Taking counter-questions to interviews

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I've been interviewing recently and I'm having typical interview questions thrown at me - mostly not brainteaser type stuff, but the sort of 'Do you know your Javascript?' type questions. I had this thought about bringing my own set of questions to the interview, to see if the interviewing developer could likewise answer questions on the spot.

I was reminded recently that interviews are as much an opportunity to evaluate the company, as it is for the company to evaluate you. While I certainly wouldn't want to make anyone uncomfortable, interviews tend to be lopsided in favor of the interviewer seeking specific answers, and being able to evaluate the knowledge of the interviewer to see how you'd fit into the team is interesting.

Thoughts?

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While I certainly wouldn't want to make anyone uncomfortable

If you're asking a good question, it shouldn't matter if it makes them uncomfortable or not. Interviews aren't about keeping everyone comfortable, they're about finding out if two parties are a fit, and sometimes that can take good, poignant questions that could make someone uncomfortable. There's only one or two times you get to ask the right questions before making a commitment or missing an opportunity.

... interviews tend to be lopsided in favor of the interviewer seeking specific answers

I think this completely depends on the interviewee's situation. If you're junior, or really in need of a job, then yes. If you're looking for the right fit and you're bringing a lot of experience with you, the ball is 100% in your court.

 

Great post.

Bringing meaningful questions to ask the interviewer, especially if they are part of the team you will be working for is a good idea (sometimes). I have asked if certain kinds of questions to see what kind of experience the tech-lead interviewer has - and sometimes to see what kinds of hands on things he/she might do themselves personally. One off the top of my head, something like:
"You asked a lot of questions about Hibernate, how do you use it in your day-to-day? Do you use a 2nd level cache? How?" or something like that... But it depends on the interviewer...

On that note:
I would never grill the interviewer taser questions in the same manner they might grill myself. Even though interviewing is a way to evaluate the organization, in the end, I'm the one looking for a job and I think unnecessarily pissing off the interviewer each time isn't wise decision. But that's just my 2 cents there.

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Aaron Eiche profile image
Infotainment developer at Jaguar Land Rover. Robotics and electronics enthusiast in my free time.