Interview Questions

This is a list of great questions to ask at a job interview. This is not my list. It was taken from DevIceMan on Reddit and replicated here for posterity.

Interviewer

  • Name – (Write it down!)
  • Your role? Which office do you work at?
  • Time with company?

Company

  • Years in existence?
  • Core Product(s) & Core Software Product(s)? Who uses the software?
  • Total employees? Total technical staff? Tech-staff breakdown (dev,qa,ops,etc)
  • Business model? Customers? Clients? Specialties?

Office

  • Location – Commute, Stuff nearby
  • Environment – Cleanliness, Comfort, See where Engineers sit, Desk Size / Monitors / Standing desks, Nearby Sales teams, Breakout rooms, Personalization (desk toys or pictures?), spacious vs sardines, kitchen area
  • Seating – Open office, cubicles, shared office, private? Spacious vs sardines?
  • Equipment – Monitors? Keyboard/Mouse? Desk? Standing Desk? Anything expensable?
  • Other – Dress code? Parking cost?

Happiness:

  • Me – “Tell me, do I want to work here?” “Why?” “Why might I not want to work here?”
  • Motivation – What do you find motivational about working for [company]?
  • Trap – “What do you find the most challenging or frustrating working at at [company]?”

Work-Life Balance:

  • Hours – Average # of hours YOU work? Any after-hours or weekends?
  • Office Hours – What are typically required office hours? WFH/remote?
  • Crunch-Time – How often is crunch time? What causes it?
  • Other – Travel? On-Call? Remote teams (late/early meetings)?

Work

  • Development Process – Step me through your development process, from a ticket/task, to code on production.
  • Design, Planning, Coding, Code Reviews, QA, CI, Testing, Deployment, GIT?
  • Management / Agile style?
  • Meetings – What meetings? Time in meetings? Estimates? Client/Customer? Scrum meetings? Retrospectives?
  • Work Examples – Examples of tasks YOU (interviewer) recently worked on, or currently working on?
  • Needs – What need(s) are you trying to fulfill with your open position(s)?
  • Daily – What kind of tasks/work should i expect daily? Any non-specialty or non-dev tasks (i.e. SysOps work?)
  • Tech Stack – FE, BE, Deployment, 3rd party Integrations, Libraries, Languages, Architecture.
  • Team Breakdown – PM, QA, DevOps, FE, BE, SQL, etc.
  • Tech Debt – % time for tech-debt, refactoring, readability, automation, or improving the code base.
  • Experimental – % experimenting with libraries / languages / techniques?

Deadlines & Tasks

  • Task Source – Who decides what gets worked on? Where do features/tasks come from?
  • Influence – How much influence do engineers have over features/tasks? % of tasks driven by Engineering team?
  • Autonomy – How autonomous do you feel in your daily work? Why?
  • Deadline Source – Who creates deadlines? Where do they come from?
  • Deadline Pressure – How much deadline pressure is there?

Resources

  • Software Licenses? – IntelliJ / etc.
  • Learning Resources?
  • Provided food/snacks/drinks?
  • Any office perks?

Professional Development

  • Motivation – How are engineers supported in their continual professional development?
  • Resource – Can any professional development resources be expensed, such as books, training materials, classes, or conferences?
  • Mentorship – Does your company specifically practice mentoring? What does that usually look like?
  • Events – Internal classes/presentations? Hackathon week?

Flexibility

  • How strict are times employees are required on site?
  • Work from home?
  • Dress code?

Perks

  • Health Insurance?
  • Lunches?
  • Company Activities?
  • What can be expensed? Learning resources?
  • Raises? Promotions?

Human Resources

  • Steps required between now & actual employment – or anything that may prevent employment after an offer? Drug tests, references, security clearance, other paperwork.
  • Copy of employment contract / Agreements. IP Assignment clause & non-compete.

Michael is a polyglot software engineer, committed to reducing complexity in systems and making them more predictable. Working with a variety of languages and tools, he shares his technical expertise to audiences all around the world at user groups and conferences. You can follow @mheap on Twitter

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