I recently read 10 Questions I'm Asking All Companies Before Scheduling Any Interviews from ashleemboyer (very good questions, thank you for sharing!) and it got me thinking about the job market as it sometimes happens.
I have been lucky not to need to look for job in some time, nor do I expect to be looking anytime soon, but what would my questions be?
I have a certain position of privilege in this market (cishet white-passing English speaking male, 20 years of experience in industry) and that comes with a responsibility (insert your favorite Spiderman/Uncle Ben reference here). So I would like to make the questions that might be scary to make for the people who needs the answers the most.
These are questions we all should care about, not just if they affect you personally, because they speak volumes about the company perception of its employees. Are they valuable partners, are they resources that it is costly to replace, or are they throwaway cogs that might as well burn...
I consider the mere reluctance to answer any of these questions a yellow flag, however a
"good question, I don't know if we have considered that yet, I will find out and get back to you"
I would like to share them here in case anyone find them useful:
- What is the policy on remote work (for all roles, not just Eng.)? What was it before covid-19? What will they do afterwards?
- How flexible are working hours? Can it be adapted to family needs?
- What is the parental leave policy?
- How diverse is the current composition of the company, the engineering team and leadership in particular, and what measures are in place to enhance diversity?
- What is the company stance in mental health issues?
- Is the company adapted or ready to adapt to workers with any disabilities?
- What is the average tenure at the company? If it's under 2y or not disclosed, what are the reasons?
- Is there a career path? how are achievements evaluated?
- Is there a peak season, limited holiday period, on-call duties? Are they compensated separately? Are they optional? Do they impact performance reviews/career advancement?
- Is there a 911 procedure? Is it documented? How many there where in last 6 months?
Bonus points if these questions are answered during interviewer exposition/before I ask them, and flying colors if they are present in the Job Description.
I hope you find them useful. If you are in dire need of a job and need to pretend you are natural born corporate grunt, by all means, do what you need. But if you are in a better position, like myself, I hope you start grilling your future prospect employers with them, until they become uneasy to avoid for companies.