Questions to Ask in Interviews

As you might’ve heard, I’m look­ing for a job. Julia Evans wrote a great post on ques­tions she asks dur­ing inter­views. It’s helped me so much, prompt­ing me to ask ques­tions I’d nev­er thought of before, or nev­er had the guts to ask. Julia’s post remind­ed me that when you’re inter­view­ing some­where, you should be inter­view­ing them as much as they’re inter­view­ing you.

Here are some of my favorites from her list:

What’s your approach to tech­ni­cal debt?

How often do you have meet­ings? Are there any scheduled/standing meet­ings? Who talks to cus­tomers (if appro­pri­ate) and how?

How are dis­agree­ments solved – both tech­ni­cal dis­agree­ments and oth­er kinds? What hap­pens when per­son­al­i­ties clash?

Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to let some­one go?

What’s your reten­tion rate of women over 1.5 years? Do you think you could have done any­thing dif­fer­ent­ly to keep peo­ple who left?

How much vaca­tion do peo­ple get? If there’s unlim­it­ed” vaca­tion, how much vaca­tion do peo­ple nor­mal­ly take?

How does inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion work? This one is super impor­tant and I need to remem­ber to ask it more.

These are just a few gems from the amaz­ing list she’s made. Here are some I like ask­ing too:

  • What is some­thing you dis­like about [com­pa­ny name], and do you feel some­thing is being done to address it?
  • Is there a clear path for career growth oppor­tu­ni­ties like added respon­si­bil­i­ty, pro­mo­tions, raises?
  • How would you describe [com­pa­ny name]’s design philosophy?
  • Does your prod­uct have a design sys­tem? If not, why?
  • What’s the approach to work­ing on your design system?
  • How often do you feel you’re work­ing on some­thing where require­ments aren’t clear­ly defined or are con­stant­ly shifting?
  • Can you give me some details about [com­pa­ny name] efforts to cre­ate a more inclu­sive team?
  • As Julia writes in her post, don’t ask all of these in the same inter­view, and ask the same ques­tion to sev­er­al peo­ple. You’ll start notic­ing a pat­tern in their answers; good or bad.

Have ques­tions you like ask­ing too? I’d love to hear about them.