Interview Questions «
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Biz:
5 comments

When I got my first jobs, I didn’t know that job interviews should include the candidate interviewing the company. I learned from the experience and, in talking with others, have slowly accreted a list of interview questions I’ll bring (yes, really, print out and bring) to learn interesting things about employers and avoid dysfunctional workplaces.

Most of the questions are intended to start interesting conversations about the workplace, though a few (“Which source control do you use?”) do have wrong answers (“None.”) that end an interview as quickly as a candidate being unable to solve FizzBuzz.

Job

Company

Coding

Manager

Do you have any questions you always ask?


Comments

  1. Solid list. I have a personal list that has many of these, I’ll try to add any that I didn’t see above:

    Remote work policy
    If a contracting company, how are projects billed? (time and materials, fixed price, other?)
    How big are teams?
    What happens when a project goes over deadline / budget?
    How often do you as a company go over deadline / budget?
    Professional development expectations
    Ergonomics / chair / desk
    Dress code?
    Do you pair program?
    Where have you been, where are you going?
    Why should I work here?
    Signing / relocation bonus? (you might have had this one)
    How do decisions get made here? Technical? Business?

    Very nice post, would be interested to see what other people use for their measurement.

  2. Greetings,
    “How long have you worked here?” followed immediately by, “Where did you work before?” which is then followed by the important question, “Describe to me the cultural differences between _where they came from_ and _company I’m interviewing at_?”

    That makes it hard to have a boilerplate answer because people come from so many different places, and you’ll find out what parts of the company culture are important to your interviewers.

    I’ve asked a lot of the ones in this post also, but right now I’m hoping to not have to interview for many years.

    — Morgan

  3. Anthony: I really like your “How do decisions get made?” question, thanks for sharing it and the others.

    Morgan: Nice way to learn context for answers.

  4. Very nice list, I’ll probably snag some of these. I’ve always just kind of thought of questions on-the-fly because they’re going to have thrown a bunch of info at you already.

    Why I never thought to create an actual list, I’ll never know. lol

    The only question that I always ask that nobody seems to have listed already is: “Do you have code reviews?” To which I have never heard a “yes” answer. More’s the pity.

  5. I have a list that I picked up from an employment agency in Boston about 9 years ago or so. I used it more to impress interviewers, and it seemed to work.

    Not until about 4 years ago or so had I been exposed to the idea of the interviewee actually probing for information. The usual thought process up until then was “I hope I impress them, so I can get the job” rather than starting with “Hopefully they impress me to make this interview worth my time and so I find somewhere that works for ME.”

    But yeah, having an actual conversation rather than experiencing an interrogation works to impress the interviewer, make them more comfortable, let them warm up to you and provides you, the interviewee, with a more information.

    I like your list of questions. Plenty of useful ones on there, and I’m not a programmer!

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