When I walk out of an interview, I want to know the position’s responsibilities, I want to know the environment and I want to know what I am expected to accomplish during my first week. Most of all I want to know if the company is a fit for me. More often than not companies will hire the best among the candidate pool. This does not mean they are the best for the position. Simply they are the best in the given candidate pool. Very few companies recognize this difference. It’s your job as the interviewee to vet the company.
I have developed the following questions to ask during an interview:
What will be my first task?
Is there a project plan? How much thought has gone into this position?
**What will determine success or failure? **
If project success can’t be articulated, how can they measure success in the position?
**How do I get my tasks? **
Is an issue tracking system used?
Do you use source control?
A company without source control in 2014 is almost always a deal breaker. If a company can’t provide the most basic need of software engineers there are bound to be other issues.
Do you allow remote work?
Telecommuting is a nice perk. It affords you flexibility to do errands or have appointments during lunch.
**Describe the computer/environment I am provide. **
What type of machine is given to software engineers? Two monitors or one? Is the work area low traffic and quiet — Getting stuck in a loud high traffic area sucks.
What are the hours?
Are the hours flexible? What are the core hours?
Am I on call?
Are you expected to support production issues during off hours? Do software engineers answer customer support calls?
Automated builds and Deployments?
How evolved is the build process? Do developers manually build or is it automated?
Do you have testers?
Am I responsible for testing?
**What technologies do you use? **
There are some technologies that are no longer interesting.
SCRUM, Lean, Agile or Waterfall. Does the team do Code Reviews? What about Unit Testing?
Most forget that an interview is a two way street. You, as the interviewee, are interviewing the company and your future co-workers for a good fit in the company and in the position.