What questions should you ask the interviewers to know if the company is a right fit for you?

At the end of the interviews, usually the interviewers will ask if you have any questions. At my early career stage, I wasn’t sure what to ask. I will laugh embarrassedly and said “Not really.” But then as I progressed in my career, I realized that during the interview process, I am also interviewing the team and the company for the compatibility to my career goal and work style. Asking the right questions will help me get more insights and perspectives into what it feels like to work in a team ,which direction the team is going and if the team is a right fit for my career goal and work style. I will share four questions that I typically asked during interviews.

  1. What does your day look like?

I asked this very open-ended question to get a gauge of what’s the team’s work style. Some interviewers will say they work nine to five. Some will say they have daily scrum at 8am in the morning and sometimes late night meeting with remote team in Asia. By asking this question, you will get an idea of what your day might look like after you join and if it is what you want. You can also extend on the topic by asking what’s the overtime frequency or travel frequency or other topics that you are interested.

2. What do you like most or dislike most about the team or company?

The first part of the question is an easy one, but what I am truly interested is the second part. They might say I dislike the frequent oncall or production rotation. Then you can ask how bad it is and why they don’t like it. Even though you might not get the most direct answer or the one thing they dislike most, you still might be able to get some idea from their answers no matter how vague it might be. And it might just touch on the subject that you care deeply about.

3. What’s the vision for the team?

I usually ask this question to the hiring manager. I like to know what I am getting into before I committed. Is this a growing team with a thoughtfully planned out blueprint? If it is, then you can suggest how your strength can help to achieve the goal. Is this a relatively stable team doing maintenance work. Then you can decide if this is what you want at the phase of your career.

4. What is your leadership style?

Your manager’s leadership style is critical to your career success and happiness. By asking this question, you can get an idea of what the manager’s leadership style is. Some people will say they don’t micromanage. Some will say they prefer weekly summery report. With this piece of information, you can determine if the manager’s leadership style is compatible to your work style early on , rather then find out after you start working and hard to switch jobs.

Hopefully these tips will help you get more insights into the new companies. Happy interviewing!

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Work spaces in airport

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Seasoned Female Software Engineer in Silicon Valley | Writer | Columnist | Career Coach

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