Interviewing is both a skill and an art, but it’s just as much about finding a place that wants to hire you as finding a place where you want to work. There’s a lot that goes into figuring out whether a place you are interviewing is one where you’d feel rewarded and passionate for your work.
Below are some questions that I find helpful in evaluating a company (along with some reasons in attached notes):
- How’s the business doing?
- What are the big risks for the company in the next 6 months? 1 year?
- Can you give me an example of when you’ve prioritized developer health and happiness over business concerns?
- How often will I get to work on new projects?
- How often will I get to work in new technologies?
- Am I expected to learn about those technologies on my own time and on my own dime?
- What are some of your policies around continuous learning/continuous improvement?
- Is there a budget to attend conferences and professional development?
- What are your policies on diversity in hiring?
- What are some of your programs/events for existing employees that promote diversity?
- What does career growth look like from this position?
- What paths forward are available to me?
- What have others who started in this position ended up as?
Managers and Mentorship
- Will I be assigned a mentor?
- What is the role of “managers” like for the company? For this team? For my project?
- Are there separate product/engineering managers from people managers?
- How do people become managers from within the company? How do you hire managers?
- What kind of training does a manager get in traditional HR things like workplace communication, conflict resolution, workplace diversity, sexual harassment policy?
- What are some policies that are for management accountability? Do we get to give feedback on our managers?
Performance and Compensation
- Are there performance reviews? How often?
- What is the success/performance criteria?
- How often are compensation and title reviews?
- Do the performance reviews from above impact those talks?
- Do salary increases include or exclude cost of living adjustments?
- Are your salaries published anywhere externally? Internally?