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Michael Simmonds
Michael Simmonds

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Long-list of questions to ask in interviews.

This is a ever-growing collection of possible interview questions that may or may not be relevant for any particular interview.

Its intended as a kitchen-sink reference for use during interview preparation so pick out the ones you want based on the role and what you could not discover about the company before hand.

This is for my own use: You are more than welcome to reference it too - but there may be some parts that are less relevant to you and your roles.

Engineering approach

  1. What types of engineering problems are you facing these days?
  2. What is your team’s biggest current challenge?
  3. What do you see as the engineering team’s role in the company?
  4. What does a typical day in the life of an engineer look like?
  5. How does the handoff between frontend and backend engineers work?
  6. What testing frameworks do you use, what is the policy for testing and how do you mitigate the risk of developers cutting corners on testing when under time-pressure.
  7. Whats your tech stack?
  8. How is the interaction between developers and product managers?

Product / Project management

  1. How do product, design and engineering collaborate to take an project from idea to deployment?
  2. How much of a say do engineers have into the design/ux of products?
  3. Is this a product-focused company or a service-based business?
  4. How do you review your product roadmap?
  5. What software do you use (this shows a lot about a company so its great if yo have experienced a few). How long have they been using it and is it used in all cases?
  6. How much of the work is green-fields vs legacy application and how are developers assigned to each? Do the old-guard get all the new projects?
  7. Do you have a standard release cycle? (shorter cycles more testing)
  8. How do you deal with tech dept? Is time set aside for tech dept?
  9. What do you do when things go wrong? For larger issues do you have retrospectives?

Role progression & Performance

  1. If I were to get this position, how would my performance be measured? How often are roles reviewed, and what is the mechanism (Personal Development meetings?)
  2. If I exceeded the expectations for this role in 6 months, where would you see me going from there?
  3. What qualities will I need to have to be successful in this position?
  4. How would you describe a 10x employee if one existed?
  5. Would my compensation be tied to performance or mostly title and responsibilities?
  6. Why are you hiring and what do you hope to achieve by hiring for this position?

Professional/Career development

  1. How do you ensure the success of new employees through your onboarding process?
  2. What are the learning / career development opportunities available to your employees?
  3. Are there opportunities to switch roles internally inside the company down the road? Or do you tend to hire externally?
  4. Where have previous successful employees in this position progressed to?

Work culture / Team

  1. Everyone likes to talk about work/life balance - what is your take on it?
  2. Have you ever seen your CEO or other leaders admit when they were wrong, own it, and make changes?
  3. What are the company’s top 3-5 values for their employees?
  4. Would you consider your company to be “remote first / friendly”? What does that look like?
  5. How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically more collaborative or more independent?
  6. How many meetings do developers have? Do developers interact directly with clients and stakeholders, or do they need to go through a PM?
  7. Why do you like working here?
  8. What is the teams biggest challenge?

Product market fit / unique value proposition

  1. What makes you better than all your competitors?
  2. What problem are you solving that no one else is? (eg. your unique value proposition)
  3. Where do you see the company growing towards in two to three years?
  4. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
  5. Who is one of your biggest competitors in the field and what is something they do better than you?

Financial health of the company

  1. What is your net revenue retention rate?
  2. What is the company’s burn rate / runway – eg. how long they can operate without running out of cash?
  3. How much money has your company raised?
  4. When do you expect the company to be profitable if they aren’t already?


Claeb Mallas:

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