Everything Except Money -Questions I ask myself when I am interviewing
From a junior developer diaries — not technical series
During the Covid-19 first wave, I found my self without a job, and with only a few months of experience. I was very nervous that I would not found the next position or, worse, got to a position that would not fit my career path. Surprisingly I got a lot of chances and invitations to interviews, and in only three months, I interviewed in over 40 companies.
In this article, I will pass on to you what I learned in this period time and how I chose my current job in the form of the questions that I ask my self during the interview process.
It will not necessarily suit all of you, but I hope it will give a direction.
I invite you to mark the three to 5 questions that are most important to you, I have marked mine :)
- How many people work in this company? How many of them are in the R&D?
- How long has the company been around?
- Is the company known? Does it have a good reputation?
- How many women compared to men are in the company? Are there women in senior positions?
- How many people work in this team? How many of them are developers?
- How much experience do the other developers on the team have?
- Am I supposed to replace someone who is leaving the team, or is the team growing?
- Did the team members look happy? (If I get to meet the team before if not, You can always ping them on Facebook / LinkedIn and ask (or just in the hallway before/after the interview or through common friends).
- How many years of relevant experience does the direct manager have?
- Is the direct manager friendly? Did I feel a connection with her/him during the conversation we had? Or else, Did I feel anything suspicious/fishy during the convo? (Sometimes you have a great connection with someone, but there’s also a feeling that something is not 100% right. You can’t tell what exactly, this kind of gut feeling).
- Did the direct manager work with juniors before? (for juniors)
The work style:
- Which development methodology do they use? Agile? Waterfall? Scrum?
- How long is a sprint?
- Do they work with a task management system?
- How many hours of work per day are expected of me? Can I occasionally work shorter days and complete the hours on another day?
- Are the hours flexible, or am I supposed to be from 9 to 18 at the office?
- How late do most people stay in the office?
- Is it OK to work from home occasionally?
- Is it horizontal work on several projects or on rotating projects? Or is it in-depth work on one product?
How did they deal with COVID-19? How are they going to continue to deal with COVID-19?
Conditions & Perks:
- Is it customary to receive bonuses?
What are the conditions for receiving a bonus?
What is the size of the bonus? Salary? Two? Three?
- How many days off do you get?
- Is it possible to take unpaid days off if necessary?
- Is there a pension arrangement?
- Is there a bank arrangement?
- Are there any formation evenings? Happy hour? Company trips? In the country? Abroad?
- Are stock options available?
What happens if the company is sold?
- Is there a gym or classes?
- Is there a charge for lunch?
- Is there a kitchen on-site?
- Open space or rooms or working from home?
- How many screens, and what sizes are they?
- Are there orthopedic chairs?
- Are there adjustable tables?
- Do you get noise-canceling headphones? Is it customary to have such headphones?
- If rooms, how many people in a room?
- Are there telephone booths?
- Are there any meeting rooms?
- How many toilet cubicles are there, and are the toilets clean?
- What parking options are available around? Does the company pay for the parking? Is parking in a shady or underground area?
- Is there public transportation coming to the place? “convenient”, it’s not a big pleasure to wait in the sun or rain 30 minutes for a bus because the bus station has no roof
More questions for students and first jobs:
- Is the job is just developmental, or is it expected that some of the time will be brought forward to other things like support or QA?
- Is there an organized training program?
- Have there been or are there now juniors in the company?
- How long have juniors who worked for the company and left stayed with the company?
- What are the programming languages used?
- What can I learn when working there?
- In what architecture?
- Who leads the decision-making on these issues?
- Are their forms of work compatible with the market? Are they ahead of the market? Behind it?
- Does it advance me in my career to work with these technologies?
- Do they interest me?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and learned new things.
If you like this post, I would appreciate applause and sharing :-)
If you have something to add or change, I would love to hear. ❤️
I appreciate your feedback. Did you find this article useful?
Who Am I?
My name is Michal Porag. I am a Full-Stack Developer working at Skillset and a Computer Science student at The Open University. Also, I am a co-founder and a community leader of Pull Request and a Tech Speaker.
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