Impress the interviewer with a thoughtful question when they ask you, “Do you have any question?” at the end of an interview.
You might be wondering, “Why should you ask good questions as an interviewee?” First impression matters and last impression – for lack of a better word – lasts. You want to start the interview with a good impression and leave it with a great one. And you can do that by asking really thoughtful and insightful questions at the end of an interview.
There are usually 4–6 interview rounds and at each interview* for software developers, the interviewer(s) is looking for different competencies. Remember to be authentic and real. Don’t ask questions that you have no interest in knowing the answer to or they are just plain irrelevant. For example, if your interviewer is an HR personnel and you’re applying for a developer role, asking, what’s a typical day like in their role isn’t a good question if you have no interest in actually knowing. Also, don’t waste time by asking a too technical question like what IDE do developers use in a cultural interview.
*The interviews are:
- Screening interview / Phone inteview
- Coding interview
- Technical/System Design interview
- Manager interview
- Cultural interview
So, let’s take a look at what questions you should ask in each interview.
- Culture of the company
- How do big decisions like (insert a relevant example) get made?
- Learning and development opportunities
- Diversity & inclusion efforts
- Innovation mindset
- Team composites and setup
- Roles in each agile team
- Size of each team
- Onboarding process
- Decision making – Who decides what to work on?
- Code review process
- Tools used
- How tech debt gets prioritized
- Way of working / Agile rituals
- Build vs buy – when & how
- Measurement of success
- Performance measurement
- Primary responsibilities
- A typical day
- Who are your customers and how do you find out about their pain points?
- What’re the biggest opportunities on the horizon for the company?
- How does the performance review process work?
- What learning opportunities are available for a software developer?
- What are the primary role & responsibilities of a software developer?
- What’s a typical team size and who is part of a team?
- What does success look like for the role?
- How do you balance between tech debt and feature delivery work?
- Who’s responsible for the product roadmap?
- What is the culture of this company?
- What do you like most about working for the company?
- What is the most challenging thing about working here?
Think about what you’re interested in AND what would be relevant to the interviewer.
Interviewing is a skill that requires understanding & practice. I have written a book on interviewing skills, especially for interviewing well at tech companies for roles such as software development managers, software engineers, product managers, and designers!