How to Interview Seattle’s Managed IT Services Companies and Find Your Best Fit

As you’ve seen by now, there are many stages to finding the right Seattle managed IT services company for your needs. By this point, you’ve figured out your organization’s IT needs and you’ve narrowed your list of options. You’re well on your way. 

That means you’re on to the interview stage. The key here is to ask the right questions at the right time, so you can get a clear idea of what the company you’re considering is like and if they share your values. 

In this quick guide, we’ll cover the top 5 questions you should ask of your potential Seattle managed IT services provider, so you can determine if they’re a good match for you. 

Before You Start the Interview Process…

Quick heads up: While asking these questions, make sure you keep an open mind and really listen to how each MSP answers your interview questions. Their business is to protect your IT, and their wide-ranging experience will give them unique and interesting viewpoints. 

With that in mind, let’s move on to the questions. Feel free, by the way, to add in questions of your own – this is not an exhaustive list. 

1. What experience do you have in my industry?

Seattle is a high-tech city, which means that any good Seattle managed IT services provider should be able to boast an impressive skillset. But you need more than a skillset. You need someone with a good handle on what your industry IT needs are, so they can intuitively navigate inevitable IT surprises in the best way possible for you.

On this question, feel free to press for names of companies they’ve worked with in your industry, references, and case studies. If their industry clients would rather not be named, have your prospective managed IT services provider talk generally about their industry experience, so you can be sure of their know-how. 

2. How many people are on your staff, where do they work from, and what hours are they available?

You’d be surprised at how many IT support companies don’t actually offer 24/7 support. You’d also be surprised at how many Seattle managed IT services providers choose to outsource their after-hours Help Desk overseas. We’re not saying that outsourcing is bad, just that it may not work for you if you’re expecting after-hours, hands-on emergency support. 

In addition, ask how many local staff members your prospective IT provider employs. You’re looking for a balance here; with too many employees, you probably won’t get to develop a close relationship with any of the IT staff, but too few employees could leave the company short-staffed in a widespread emergency.  

3. My company needs [fill in your needed IT services here]. What experience do you have with that? 

This may very well be the most important question on your list. If the local Seattle managed IT services provider you’re talking with doesn’t have quite a bit of experience with every single service your business requires, they won’t be a good fit for you. Cross that provider off and move on to the next prospect. 

4. How many clients are you currently serving? How many workstations and mobile devices is that? 

Many IT support companies, typically “big-box” national providers but also some of the Seattle managed IT services providers, focus on quantity over quality when it comes to their client lists. Automation makes it possible for small numbers of staff to serve a lot of clients… but, in our opinion, massive client lists don’t make for very effective, personalized IT care. Your business deserves better. 

In addition, large client lists for your IT providers can create a liability for your business operations. In a citywide emergency, an understaffed, overburdened IT support company may not be able to restore your systems in a timely manner. 

5. Walk me through the process of how you’d handle [name an IT issue]? 

For this question, we suggest you list a recent IT issue that your company faced or, alternately, list a hypothetical issue you’re worried about. By having your prospective IT provider think aloud while answering this question, you can get a clear idea of how they would approach and handle IT troubles that matter to you.

Feel free to cut in and have them explain their reasoning, by the way. They’re IT pros, so they may skip steps that seem self-evident to them – but a good IT services provider will always be happy to clarify their meaning if you don’t understand. 

Kickoff Your Interview Process the Right Way

Want some practice asking questions? Ready to get a feel for what kinds of answers you should expect? The IT experts at Interplay are happy to help you get used to the IT services provider interview process – all you have to do is contact us! 

Here at Interplay, we’ve got great answers to all of the above questions and, because we’re one of Seattle’s oldest and most established managed IT services providers, we’ve heard (and can answer) pretty much every other question you can think of. 

We’ve also handled pretty much every IT problem over the nearly 20 years we’ve been in business, so throw us a curveball when you ask #5 – we relish the challenge! 

 

Ready to start your interview process? Go to the Interplay Request a Quote page to set up your first interview.