The 5 Key Questions to Ask When Interviewing Potential Software Development Companies

Whether you’re redesigning the company website or launching a critical new mobile app, your next IT project commands top-level support. Depending on the scope of your upcoming digital transformation initiative, relying strictly on your in-house IT team may not be sufficient. If that is the case, you’ll need to create a reliable action plan for vetting the hundreds, if not thousands, of software development companies that could potentially meet your requirements. When new projects come up, the primary consideration you should have is how you’ll find the highest quality results through the most efficient means attainable. If it’s your first time outsourcing a software development agency, there are several interview questions to be aware of before you start weeding out prospective candidates. To help streamline this process, the team at One Blink Technology has developed a list of five questions to ask before deciding if a particular software development agency is right for your organization.

1. How Can Your Agency Help My Company?

This first question is broad enough to establish a good point of departure for the rest of the interview. And if the agency’s representatives struggle to answer a prompt like this one, it should serve as a pretty strong indicator that you are likely wasting your time. Posing this simple question in the beginning also lets you drive the early stages of the discussion. The question allows you to delve into the minutia of your next project and inform the interviewee about its general requirements and scope. Most importantly, this question helps you both identify any mutual benefits at the outset and determine whether or not the engineers have the capacity to take on a new assignment and complete it by your deadline. In light of the hectic and often unpredictable IT industry, it’s entirely possible your first choice of software development companies may not be able to schedule your project. Along those same lines, if the company is not a strong candidate and lacks the expertise, you’ve at least given them the chance to tell you this straight away.

2. Can You Describe The Typical Workflow For A Project Like This One?

This question is deceptively simple because the answer often delivers a wealth of information about the agency’s project management style. It is here where you can determine whether or not their approach to the project fits your own objectives and if they’ve even developed a dependable strategy for overcoming any foreseeable barriers. If their plan is well-organized, this will immediately stand out. At this question, you should be able to determine whether or not the software development company has a clear methodology and why it is the most efficient path toward meeting the needs of your project. If a particular approach is murky or undefined, you can always venture into a more detailed discussion about your expectations. You might find that the methodology isn’t a good fit and could cause unnecessary bottlenecks. However, after some explanation, you might also discover the company is entirely capable of adapting to your requirements by developing a reliable alternative strategy for delivering your expected outcomes.

Can You Describe The Typical Workflow For A Project Like This One?

3. How Many Employees Will Be Involved And What Are The Qualifications Of The Core Team Members?

On the one hand, the size of the team may seem trivial, but a two-part question like this can give a clearer perspective on how many people you’ll be dealing with and the background information of the project’s key contributors. While the agency owner or representative’s qualifications might seem impressive, remember that the person you’re interviewing may not be working on your project at all. Utilize this question to address any unanswered inquiries about subcontractors and even specific vendors potentially joining your project. Ultimately, you want to ensure that all answers to your primary questions are clear. Unpleasant surprises and other hangups can lead to expensive unplanned downtime. Confirm that the company supports an adequately experienced talent force who can deliver high-quality results within a reasonable time.

How Many Employees Will Be Involved And What Are The Qualifications Of The Core Team Members?

4. In which Areas Does Your Company Specialize?

While you might’ve read about the software agency’s strong points in customer testimonies, it is still advisable to verify this information with company representatives yourself. This is an important question because you don’t want to risk engaging an organization that is ill-equipped to deliver the solutions you expected from the start. If their self-proclaimed strong points do not match up with customer feedback or the needs of your project, this is obviously a cause for concern. To verify their claims are supported, ask if they can provide any detailed case studies about previous similar projects. If their portfolio looks strong, confidently move on to the next steps.

5. Is There Anything Else You Need From Me?

Of course, other important questions exist, like cost and what happens if you’re dissatisfied with the project results. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we recommend structuring your interview with a question that solicits questions from the prospective software engineering company toward the end. Companies have different processes and expectations. Most developers enter the interview with the
impression that they will be doing most of the work out of sight before handing in the completed project by the deadline. If your expectations differ from this, raising any concerns before committing to any particular group is vital. The software development company you’re soliciting should value your input and come prepared with several questions of their own. If that’s the case, chances are you can forge a fruitful partnership, and the project will ultimately exceed your expectations.

About One Blink Technology

We understand that vetting potential software companies from a keen pool of candidates can be daunting. To learn more about how One Blink Technology’s test-driven approach to software can benefit your next IT project, complete our online request for contact form now.