105 Questions to Ask a Company During Your Tech Interview

What to say when they say, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Fatos Morina
Sep 19, 2019 · 7 min read
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

You’ll go through at least one interview, and probably more before you get an offer from a tech company.

You’ll be asked about your experience, your reasons for looking for another job, the expectations you may have from your new job.

Based on your experience, performance in your coding interview, and the meetings that you’ve had with HR and hiring managers, you may get different offers.

You can increase the chances of getting an offer, and make that offer better, by asking your recruiters questions.


Wait, but Why?

Asking good questions is really important, as it shows your recruiters that you really care about the job.

You’re not just having an entertaining conversation on a Thursday afternoon. You’re interested in getting hired.

It also shows that you’re mature and think things through carefully before you decide.

You want to use the chance to ask questions to get as much information as possible and make a good decision you’re less likely to regret afterward.

If you want to prepare for a JavaScript technical interview, wrote a great article you should check out.

This article isn’t about the techinical interview. Here, you can find a list of questions you can ask during your interview. Don’t expect to ask all of them. Select a few that you find interesting and be flexible based on the flow of your interview.


The Role

  1. What’s the on-call plan/schedule? What’s the pay for standby and call-out?
  2. What are the tasks I would do on a usual day?
  3. What’s the junior/senior balance of the team? Are there plans to change it?
  4. What’s the onboarding process?
  5. How much independent action is expected vs. working off a provided list?
  6. What are the expected/core work hours?
  7. What is your definition of success for this role?
  8. Is there a performance measurement mechanism? Could you walk me through a typical one?
  9. What are the items you’d most like to see your new employee take care of and check off your list right away?
  10. Is there anything else that I can provide you with that would be helpful or questions I can answer?
  11. Is training offered prior to actually starting the work? How will I be trained?
  12. Are there any skills or qualifications you think I am missing?
  13. What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
  14. If you were in my position, what would be a few priorities that you would set for yourself to thrive in this role?
  15. Is it possible to switch roles, teams or departments within the company?
  16. What are the habits or skills that your ideal employee would have?

Tech

17. What are the common stacks used at the company?

18. How do you use source control?

19. How do you test code?

20. How do you track bugs?

21. How do you integrate and deploy changes? Is it CI/CD?

22. Is your infrastructure setup under version control/available as code?

23. What’s the workflow from planning to the finished task?

24. How do you prepare for disaster recovery?

25. Is there a standardized development environment? Is it enforced?

26. How quickly can you set up a new local test environment for the product? (minutes/hours/days)

27. How quickly can you respond to security issues in the code or dependencies?

28. Are all developers allowed to have local admin access to their computers?

29. Can you tell me about your technical principles or vision?

30. Is it possible to start using new tech stack in new projects?


The Team

31. How is work organized?

32. How does the intra/inter-team communication typically work?

33. How are differences of opinions resolved?

34. Can you tell me more about the team members that I would be working with?

35. Who sets the priorities/schedule?

36. What happens if there’s pushback on requested duties? For example, “this can’t be done in the projected time?”

37. What happens when the team misses a release target?

38. What kinds of meetings happen every week?

39. What’s the product/service schedule (n-weekly releases, continuous deployment, multiple release streams, etc.)?

40. What happens after production incidents? Is there a culture of blameless analysis?

41. What are some ongoing challenges the team is experiencing that you are yet to resolve?

42. How do you balance technical vs. business goals?


Your Potential Coworkers

43. What do you love the most working for this company?

44. What do you like least?

45. What would you change if you could?

46. How long has the longest team member been there?

47. What would you do differently if you were to start working at this company again?


The Company

48. Is there a conference/travel budget and what are the rules to use it?

49. What’s the promotion process? How are the requirements/expectations communicated?

50. Is there a separate tech and management career path?

51. What’s the status of/view on diverse hiring?

52. Are there any available company-wide resources for learning, like ebooks subscriptions, or online courses?

53. Is there a budget for getting certifications?

54. How do you keep your developers motivated?

55. What’s the maturity stage? (early finding direction, feature work, maintenance)

56. Can I contribute to open source projects? Are there any approvals needed?

57. Are there any non-compete or non-disclosure agreements I’ll be asked to sign?

58. What do you think are the gaps in the company culture?

59. Could you tell me a story about a toxic situation and how the company dealt with it?

60. What are some of the issues that the company is dealing with?

61. Can you describe the culture of the company?

62. What is something unique about your products/projects in comparison to the existing ones in the market?

63. What does your company do to help employees have a work-life balance?

64. What are the working hours, and your expectations for overtime?

65. Is there a budget for attending tech conferences and what does it cover?

66. Do you offer free food/drinks?

67. Can I learn during the working hours when I have no tasks assigned?

68. Is participation in hackathons, startup events or speaking engagements allowed?

69. Can I work on side projects during the working hours and after hours?

70. Can I skip opening my work email in the morning so that I can work and only start answering any potential email after lunch?

71. Can I batch my Slack activity every two hours and not have to keep it always open?

72. Am I allowed to go out for personal needs during working hours?

73. Can I refuse to work on new projects that I don’t like or that are not aligned with my values?

74. Can I ask to take a day off at any period during the year?

75. Can I have a flexible lunchtime?


The Business

76. Are you profitable?

77. If not, how long is your runway?

78. Where does the funding come from and who influences the high-level plan/direction?

79. How do you make money?

80. What’s preventing you from making more money?

81. What is the company’s growth plan for the next 1 year? 5 years?

82. What are the big challenges you see coming up?

83. What have you identified as your competitive advantage?

84. How do you deal with failing to meet a deadline or getting an investment?

85. Can you tell me about your plans for new products or for growth?

86. What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?


Remote Work

87. What’s the ratio of remote to office workers?

88. Does the company provide hardware? What’s the refresh schedule?

89. Is it possible to buy extra accessories/furniture through the company? Is there a budget for them?

90. Is there a budget for co-working space or internet access?

91. How often are office visits expected?

92. Are the office meeting rooms prepared for video conferences?

93. Would my salary change if I changed the city or country from which I work remotely?


Office Work

94. What’s the office layout? Open Plan? Cubicles? Offices?

95. Are there amy support/marketing/other phone-call-heavy teams close to my new team?


Compensation

96. If you have a bonus scheme, how are bonuses determined?

97. If you have a bonus scheme, what have been the typical bonus percentages over the past few years?

98. Do you have a 401k or other retirement plan? If so, is there a company match to plan contributions?


Paid Time Off (PTO)

99. How much PTO is offered?

100. Are sick time and vacation time separate or do they come from the same pool?

101. Can I use vacation time before it’s accrued, effectively going into a negative PTO balance?

102. What is the rollover policy is there for PTO?

103. What is the parental leave policy?

104. What is the policy on unpaid leave?


105. What are the next steps in the interview process?


This list is based on the questions listed here.

Take your time to choose some of these questions, but also be flexible. Go with the flow of the interview.

I hope this helps you get that dream job offer you always wanted!

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Fatos Morina

Written by

Data Scientist | Software Engineer | Writer at https://www.fatosmorina.com/

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

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