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.

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