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Interview your Interviewer

kcarrel profile image kcarrel ・3 min read

As a continuation of my last post regarding an approach to technical interviews I thought I would also share a few of my favorite go-to company/culture questions and potential follow-ups that I like to ask my interviewers. Remember that an interview is a two way street - you are also interviewing the company to see if it is a good fit for you. Will this company support your goals and growth?

Pre-Interview Research

  1. Read up on the company - do they have an about us, culture page or company blog? Don't bring in any questions that are not easily answered by a quick search.
  2. Re-read the job description of what you are applying for - being able to anticipate questions specific of the role can help you feel confident in your responses.
  3. If you have the name of your interviewer - check them out on LinkedIn! This can give you talking points to relate to or context for their role within the organization and what might be an appropriate question to ask based on tenure.
  4. Check out Glassdoor/employee reviews - while I would always suggest that you take everything with a grain of salt this can also inform your questions for your interviewer.

Go-To Questions

  1. What is the tech stack that the team is working with?
    • Has this stack been historically used or is there flexibility to try new languages/frameworks?
    • What was the decision making process behind the current tech stack?
  2. How large is the team that this role would be a part of?
    • How diverse is the team?
    • What is the spread of seniority within the team?
    • What would you pinpoint as the largest challenge that the team is currently facing?
  3. Does the company/team support formal growth as a developer (example: certificates, trainings or attending conferences)?
  4. Is there a formalized process for developers to receive feedback (example: code reviews, role reviews or regular one on ones with manager)?
    • What are the 3 month goals for this role? 6 month?
    • What are markers of success for this role?
  5. What development approach does this team use? (example: Agile/Kanban/etc)
    • Is paired programming utilized?
  6. What does a typical day look like for this position?
  7. What is the approach for onboarding an employee in this position?
    • Will their be an opportunity to pair up with a senior employee?
  8. What does culture mean for you at [Company X]?
  9. Can employees transfer between teams if they want to get involved with a different aspect of the business?
  10. What's your goal when interviewing a candidate?
    • How do you evaluate how well you're meeting your goal?
  11. What are the schedule expectations for this role?
    • Does this role have any on-call responsibilities?
  12. What is the most common reason for developers leaving this company?
  13. How does the company/team participate in the developer community?
    • Do they host local meetup groups?
    • Attend/participate at conferences?
    • Attend hackathons?

Keep in mind that these are just a few of my favorites to ask that are specific to me and my values. I would love to hear any of the typical questions you use during interviews!

Resources

Key Values - Interview questions based on your values
Two Questions for every Interview

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kcarrel

@kcarrel

Rails dev that is passionate about personal projects and Guy Fieri memes.

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