Regardless of the job title, RPA will be an increasing topic of interest in job interviews – whether one of many topics (for positions where RPA is one of the multiple responsibilities) or the topic (for jobs where RPA is the core focus, like RPA developer roles). A variety of RPA leaders and hiring managers were asked to share some of their top interview questions and advice on developing cogent answers.
Of course, you can expect some technical questions. For developer roles, you’ll probably be asked about automation-friendly programming languages, for example. But you should also anticipate open-ended questions around challenges, collaboration, success metrics, and similar topics. For that reason, let’s dig into 6 questions to anticipate in RPA-related interviews, as well as guidance on developing strong answers. You can use these as an interviewer or a candidate.
- What aspects of RPA or automation, in general, get you excited? What brought you here?
The fact that RPA is still an emerging area adds another interview challenge: How do you gauge someone’s long-term potential to grow as the technology itself matures? Look for signs of genuine interest versus someone who may just be trying to capitalize on the fever pitch surrounding RPA over the last year or two.
- How would you define success for an RPA program? What resources are critical to success?
Bots are quite literally mindless automatons. You don’t want the people working with those bots to be the same. Even at relatively junior-level positions, it’s useful to have an understanding of RPA strategy and how to measure success. (This is also a chance for candidates to turn the question to the interviewer and ask about their existing performance metrics.)
- Can you share a few examples of your experience with RPA and business processes? For example, RPA applied to HR, finance, or IT processes?
RPA is only as effective as the underlying process it is intended to automate. Not everything’s a fit for RPA. Developers (or candidates with attributes that indicate high potential in an RPA role) should understand that and be able to talk process as much as technology.
- What do you believe is most important in order to prevent RPA implementation failure? How do you overcome RPA’s challenges?
Enthusiasm is usually a good thing in interviews, but the enthusiasm that indicates no understanding of why RPA projects fail might be a red flag. Be prepared to discuss challenges and mistakes that you’ve experienced, or from a hypothetical standpoint.
- How does RPA relate to other technologies and disciplines, such as BPM?
RPA is a tool, not a magic portal to transformation land. The strongest candidates will be able to connect the dots between RPA and other disciplines and technologies, such as Business Process Management (BPM), process mining, and so forth.
- How have you helped non-technical folks use RPA?
If you’ve helped train “citizen developers” – meaning folks who don’t actually have development experience – to build, deploy, or manage a bot, talk about that. If you haven’t had that opportunity, take the hypothetical approach: How would you train a non-techie in a particular RPA tool or best practice?