integration of new processes and procedures, introduces technologies that weren’t previously in the workplace, and may even require a fundamental shift in mentality. However, like any large-scale undertaking, a successful digital transformation plan involves goal setting. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to determine whether the change produced positive results in the proper areas.
If you are ready to get started, here are some tips for setting digital transformation goals for your company.
Don’t Automatically Follow the Other Guy
There is a significant amount of information online, including tails of successful digital transformations. While it may be tempting to model your goals after another company, this isn’t always the wisest move.
Ultimately, every business is different. And, if your priorities differ from those of the example, their goals might not be appropriate for you.
Identify Important Metrics
Before you set goals, you need to understand which metrics, such as key performance indicators (KPIs) mean the most to your business. For example, you may want to increase profits, improve production rates, eliminate bottlenecks, or achieve an optimal inventory based on demand.
Unless you understand which metrics are most valuable to you, you’ll have trouble selecting measurable goals. And, if the objectives aren’t measurable, you may struggle to determine if your digital transformation was actually successful.
Align the Approach
After identifying key metrics, you need to align your approach with the broader objectives. Digital transformation can mean a lot of things, involving a wide range of technology options that may not be ideal for your business. You don’t want to incidentally waste time by focusing on a particular tech implementation that isn’t going to create meaningful value, so you need to focus on opportunities that actually align with what you hope to achieve.
During this phase, you’re effectively creating a project overview. You can identify potential technologies that could positively impact your KPIs and determine priorities, including whether any steps are prerequisites to others. After examining these points, create a rough outline of the project to help guide further goal setting.
With the overview in place and your KPIs noted, you can create meaningful milestones to function as short-term goals in the larger project. Additionally, you can monitor related metrics as you move forward, giving you the ability to visualize the impact of the digital transformation as it takes place.
This approach gives you the ability to not just see your progress, but also make course corrections as necessary, helping you shift your strategy if you don't see the results you hope to have. Further, you can share this information with your staff, helping them stay on target and keep their priorities in the proper places.
By following the tips above, you can create customized goals for your digital transformation. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our experience can benefit you.
If you are interviewing machine learning developer candidates, you likely have a strong grasp of technical concepts. Plus, those who make your short list are practically guaranteed to have a level of tech prowess, regardless if they’ve specifically worked in the machine learning arena before.
However, since machine learning development is a relatively new specialty, it can be hard to determine what interview questions will help you sort out those with the right kind of potential. This is especially true since many fledgling fields attract job seekers looking to make a change, so their prior experience may not be in the world of machine learning.
If you are getting ready to interview machine learning developer candidates, here are a few questions you can ask to help identify top talent.
What’s the Difference Between Bias and Variance?
This question is designed to help separate those who have a textbook understanding of the concepts from those who understand how they impact machine learning applications. While the fact-based response isn’t inherently wrong, by looking for candidates who take it to the next level, you can gauge if they have a functional understanding, as well as a conceptual one.
If You Had to Choose, Would You Say Model Accuracy or Model Performance is More Important?
Many job seekers approach this question by attempting to avoid a direct answer, instead focusing on how both are important. However, top talent will understand that, without accurate data, performance is largely irrelevant.
By asking this question, you can assess whether a candidate has a realistic picture of how the two concepts work together. While them mentioning that both are vital for overall success, a skilled developer is going to understand that accuracy is paramount, since low quality data makes even the speediest results unusable.
How Does Deep Learning Contract With Other Typical Machine Learning Algorithms?
Some job seekers are going to assert that deep learning is just a more complex or sophisticated approach to machine learning. However, this is only a surface level response.
The ideal candidate will be able to express a more thorough understanding of deep learning, including the use of the neural network model and how it can eliminate the need for manual feature selection based on the algorithm’s ability to learn meaningful features without the need for intervention.
Ultimately, top talent can go beyond a simplistic definition and actually show how they grasp the concept more fully, as well as how it affects the use of algorithms.
By asking the questions above, you are better equipped to determine which machine learning developer candidates have the strongest understanding of the field and are most likely to meet your needs. If you are seeking high-quality machine learning professionals to join your team, the staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading developers. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our services can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently.
Hiring managers understand the time, energy, and resources it takes to hire a new employee. Often, this is what makes retention so important, as being able to keep your best and brightest on staff is obviously preferred over having to find their replacement.
But many companies struggle to understand why some workers stay with the business and others leave. This is especially true if there are no known issues and the employee seems generally satisfied.
Luckily, there is a way to gather additional information that can help you with your retention efforts. By conducting stay interviews, you gain access to powerful insights, allowing to your do more to keep your top talent working for the company.
What Are Stay Interviews?
A stay interview is a conversation that functions similarly to an exit interview. It’s a discussion where the employee can provide feedback on the organization.
However, instead of waiting for the team member to provide their notice, a stay interview happens while the person is a part of your staff.
Why You Need to Conduct Stay Interviews
While exit interviews provide valuable information, they occur at a time where it is nearly impossible to convince that employee to stay on board, even if you are willing to make changes. A stay interview happens while the worker is still a permanent part of your staff, so the information you receive can create opportunities for action.
By giving your star performers a chance to participate in a stay interview, you can find out what is working for them and what they think could use improvement. Then, you can make reasonable adjustments to provide the employee with what they need so that they are open to remaining with the company for the long-term.
How to Conduct Stay Interviews
Stay interviews need to be one-on-one, giving the employee a sense of privacy and allowing them to be the focus. These meetings should be conducted in person, as a survey usually won’t provide you with the level of detail a conversation can, and the opinions of your best and brightest won’t get lost in the shuffle.
Work to ask probing questions that will produce honest answers. Resist the urge to interject, regardless of how you feel about what is being said, as becoming defensive may lead the employee to hold back, ensuring you won’t get the desired result.
Let the worker know that their feedback is valued and that their responses may help shape the future of the company. Ultimately, you want to know what will keep them interested and engaged on the job and what they value as well as any issues they’ve experienced that haven’t been addressed.
By conducting stay interviews, you can boost your retention rates through right-action. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a skilled professional to join your team, the employment specialists at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members and see how our services can benefit your company today.
While each member of your tech team likely possesses a range of valuable skills, some are probably more effective in their positions than others. And, in many cases, their hard skills are only part of the story.
Successful IT professionals often have a range of qualities that help them excel, allowing them to stand out from their peers. By hiring tech pros with these traits, you can improve the overall performance of your team. To help you get started, here are seven qualities your new tech hire should possess.
If you're looking for a top performer, seek out candidates who are insatiably curious about their area of technical expertise. This can include professionals who explore their field both inside and out of the office, as well as those who stay abreast of rising trends and devour new details about emerging technologies.
Technology is an ever-changing world, and the best tech pros are prepared to roll with the changes. Ultimately, IT teams can’t afford to stand still when it comes to examining the potential of different technologies and must be willing to make a transition when it benefits the company. Otherwise, it’s easy to stagnate or, worse, fall behind the times.
In the world of IT, rarely does everything go to plan. If your team is going to be successful, your employees need to be able to identify problems, analyze the situation, and find solutions.
People who are problem-solvers are typically also strong learners, as they have to take in new information to get to the root of an issue and correct it.
The ability to teach others is a highly valuable trait, particularly in a world filled with skill gaps. A willingness to teach also indicates that they put the needs of the team first while being effective in this role shows they have a range of important soft skills, like communication and patience, that aren’t always easy to find.
A willingness to receive feedback and adjust their approach is also a valuable quality. This indicates the candidate isn’t necessarily set in their ways and is open to constructive criticism that helps them improve.
As technology becomes ingrained in nearly every department, having a foundational understanding of business is beneficial. It will make it easier for them to understand the needs of the company as a whole as well as individual departments.
Leadership isn’t limited to telling people what to do. Instead, it also includes being able to bring people together to achieve a common goal or encourage others to be at their best.
A tech pro with leadership skills can help ensure your team works well together, making it easier for them to accomplish joint goals.
By seeking out the qualities listed above, you can find a tech pro who can do more than just complete individual tasks as they are assigned.
If you are looking for a skilled IT professional to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us today to learn more about our services can how they can help you find the ideal tech pro for your open positions.
In most cases, it’s easy to see if your team is busy. After all, furious typing, frequent meetings, and piles of reports stacked on desks can show that your staff has a lot on their plate.
But being busy isn’t the same as being productive. In fact, some of your highly tasked workers might not actually be accomplishing much during your day.
How can you tell how productive your employees are actually? By asking them this one simple question.
What Results Did You Achieve Today?
Ultimately, results are more important in business than just being busy. But, if you ask your team what they actually achieved over the course of their day, even if they’ve been working furiously, you may find that they don’t have much to show for their efforts.
Now, this doesn’t mean it’s your staff’s fault, though, at times, it certainly can be. Luckily, there are things you can do to increase their level of productivity. Here’s how to get started.
Align Their Duties with Their Talents
In some cases, an employee is busy because they are working on a task that doesn’t fit with their primary skill set. This can increase the amount of effort and research required to get the job done when compared to that of a worker who is adept in that area.
If you want to increase productivity, make sure to align a person’s role with their primary skills. That way everyone can work more efficiently by staying largely within their wheelhouse.
Use Metrics for Accountability
Often, a particular position is associated with specific goals, and progress towards these goals is typically measurable. Ideally, you want to identify any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with each position, and then monitor the employee’s productivity based on those metrics.
By doing so regularly, you can ensure that accountability is a foundation upon which your business is built. You’ll be able to identify which workers are meeting expectations and which aren’t, giving you a chance to intervene when necessary.
Simply dumping a task or project on an employee isn’t delegation. Instead, you need to set your staff up for success by ensuring they have the proper tools and information to perform. Additionally, you need to set clear expectations, including defining milestones, to help keep them on target.
Essentially, don’t just define what they need to do, but also how, why, and when. This creates a roadmap that not only outlines your expectations but also gives them a plan of attack, making it easier for them to meet or exceed your expectations.
By following the tips above, you can determine exactly how productive your employees are while also increasing the odds that they can achieve the results you need to succeed.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a skilled professional to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of your knowledgeable team members today and see how our services can benefit you.
It wasn’t long ago that IT functioned in a supporting within nearly every business, learning about the business rules and processes and identifying corresponding solutions. Now, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, having the capacity to define the business and serve as a source for positive organizational change.
As things have shifted, IT is tasked with being a leader in innovation and has certainly become a more visible component within the company thanks to its ability to be the root of future successes. This makes matching your tech to the business incredibly critical.
If the idea of making your technology match the company is new to you, here’s how you get started.
Concentrate on Creating a Competitive Advantage
With the number of IT solutions available on the market today, it’s easy to become sidetracked by offerings that don’t align with your larger strategic goals. Instead of allowing yourself to be automatically caught up in the latest developments, focus only on those that will enable you to create a distinct competitive advantage, preferably one that is sustainable.
Ultimately, every business has mission-critical tasks that help with market differentiation, and supporting these activities through updated tech can allow your company to stay ahead in the overall marketplace. Identify the areas where the organization truly stands out from the crowd and seek out tech that can make it easier to maintain that advantage.
At times, you’ll need to dig deep into how the business operates to figure out which areas truly deserve special attention. You may need to ask certain questions, often repeatedly, that allows you to drill down to the core areas where a competitive advantage exists as many people want to believe that their company outshines the competition in every possible area. However, every organization will have a core focus that separates them from similar offerings in the marketplace, and those are the areas that truly deserve additional innovation as a means of staying ahead.
Befriend Best Practices
Once you’ve identified the company’s competitive advantage, it’s time to build best practices that keep everyone aligned with this goal. Generally, this means standardizing specific activities and simplifying your core objectives so that everyone can operate on the same page.
In the end, every project IT takes on should be for the betterment of the primary competitive advantage. Those that don’t align with that concept should usually be set by the wayside, at least temporarily, so that the larger goal of remaining ahead can be the focus.
By ensuring your tech matches your business, you can increase your odds of maintaining your advantage without wasting time, energy, or other resources on tasks that genuinely aren’t as critical to your success.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a tech professional who can help you reach your goals, the professionals at The Armada Group have the expertise you need to succeed. Contact us to learn more about how our services can benefit you today.