Struts Interview Questions: The 5 Non-IT Skills Your New IT Professional Must Have to Be a Success

In a modern world, information technology (IT) is critical to a growing number of organisations. Employing the right IT professionals helps build a strong organization.

To build your organisation, it is important that when you recruit IT professionals, you employ the right one/s. Jim Collins notes in his book 'Good to Great' that a critical element for business success is getting the 'right people on the bus'.

With this in mind, we examine the five critical additional skills your new IT professionals must have beyond their IT skills.

Communication skills

The problem most common identified by recruiters and managers alike relating to IT professionals is poor communication skills. Some IT professionals are great communicators and work well in a team, others do not.

If your interviewee's idea of a good day at work is cutting code with the headphones in, and music on, you've got a problem. Increasingly, a top notch IT project requires input from a wide range of areas (marketing, finance, management, logistics etc.). It is critical your IT professional can communicate effectively with a range of people to get the best outcome for the organization - otherwise the project will suffer from numerous reworkings and delays.

Meeting deadlines

In IT land, time is money (in fact, this is true in a lot of areas). With the high rates that IT professionals can charge, it is critical that they complete their work by the agreed deadlines. This allows the business to progress at the pace it has planned. It also maintains managerial support for the IT function which, left unchecked, can become a bottomless money pit.

Meeting goals makes everyone happy. Unmet deadlines are a terrible drain on an organization and your IT professional can have a key role in determining which outcome you get.


Can you imagine setting off on a long journey by sea and discovering part way through that you are off-course? What if the person steering the ships advises that they are not prepared to change direction? Sound ludicrous?

Unfortunately, this scenario in the context of an IT project is not unheard of, eg. where one of the key players (the IT professional) refuses to change course or drags their feet. Experienced project managers know full too well that the number of course corrections during a project can be enormous.

In fact, arriving at a different outcome from that originally envisaged is commonplace in project management. An inflexible IT professional can have a massive negative impact in this regard.

Understanding business needs

A sound understanding of business needs and/or a willingness to really try to understand what the project needs is a must for any competent IT professional. It would be easy for the IT professional to work towards a solution that is the prettiest / most challenging / most enjoyable / newest technology etc. without producing what the organization requires.

What's needed is a patient and thorough understanding of the business needs. IT professionals that are really skilled in this area are great at getting the various operational areas to think through and enunciate what they really need.


Ever worked with an overpromiser? Frustrating isn't it. It is hard to know which is worse - someone who agrees to everything but doesn't deliver, or someone who won't commit to much and delivers just that.

With the overpromiser, deadlines routinely run over, costs blow out and projects are generally time frames are underestimated. This causes frustration in the organization and a lack of commitment from management going forward. A reliable, skilled IT professional who does what they say they are going to do is worth their weight in gold.


When you recruit an IT professional the required IT skills (eg. struts, jsp, php, Java etc.) is a key place to start but it is not enough. Your new employee needs to be an effective communicator, meet deadlines set (or tell you when they're unrealistic), be flexible, understand business needs, and be reliable. These skills must be uncovered during the interview process or you can end up with a millstone around your neck that can be expensive and time-delaying to get rid of.

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