Good job questions to ask at a software company (or maybe any company).

This is the fourth company you have been brought onsite to meet with the team.

This is the third person you’ve spoken with at that company. Their questions have run the gamut of Google searches for some derivation of “Good hiring questions to ask”.

You were given a choice of something to drink when you came in and by now you are wishing you would’ve chose the IPA instead of the stupid glass of water.

But here’s the thing, no matter how many people you meet and how many questions they ask you the conversation always ends up in the same place, “Do you have any questions for me?”.

Now maybe you’ve done your homework about this company. maybe you researched their competitors and their market. Possibly this is a company you already use their product and while you love it, you’ve got some “feedback”. Etc, Etc…

These are all good things, this post is not for you.


Good Questions

For those of you that have not done this work, because of whatever reason, here are some good questions to help you get to a “Yes” or a “No” the most accurate way you can. I have 10 here for you, but once you hit these or a couple of these it should give you momentum into some other questions that you come up with yourself.

  1. How are decisions made at this company?
  2. What does the word “Culture” mean to you? How would you see me effecting the culture of this company for good?
  3. Can you explain the vision of the company in one sentence? How are you working towards this vision?
  4. Does your team hangout with each other outside of work?
  5. Do you have a drink fridge?
  6. Are there any unspoken rules that I should be aware of at this company?
  7. How many outstanding options are out there for this company and what is the company valued at? (this one is tricky and maybe only the CEO can tell you but you should try and ask because it will help you determine the value of possible compensation once you get your offer letter)
  8. You say that you are a “Design”, “Product”, “Sales” or “XYZ” driven company, what does that mean to you?
  9. Who owns the roadmap at this company? Is it for sale to the highest bidder?
  10. How do you handle outside requests for feature work when your team is already working on completing their current roadmap?

Do not ask this question

“How’s it going?”


FAQ’s

Will these questions get me hired?

Maybe, it’s all in your delivery and how you follow them up.

Why am I asking about a drink fridge?

Ha, you know why? Because it demonstrates a thought process that asks questions about how the company values their employees. Also who wants to work at a company where they mix drinks for everyone to have along with individuals food they brought from home. You can substitute drink fridge for whatever you want, just focus on is it something that helps you know how the company treats it’s employees.

Options…

Yeah, again this is a hard one since in our american culture it is kind of taboo to speak about those things. Which is utter horse shit. It’s your money, you should know how much it is potentially worth. If they won’t discuss it with you, ask someone else who can discuss it with you. If they still won’t discuss it, excuse yourself and walk out of the meeting. It generally means that there is something fishy going on.

Why should I care if the team hangs out with each other outside of work?

This is a sign that the people actually like each other. While it can bleed into clique-iness or drama, it generally means that the teams want to be around each other and have more in common than just a place they work at. Also it means that if you want to optimize your career for network and learning, teams that act like this often are easier to build relationships with that will help you out even if you are not working there anymore.

Do you have anymore tips?

Sure, Looking for a job? Keep going, it’s not personal.