20 Oct

How to Test and Screen for .NET Developer Skills

Posted by John Brandwagt

Developer skills are in short supply these days, so you have competition when it comes to getting the best and brightest talent in the industry. 

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If you’re not doing so already, you should be testing and screening for the .NET developer skills you need on your team. You probably knew that already. You’re not asking what you need to do, but how you should go about doing it. 

It’s easier than you think.

Know Your Terms

.NET development has a wide array of terms associated with its skills. You’re no doubt going to ask to see some of them. Keep in mind, however, some terms have synonyms. While you might use one term, a candidate might use another to refer to the same skill. 

It can be more than a little confusing. You could end up passing over candidates who have the skills you want. Conversely, you might end up interviewing or even hiring a candidate who doesn’t have the right skills if you’re not sure about your terms.

Check for Certificates

Certificates are another area of importance when it comes to .NET developer skills. You’ll likely want to check for a college certificate or maybe other higher education, but there are also a number of other certifications a developer can earn. These include Microsoft certifications, such as a Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certificate, among others. 

While a certificate isn’t a guarantee the person has the skills you want, it is a good indication the candidate has completed some of the training toward developing those skills.

Comb the Applications

When it comes to hiring developers, be sure to comb through the applications you receive, much like you would for any other job.

This could include using specialized software to search applications for certain keywords or turning the applications over to a specialist such as an IT recruiter for analysis. Remember to search applications for keywords beyond .NET development. Soft skills are just as important for people in this role.

Don’t forget about experience. Have the candidates been involved in any big jobs related to .NET development? Who else have they worked for?


Another way to screen for .NET developer skills is to conduct an interview, by phone, in person, or by video conference. The interview gives you an opportunity to ask the candidate about his or her experience, training, skills, and knowledge directly. Ask the job seeker to elaborate on what’s written on the resume.

Interviews often tell you more about the candidates than about their skills, although they can be useful in assessing both personality and skills.

Use an Online Test

Perhaps the best thing you can do when you want to screen and test for .NET developer skills is use an online test. There are plenty of these available, although not all of them are free. You can offer the test at any point during the application process. If you have the candidates complete the test before conducting interviews, it could help you assess whether or not they truly have the skills you want and need.

This can save you time, as only those with the requisite skills will make it through.  If you conduct the test after the interview, you can screen them for soft skills and organization fit first.

Test during the Interview

Many hiring managers will actually test a candidate as part of the interview itself. They’ll give the candidates a time limit and leave them alone to complete the test. This can be an effective way of using both interview and test. 

Using these methods, it becomes easier to both screen and test for the .NET developer skills you need.


Topics: IT Skills

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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