An interview is a dialogue, and questions to the employer are part of it. Moreover, the employer himself expects questions from you, because according to them, he also determines how competent the applicant is and whether he is serious about it.
Do not take the interview as an exam with dry grades on the result: you can prepare brilliantly, “pass” the technical part, but “fail” the questions to the employer at the interview, as well as getting the job itself.
However, I would like to highlight 13 questions that became essential from my experience as an employee and an employer.
❓ Question #1
What is the reason for opening a vacancy, and how long has the search been going on?
From the answer, you will understand important things: either this is an expansion of the team or a constant turnover on this project since the vacancy has been published for more than a year. An honest employer will give a direct answer about the reason for the search. And this is also a reason to take a closer look at the future company.
❓ Question #2
What task or direction should the proposed vacancy cover?
In this matter, you are not interested in working conditions for yourself, but the employer’s agenda. Many people love the attention to themselves — the employer is no exception. Want to stand out in a long list of job seekers as a candidate who thinks about the company along with their own interests? If so, ask this question.
❓ Question #3
Will it be a remote job or office work?
It is especially important to ask the employer about this now because it is more relevant than ever 🙂. During the pandemic, interviews were divided into two main groups: hiring employees for remote and office work. Simultaneously, some companies, even with the transition to the normal working mode, keep remote vacancies, while others, on the contrary, want to return to office mode quickly. Therefore, no matter whatever is indicated in the vacancy, clarify this point with the employer at the interview.
❓ Question #4
If this is in an office, specify where the future workplace is located and if you can see it right now?
These are great questions, and don’t hesitate to ask them. After all, you come to this office every day! You need to understand what is comfortable for you and what could prevent you from being productive. You will be able to see the general atmosphere, which will also give you food for thought.
❓ Question #5
What about the training and internship?
Now it’s not a big secret that most IT companies offer a paid internship with a mentor, free English courses, and paid certification. But the majority does not mean everyone.
If you are interested in learning and development, do not forget to clarify exactly how this practice is built in the company — mentoring, training programs, self-study materials.
❓ Question #6
What specific actions need to be taken to get promoted?
Sometimes this is a mandatory certification, but more often, it is a personal development plan, which includes several points, based on which the promotion issue will be decided.
How will the company help, and what will you have to do yourself? As you analyze the answers, try to understand if this is the right model for you.
❓ Question #7
Who will I report directly to?
Find out basic information about hierarchy within a department and company. This will make it easier for you to figure out which employee to contact when a problem arises. Let’s say that the work moments during the internship and the assessment of your skills will fall on the mentor’s shoulders, but the head will make the final hiring decision of the department. It may seem that it is too early to ask such questions to the employer, but it is better to understand how the team works at the interview stage.
❓ Question #8
What are the company’s development plans for the next 5 years?
Yes, exactly, not only can the employer ask, “who do you see yourself in 5 years”: you can and should also be interested in the company’s prospects.
The company’s plans may or may not match your development plans. In any case, it is worth understanding how much time you are ready to spend in the proposed position and why. If the answer is not clear, there are no plans for the horizon of 5 years. Is the company designed for such a life span? Is this right for you?
❓ Question #9
How is department funding arranged?
Without understanding the funding sources and plans, it is difficult to say in what financial realities you will work and to what extent it will suit you: unstable funding in a startup can give a good profit in the value of your share of the startup shares later. Are you ready to wait?
Also, be sure to specify what dates wages are paid because this is not always the month’s first day. Check if there are delays, and if so, what they are often associated with.
❓ Question #10
What does the stack of technology consist of in the department?
The IT market is changing rapidly, and if the stack gets old, then finding a job after working in such a company will be more difficult.
And to operate with old-school tools is a very time-consuming process that directly affects the timing and price tag.
❓ Question #11
Organizational questions that are worth asking an employer in an interview
General and organizational questions are also not superfluous: about the schedule, dress code, business trips, whether devices are provided for use or work. Answers to all these questions make it possible to understand how flexible the company is, whether people are the company’s value, etc.
❓ Question #12
How long will it take to provide the vacancy feedback?
Ask HR how long they will provide you with interview feedback on the final decision so that you could plan other interviews in case
❓ Question #13
*All questions related to preparation and getting started at work
If, during the interview, a decision is already made to accept you into the state, be sure to clarify all the accompanying details, such as the timing, the required package of documents, the organization of the first working day, etc.
If the company has already shown you its intentions and is ready to make you a job offer, please specify how much time you have to decide. This is useful for both you and the employer.
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